Paws for concern: Saugus pet project proposed


SAUGUS — It could get a lot more comfortable for local dogs with the recent approval of a luxury pet resort in town.

The Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa won approval from the Board of Selectmen to operate a two-story shop just off Route 1 in Saugus. The resort will feature a swimming pool, three indoor play spaces and two outdoor spaces. It’s big enough to house up to 150 dogs and 25 cats.

The resort will offer daycare and overnight boarding services, as well as elaborate grooming and other spa services. Baths for dogs start at $30 and more than $50 for larger pups. Dog haircuts cost from $55 to $75. Need to de-skunk your pet? That’s $12. A nail cut will cost $12 and nail polish is $10.

“We’ve probably taken care of 12,000 to 13,000 guests since we’ve opened up,” said owner Raymond Schneider at a meeting earlier this month.

He operates five other locations, including one in Boston. The other four are located in the Cincinnati area.

In Boston, the resort offers the option to purchase additional services either a la carte or as package deals. These services include things like bedtime tuck-ins with a bedtime story, teeth brushing with a Greenie, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich midday snack, ice cream breaks or a plush bedding upgrade.

The Boston store also offers aquatics and hydro-fitness sessions, which are supervised and directed by a fitness practitioner. Owners can sign animals up for fun swim, hydro-massage swim, or fitness swim classes. The massage and swim start at $30.

Pet owners might choose to sign pets up for these classes for a number of reasons, including geriatrics, arthritis, rehabilitation, dysplasia, or general fitness. Swimming relieves the weight and strain on a dog’s joints.

Boston Red Dog, in collaboration with Wag Pet Service, offers small animal massage and has partnered with Argos Dog Training to offer training services.

The board approved the Saugus location to offer daycare services from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Board members expressed concern about barking and limited the number of dogs outside at one time to 30, divided between two fenced areas.

“There are some homes there,” said Selectman Jeff Cicolini. “We need to be cognizant of that.”

One employee will supervise each group of 15 dogs at all times while the animals are outside. All outdoor recreational activity will cease at 5 p.m., after which time the dogs will only be let out to do their business. An employee is present at the facility 24 hours a day.

Waste is to be disposed of immediately and pest control is to visit and treat the premises regularly as a preventative measure.

Dogs attending daycare will be on both floors. Dogs will also be boarded on both floors, said Schneider. Owners will have the option to board their dogs in the same kennel if they are more comfortable that way, he said.

Small, medium and large dogs will be divided into indoor play areas by size.

The project will be approved subject to a fire inspection, compliance with animal control, town inspectional services, and the board of health. Renovations to the property are estimated to cost between $160,000 and $200,000.

“I’ve never seen a luxury pet resort before and I’m really impressed with the swimming pool and the different services, spa services, geriatric and special needs (services),” said Selectman Jennifer D’Eon. “I think this is great. We don’t have any swimming pools in any of our hotels, but the dogs get the first one. Lucky dogs.”

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte