If we ask ten people what their definition of what a holiday is, we’ll get ten different answers. Some want adventure, some want to soak up the fresh air in a hammock sipping iced tea, some want to play beach sports while others just want to watch the waves rolling in.
If we could ask dogs, what their perfect holiday would be, I think their answers would be just as unique as humans’ would. Some dogs would want to chase stuff, play in the water, explore the sights and most importantly smells, maybe do a doggy version of a crossword puzzle, aka. a brain toy.
Here are the activities that we do with our guests at Best Friends Pet Lodge to ensure that they have an enriched and fulfilling stay.
We have many different walking trails on the mountain, rich with olfactory enrichment thanks to the wildlife wandering around in the bush. The terrain also changes from very flat trails for the golden oldies or ‘not as fit’ furkids, to more challenging terrain for the physically fit and agile doggies who need to get a more physical exercise. We understand that even the flat terrain might need some getting used to so we are careful not to overdo it, being stiff and having muscle ache is no way to spend your holiday.
We always ask our clients what their dogs enjoy doing and we’ll incorporate those things during their stay at the lodge. Playing fetch with toys seem to be an all time favourite. Hiding treats in their gardens for them to find when they come back from a walk, is one of my favourite games to play with the guests.
The guests who do not mind being touched and petted will receive Ttouch sessions for ultimate relaxation. Different types of massages are done for different reasons, and the touches are adjusted according to the dog’s reaction to it. This is a great way for us to get to know our guests, how to approach them and how to make sure they are comfortable being around us as these massages are non-invasive and non-threatening to dogs. Of course, Ttouch is packed with all sorts of exercises that do not necessarily include touch, so even a touch-sensitive doggie can benefit from it.
We spend a couple of minutes with a dog to stimulate that grey matter with very simple games and exercises where they need to figure out how to make the person give them a treat. This is done in a positive, force free way. This not only tires them out mentally, but it also gives their self-confidence a bit of a boost when they earn the treat.
It’s important that the dogs get some me time during their holiday where they can chew on a chew or stuffed Kong and have a long nap in the shade without too many interruptions, it is, after all, their breakaway too. Me time usually starts around 12:00, and we try not to disturb them or their environment.