Cab service and hotel cater to canines
From gourmet dog treats to pet psychics, people will do just about anything to make sure their pets are healthy and happy. Consumer Reporter Lynda Steele takes a closer look at the business of dogs this week, starting with a cab service and hotel that caters specifically to canines.
John Samson is not your typical cab driver. He co-owns The Dog Taxi, which ferries pets to the groomer, the vet, daycare, the airport and even whistler. Transporting about 13 dogs a day, John's driven movie stars' pets, handicapped dogs and animals belonging to Vancouver business moguls. But most of his canine clients are referred by cab competitors who specialize in humans.
"There are a lot of Muslim cab drivers in Vancouver who, for them, if they have to touch the hair or saliva of a dog they've got to do ablutions. So you can't have a hairy cab," said Samson.
Often, the Dog Taxi is asked to make a run to special Vancouver hotel.
The Rex Dog Hotel & Spa looks like a regular hotel lobby, but if you look closer, there is a special waterpark for four-legged guests.
"We have a wave and geyser and water ball launchers and it's all sequenced," said owner Barrie Balshaw.
The hotel is a 10,000 square foot indoor/outdoor mecca for dogs of all sizes and breeds. From the computerized water park to doggie spa tubs, dogs can stay overnight and even enjoy a doggie mini-bar filled with bedtime snacks.
"We have beef chews and great bones and liver treats. There's no Heinecken and they don't get the key," said Balshaw.
The pampered pooches are mostly repeat customers who look forward to the overnight stay. And according to hotel management, some are a little reluctant to leave when it's time to go home.
"They see mom and dad, and they're excited to see them, but they head back to the door to want to get back in with their friend," said Balshaw.
The hotel charges between $38 and $58 for two days of doggie daycare and an overnight stay. The Dog Taxi costs under $25 per trip if it's within the Vancouver area.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele