So you can't take your dog on the plane and don't have time to find a dog sitter, but you need to hit that business/leisure trip? No worries!
Airport pet resorts (yes, you read that correctly) are on the rise, and giving dog owners peace of mind, all the while making their lives, and their pups lives, a lot more enjoyable - and extremely convenient.
Companies like Paradise 4 Paws, which provide 24/7, full service pet care at major airports - growing all over the country - are honing in on a segment of the pet market that is showing very strong viability for the future.
Saq Nadeem, founder of Paradise 4 Paws and Illinois' Small Business Person of the Year in 2013, started the company in 2008 with the first facility near Chicago O'Hare's International Airport. Today, the company has 4 locations - two in Chicago at O'Hare and Midway, one at Dallas/Fort Worth, and their most recent opening at Denver International - and they're poised for some serious growth, especially considering that lucrative pet market we frequently reference here, on the SportBlog by SportLeash.
"We're kind of living proof that the pet industry is recession-resistant," Nadeem said. (Nadeem's idea began as a business school class project at Northwestern.) Despite the tough economic climate, Nadeem's idea caught fire - as many pet owners were drawn to the convenience of being able to drop off their pet at the airport, take a shuttle to the terminal, and then easily scoop up their pets upon their return. Not to mention, the facilities have everything a dog or cat (and their owners) would want, including on-site veterinarians, grooming services, an adventure jungle for cats and splash pool for dogs. Owners can also access in-suite webcams any time they want to check in on their beloved cats and dogs.
Nadeem sites the "humanization of pets" for creating such a market, and is looking to open a handful of facilities in the U.S. and Canada over the next few years.
So next time you forget that "service dog" vest, you can find some solace knowing that the Puppy Ritz-Carlton might just be a shuttle ride away.
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