Retreats for man's best mate are growing in popularity.
Retreats for man's best mate are growing in popularity. RyanJLane

in the lap of luxury

HOPEFULLY you feel refreshed after festive-season downtime, but spare a thought for Fido.

The family pooch has probably been lumped with a house full of visitors and frightened by fireworks ... and they don't even have champagne to cope with the Christmas craziness.

Fortunately, help is at hand, with dog wellness retreats gaining traction in Australia.

Alexis Soulopoulos, the founder of pet-sharing network Mad Paws, says the trend is a logical extension of our booming wellness sector.

"With more Australians looking after their well-being, dog owners are also looking at ways to boost their dog's health,” she says.

We're not talking confined kennels while the family nips off to Fiji for a week.

At Ridge View Retreat on the Gold Coast, for example, pups can be pampered in a picturesque location for as little as $52 a night. They can take a dip in the large freshwater swimming pool or find inner peace roaming the tranquil hill estate.

At Hound Dog Hotel on the Central Coast, Very Important Pooches take part in lavish hikes to scenic headlands and fun-filled beach adventures.

"Owners are sent GPS tracked 'pupdates' every day with a selection of photos that are taken daily of their dogs splashing in the ocean, on the beach or goofing around in one of the many parks,” Hound Dog Hotel owner Maralyn Nash says.

"Dog owners are envious after having followed their dog's holiday and on their return we've even been asked if we take bookings for owners, too.”


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