West Sacramento pet hotel keeps tails wagging
A customer checks in her dog at Wag Hotel in West Sacramento. SARAH DOWLING — DAILY DEMOCRAT
By Sarah Dowling, Woodland Daily Democrat
POSTED: 01/30/18, 10:13 AM PST |
Kristen Rau greets Wag Hotel regular “Auggie” at their West Sacramento location. SARAH DOWLING — DAILY DEMOCRAT
When Kristen Rau walks the halls of West Sacramento’s Wag Hotel, she greets her guests with a smile, knowing most by name — of course sometimes the names are of the “Fluffy” and “Fido” variety.
Nestled behind a group of commercial buildings and marked by a simple, three-letter sign, Wag caters to cats and dogs, providing lodging, grooming, play groups and more for Sacramento-area residents.
The hotel chain, with locations in West Sacramento, San Francisco, Redwood City, Oakland and most recently Santa Clara, opened in 2005 by pet lovers who couldn’t find a suitable place to leave their pets during business trips. West Sacramento was the first.
“There was a lot missing for pets in terms of good care,” explained Rau, Wag’s director of customer service. “Back then there were only kennels.”
Wag first started as a boarding facility, but has expanded its services to daycare and overnight stays, just like its human counterpart. The hotel is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year including holidays, Rau added.
Standing in the lobby, Rau pointed out a hanging menu behind a service counter, which allows people to build a “customized stay” for their pets.
“We have all different types of dogs (as guests),” Rau said. “Crazy energy dogs to more mellow ones. People check in and find what’s best for their dog and (staff) guide them through.”
Giving a tour of the West Sacramento facility, Rau started in the kitchen, explaining that pet parents can request specialized meals for their dogs and cats. Some want simple dry food, while others want steak, chicken or eggs for their pets. Hotel staff do their best to make this happen for a more personalized stay.
While Wag specializes in care for dogs, there is a smaller boarding area for cats. According to Rau, most of their feline guests live in a home with dogs — their parents bringing both to Wag for care. The cat section also has its own air filtration system, so the cannot smell the dogs and the dogs cannot smell them.
During a recent visit, only one cat guest was present. A single staff member cared for her, letting the cat roam around the room.
“I want to take her home,” the staff member said.
There are around 180 rooms — of various sizes — in total. From the smaller kennels similar to what can be seen in an animal shelter to the “Capitol Suite,” there are options.
“The Deluxe Suites are a client favorite,” Rau explained. These rooms have webcam access tot he pet from anywhere in the world at any time, that way pet owners “have the comfort of knowing” what their dogs are up to. The rooms also have memory foam bedding, toys, and a mounted television that usually plays Animal Planet or a similar channel for guests.
Meanwhile, in the Capitol Suite, pet parents can Skype with their dogs or Fido can simply watch a movie on Netflix, which is included in the package.
“Some parents are very specific and pick out movies for their dogs,” Rau said.
The room also has a “lavender scent infusion” to create a calm, relaxed atmosphere.
When not in their rooms, guests are able to join different play groups — both indoors and outside — with other pups. A handler is always on site to make sure everyone gets along. Sometimes staff have to adjust play groups based on how certain dogs interact.
In the outside area, Rau greeted a guest named “Auggie.”
“He comes every single day since he was a puppy,” she said, petting him. “He has grown up with us.”
Auggie is just one of many dogs to do just that.
For more information, visit waghotels.com.