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Pet Pampering: Woofing and Purring with Delight

Dog star: If you are willing to spend, your pooch can get the rock star treatment.Our pets are our pals, and with good reason.

They’re our constant companions, brightening our bad days and providing more than their fair share of comic relief. In short, they make our lives just a little more livable simply by being them. Shouldn’t we do something special to repay them?

Fortunately, in Southwest Florida, there’s no shortage of ways to spoil your best friend. Whether you pamper them with spa treatments, glamorous accessories or private parties, we’ve found the best ways to show Fido and Fluffy how much you care.


A day of digging can leave even the most pedigreed pup looking less than lovely. Love My Dog Resort & Spa has the solution, though: a blueberry and cucumber facial designed to exfoliate the skin and brighten facial fur. Ideal for dogs of any breed, the treatment is especially effective for dogs that have a darkening around the eyes or mouth, possibly from tears or food discoloration. A gentle concoction of coconut oil, blueberries, cucumber, avocado and vitamins, the formula is tearless and soothing to the skin. $8, Love My Dog Resort & Spa, 2079 Pine Ridge Road. 262-1200.


If your little angels have a sassy side, we’ve found the perfect place for them to rest their heavenly heads. Lola Santoro Exclusively for Pucci & Catana is a line of handmade dog and cat beds imported from Poland; Pucci & Catana is the only store in the United States to carry the beds, which are known for their wild and inventive style. With plush faux fur finishes and such edgy embellishments as chains, rhinestones and ladies’ garters, the beds are too cute to be pushed to one corner of the room. So don’t be surprised if Fluffy’s bed becomes your newest conversation piece. From $400, Pucci & Catana Luxury Pet Boutique, 647 Fifth Ave. S. 263-9663.

This party’s for the dogs

Nothing gets our tails wagging quite like the promise of a party. And our tails are set to maximum wag, thanks to The Wigglebutt Inn’s newly expanded, 10,000-square-foot facility on Pine Ridge Road. There, innkeepers Karen and George Paul throw breed-specific doggie mixers at its upstairs lounge area on a regular basis. The concept is simple: Drop off your dog at day care and then head upstairs to mingle with other puppy parents. If you prefer a more intimate soiree, schedule some time at one of Wigglebutt’s air-conditioned private rooms for a “Wiggle-Down” party with treats, water and toys. “Wiggle-Down” party for four hours, up to eight dogs, price to be determined. The Wigglebutt Inn, 2021 Pine Ridge Road. 592-9663, wigglebuttinn.com.

Pug licking lolli popSay “treats”

The next time you spot Spot doing something adorable, don’t reach for your camera. Instead, howl for Fort Myers-based Square Dog Photography. For $150, photographer Eric Wilson will bring his mobile studio to your home for a 1½-hour pet sitting session to capture your dog or cat at his or her most memorable pose. Owners are welcome to sit in, too. And working with Wilson is sure to give you a few warm fuzzies: Twice a week, he photographs all the adoptable pets for the Lee County Domestic Animal Services website, in hopes of giving them a greater chance at finding a forever home. squaredogphoto.com.

Piece of cake

Here’s a sweet treat to celebrate your favorite four-legged friend’s special day. Woof Gang Bakery in Estero offers custom-made canine cakes in Fido’s flavor of choice; some previous taste sensations have included pizza, chicken and peanut butter. For $25, the 6-by-9-inch, bone-shaped cakes are frosted, topped with cookies and decorated with your personal birthday wishes. They look so delicious, you may want to beg for a bite—and if so, no worries. These cakes are made of people-grade ingredients, in case you’re wishing to partake. Woof Gang Bakery, 20301 Grande Oaks Shoppes, Suite 114. 949-WOOF.


Boasting some 6,000 square feet of indoor play area and another 2,300 square feet of outdoor space, the four-legged campers at Naples’ Camp Bow Wow can romp ’til they’re beat—but best of all, their owners can get in on the fun while they’re away. That’s because Camp Bow Wow offers “Camper Cams” to let pet parents watch their pups on their computers. There’s even a Camp Bow Wow Camper Cam iPhone app. But the app does come with a warning: You may catch your dogs having more fun than you are. Unlimited month of doggie day care, $425. Camp Bow Wow, 3382 Mercantile Ave. 352-2275.


If your pup is the all-natural sort, head to Naples Dog Center’s Healing Spa & Salon. There, treatments include clay masques and mud baths to draw out skin impurities and increase relaxation, mineral and salt baths for skin troubles and even an ionic balancer and detoxifying bath believed to stimulate lymphatic cleansing. For dogs with joint difficulties, the center offers massage, treadmill exercise and hydrotherapy treatments. Even the environment is designed to be healthful, with full spectrum lighting and puppy bowls brimming with reverse osmosis water. Prices vary depending on treatment. Naples Dog Center, 967 Fourth Ave. N. 530-3647.

Cat naps: Among the best ways to splurge on your pets is luxurious bedding from stores such as Pucci & Catana in Naples.FITNESS, TOO

Your cute canine may seem like a boundless bundle of energy, but even the most rambunctious pup could benefit from 4 Paws Fitness from The Lucky Dog Co. Like a kind of Pilates class for dogs, the training focuses on building balance, boosting coordination, and increasing strength and flexibility. It’s especially good for sport dogs that need to be in top physical shape, but is also helpful for pups that may have had an injury and are looking to get back in the game. The four-week classes meet once a week for an hour. $115,

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