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Inside Dubai’s luxury dog resort where canines get a five-star stay

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Happy dogs after their spa treatment.
Happy dogs after their spa treatment.   -   Copyright  Shampooch
By Evan Bourke  & Sarah Hedley Hymers

The UAE’s pet population is thriving with the rise of pet-friendly amenities across the country. In 2021, 3.7 per cent of households owned a dog and 6.1 per cent of households owned a cat.

The facilities now available to them in 2022 – from gourmet pet foods to dedicated pet parks – has drastically improved the quality of life for the nation’s lucky four-legged friends. Doggy daycare, pet-friendly restaurants with canine snack menus, and mobile grooming services provided in pet parlours-on-wheels are among the offerings that UAE pets and their owners can enjoy.

Offering overnight rooming for dogs, My Second Home is more than a compound of basic kennels. This luxury pet resort and spa has a range of pet suites, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and an indoor air-conditioned park – ideal for Dubai’s hotter months.

The brainchild of self-confessed “dog-mad” advertising, animal training and marketing specialists Sanjiv Dihman, Vaughn Pillay and Paul Sowerby, who “experienced the heartache of kennel and cage boarding”, My Second Home was created to provide a superior dog care experience for the UAE’s pets and their owners.

First opened in April 2015, My Second Home continues to provide five-star recreation, boarding, training and pampering for dogs, with plans in the pipeline to introduce cat facilities.

Director and general manager Sean Parker is one of the region’s most respected animal trainers who is the devoted owner of his own rescue dogs.

“We have a number of different suites, from standard to deluxe, royal suites and even presidential suites,” says Parker. “Our larger suites can accommodate up to three dogs from the same family.”

Four-legged boarding guests can also enjoy limousine transfers to and from the resort and have their suites customised with their favourite toys and comforters.

Owners can keep in touch with the four-legged guests via webcam

“During the day, the dogs are in school, they’re playing, they’re exercising, they're going through our range of activities, but when they come to their rooms at night, mums and dads can watch their puppies on their webcams,” explains Parker.

Spread across the equivalent of 18 tennis courts, the resort accommodates up to 185 pets and offers professional behaviour and temperament development and training, as well as a grooming parlour where guests can enjoy a makeover before returning home.

In 2020 the resort was extended to include Little Gems, a boarding, day-care and recreation space dedicated to smaller breeds. In 2021, following the success of the first resort, a second was opened in Dubai’s Al Quoz quarter.

Video editor • Evan Bourke