It's not a dog's life for pet owners -- and pet-owning tourists -- here in Winnipeg.
To be frank, this isn't a topic I've put my doggedly detective skills to (and yes, this phrase was meant to make you think about a beagle wearing a cap, solving crime). Our mutt Miles has generally had the run of the city for most of his little life, while our cat Roy is, well, a cat, so he likely doesn't give a toss about anything aside from head scratches and having his dish filled on a daily basis.
But friends of ours are coming into town next week with their Boston Terrier named Wesley, and they wanted to know some things that they could do, and what hotels they could stay at in order to keep Wesley's tail wagging.
First off, there are no shortage of hotels, but I am going to start with The Fairmont Winnipeg because they get added paw-points for not only allowing pets, but for also working with the Winnipeg Humane Society. Just last month the Fairmont hosted the 21st annual Bow Wow Ball, "Moulin Woof," while in the summer they are the title sponsor of both the Paws in Motion walk and run in Assiniboine Park, and the Super Hero Run (presented by Pet Plan). The Winnipeg Humane Society takes in between 8,000 and 9,000 animals each year, all while relying solely on donors to keep its doors open. So it is pawsatively purrfect that such an establishment is able to raise thousands of dollars for our furry and feathered friends.
At The Fairmont itself all pets are welcome (as long as they are supervised) for a mere $25 extra per night, while seeing-eye and working dogs stay for free (because they are classy like that).
Other pet friendly hotels in Winnipeg include Place Louis Riel Suite Hotel, where up to two dogs are allowed per suite for an additional charge of only $10. And get this, when you reserve your room and let them know you have your dogs with you, they will be waiting for you and your furry family members in the lobby with check-in treats and scoopy bags. A nice touch indeed.
Other pet friendly hotels include the Delta Hotel (which the Winnipeg Free Press describes as "A doggone nice hotel"), Quality Inn and Suites, Comfort Inn Winnipeg South, Hilton Suites Winnipeg Airport, and the Best Western Plus Pembina Inn and Suites, which has plenty of green space for walking your little guy or gal.
How about pampering for your pets? Well, Winnipeg has that in spades (not neuters).
For posh pooches, without being too pricey, there is White Lotus Pet Spa in Osborne Village (478 River Ave). The luxurious-looking 3,000 square-foot dog spa and daycare, with its chandeliers and eloquently patterned walls, looks like it could be a boutique hotel or spa for The Real Housewives set, but it caters only to critters, including also cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Aside from treatments including hair cuts, cleaning, and nail grooming, White Lotus will also entertain your canine with puzzles and games, so your little fella will get the attention it craves. It's open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
While cutesy names are generally the norm for pet spas, the Pawsh Dog (2 locations, 1580 Taylor Ave., and 133 Marion St.) gets our tail wagging for best pun usage. They offer a doggy day camp where your dog can hopefully make friends, as well as salon services -- Miles looked like a million bucks after we splurged for "The Full Groom" -- and a dog training academy with everything from numerous individual lessons and classes. You could even splurge if you just bought a new dog with their Graduate Program, which, at $350, gets you through Puppy Kindergarten, Grade One, Grade Two, Grade Three and then culminates in the Canine Good Neighbour Test, where your resulting rex would almost be ready to attend a proper British tea service.
And, if you are heading out of town and need a place for your pooch, Pawsh Dog also has their Pawsh Hotel services. On their stay dogs get at least four walks a day along with a nice "suite" to sleep in, complete with blankets and a pillow (chipmunk-chasing dreams not included).
One of the most reputable spots in the city is Barks n' Bubbles Pet Spa in River Heights (1103 Corydon Ave). We brought Miles here recently and we were very pleased how clean it looked and smelled. Plus, when we picked him up at the end of the day, we found him to be very serene -- which is always a good sign that he has been handled properly. Barks n' Bubbles does a great job with its grooming services while they also have some pretty adorable pet supplies, including coats and jackets, that can even make our mangy Miles look like he is ready for the runway.
If you are merely looking for a place to give your dog some exercise, the city of Winnipeg website has a great resource page and map -- cleverly named Fields for Fido -- that will get you right sorted fast so you can get that leash ready.
So there you have it dog owners.
Now let's just hope when our friends arrive this week that purebred Wesley is able to get along and slum it with our Miles.
I really hope they hit it off, because I tell you, Miles is already developing a complex -- although that may be more to do with us letting Lil' use him as a colouring canvas.
But that being said, Miles was looking great last week with that lightening bolt on his coat that she painted for Halloween. We always thought he was like the Flash.
Only in The Peg chronicles the adventures of the Peg family–Missus, Mister and Lil’ Peg–as they discover everything there is to see and do in Winnipeg. Follow them on Twitter at @tourismwpg or visit them on Facebook. For even more info on Winnipeg, visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com. Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay in the loop on the latest information, contests, and upcoming events!