As the central city becomes a more attractive place to live and work, what happens when your prized Pomeranian is left alone during the day? Perhaps a pair of Jimmy Choos get chewed on by the Chihuahua, droppings are left in non-demarcated zones by the Dachsund, or the Weimaraner wails in despair.
Owners and pets at their wits end need fret no more as @Frits dog hotel and day-care centre in Buitengracht Street is up to the task of keeping your four-legged companion fit, fed and appropriately socialised as the toils of a nine-to-five day keep you from each other.
While doggy day-care centres are trending all over the world, @Frits is the first five-star establishment of its type in Cape Town, even boasting a hotel that operates around the clock.
There are three main types of accommodation offered to suit different clientele. First up are the dormitory-style multi-dog lodgings, then the creatively named “Sweetie Paw”, “Pupeye the Sailor” and “Jurassic Bark” and “K9 Nkandla” deluxe quarters and the “Dogald Trump” and “Hollywood Room” platinum suites. They range from R250 to R500 a night.
According to co-owner Yanic Klue, dogs that are booked in for the first time are carefully screened to ensure that the “right sizes, temperaments and energies are grouped together” for play in the dog bar. Access to this area is strictly for @Frits employees only but as transparency is one of the cornerstones of the business, there are webcams situated around the premises so owners can keep an eye on their pets via remote access after check-in.
There’s a store packed with canine couture, an on-site kitchen offering a variety of food options to cater for each guest’s specific nutritional needs, as well as a spa and salon that offers wash and brush packages, nail trimming, dental and ear cleaning. There are outings, too. On a daily basis a taxi takes small groups and handlers to nearby Green Point Park for walks and frolicks on the grass, while the hours between midday and 15:00 are set aside for siesta — with calming classical background music to encourage nap time. Males and females share the space, but males that aren’t neutered won’t be accepted as guests as well as females who are on heat.
“There are so many owners who need overnight accommodation for their dogs, such as tourists booked into nearby hotels. So they collect in the morning and spend the day together, while daycare also caters to those jetsetters who fly to another city on a red-eye flight and return home that evening,” says Klue.
Evening care, from 18:00 to midnight, is another popular option, catering for those owners who are fond of going out for a night on the town.
@Frits can accommodate 100 dogs a day, though that usually includes CEO and co-owner, Klue’s Irish terrier, who welcomes visitors and guests alike at the door and can be found on almost all the boutique’s marketing and branding material. He also models the line of dog clothing made exclusively for @Frits by an academy of local seamstresses.
With so many hounds having a run of the premises, hygiene is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, the entire facility is cleaned three times a day with a veterinary disinfectant to actively combat potentially harmful bacteria, fungi, spore and viruses. New guests are also required to produce proof of vaccination against Kennel Cough and Rabies.
There are plenty of package options and services available at @Frits, and they’re also looking to franchise into the Western Cape. Contact them on 021 422 2175 or visit their website www.atfritsdoghotel.com.