While kids have been going to camp for years, and the number of camps for adults has been growing, where can their furry friends have fun in the sun? As pet industry spending is expected to reach nearly $60 billion in the U.S. this year, NewsFeed has decided to round-up pet summer camps and retreats nationwide and the new activities for 2014. All but one are for dogs, and while some of them have already taken place for the summer, many have late August and fall sessions right around the corner. Sit back, read up, and enjoy the dog days of summer.
At the 2014 summer camp run by Wag Hotels in San Francisco, dogs have chased bacon-scented bubbles on the rooftop terrace — ahem, "Wooftop Terrace," to be exact. New activities include wine tasting with "doggie wine" (carrot juice), and campers get tattoos on their rumps of hearts, skull & cross bones, and butterflies. The camp also takes place in West Sacramento and Redwood City.
Call of the Wild Dog Camp
At this camp in the Yachats River Valley on the Oregon Coast, "Happy Hour" is called "Yappy Hour." One of the new workshops this summer is "Bring Me a Beer," which is exactly what it sounds like. Dogs are taught how to fetch a beer from the fridge and carry it over to their owners.
"Barn Hunt" is the newest activity at Camp Dogwood, which hosts camps in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, and Ingleside, Illinois. Live rats are put in tubes that look like hamster balls and are then hidden in hay so the dogs have to find them.
Camp Gone to the Dogs
Barn Hunt was also a new activity at the Vermont retreat. There's also square dancing and freestyle dancing for dogs and their owners who want to boogie down "doggie style."
Canine Camp Getaway of NY
This upstate New York program offers workshops like "Barks & Crafts," in which dogs do finger (paw) painting on t-shirts, and dog skateboarding, in which dogs are taught how to stand on the skateboard, get a running start, and take off. New activities offered this year are "Doga", a form of yoga that dogs do with their owners, and a bone stacking contest.
Yellowstone Dog Sports
Herding is a popular workshop at this camp near Red Lodge, Montana, which is about an hour northeast of Yellowstone National Park, just north of the Montana-Wyoming border. While agility and "search and rescue" exercises are supposed to be physically stimulating for the dogs, astronomy lectures are supposed to be intellectually stimulating for their humans.
"Canine Massage How-to" is one of the newest activities at this camp for dogs, which has locations in Asheville, North Carolina, and The Berkshires in Massachusetts. Human campers learn how to give their pets a massage "to enhance the flow of positive energy between you and your dog," according to the orientation packet.
Based right on the beach on the south shore of Lake Tahoe in Zephyr Cove, Nevada, the camp will take dogs on hikes along different parts of the lake. This year, for the first time, the program will host a birthday celebration for the dogs, featuring various booths like bobbing for tennis balls and paw readings, the canine version of palm readings.
Morris Animal Inn
Lastly, we'll throw cat owners a bone. At Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, N.J., lodging is made up of "condos", duplexes with climbing areas, TVs, rugs, and mini versions of furniture humans use like dressers, nightstands, and sofas with wood frames. Felines feast on mahimahi, and staffers take them on "walks" along the nature trail on the grounds in strollers lined with lambswool.
Dogs can vacation here, too. In fact, the resort's canine fitness camp for overweight pets recently made headlines, offering activities from "Barko Polo" to "pawlates."