Vancouverites love their pets, but let’s have some real talk here: Being a responsible owner is a huge time and energy commitment.
Thankfully, Vancouver is a city that’s packed with services to help pet owners that make ownership so much easier. Here are six lifesavers I count on to help me be the best pet guardian I can to my two fur babies.
Pet food delivery
With two dogs, we go through a significant amount of kibble in our house. And those bags are heavy. Skip the trips to the pet store — and get your food and other pet care items delivered right to your door! My favourite two services:
SPUD: This online grocery service has recently expanded to include a huge pet section, and delivery is free for purchases over $40. With its focus on sustainable, local and wholesome ingredients, you can also rest assured you’re making a conscious choice about the food you choose for your pet. Bonus: You can also get care items like toys, cat litter, treats and even biodegradable poop bags.
Use code PETLOVE to get $20 off your first purchase of $60 or more until December 31.
Naturally Urban Pet Food Delivery: This service has kibble, raw food and freeze-dried items for dogs and cats, and free delivery to Vancouver, Burnaby and the North Shore. 5% of each purchase is donated to a charitable partner of your choice, including Paws for Hope, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association, and A Loving Spoonful.
Using a doggy daycare has been a huge help for me on days when I know I’m going to be at work for a super long day, or have something to do that will take me out of the house for most of the night after work. It just doesn’t seem fair to be out of the house all day for work and then leave the pups alone all night too.
The benefits of taking your dog to a daycare facility is that they’ll get socialization, exercise, playtime, companionship and cuddles, all in a safe environment. And, if they’re anything like my pups, your dog will be physically and mentally exhausted from all the physical and mental stimulation of being there. Standard daycare rates in Vancouver are about $25-35 per day, although that price can be lowered by buying a package of visits at the same time.
Because my dogs are small, I take them to Petite Paws in Olympic Village, which specializes in small breed dogs under 30 lbs. They get outdoor pee breaks or a walk every two hours, lots of cuddles, padded spots to snooze, and get to interact with tons of dogs in a 1,600 ft² space full of great enrichment toys.
They are super active on Instagram, and post multiple photos and videos every day so you can see what your pup is up to. You can also add-on grooming services like haircuts, teeth brushings and nail trims. Dogs are assessed through a free two-hour meet and greet before being admitted to daycare.
For larger dogs, I recommend Canine Adventure Den, which is a madhouse of excitement for large-breed dogs and also smaller dogs with a high energy level. They also have a mini pig that is a daycare client.
Mobile dog and cat grooming
Grooming appointments can last for several hours, plus the time it takes to drive your pet to the appointment and pick them up. If you choose to take care of grooming and bathing at home it can make a big mess, especially if you don’t have a large tub or shower to bathe your pup.
Mobile grooming is a great option because they come to YOU to take care of your pet’s grooming needs, whether that’s a simple bath, fur trim, nail trim, teeth brushing or full-on show haircut. Most mobile groomers operate in larger vans that come to you, and park as close as possible outside of your place while they do their thing. When the session is done you just hop outside and grab your pet.
To try: The Yaletown-based Moving Dog Spa gets rave reviews from customers, and certified master groomer Seon Gyoung has 20 years experience under her belt.
Pet sitting and boarding made easy
Getting away for an impromptu holiday can be exponentially more difficult when you have a pet or two.
The Vancouver-based app and website Go Fetch helps connect pet owners with trusted pet sitters and walkers close to their home and makes holiday planning a lot easier. They have over 500 service providers in the Vancouver area, which have been vetted through the company (it only accepts about 20% of people who apply to provide pet services). Premium pet insurance is included in every booking.
With an Airbnb-style interface, you can choose between boarding (where your pet goes to someone’s home), pet sitting (where someone comes to your home) and daycare, when your pet goes away for the day and comes home at night. There are detailed profiles of each sitter, including their accommodation, outdoor space, and experience. There are also reviews from other pet owners, to help your decision. You can communicate with the person by text, email or phone while you’re away – so you can keep in touch with your pet too!
Enjoy $20 off your first service by using this link.
Dog walkers and hikers
Sometimes the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is head out again for a long walk with Fido. Or maybe you need to go out after work and aren’t able to get Fido out at all.
Vancouver has a wealth of dog walkers and hikers that will go to your house and collect your pup and take them on an adventure – delivering them back safely at the end of their journey.
A good dog walker or hiking service will cater to your dog’s age and energy level. If your dog is a real zoomer, many companies provide off-leash excursions to the North Shore mountains or UBC Endowment Lands.
Here are some tips when you’re looking to hire a trusted walker:
- Check for online reviews, good or bad, on Yelp and Google
- Make sure they have insurance
- Get references from past and present clients
- Meet in person and check out the vehicle they use to transport the animals (is it in good condition, is there air conditioning?)
To try: West Coast Dog Walking takes groups of dogs out on trail hikes. Pickup and dropoff is included and it does real-time updates of the 90-minute hike on Instagram.
Pet-friendly cleaning services
Pet hair can make a place messy fast. My sister has to vacuum her house every day because she has a German shepherd and two Pugs that discard a shocking amount of hair.
To help keep the pet mess under control, enlist a cleaning service that specializes in working with pets in the home. Some traditional cleaning products contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful to the health of you and your pets, so seek out cleaners that will leave your home fresh and clean without any chemical toxins or residues.
My pick: AspenClean uses all non-toxic and pet-friendly cleaners, that work hard and are naturally scented with locally-sourced ingredients like lavender. They will even take your dog out for a pee break and fill up their water dish when they’re at your place. If your budget doesn’t allow for a cleaning service right now, you can also buy their cleaning products online or at Whole Foods.