Five-star luxury for your dog
CANINES in North Devon would be barking mad to miss a chance to stay at this hotel.
Natcott Canine Hotel, near Hartland, is now open after an extensive refit over the past year to create luxurious boarding kennels set in eight acres.
Kate and Barry Heather have had the business for four years but it was only this year that they completed the first phase of extending the premises to realise Kate's dream of having a five-star dog hotel.
The building has now got double the amount of rooms, 11 in total, and can take up to 20 dogs at any one time.
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Kate, 49, a trained veterinary nurse, said: "It is better than I imagined, I've wanted to create this for years.
"We have a lot of repeat customers because they want to know their dog is being looked after. We have one lady who moved to the Isle of Wight but still brings her dog to us when she goes away."
One aspect of the dog's stay that Kate is always keen to enforce is routine because she said dogs thrive when they know what to expect.
She said: "The day starts usually at about 6.30am when we let the dogs out then they have breakfast at 8am.
"They have two structured activities a day so the first is at 10am when they either play in the two-acre play park or have a long walk.
"Whichever they have done in the morning they then do the other in the afternoon.
"Their main meal is usually at 4pm. Lights are out at this time of year usually around 7.30pm and the dogs always have a Boneo before bed which signifies the end of the day."
Each of the rooms has a night light which is left on for the dogs overnight as well as under-floor heating and rugs.
There is also television in the reception area, which is always on, and a sofa for the dogs to relax on if they want to.
Kate said: "Before they leave we give them a full groom in the parlour — it really is a holiday for the dog as much as the owner."
Next in the pipeline for the hotel is a treatment room which will include a hydrotherapy treadmill for dogs.