Belfast Telegraph

Ulster's new doggie hotel a five-star treat for pampered pooches

By Leona O'Neill

They say it's a dog's life - but a new five-star canine hotel opening this week is about to change all that.

The Hotel For Dogs in Carndonagh, Co Donegal, is the brainchild of pooch lover Jackie McKinley.

After seeing her own animal Charley traumatised following a stay in a traditional kennel, she vowed to create the perfect holiday haven for pampered pooches.

And it is already proving popular with dog owners on this side of the border, with many enquiring about booking their pets in for a break.

Opening on Wednesday, the hotel has everything the discerning canine guest could want - big sofas to sleep on without being told to get off the furniture, cushions with dogs' faces on them, a fun house, ball pools and relaxing meditation music to soothe them to sleep.

It also has a TV showing Crufts reruns, an abundance of furry rugs to lounge upon and a fireplace to fall asleep in front of.

"It's like a small luxury kennels for dogs," said Ms McKinley.

"But it's an extra fancy, luxury posh one for pooches who are very spoiled.

"Some people don't like leaving their pets in traditional kennels, which are generally cages outside with concrete floors.

"A lot of people would have found that after they came home from holidays their dog would have been traumatised and maybe not eating. I thought if I opened one where it seems like they are at home it would make them feel better."

The dogs will have their own large, private living room all to themselves.

"There are big comfortable sofas everywhere and there's a huge TV where I will be putting on doggie movies. It will have music at night to calm and relax them before they go to sleep," she explained.

"I have two outdoor areas. One of them is like a fun house with ball pools and tunnels to play in. And the other area is like a run area, so that they can run up and down and play.

"They have their own large individual cosy and comfortable kennels. They have their beds in there and cushions and bean bags so they can go in there and have their own sleep in peace."

She said she has been inundated with requests for doggie stays since she set up her Facebook page.

"I have had a lot of interest. I have bookings right up until September, and there are a couple of weeks where I am completely booked out, but there is still loads of room on other dates," she added. "It may be five-star luxury for dogs but it doesn't come with a five-star price. I'm doing it in a very reasonable way. It's just €15 per night stay."

She got the idea for her new business from the Hollywood movie Hotel For Dogs, a film she plans on playing on the TV in her doggie living room, as well as another firm favourite with canines.

"My dog Charley loves Crufts," she said. "She sat and watched Crufts from start to finish when it was on. She was glued to it and loved watching the other dogs."

For more information log on to The Hotel For Dogs Facebook page

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