When drivers pass the Grand Canine Hotel, located at 9737 Fall Creek Road, it is likely they will see people looking through its large picture windows. They are viewing happy canines romping and playing. Most dogs are there for the day and some will participate in a grooming session or training class. Others are overnight guests. The facility is owned by area residents Alan and Pam London who have a unique philosophy on boarding and daycare for dogs and cats.
Alan is a physician and Pam is a trained nurse who worked as an executive for a health care system. Self-proclaimed animal lovers, they were looking for a perfect location when the space of a former childcare center became available. It was the ideal property for a pet daycare and boarding business.
“We felt there was a need in the Fishers, Geist and Lawrence area. We had a long drive to drop off our dogs for daycare and boarding,” Alan says. “We wished we had something in our own neighborhood.”
“We also have a different vision,” Pam says. “Instead of having dogs and cats spend most of the time in kennels, we keep them in the playrooms as much as possible except for naps or when sleeping at night. We have the option to separate the old from the young, the big from the small and the frisky from the tired. Our 8,000 square-foot building has eight large rooms and a 5,000 square-foot outdoor play area. There is room for dogs of all ages and sizes. We have a dedicated cat room with a large open area and climbing structure.”
There are several reasons why the Grand Canine Hotel is unique. Young dogs are welcomed. Alan and Pam feel it’s important to socialize them early. Pets with health issues are also allowed. Although they are not veterinarians, due to their medical backgrounds, the Londons feel equipped to give animals basic medical support such as insulin shots, eye drops and medications.
“We intently focus on cleanliness,” Alan says. “We researched and have instituted the best practices of animal hospitals. The floors are mopped several times a day and kennels, water bowls and food bowls are washed constantly. I heard someone say, ‘It doesn’t smell like you have dogs in the building.’ We consider that to be telling of our cleaning standards.”
There are no extra fees charged in any of the services the Grand Canine Hotel offers. Every cat and dog gets treats, cuddles and plenty of playtime. The well-trained staff is alert to whatever is needed, such as a nap or extra TLC.
Daycare prices are $18 for a half-day and $30 for a whole day. Boarding is $44 for a 24-hour period. There are price breaks for a second dog or multiple-day passes. Also available are group and individual dog training classes for both new puppies or older dogs who may have developed some bad habits. Every Monday night an experienced trainer offers confirmation classes for show dogs.
To participate in the facility’s daycare and boarding programs, owners must supply immunization records and pets must pass a three-hour temperament test. During the test period, dogs are walked throughout the building and slowly introduced to play. Once a dog passes the test they’re considered a hotel “member” and can be dropped off for daycare anytime without a reservation. Boarding requires a reservation.
“We have a very active grooming service,” Pam says. “Each of our two groomers has 15 years of experience. Reservations are available six days a week, Monday through Saturday.”
“What our customers appreciate most is the personal care we give their pets,” Alan adds. “Every day we take dozens of photos and text them to owners.”
Customer Julie Smith says, “I started taking our 14-year-old special needs dog for a couple of hours a few days a week, and now he would rather be there than at home. So, now he goes for most of the day, seven days a week.”