"Initially there is a log of playful behavior," says Darlene Davison, the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota's spa director, "but soon their eyelids droop and their muscles relax under the massage therapist's soothing touch." Darlene is talking about massaging dogs -- canine.
How much do you think it costs to pamper your pooch, the Ritz-Carlton way?
Oh, about $130 per session. Add to the hotel's 20-pound weight limit and the additional $125
nonrefundable pet fee and the "privileged pup" plan comes out to a
minimum of $12.75 a pound. And that's just the standard package.
For another $220, Ritz-Carlton adds gourmet dog biscuits, an in-room massage, a choice of nail buffing or nail polish, a souvenir photo, a brisk walk over Sarasota's scenic Ringling Bridge and a gourmet meal of organic stew and designer water.
If all this seems a little over-the-top, consider that we spend about $38.4 billion on their pets annually, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturer's Association. Spending on pets increased an average of $2.3 billion a year since the association started tracking numbers in 1997.
We were unable to confirm that Ritz-Carlton enrolls pets in their Frequent Guest loyalty program.