RIYADH: A local hotel in Riyadh is offering unique, specialized care services for dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Chez Ayah Pet Hotel and Daycare opened its doors on Friday with a “Halloween Pawty” to welcome humankind’s best friend.
The hotel is inspired by the owner, Ayah Al-Bokhari’s personal journey with finding an appropriate place to leave her dogs for a few days. She has two German Shepherds, a Golden Retriever and a Canaan.
Placing them at a local pet hotel, she asked the caretaker to see the space and receive photos of her dogs, but all requests were denied, which is the case in most places.
The only other option for dog owners is to leave them at a pet clinic, which poses a very high risk of them catching viruses or diseases from other animals.
This prompted Al-Bokhari to inquire about the business of pet care. She has completed diplomas in dog hotel management and canine behavior, and is in the process of achieving her licensing in pet nutrition.
And so Chez Ayah was born, completing seven months in its soft opening phase as a home business.
Contrary to most pet accommodation, which usually only offers cramped spaces and dry food for high prices, the daycare is designed to make dogs feel as if they never left home.
Walking into the space, the dogs are met with a living room accessed through a doggy door. Dogs may roam free, in and out, all day long from 7 a.m. until their bedtime at 10 p.m. — if they are utilizing the boutique hotel service.
“We don’t have a reception or offices, we have a living room. We call it that because once you bring a dog, they’ll be missing the house, the family, the owner, and we want to give them the feeling of home,” Al-Bokhari told Arab News.
During the day, the dogs run and play across a wide strip of grass along with their furry friends.
The space aims to create a community for dogs and owners. With over 35 dog guests at a time, the canines have become accustomed to each other, making friends, and building trust.
A part-time nutritionist is also on hand to offer proper care for all the guests, and is on call at all times in case of an emergency.
Dr. Abdullah Samir visits the dogs every Sunday, checking on their health and following up with the owners.
“Most of the places here in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh specifically, are basically just cages. For dogs, this is the first place of this quality … Ayah is coming in hard in this field and I’m sure she’ll have a bright future with this business,” Samir told Arab News.
All dogs are welcomed into the home under the condition that they receive the full set of vaccinations for fleas, undergo deworming, and anti-external parasite treatment.
For many pet owners across the globe, these domestic animals hold a special place in their hearts.
“My dogs are my kids. They’re my family, my kids, they’re everything. They really feel happy when they see me, they feel sad when I’m sad. When I’m down, they lift me up,” Al-Bokhari said.
Dogs with separation anxiety are never left in cages, and at times, when necessary, sleep alongside Al-Bokhari to ease their nerves.
One of them being couple Aya and Mohammed’s dog Sam, a German Shepherd.
The couple also faced difficulties finding facilities for dogs during the early stages of raising Sam. When they finally stumbled across Chez Ayah, they knew they found the right home for their beloved pet.
“I was shocked with the way they take care of dogs and the facilities they offer — the yard, the doctor in case of emergencies, the playground, and a lot of friendly dogs,” Mohammad told Arab News.
“He’s much happier at Ayah’s than he is with us,” Aya jokingly added. “She is truly one of a kind throughout the Kingdom.”
The hotel also provides meal plans customized to the dog’s dietary needs and restrictions.
Sam was raised during the pandemic, which led to him developing separation anxiety, as is the case for many pets during that period.
At Chez Ayah, he adapted quickly and has now become much more confident and independent, the owners said.
In celebration of the grand opening, the business embraced the spooky season vibes by throwing a Halloween dog party, complete with treats, doggy costumes, a live set performance by DJ PiNK BUNNY, and goodie bags stuffed with a Kong chew toy and lamb ear snacks.