The grass is always greenest in spaces designed primarily to accommodate pets.
Home might be where the heart is. But for pets who have been stuck at home for much of the pandemic, they also long for the outdoors.
For some pets, particularly dogs, they need the exercise and mental stimulation to be content and stable, according to the American Kennel Club. It’s also a mutually beneficial activity for both pet and humans.
Unfortunately, safe and convenient spaces for our furry friends to roam might not be easy to come by in the metro. This is why pet-first—rather than just pet-friendly—places must be highlighted.
Here are a few spots to take your pet out for a leisurely walk or a well-deserved treat.
PetMe BGC Paw Park & Hotel
Dubbed the “friendly pet social hub” in Bonifacio Global City, PetMe is an all-in-one pet hotel, pet daycare, and indoor dog park located in Serendra.
PetMe was founded and continues to be operated by pet owners and lovers. They promise an experience unlike other similar establishments in the Philippines. It envisions a pet-first establishment with accessible information, quality service, and strong community.
The indoor dog park is a safe and comfortable environment that is fully supervised by capable staff at all times. PetMe allows your dog to go off-leash so that they can socialize and play.
They train pets to develop long-lasting, positive social behaviors to enrich their relationship with those around them. Owners are likewise educated to maintain these good attitudes in their pets.
Fur parents can avail the same training of good behaviors and socialization through the pet daycare, which can take care of your furry friends for up to 10 hours.
Supervision is tailored to their individual needs and wants, with a clientele that goes beyond dogs. Parents can temporarily leave their cats, too. Rabbits have also been customers and, in one case, even a monkey has hung out at PetMe.
Lastly, the pet hotel offers vacations for one’s fur babies for both short-term and long-term stays. An air-conditioned room big enough for a person is there, supervised by trained staff working 24/7 to help snuggle pets into much-needed slumber.
Double fencing and obstacles are there to keep dogs safely entertained. Bringing a pet’s own food is advised since not one size fits all even though treats are sold in the establishment.
Experienced kennel cleaners are present to clean after the dog’s waste on behalf of owners, meaning no diapers are needed. The business also features a VIP pickup service (Chevrolet Suburban) and pet insurance.
Simply enter PetMe’s premises anytime from 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. but it’s pretty much open 24/7 all year. COVID-19 vaccination records are not required since owners will not take their masks off while inside the location.
Pets do need to have complete vaccination records before entering to maintain minimum health standards. Thanks to this policy, PetMe has yet to record any pet-related outbreak.
Central Bark BGC
Central Bark BGC is touted as the “first off-leash dog park” in the Philippines. It is a sprawling 700-square meter space that hopes to be a dog park for the community, sharing staff with and operated by the same entity as PetMe.
Catering to only dogs for the moment, the park offers permanent, “canine course designed” obstacles that serve as more than just fanciful decoration.
Owners usually attempt every obstacle regardless of dog size, as these are always accomplishable. What is insurmountable is the steel, dog-proof fence with no gaps or safety breaches for dogs to escape through.
Central Bark is able to accommodate most owners, save for female dogs in heat or aggressive ones who either come in leashed or not at all. Although the park sees anywhere up to 100 dogs a day, walk-ins are accepted.
Additional daily tasks and membership are offered to dog owners who wish to access exclusive perks to further improve their experience. Ahead of its launch in January, Central Bark already sees more dogs at any given moment than most malls with “pet-friendly” extensions, according to its founder Aaron Halili.
The open air establishment is complete with shady trees and waste bins for dogs’ convenience. Although the park may provide waste bags, owners usually bring their own and must pick up after their pet’s messes. The staff is only there for supervision.
Fur parents may visit with their dogs anytime from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the week. Kids above 12 years old are welcome as long as supervised at all times. The same COVID-related protocols (social distancing, temperature check, waiver, contact tracing, etc) as PetMe are observed here.
The Paw Club Philippines
For parents with pets always hungry for treats, The Paw Club Philippines might be more ideal.
Here, the pet menu consists of treats (savory/sweet dog biscuits and pumpkin energy bombs), specialty pet-safe cakes (carrot, peanut butter, banana, liver) and dog meal entrees (beef meatballs with okra and gravy, pomodoro pasta, spaghetti bolognese, pan-roasted salmon, and grilled chicken breast).
The human and pet-friendly restaurant also offers grooming and hotel services. Here, you can have anything from a dog day afternoon to a full-blown birthday bash.
The Paw Club does not have any entrance fee or cover charges. Pet parents may dine alongside their fur babies as the inclusive menu caters to all. Even people without pets can visit for fun.