A dog's life for lucky pets

It's a dog's life at a new business opened up to pander to four-legged friends on the Fylde.

Tuesday, 30th May 2017, 11:46 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
Victoria McFarlane with clients in the chill out zone at McFarlane Canine Services

For after a hard day’s chasing their tail around the purpose-built doggy play centre, the pampered pooches can settle down for a snooze in the chill out zone in front of the TV showing soothing images such as a crackling log fire.

It sounds barking mad, but it is the latest word in canine care and comes from noted dog expert Alan McFarlane and his wife Victoria.

Alan, 39, who has appeared as a dog Trainer on the hit BBC Show Me And My Dog and who has a masters degree in Clinical Animal Behaviour said they wanted to open their business on the Fylde as it was one of the most dog-friendly places around.

Alan with the chill out doggy TV at McFarlane Canine Services

He said: “We had run our training business from our own home bear Preston for many years but wanted a purpose-built day care centre.

“We had clients all the way up the Fylde coast to Fleetwood so we knew the area well and Lytham was the ideal spot.

“They have similar facilities in the USA, the idea originated their in 1989, but this is the first fully licenced doggy day care facility in this area.

“It is not a kennels. The aim is to provide a valuable resource for Fylde dog owners, with doggy day care, dog training classes, veterinary-referred behaviour consultations, weekend dog training workshops.

Alan with the chill out doggy TV at McFarlane Canine Services

“Through the provision of education and training, we aim to have a positive effect not only on the local dog owning community, but to the local area as a whole.”

He said they designed an activity centre for the guest dogs outside but it was also important to have quiet zones and places where dogs could be alone for a rest.

“The dogs enjoying playing with their friends and structured activity, but cannot do that all day so we have specific rest time where they can chill out and watch doggy TV.

“The welfare of the dogs is our priority so any new customers get a two-week trial period to make sure the dog is ahppy and the owner is happy and there are no conflict issues.”

Victoria, 38, said: “It is a fairly new idea but demand is growing.

“The minimum commitment is one day a week and owners drop off their dogs while they go to work or just to give their dogs a treat.

“We have play tunnels, houses and tents, climbing frames and the dogs get plenty of attention.

“We worked for the Guide Dogs for The Blind for 10 years and Alan trained the Guide Dog of the Year one year, so it really has always been our passion.”