Golden Week is the perfect time to escape Shanghai, when the city resembles a cold, dry ghost town. But what to do with those fuzzy friends who, no matter how hard you train them, refuse to learn how to open that tin of pet food and feed themselves, or simply lock the door behind them after their morning walk?
Shanghai has a bevy of pet hotels but many of the choicest locations have been booked since Thanksgiving. So we went scouring the city for pet hotels you might actually want to use that are still taking reservations for Chinese New Year, as of today (January 28), and two services that will come to you. Don’t feel guilty for leaving your pets behind during the holidays. They don’t feel guilty about peeing in your shoes.
Go To Them
Moi Pet is for cats and dogs that have Instagram followings. A lot of effort was put into the place’s design, from the white picket fence to the colorful ball pit for dogs to play in (do dogs like ball pits?), and the neon and pastel color scheme. It’s visual.
Cats are allowed to roam freely and can often be seen playing in the windows, while dogs are kept in tall but narrow glass-encased rooms (best for small to medium-sized dogs). Moi Pet has a 24-hour video camera feed accessible to its customers so that pet owners can see their beloved animals at all times throughout their travels.
Price per day: Cats, small room (100rmb) or large room (180rmb). Dogs, from S to M to L (130, 180, 220rmb). Prices include daily meals, snacks, and three “playtimes” each day. Book: Call if your Chinese is good or WeChat MoiPet manager Yuki (ID: wooftop) if it’s not. Pickup? Yes, 5rmb/kilometer.
Bark Grooming Center
Changning district’s Bark Grooming Center is all about owner David Fu. He has been rescuing Shanghai’s street animals for over 10 years, and his kind eyes light up as he plays with the huge dogs and fat cats in his care. He facilitates pet adoption for rescued animals in addition to his everyday business.
Bark practices what they call ‘social boarding,’ meaning the pets spend the entire day playing together in a single room, except for walks and nighttime rest hours (dogs and cats are separated, of course). Bark is only accepting small to medium-sized dogs for this year’s Chinese New Year; all cat and large dog spaces are sold out. Make sure you have your pet’s vaccination record ready. Bark won’t board without it.
Price per day: 100rmb, not including food (provided by the owner). Book: Phone and WeChat (ID: BarkShanghai). Fu speaks Mandarin and English, and they can also provide services in German, French, and Cantonese. Pickup? Yes, 40rmb flat rate.
Noble Kennel is far away (it took us an hour to get there) but it runs an impressive facility staffed with trainers, groomers, and English-speaking administrators. Also, it has an excellent park nearby where they take dogs for their twice-daily hour-long walks.
It’s maybe not the right place for a housecat, but for dogs, it has large private rooms, a sizeable indoor running and play area, and a lot of individual attention from all the staff. We also saw rabbits and chinchillas. In addition to pet boarding, it functions as a Huskie training facility for doggie award shows, and has the ribbons and trophy-lined wall to prove it.
Price per day: 158-288rmb. Book: Don’t pay attention to their English website. WeChat is best (ID: 17317293060). Pickup? Yes, charged by distance. (IAPM to them is about 200rmb.)
Jialiang K-9 Kennel
Jialiang K-9 Kennel, in Minhang District, has a swanky range of rooms, from VIP (130-180rmb), to Luxury Suite (380rmb), to Wooden Villa (460rmb); all rates are daily, and discounted weekly & monthly rates are available. Jialiang will provide updates to pet owners via WeChat on a weekly basis with pictures and videos, or more frequently if medical care is needed. They have a vet and nurse available too, and provide relocation services and dog training, though boarding seems to make up the bulk of their business.
Price per day: Cats, 180-340rmb. Dogs, 130-460rmb. Book: Call directly for reservations. Pickup? Yes, 380rmb flat rate (may charge additional fees for far districts).
Come To You
What if you prefer your animals remain at home? Some pets can experience anxiety and aggression when taken out of their normal environment, so a pet sitter might be best.
Oh My Cat
Oh My Cat’s booking system is easy, requiring you to simply send a message via their online form to initiate the reservation process, then there’s a bunch of hand-holding as they communicate directly with you about your pet and a potential sitter.
Price per day: 155rmb for cats (up to three) and 195rmb for dogs (one)
Spare Leash’s booking system is more independent and set-up intensive: you’ll first need to register, then set up a ‘pet owner profile,’ then set up a ‘pet profile.’ But once you’ve finished, you’ll have access to their database of pet sitters, house sitters, trainers, dogwalkers, and even people who will take your dog to their veterinary appointments if you’re busy with work, not just travel. The database contains photos, bios, services offered, and the calendar of availability for each sitter, plus a chat function to speak directly to the sitter you’re interested in.
Price per day: 200rmb and up, regardless of what type of animal
For all of SmartShanghai's listed pet hotels, click here.
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