Dogs get pampered like people
Kennel introduces spa treatment, doggie facials to Lake Country

By JEFF RUMAGE - GM Today Staff 

January 31, 2008


Skydance Pet Lodge spa therapist Kirsten Krause applies mango and avocado onto the face of Tank, an English setter. Tank and other dogs enjoy licking the ingredients off their face while they are receiving a facial. Krause introduced facials, aromatherapy and yoga to the kennel last fall.

TOWN OF OTTAWA - Yoga, aromatherapy and avocado-green tea facials.

Nestled deep within the heart of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, one might realize itís time to splurge for a lavish weekend getaway.

For the family dog, that is.

"Hunting dogs come in after a hard workout, get a massage done," Skydance Pet Lodge spa therapist Kirsten Krause said. "It really seems to loosen them out."

She said Skydance is a perfect place for dogs to unwind. The dogs can sleep and relax in spacious rooms with glass walls, not wire cages. They can also unwind and play with other dogs in outdoor play-parks.

"We let the dogs run around and play outside so they are not cooped up inside," Krause said. "It is just a nice surrounding to keep the dog comfortable."

She is assisted by Mandy Nelson, who said dog owners come from Madison and Milwaukee to reward manís best friend. Skydance has a loyal clientele, she said, and the word-of-mouth has spread all the way to Illinois. Located 9 miles from Interstate 94, Skydance makes for a convenient dropoff point on the way to Wisconsin Dells.

"Everybody always says it is well worth the drive," Nelson said.

Some dogs stay for an extended period of time, she said, but others only drop in for a couple hours of doggy day care while their owner is away at work. A cabin with unlimited accommodations and a log bed costs $28.50. Other customers spend up to $110 a night for an extra-large log bed in a luxury suite.




Skydance was just an ordinary kennel until Krause joined. She introduced massage and aromatherapy Aug. 1.

Krause attended the Wisconsin School of Professional Pet Grooming in Okauchee after graduating from high school. She has been grooming pets for 10 years, but it was only recently that she discovered the world of massage and acupressure.

Krause first realized the benefit of massage when her own dog got sick. Acupressure made a difference, she said, so it changed her approach to dog grooming.

"It was a huge difference," she said. "I decided I wanted to incorporate that to help dogs in my work."

Krause said massages are especially beneficial for older dogs with arthritis. It can even prevent joint diseases in some cases, she said.

"Just like people, they can get knots," she said. "Massages make them much more calm and much more relaxed,"

Krause uses therapeutic oils for massages, and she also uses it to soften the pads of puppy paws. She said she uses the oil for aromatherapy treatment, which relieves pets suffering from separation anxiety.

"Uplifting oils bring happiness to their lives," Krause said. "I am very much into the all natural products and the well-being of the dog."

Krause only uses organic dog treats to reward dogs and natural ingredients in her spa treatments. She creates her facemasks by blending avocado and green tea. If a dog is picky, its owner can opt for a blueberry facial. Facials can recondition dry skin and give dogs a shiny new coat, but dogs also prefer the taste. Dogs hate the taste of shampoo, she said, but they lick the facial ingredients right off of their own face.

"That is just an extra something we do for them," Krause said. "Dogs love the extra attention."

Jeff Rumage can be reached at

At a glance

WHAT: Skydance Pet Lodge

WHERE: W367-S5519 Highway 67, Dousman

HOURS: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Pets can also be picked up or dropped off from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sundays.

PHONE: 965-2242

This story appeared in The Freeman on January 31, 2008.