In 1994 I boarded my newly adopted Doberman, Payton, for a day in a kennel, which was really a glorified dog pound. He was so stressed by the experience that he vomited for days after. At the time I was just getting my training business off the ground, and vowed to never board my dogs again. Each passing year, my customer base grew, and with it, demands for more services. I had learned to groom by now, and had added dog daycare in the back yard of my home, where I was still running the business from. Still, if I went away, I had someone stay at my house to watch the dogs. By now I had hired staff to help with the growing number of dogs we saw each day. We had then begun offering pet fencing, but requests to build a kennel were becoming more frequent and persistent. This was in 2001.
Initially I was reluctant, as all of our services are of great benefit to our furry friends. But boarding them overnight like Payton had? I would not offer a service that was convenient for people, but detrimental to their dogs (our real clients). So that became the mission. How do we build a kennel that Payton would not only be ok in, but actually enjoy? Sending a dog home from his stay not stressed was not enough. We needed to create something that dogs would love to come to, and we needed to make it safe. Safe & fun. Those were the goals. So the research began. Central air was a no brainer. Done. Proper ventilation to prevent airborne illness such as kennel cough was essential, but how to keep the dogs warm in a well ventilated building? Plus we needed high ceilings to minimize noise from barking which would stress the dogs, but would also limit how warm the dogs would be on the floor, as all the heat was sucked out the exhaust fans, or floating around by the 80 degree ceiling while they lay on the 50 degree floor. So we kept our high ceilings, installed commercial exhaust fans throughout the building, and added radiant heat in the floors! It's great to see the dogs in the winter months lying next to their beds instead of on them, because the floor is so warm! The most cost effective way to construct a kennel is the "galley" design, where there are hallways with kennels on both sides. Profitable, yes. Calming, no. Having a dog across from you, seeing every move you make, is frustrating at best, stressful at worst because dogs cue so much into body language. If I have to be concious of my body language 24/7 so as not to offend the dominant dog across from me, or not to let the subordinate dog think I'm not dominant, that's exhausting. So all rooms were designed for complete privacy, which limits social stress, as well as barking. We ended up with less rooms per square foot, but the benefit to the dogs was worth it. In addition, solid dividers were placed between each sleeping area, rather than less expensive aluminum which is much louder when banged on. I had visions of Chihuahuas thinking the world was ending as the Great Dane in the room next door bumped into an aluminum divider. No thanks, ABS composite please! Also, some kennels are designed so that the dog must be walked outside by a person. This maximizes space, but increases frustration for the dogs. All of our rooms allow your pet to be inside, or out, at their own discretion. Additionally we have installed in 2016, a PetAirapy HVAC system that quickly and efficiently kills over 99.9% of pathogens. It's powerful UVC light technology eliminates and kills allergens, bacteria and viruses such as Kennel Cough, Canine Influenza and all flu viruses, as well as other illnesses before they have a chance to spread infection. We also utilize a restaurant grade dishwasher that not only cleans all of the food and water bowls, but disinfects as well.
Now the outside. This is what truly sets us apart. Four fenced exercise yards, which every dog can access from the outside portion of his room, without having to walk down the main interior hall past all the other dogs. This would set off a barking frenzy, which can be intimidating to some to say the least. All dogs must get a MINIMUM of one hour off leash free play (weather permitting), every day, included in their stay. Exercise is essential to alleviating stress, and I don't feel it's an option. Most of our clients spoil their dogs anyway, as they should, and would pay extra for exercise like they charge in other kennels. But it's not right for the occasional person who won't pay extra, and their dog is confined for his entire stay.
For safety, dogs are classified by one of three categories. General exercise, semi private, and private. Generals make up 80% of the dogs we care for, they are spayed/neutered, get along with all dogs, and just love to romp and run. Semi private is for dogs who are social, but may be too small or shy to be with the rowdy bunch. Many seniors also do well in this group as well, and all of these dogs are spayed/neutered. Finally our private exercise dogs, for either dog aggressive dogs, or dogs older than six months who are not yet spayed/neutered. These dogs are out playing ball with a staff member, or just walking around and checking things out, depending on their personality. Some just like to sit in the sand with a staff member and get pet. All playtimes are supervised. It usually only takes a day for new dogs to figure out the routine, and they then relax in their room, knowing another play session is coming!
And for the really fortunate, discounted dog daycare while they stay! These dogs wake up, have breakfast, wait an hour to digest, then off to John, Shayna, Kaitlin, Emily, Katie, Michael, Amanda, Sadhana, Yiliana, Easton, Morgan, & Nichole in one of our four main dog play yards to run and play all day! In the evening it's back to their room, some dinner, and much needed sleep for the rest of the night!
I have little tolerance for people who don't love dogs in my personal life, so it goes without saying that in my professional life, I have no tolerance. It's not that I have a problem with someone who is "Not a dog person". I just have no interest in getting to know them. I think it indicates a character flaw. Anyway, you'll notice quickly upon arrival that every staff member loves all dogs. It's not something I need to teach, it is inherent in the people that we hire. I expect all of us to be as passionate about your pet's care as you are at home. Our goal is this: We make it so much fun for him while he's here, that the next time you come, he's pulling you INTO the building! Does he do that at your current kennel? Even people who thought their pet enjoyed their last kennel, were amazed at how much more relaxed their pets were upon leaving here, and how much more excited they are upon return, in comparison to other "pet resorts".
So that's what you get from us.
A building floor plan designed for your dog's safety, and social, as well as physical comfort.
Policies that allow your dog to...well, be a dog. Be relaxed. Have fun. And look forward to his day ahead, rather than waiting anxiously for your return.
A committed staff that feels that while your pet is with us, they're our pet too.
Does YOUR boarding facility offer ALL of that?
*If your dog has not been in our daycare in over 2 months then you must schedule an appointment for your dog to be introduced back into the pack for the safety of all daycare dogs. Please remember to schedule that appointment when you schedule your boarding stay.
For your pets protection, we require proof of current Rabies, Distemper, & Bordatella, when your pet is with us for any of our services.
We provide discounts for military, first responders, as well as VIP discounts for our regulars in addition to our package discounts!
* While we will remain closed on Sundays for the time being, we can be available for pick ups only for boarding clients, between 9:00 -10:00 AM. Please notify us if you intend to pick up your boarding dog or cat in advance, so we watch for you, as we often finish up caring for the pets around that time. This is for pick ups only, the boarding staff is not equipped to process pets checking in.
John Gagnon's Pet Resort is setting the standards for others to follow:
Your pet is fed twice per day unless otherwise instructed by you.
Dishes are cleaned and disinfected twice daily. Fresh water is available to your pet at all times.
All medications are administered and signed off by a senior staff member.
Dogs are exercised outdoors and off leash for at least one hour each day. (weather permitting)
Commercial exhaust fans circulate fresh air 24 hours per day.
Alarm system notifies the fire department, and John in the unlikely event of fire, water, or carbon monoxide emergencies.
Central air conditioning, vented heat, and radiant floor heat are provided at appropriate temperatures.
*We have installed UV lights into our roof top heating and air conditioning units. These lights kill 99.9% of bacteria and allergens, including those that cause kennel cough and influenza, before the air is brought into the building. This dramatically reduces airborne illnesses in the facility.
We also have added a restaurant grade dishwasher that actually disinfects as well as cleans!
Rooms are cleaned twice per day, and disinfected from top to bottom upon checkout, ensuring that your pet’s room is clean and bacteria free when he checks in.
A report card will be provided to you at checkout so that you know how your pet enjoyed their vacation while in our care.
All kennel floors are heated. Relaxing music is being played for our kennel guests throughout the day.
John Gagnon's Pet Resort Boarding Prices:
Multiple pet discounts!
Standard (4' x 14')- $34.85 ($18.45 for 2nd dog, $11.35 for 3rd)
Luxury (6' x 14')- $42.00 ($21.50 for 2nd dog, $12.30 for 3rd)
Master (8' x 14')- $50.25 ($25.60 for second dog, $14.35 for 3rd)
Daycare while boarding is $22.55 per day.
$2.00 per day, per dog for NON-PRESCRIPTION FOOD
(No charge for resort provided food)
$16.40 first cat, $10.25 second cat, $4.00 third cat.
We offer 15 & 30 day boarding packages-
15 day package- $492.00
30 day package- $922.50.
There is no expiration date for boarding packages!
*You will not be charged for the day of pick up, if your pet is picked up by 11:00 a.m.
Luxury Run Master Run Standard Run Cat Suite
*During peak season we will do our best to accommodate large and medium run requests, but these sizes are limited, and if we have multiple large dogs staying together, they will get priority on the larger runs. Our standard size runs can comfortably accommodate 100 pound dogs.
Some of our Boarding Friends
Listen to what some of our happy customers are saying!
"We are *VERY* particular about who we leave our pet with for her care when my wife and I go away. I have seen some not so great places that did not make me feel very comfortable when I visited them to find a safe, clean, and reliable facility to care for our beloved dog. John Gagnon’s pet resort has VERY professional staff, that are courteous, friendly, and answered every question I had about her care in our absence, INCLUDING all COVID concerns during this pandemic. Their rates are reasonable, and the interactions the animals have seem to be very positive. When I walk in, I see live video feed of the animals interacting with one another, several staff members watching over and closely supervising the interactions, which is a great comfort. They have on-site grooming as well, which is super convenient, and you can even pamper your pet the day of pickup, they groom her and keep her separate from the other animals so she stays clean when we pick her up. I really do feel completely comfortable leaving our dog there, and believe me, I’m a huge advocate of visiting anywhere I am going to leave her and checking the place out thoroughly first. They gave me a quick tour of the facility so I could see the area she would be to sleep. I highly recommend Gagnon’s Pet Resort as a reputable, safe, and more than reliable place to have your pet cared for if you go away on vacation or wherever, and cannot bring your animal with you. 5 stars for certain!"
"Beauregard was a lovable, mildly neurotic Basset Hound with serious separation anxiety issues. Kenneling him was always traumatic - the physical and emotional disturbances lasted for days. This all changed when we discovered John Gagnon’s Pet Resort. Initially attracted by John’s introduction to their boarding services on the web site, we decided that the 40-mile round trip from the shoreline was worth a try. When we picked up Beau after the first stay we were amazed. He was clean, relatively calm, and displayed none of the GI effects and nervousness that had plagued him following previous kennel stays. After several visits, he got to the point where he would jump out of the car, run to the door, and disappear with one of the staff without looking back. We’re not sure what exactly made the kenneling experience at the Pet Resort so much less stressful for Beau, but we can say that the facilities were always clean and calm and the staff were uniformly friendly and accommodating and they seemed to genuinely enjoy working with the animals. We would enthusiastically recommend John Gagnon’s Pet Resort to anyone seeking quality kenneling service for their dog."
"Melky has a hard time getting comfortable with people who are new to him, but from the very start we knew he liked staying at the Pet Resort. He gets excited when he knows that's where we are headed. We are always confident that he is well cared for and happy when we have to board him there."
"I wanted to share my recent experience at John Gagnon's Pet Resort. We were away from home for 19 days. Our 3 dogs boarded at John Gagnon’s. They also did daily doggy day care. They love it there. On the second or third day there, Sadie became ill, nothing that they could have prevented. Laure who is part of the kennel staff called me immediately. Michael (also part of the staff) drove Sadie to our Hebron vet. They had Michael drive her as Sadie seemed very comfortable with him. Sadie was treated and the vet said she could go back with medication and be watched for further symptoms. Gagnon’s picked her back up that evening and she did very well. I want to thank Laure and Delaney who cared for all three plus tolerated all my phone calls. They were so nice and very professional. I want to thank the entire staff and also, Angel, who always does a wonderful job grooming our crew."
Thank you, Beverly and Raymond Lanoie
"I cannot thank John Gagnon's Pet Resort staff and especially Abby for their fast actions in saving my love bug's life!!!! My husband and I recently dropped our dog's (Chesney Choc Lab, 10 1/2 and Theodore, Yellow Lab mix 1 1/2) off for a 10 day kennel stay (Dec 4th - 14th 2018). On Sunday December 9th we received a phone call in the morning from Abby.(kennel staff employee) advising us that our Chesney boy was not himself. He was not eating, was lethargic and was foaming at the mouth. Abby wanted to bring Chesney to Colchester Veterinarian hospital right away and of course my husband and I agreed with her 100%. She physically brought our dog to the vets (God bless her for lifting our 80 pounder). Chesney was admitted to the hospital with a fever of 106 (normal for a dog is 101). He was diagnosed with Aspiration Pneumonia after chest x-rays and blood work. He ended getting discharged 2 days later, YEAH!!!! If it wasn't for Abby and the staff knowing Chesney's personality, his medical needs, daily medications, routine kennel checks and proper records and documentation/paperwork he would not be with us today! Abby and John Gagnon' Pet Resort Staff, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for saving our Chesney boy. We are so grateful and appreciative for you springing into action so quickly! I also need to do a huge shout out to Colchester Veterinarian hospital, Dr. Walker for his TLC and saving of my dog's life as well. My husband and I recommend John Gagnon's pet resorts 1000% and to infinity!! TO EVERYONE: Your love bugs will get the best care, love and attention they need at John Gagnon's Pet Resort, from John, Abby, the kennel staff to doggie daycare staff to the front desk staff!! We love them!! Peace and Merry Christmas!!"
Heather and Joe Dancsak
"The staff treated Clancy as if he was their own, they looked after him in spite of his not being the most friendly of dogs and were concerned when he wouldn't eat, so they purchased additional treats and food in attempts to get him to eat. You can't ask for nicer or more caring people to look after your family member."
"Wonderful place. I have two rescue Shelties who struggle with new people and places especially when their people aren’t there. I’ve brought the girls there for daycare to help with socialization and I’ve boarded them their as well. The staff is wonderful and professional. I don’t worry about how my dogs are doing when I go away when I board them here."
"Fritz, my German shepherd, loves the place! The staff is amazing, particularly Jo-Ann, takes great care of my now elderly big pup!"
"We had our three German Shepherds boarded here in December while we went away on vacation. I had a high confidence level based on the reviews I read and the recommendation from my veterinarian. The dogs seemed very happy when we picked them up and I felt they were well cared for. When we left we mistakenly left their blankets and some meds behind. We received a call right away and the woman said she would drop them off to us on her way home that night. Very nice customer service all the way around. We will definitely be using John Gagnon's Pet Resort again."
"Our 8 month old rescue Roxy was there for a week and she didn’t complain a bit!!!! She still remembered us when we picked her up, so there is no dog brain washing going on!! Seriously though we had a great experience with JG’s resort, reminders were sent to email and calls were made to make sure we were all on the same page, they called us with updates on how Roxy was doing while we were on vacation. Very courteous staff that care about their jobs and the dogs they take care of!"
"Take great care of our special needs dogs!"
"I boarded my two dogs at John Gagnon's Pet Resort this past April for ten days. I would not trust anyone else with my babies. They treat the dogs there like they are one of their own. I also use John's groomer Kelly and she is fantastic. She is very caring and does and awesome job grooming my baby. He always comes home looking so handsome. I would never hesitate to trust in John Gagnon's to take special care of your dog in their care."
"This is a great pet resort for cats, too! I've been boarding my cats here for years. Great grooming before we pick them up. When one of the cats got sick, they went above & beyond - called me, called their vet, got medicine & administered it. I felt comfortable because I knew they were taking good care of him."
"John Gagnon's Pet Resort is the only boarding/grooming facility we bring our dogs to. Our dog kids deserve the best care and that is what they receive at JG's! The staff are all warm, caring, friendly and knowledgeable. When our dog kids walk into the building with wagging tails, you know they are happy and comfortable to be there! Immaculate facility inside and out!"
"Our dog, a much-loved 12 year old Wheaten Terrier, had never been in a kennel until last summer (August 2016) when we went overseas for a month-long vacation. For the first time in his life, neither family members nor friends would take care of our dog while we were away. For the most part, this was because of his high strung, territorial and aggressive behavior which (especially as he has aged) can include snapping at and/or biting strangers and other dogs: behavior that we vigilantly prevent, but too much work for family.
After considering many options, we selected John Gagnon's Pet Resort in Colchester. It was difficult to leave our dog there, but John Gagnon's staff gave us frequent progress reports and we were extremely pleased on our return from vacation to find a healthy, happy doggie. We'll be taking him back there next time!"
"I have tried a few kennels before a friend recommended John Gagnon's Pet Resort. After the first stay , my dogs were returned to me happy, which of course I expected. What I didn't expect was their behavior the next day. The usual dysfunctional behavior that usually followed other kennel stays: no accidents on my shoes; no howling when crated. The bottom line is that obviously my dogs had received attention and stimulation during their stay at John Gagnon. One of my pups had a very sensitive tummy and couldn't have any other food but his own. He also took medication twice daily. The staff provided good care to my fur baby. I have and will continue to recommend John Gagnon to anyone looking for a safe and loving environment to board their dog."
"Our dog Rosie, a lab mix, is usually very timid and set in her ways. we can tell she is happy at Gagnon Pet Resort because she always seems fine when we pick her up, even after a long stay. if she were not happy, she would crouch behind the bed for days after returning home, so there is no mistake how she feels about Gagnon's. if she's happy, we're happy!"
"My dog loves boarding at Gagnon's."
I want to thank the kennel staff and the reception staff. I had Pixie boarded for 18 days recently while I was out of the country. At first I was so nervous because this would have been her second time at the resort and it was for a long time. I myself was a nervous wreck because I was going to be out of the country and on a ship for most of the time. Your staff calmed my nerves right from the start. I contacted the staff via email every few days and they always had great things to say about Pixie. They always welcomed my emails.
Please let your kennel/reception staff know that Pixie and I say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I know the staff made my vacation a little bit more relaxed and Pixie loved the one on one attention. She will see the kennel staff in a few more weeks when she come for a long weekend.
Kathy and Pixie Dwyer
To all Staff.
"THANKYOU all so much for taking such great care of our (5yr old eskie. Mickey Rogers) this was the 2nd time we left him in your care. I'm happy he had playtime, "I'm sure he was to" and for treating him as your own. Each time I called, I was greeted friendly, then kennel staff was very helpful & friendly with my questions. It's hard leaving your "family member as we call him" while were on vacation. But I knew he was in very safe hands with you. I would never choose anyone else to care for our lil boy. Also I may be bringing in his lil brother, 9mo old eskie for daycare ASAP. So he becomes social & learns to play with others in the pack. I know he would benifit greatly. Again thank you all so much. I attached a pict above of Mickey incase my testimonial never came thru. I do give your resort 5 stars. I'm happy I learned of such a great place."
Sincerely. Scott & Carol Rogers "& Mickey"
"I knew I had found a great place when while I was waiting to check my dogs in-I saw people bringing their dogs in, and every dog was so excited to be there. They couldn't wait to have their leashes off to run to the staff. You have a very competent and caring staff! I will highly recommend your services to everyone I know who has dogs!
Thank you for taking such good care of our pets!"
"We want to express our sincere gratitude for taking such great care of our furbabies Casey and Puppy. There is no one else we would trust taking care of them for us. Our minds were at ease leaving them in your care for two weeks over our honeymoon. We thank you so much for your patience- because we know they are not always easy to deal with. You guys are the best :)
Thanks a million!!!"
Sam Ty Casey & Puppy
"You folks are the best- I am reassured every time I use your resort that my pups are given much love & attention & play socialization. They fall asleep before we leave your parking lot. Keep up the great job- your facility is immaculate, your staff go far beyond their job descriptions."
"My dogs can't wait to go & are always happy when I pick them up, although they don't want to leave. If I were a dog I'd stay at John Gagnon's Pet Resort."
"I just wanted to say thank you for taking great care of Volley and Maggie while we were away. Loved their report card; your comments made us smile :) You guys are the absolute BEST, see you again soon!"
Check out our Testimonial page to read more testimonials from our clients!