If you’re a dog owner in Bangkok, you’ll know how difficult it is to give your dog the freedom and entertainment they need to thrive.
Most parks don’t allow dogs, the dog parks that are in existence seem to be closing down at a rate of knots, and the pavements around here aren’t exactly conducive to leisurely afternoon walks.
But there’s a brand new, Western-style doggy daycare and boarding facility that’s hoping to change everything: Unleashed BKK.
Unleashed can be found in Thonglor Pet City next to the Rama IX branch of Thonglor Pet Hospital.
The location couldn’t be better: it’s right next door to a dog swimming pool and a huge, fully secure dog park that’s got plenty of shaded spots and more than enough room for your dog to sprint, chase and fetch to their heart’s content.
Unleashed is run by Englishwoman Gemma Booth and her partner, and they’re committed to ‘letting dogs be dogs’ — something that’s almost unheard of in Bangkok.
This isn’t your ordinary Bangkok kennels. In fact, it’s not a kennels at all.
There are no cages: dogs play and sleep together in this communal, home-from-home environment. During the day, activities are scheduled around exercise, learning new skills and making new friends.
Big dogs mix with small dogs, pedigrees with mongrels — all closely supervised by Gemma and her English-speaking staff. Unlike with many cage boarding facilities, the dogs are monitored 24/7 — there’s even a bed in the dog’s bedroom so there’s someone close by as they sleep!
Because of the close supervision and staff involvement on offer here, there’s an emphasis on quality of care rather than quantity. Only a few dogs can be booked in at a time — Gemma only expects a maximum of around 12 dogs a day during busy periods like Christmas.
Advance booking is essential, and not only to secure your dog’s place. Unleashed has a policy of assessing dogs beforehand to make sure that they’re suitable for the open nature of the facility.
While play fighting and little scraps are all part of a day’s work when it comes to dog care, they are keen to avoid the issues that come with accepting dogs with behavioral problems and aggression for the sake of the other dogs and staff.
A typical day is hard to pin down at Unleashed but Gemma, who has a history of dog training, has carefully designed a varied schedule for each day of the week that balances exercise, fun, skills and relaxation time.
For instance, here’s the daily rundown for Wagging Wednesdays:
- 7am-9am: Arrival and breakfast
- 9am-10:30am: Free play
- 10:30am-11am: Snack time
- 11am-12pm: Outside fun and agility
- 12:15pm-1.30pm: Lunchtime
- 1.30pm-3pm: Naptime and TV
- 3pm-3.30pm: Garden time
- 3.30pm-4pm: Freshen up
- 4pm-5pm: Playtime and goodbye
Swimming is also scheduled for at least once a week.
It’s easy to see why Unleashed is proving so popular among Western expats in Bangkok. For those of us dog owners who work full time and perhaps don’t have as much time as we would like to spend with our canine companions, the level of doggy daycare here is unparalleled.
Dropping them off before work and picking them up at the end of the day, you can be sure that they will have had a stimulating day full of exercise and socialisation — things that they simply can’t get from being at home alone all day.
Plus, with all that fun during the day, you know that they’ll be out like a light when it comes to bedtime.
And, of course, it doesn’t begin and end with day care. If you’re planning a holiday or heading out of town for a business trip, make sure that you book in advance for boarding at Unleashed. This includes all of the daytime activities enjoyed by the daycare clients, as well as a cage-free overnight stay.
When we visited Unleashed last week, we were truly impressed by what’s on offer here — and it’s definitely one of a kind here in central Bangkok.
While such involved and varied doggy daycare is relatively common in the West, it’s certainly lacking over here in Thailand. It’s great to have a place where our dogs can really be dogs — whether they’re splashing in the pool, sprinting in the garden or making new friends by sniffing each other’s bums in the ball pit.
The facility itself is exactly what you want for your dog while they’re away from home. Set over two storeys, it’s very clean, secure, and equipped with plenty of beds, blankets and toys for your pup to entertain themselves with.
Gemma and her partner have aimed for a homely atmosphere and they’ve definitely hit the mark. It feels a long way from the rows of cages and crates you see at most boarding facilities.
For more information on Unleashed and to book your dog in for daycare or boarding, check out their Facebook page. You can also keep up with their photos and videos every day by following them on Instagram.
- Unleashed BKK
- Unit A1, Thonglor Pet City, 80/1 Phet Phraram Road, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10310
- Near Ramkhamhaeng station on Airport Rail Link
- Car park available
- 065 760 9314
Have you visited Unleashed BKK yet?