• Sarasota • Lakewood Ranch • Osprey •


6 Compelling Reasons Your Child Needs A Pet

“Can we keep it?!”

It’s something every animal loving kid has asked their parents at one point. While some parents share that in common with their kids, others still aren’t convinced about the benefits of pets. Yes, they require commitment and cost a little extra to care for, but the benefits to your family are priceless! We’re here to convince you to accept a cute furry face in your life. Here’s our 6 reasons why children need pets:


Teaches Responsibility

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility and children can learn to meet obligations by taking care of their furry friends. Maintaining a feeding and exercise schedule for the pet helps kids honor their commitments. Additionally, it teaches them to nurture and respect other living beings, which naturally translates to raising a gentle, respectful human.




Help Fight off Allergies

According to scientific research, kids who are exposed to animal allergens like pet dander typically develop stronger immune systems. Pediatric professors evaluated 275 children who had a parent with respiratory allergies or asthma for 3 years. Children who had a dog at home as newborns were less likely to have atopic dermatitis and wheezing by their 3rd birthday.



Judgment Free Zone

Children can be tough on each other at times. Having a furry friend at home to talk to and spend time with encourages kids to be themselves while learning to accept others for who they are. Later in their teenage years, it may be more difficult for kids to talk about their emotions with their parents. Having an outlet for the emotional roller coaster that is the teenage years can help keep everyone happy at home. Your dog or cat won’t judge you either when you’re sneaking the kids’ Halloween candy or fake sleeping for a few more minutes of peace in the morning!



Invisible Health Signs

A pup’s nose has about 300 million olfactory receptors which is 50 times as many as humans! Their sniffers are so amazing, they’re able to detect epileptic seizures, cancer and even diabetes. Exceptional sniffers often become service dogs to individuals living with these diseases, helping them live more independent lives. Having a dog around might give you an early indication that something you can’t see is going on with your child.




There are 2.5 million burglaries a year, 66% of which are home break ins. This is an unsettling statistic for anyone, especially parents. Having a dog around acts as four-legged a home alarm system. In fact, ex-criminals themselves have said that barking dogs are one of the best deterrents of opportunistic thieves.



Better Studies

Pets are often used in classrooms all over to aid children in learning to read. Their presence helps kids feel at ease, which naturally helps them learn better. The presence of animals also contributes to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and the release of feel good chemicals in the brain like dopamine and serotonin. It’s easy to do well in school when you feel good while you work!


In conclusion…

Maybe we’re a bit biased but…let them keep that puppy or kitten! Let them adopt a friend from the shelter! Pets contribute to better, healthier, happier lives. If you’re headed to the shelter to pick out your child’s new best friend, check out our article on properly greeting strange dogs.

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Training Your Puppy to Love the Groomer

“Our family just got a new puppy. We want Cinnamon to be good for the groomer. What are some things we can do at home to help that?” – Rachel R.


First, congratulations on your newest family member! Grooming can be a bit scary for a young puppy, but with positive reinforcement and practice, they can learn to enjoy this part of their life.


Most Common Problems

In our experience, the most common problems dogs have during the grooming process are having their feet held, tools near their face, and the sound of the electric clippers. So how do you get them to tolerate and even enjoy these seemingly scary events? There is plenty you can do at home to ensure your new puppy has no fear at the groomer.


Practicing At Home

  1. Hold and play with your dog’s feet
    1. Gently move and hold your pet’s feet while they are relaxed and laying down. While they are allowing you to touch their feet, reward them with treats and/or praise so they learn that having their feet touched is a good thing. Holding your dog’s feet even once a day while hanging out on the couch can make a huge difference when it comes time to be groomed at the spa.
  2. Touch their face, ears, and cheeks
    1. While your dog is laying down and relaxed, touch their head and face and give them lots of praise when they allow you to do this. Again, the goal here is to build lots of enjoyment and trust while your dog is being handled in this way. Practice touching their ears from base to tip, stroking their cheeks, and holding their head gently in your hand. While you are praising for touching during this exercise, make sure you do not praise for biting. Puppies naturally use their mouths to explore the world but it is important that you set clear boundaries on what behavior you expect.
  3. Find a household item similar to clippers
    1. An electric toothbrush usually does the trick, as the sound is very similar. While relaxing, turn the sound on and praise them. Turn the sound on and off until they appear unfazed. Then, begin gently touching the object to a part of their body and again give praise. Eventually, your dog will hear the noise and get excited about what is to come! This is particularly important around their head. Make sure to take it slow!

Visit the pet spa early in their life

Bringing your puppy in for a visit to the groomer is important for them to get used to the sounds, sights, and smells of the spa. We recommend two “introductory visits” before scheduling their first full haircut.

Bring your puppy in for just a bath and nail trim. While you could certainly do this at home, it helps them adjust to being handled by someone new and acclimate to the grooming experience.


On this visit, puppy should experience a bath, nail trim, and light hair trim around their face, feet, and sanitary area. This builds on the previous positive experience, while introducing a new step.

Your puppy should now be ready to experience their first complete grooming! They will be a seasoned pro who will enjoy the feel good experience of going to the spa!


In addition to working on behaviors at home, your local dog club may offer mock grooming visits to acclimate puppies to this life event. Here at Bayside Pet Resort, our Real World Etiquette training course includes a mock grooming visit, mock vet visit, and afternoon out at the cafe with our four-legged students. This helps them build their confidence and allows human students plenty of individual Q&A with the trainer.

At such a young age, a bad experience can have lasting effects on your young pup. By gradually working up to this and practicing at home, your puppy can avoid feeling overwhelmed or scared while with the groomer. Early introductions and positive associations set your dog up for a lifetime of a happiness!


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Ask A Groomer: Does my dog really need conditioner?

golden retriever dog in blue bath

“Does my dog really need conditioner?” – Megan T.

Thanks for asking, Megan!

At Bayside, we do not automatically use a conditioner during baths and grooms. We have decided it is best to offer this as an add-on option so our guests can decide for themselves if conditioner is best for their pet or not. Some dogs have sensitive skin or thin coats that can be weighed down by a conditioning treatment.

To determine if your dog would benefit from a conditioning treatment, consider the following:

  1. How long is your dog’s coat?
  2. How often do you wash your dog?
  3. Does your dog have itchy skin?


Long Coats

If your dog has a longer coat (breeds like Maltese, Yorkie, and Afghan Hounds), then it may be prone to matting and tangles. Using a conditioner will not only make your dog’s coat healthier, it will also make removing matting and tangles a lot easier so that the after-bath brush out will be a breeze.


Wash Frequency

If you wash your dog more than 1 time per month, you should consider conditioning your pet to close the hair shaft and help the coat retain moisture. Bathing can dry the skin and coat, so using a good conditioner will help replace that moisture.


Itchy Skin

You may bathe your dog more often to help soothe your dog’s itchy skin and wash away the allergens. Following up with a conditioner helps to replenish moisture while softening and soothing the dry, itchy skin.

If you are not sure if your pet would benefit from conditioning or not, talk to a professional groomer. They can evaluate your dog’s skin and coat to make a recommendation.

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Pumpkin Pie For Pups: Recipe

Pumpkin Pie For Pups Recipe

Ever feel guilty for not being able to share Thanksgiving dinner with your dog? Us too! In a world of long-name ingredients, it’s hard to know what is safe to share with your pets and what’s harmful. That’s why we wanted to try this tasty, completely dog-safe pumpkin pie recipe to make sure pups are included in the festivities too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16 oz can of pumpkin (plain)
  • 8 oz of plain low-fat yogurt (optional)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, or a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 3-4 tbsp water

Now for the work:

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the oatmeal and flour together in a food processor. Add the applesauce slowly while continuing to run the processor. Add 3-4 tbsp of water slowly. Use only enough to make a dough ball – too much will make the dough sticky.

Lay a piece of wax paper out and spray lightly with olive or vegetable oil cooking spray. Roll dough out onto the wax paper and cut out 8 circles, about 4 inches across. You can also divide the dough into 8 small balls before you roll it out.

Spray a muffin tin lightly with the cooking spray and press the individual dough balls into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin. Bake for 8 minutes. Let the crusts cool before removing from the muffin tin.

Fill each crust with about 1/4 cup (2 ounces) of canned pumpkin and top with a dollop of yogurt (optional). They are now ready for your pups to enjoy!


Recipe courtesy of



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Slowing Down A Fast Eater

Slowing Down A Fast Eater – Ditch the Bowl!

by Ashley Sweeney

The way to a dog’s heart is often through their belly! Some dogs take it a bit further by eating like they have never tasted food before. Scarfing down meals can actually lead to scary health problems for your pup because dogs when they gulp their food, they are also taking in air with each bite. The most obvious danger is choking, but the air and food mixed together in the stomach can cause vomitting.

Taking in too much food and air can also cause Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (aka “bloat”), which may lead to a medical emergency if the stomach twists and ruptures. Bloat is especially dangerous for large chested breeds like Great Danes, Weimaraners, and Boxers.

dog bloat

So how can you bring your dog’s eating speed from NASCAR to Flintstone? Try ditching the bowl!

The biggest benefit of ditching the bowl is that you can use mealtime to strengthen your bond with your pup.  It sounds like a lot of work and you’re probably wondering how it all might fit in your everyday routine.


Here are a few ways you can fit non-bowl feeding into your life:

Daily Food Allowance for Training

Take whatever measurement of food your dog receives daily and use it for games and training instead of treats. The benefit here is that you become a walking food dispenser! That alone will motivate your dog to pay more attention to you. Seize the opportunity by teaching commands or tricks that you have been wanting to teach your pup. Take the food on your walks and use it to reward behaviors you want to reinforce, like loose-leash walking.


Play With Their Food

Making mealtime a game is a great way to build confidence in your dog. It is also an excellent way to make a seemingly mundane task like mealtime fun! Games can be as simple as sliding food across the floor to make your dog chase it, or hiding pieces around the house for them to sniff out. Once your pup has mastered this, up the ante by tossing kibble in the grass or making the hiding spots more challenging to find.


Towel Feeder

This game is so easy to prepare and is excellent for dogs of any age! It is especially rewarding for senior dogs who need a low-energy, low-impact puzzle to keep them stimulated. Take a standard towel and begin to make accordion folds. Place pieces of kibble between each fold and let your dog enjoy.

The bonus here is the mental stimulation of seeking and then finding, which all dogs will love. As with any activity, you want to balance the level of difficulty to what your dog can handle. If they are having trouble solving this activity, set them up for success by making some pieces easier to see or closer to the opening of the towel.


Need the bowl? Try a Slow-feeder!

Not everyone has time to spend playing games at every meal. Slow-feeder bowls come in a variety of difficulties to match your pup’s ability (let’s face it, not every dog is an Einstein).  The built-in nooks and crannies make your dog work a little harder to get their kibble out. This naturally slows down their eating, and making mealtime a slight challenge also provides mental stimulation to your pup. If the bowl alone isn’t slowing them down enough, get creative! Try adding pumpkin or a small amount of wet food and then freezing.

Purple Slow Feeder Dog Bowl


Dogs are individuals so it is important to try a few of these things and see which fits best into both of your lifestyles. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. These simple changes can create wonderful bonding opportunities by presenting new challenges for them to solve. Fulfilled dogs are much less likely to get themselves into trouble by being naughty. So, try it and let us know what your dog liked best!

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Why Doggie Daycare Benefits You AND Your Dog

Doggie Daycare Benefits You AND Your Dog!

How many times have you come home to a destroyed pillow or cushion? It can be enough to make you cry after a long day at work and this frustration is one of the top reasons people rehome their dog. Meeting all of your dog’s physical and mental needs is essential for a peaceful co-existence. Doggie daycare provides an awesome opportunity for your social dog to go burn off some energy on the playground with their canine friends. Here are some of the benefits it provides for both you and your pup:


The most frequently reported dog behavior problems stem from one common denominator: lack of exercise. Dogs who do not exercise regularly become stir crazy with pent up energy. This most often leads to destructive behaviors, excessive barking, and/or over-excitability. Not only does this have a negative effect on your mentality, it is an unhealthy mental state for your pup too. Consider your dog’s age and play styles before signing them up for a full day of play. If doggie daycare is new to your pup, a half day or even just an hour or two may be enough to start with in the beginning, with a gradual progression up to a full day if desired. Your doggie daycare center should have staff trained to recognize the signs of a dog who is becoming tired, and have a private space for them to rest when they need it. Like kids, even the most social dogs can become grumpy and short-tempered when they are tired.


Canine & Human Socialization

In addition to socializing with other dogs, doggie daycare also provides plenty of opportunity for your dog to socialize with a variety of different people. Having this experience will make other life events, such as visits to the veterinarian or groomer, a breeze for your dog. Proper socialization will build their confidence by providing opportunities to learn appropriate social manners from both dogs and humans. If you are training a particular behavior, such as teaching your dog not to jump up when greeting, ask staff to reinforce the rules while your dog is in their care. Consistency is key!


Solve the Boredom Problem

Have you ever been stuck at work or home thinking, “get me out of here”? Your dog thinks that too – only they depend on you to cure it! Having a new place to explore with their sniffer gives your dog another piece of this great big world to conquer. Find a doggie daycare that has daily activities or a playful environment that will keep your dog engaged. The different sights & sounds alone will be enough to keep your dog entertained for some time.



Privacy Without Compromise

Dog walkers are an option for some, but are you comfortable with a stranger in your home? Privacy is something most everyone wants! Consider too whether this individual is qualified for this work. Are they properly insured? Do they have the experience to handle your dog? At doggie daycare, your dog will be with qualified caretakers in an enclosed play yard, and most places even allow you to check in on a webcam!


Guilt-Free Living

For pet owners who work, those hours can be a long time to stare at your pet’s picture, feeling guilty for not being able to take your dog with you every day. You find yourself wondering “Do they need a bathroom break? Are they bored? What are they doing?” Daycare provides your dog with plenty of time outside to potty, run around, and just enjoy the company of their friends until you are reunited. You can also feel good knowing that your dog is getting plenty of love and care from staff trained in making sure they have the best time possible.


Keep in mind that dogs are individuals just like us, and daycare isn’t right for every one of them. Always check with a veterinarian before changing your dog’s exercise regimen to ensure that their participation will not exacerbate any existing medical conditions. If your dog does not get on well with other pups, ask your pet care facility what other enrichment programs they can offer.

Here’s a peek at all of the fun your dog can have splashing in the pool at Bayside Pet Resort!

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How To Clean Cat Ears

Ear health is often overlooked by pet owners. Not only do dirty ears contribute to a stinky kitty, but they can lead to the development of other problems such as chronic ear infections, head tilting, loss of balance, and hearing loss. The answer to combating these preventable symptoms is regular ear cleaning!

Cleaning your cat’s ears at home may largely depend on their temperament. If you are not confident that your cat will tolerate you handling them in a way that allows you to complete the ear cleaning, seek the help of a qualified pet groomer or veterinarian. A mistake can cause injury to the ear canal and improper handling can lead to your cat injuring themselves or you.

If the ears appear to have discharge, a foul smell, or otherwise look irritated or infected, consult with your veterinarian before proceeding with ear cleaning.

How To Clean Your Cat’s Ears

Supplies Needed

  • Cotton balls
  • Cat ear cleaner of your choice
  • Ear powder (optional)


1. Wait until your cat is relaxed and hold him in your lap with his rear facing toward you. You want him to back into your body if he tries to get away, giving you more control.

2. Gently fold back the flap of one ear to expose the opening of the ear canal.

3. Add several drops of ear cleaning solution to your pet’s ear and massage the base of the ear for 15 to 20 seconds. This helps the solution works its way into the ear canal.

4. Wet a cotton ball with a little more of the cleaning solution and gently wipe out your cat’s ear. If the cotton ball is very dirty, repeat this step with a fresh cotton ball to remove as much wax and debris as your can.

5. Wipe the inside of the ear clean with a dry cotton ball. If desired, add a little of the ear powder to the ear canal to help remove excess moisture.


Click here to download this guide as a printable PDF

When you are finished with the ear cleaning, make sure to provide plenty of praise to your kitty. Making the experience positive and rewarding for them will reinforce that ear cleaning isn’t so bad!

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Celebrate National Dog Day in Sarasota


5 Paw-some Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day in Sarasota

They help us relieve stress, make us smile, and even help us with daily tasks. Dogs truly are a human’s best friend! So this year on National Dog Day, give your pup something extra special to say Thanks for all you do! Here are 5 awesome ways to celebrate the day with your beloved pup!national dog day sarasota

1. Get out and play!

We’re so lucky to have many dog-friendly places in our area. Hit the 17th Street Paw Park to celebrate the day with other dogs and their owners. If that’s not your style, enjoy a nice walk along the water at Bayfront Park/Marina – just don’t forget a leash! Sarasota approved new leash laws on May 1, 2017. (Read more about the leash law here.) The dog beach at Brohard Paw Park in Venice is a must-do for dogs that love to swim! Brohard also offers fenced, shaded areas outfitted with fresh water fountains and doggy showers to rinse off before heading home.

2. Train a new skill

Training is an excellent way to build the bond between you and your dog. Just like humans, dogs need practice to keep a sharp mind! Practice things your dog already knows, then up the ante by trying it in a more challenging environment. Or, if you’re up for it, teach them something entirely new! Even senior dogs love the opportunity to learn. What’s that saying about old dogs and new tricks?

3. Give ’em a spa day!

Whether your dog has a short or long coat, they’ll love a good scrub in the tub. As a bonus to making your dog feel great, you’ll get to enjoy their lovely fresh smell and clean coat. Dogs with skin issues will especially appreciate some soothing relief. Add on a pawdicure or facial for that true spa experience!

4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or rescue

Some dogs are still patiently waiting for a person to call their own. Sarasota has a wealth of animal organizations who are spending every single day caring for local pets who have yet to find a home. Lend them a helping hand by spending time with a long-term resident who could really use a little extra love. Our local Humane Societies have a great list of animal resources in ManateeSarasota and Charlotte Counties.

5. Learn more about your dog

Do you consider yourself a dog expert? If not, there are plenty of books out there to get you to that level! Visit a local bookstore and browse their collection of books about canine personalities and behavior. A great one to start with is Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz.


Have bigger plans for the day? Tell us about your favorite dog-friendly activity in the comments!

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“Pawtism” Puppy: Classroom Dog For Easter Seals

“Pawtism” Puppy: Autism Classroom Dog For Easter Seals of Southwest Florida

Autism is a life-long disorder for which there is no known cause, cure, or singular effective treatment. Experts agree that early diagnosis and intervention are critical in helping people with autism better their outcomes in the future. Therapy and treatments can help people with autism make significant progress, and can help them lead meaningful and productive lives.

Over the last few months, we have been excitedly developing a new, unique program with our neighbors at Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Our collective vision has been to train a canine companion, AKA “Pawtism” dog, for Easter Seals’ classrooms. Research has shown that the presence of a dog helps autistic children be more attentive and socially engaged in the classroom. Much thought went into how we can use the therapeutic nature of dogs to offer this much needed service to the children of Easter Seals. Equally as important to us was that the puppy have a home life where he can “turn off” his working brain at the end of the day and just be a dog. Beverly Landers, Certified Assistant Occupational Therapist at Easter Seals Southwest Florida, has generously offered to be this pup’s “person” and provide him with a great life! We will be joining her in adopting a puppy from Humane Society of Sarasota County this afternoon.

Beverly is very excited about this opportunity and is ready to welcome this tiny ball of fur into the Easter Seals community. She will be tasked with caring for the puppy and being his training partner every step of the way. They will enjoy learning together, as she becomes familiar with all of the training and intricate details of a service dog’s life.

It was important to us that this “Pawtism” puppy come from a local rescue. Finding a puppy can be tough – finding the RIGHT puppy for this very important job proved to be much tougher! John Pfohler, trainer at Humane Society of Sarasota County, was instrumental in assisting us by evaluating many different pups and finding just the right one.

John and Bayside Pet Resort trainer Murisa Kippin collectively have over 35 years of animal training experience, including exotics and service animals. They already work together closely on our “Pets for Vets” program, a partnership between Humane Society of Sarasota County and Bayside Pet Resort  to find perfect canine companions who will assist military veterans in our community. Working together, Murisa and John coordinate training of both the dog and the individual, helping the pair bond and learn to work as one.

white german shepherd service dog

L to R: John Pfohler, Julie Dejnowski, Rico & his Pets For Vets program service dog Stella, Murisa Kippin

Humane Society of Sarasota County has been incredible in supporting this program! Not only did they surprise us by offering to donate the puppy for this program, but they have also generously donated a training crate, obedience training classes, and veterinary care for a year at their animal clinic! In addition, they will help us certify the “Pawtism” pup as an official therapy dog after his first birthday.

Easter Seals of Southwest Florida will be having a puppy naming contest at their campus on Monday August 7th. Their students will all get a chance to vote for their favorite puppy name, which they will be helping to care for when he is in the classroom. Easter Seals students will be a central part of the puppy’s life, helping to feed and water him, exercise him, and walk him over to Bayside for play and pampering!

This little pup will be the first “Pawtism” facility dog of its kind in the area. We are beaming with excitement as we dive into this program! Stay tuned for puppy pictures and training updates!

Learn more about Easter Seals and the amazing service they provide to our community by visiting their Services webpage at


***UPDATE: AUGUST 7, 2017***

Easter Seals students voted on the name of their new furry classmate today! The votes are in and the winner is…

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Bayside Pet Resort Breaks Ground on Fourth Facility

Bayside Pet Resort Breaks Ground on Fourth Facility

Sarasota, Florida, United States – July 19, 2017

Bayside Pet Resort Lakewood Ranch Artist Rendering

Bayside Pet Resort begins construction on its fourth location in Lakewood Ranch, Florida on July 28th, 2017. This facility builds on the vision of offering the best dog and cat boarding, day care, and training for its customers.

Bayside Pet Resort is breaking ground on the new Bayside Pet Resort of Lakewood Ranch facility on July 28th at 4PM, at 15117 Garnett Trail, Lakewood Ranch, Florida. This will be the fourth location for the local pet care organization. Bayside Pet Resort offers 5 – star canine and feline lodging, doggy daycare, professional pet grooming, and dog training.

The vision for the Bayside family of pet resorts has always been giving back to the community. Entrepreneurs, philanthropists, animal lovers, and owners, Robert and Lynn Huff opened their first location in Sarasota in 2012, after retiring from the health care industry. Mr. Huff recently described why they got involved with pet care: “We created 5-star resorts because our beloved pets deserve the same quality of care as we give to people”. He added, “We’re extremely excited to continue our tradition of service to pet owners in the Lakewood Ranch Area”

The Bayside team then discovered the need for a quality pet spa in the University Park area, and opened the Bayside Pet Spa at the corner of Honore Ave. and University Parkway a year later. The fun Parisian-themed day spa for pets offers many of the same amenities that might be found at a human spa.

Forever pursuing his vision, Mr. Huff then opened Bayside Pet Resort of Osprey, the third location in BPR’s portfolio, in December 2015. This newest location filled a need in South Sarasota and Venice for quality pet care. Among the 5-star amenities available for canine and feline guests are an in-ground saline filtered swimming pool, 24/7 webcams, and suites with private outdoor lanais. This location’s footprint will serve as the model for the newest facility in Lakewood Ranch.

To ensure his vision was seen to fruition, Robert consulted with Sivitz Innovative Design of Sarasota and J.E. Charlotte Construction Corp of Venice, converting a dilapidated mobile home park into what is now the beautiful Bayside Pet Resort of Osprey.

Pet owners in Lakewood Ranch can expect the same high level of care in their neighborhood sooner than they think, as Bayside Pet Resort prepares to break ground on the new resort at Lorraine Corners.

For more information on Bayside Pet Resort at Lakewood Ranch, check out our page at

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