For many dog owners, our four-legged furry friends are like our children, so it should come as no surprise that people are placing greater importance on the well-being and health of their pets. DEN Urban Dog Retreat is an oasis for dogs and their owners that offers a variety of pet-focused wellness services in Los Angeles. It was founded in 2019 by husband-and-wife team, Victorious and Lindsay Velez, who created the unique sanctuary out of necessity for their own dogs.
“My wife is a dog trainer who has owned her business, Eastside Hounds, for over 10 years, and clients were always mentioning how pet grooming places were stressful environments for dogs with the metal cages and loud music,” says Victorious. “So we decided to create our own place and that’s how this journey began. We started the business out of our home, but as it grew and gained momentum, that’s when we knew we had to find a bigger space.”
After finding the perfect location, the couple immediately got to work custom designing the entire facility, from the stunning barn doors to a vintage Victorian bathtub. Victorious is a licensed contractor who has built interactive environments for festivals like Coachella, so he and his wife put their design skills together to create the ultimate space for dogs and their owners. DEN Urban Dog Retreat has everything from an outdoor play area with grass to a patio garden and a relaxing meditation space.
In addition to a cage-free grooming spa, training facility, retail store, and doggy daycare, they also offer pack hikes in nature and a shuttle service that will pick dogs up at home. The wellness center includes an array of innovative holistic healing services such as reiki and touch healing, sound baths, dog massage, and acupuncture. People can participate in reiki sessions with their dogs, massage training classes, intuitive healing and reading, and animal communication to establish a deeper connection with their pets. A nutritionist is also available for consultations about diet and general well-being, and a portion of proceeds from every holistic service goes to their Baloonicorn Foundation, which facilitates assistance and special care for dogs in need.
“Our expert practitioners are very in tune with the dogs and are able to pick up on things and help guide them, making them feel more relaxed,” say Victorious and Lindsay. “We have reiki practitioners and certified dog massage therapists, as well as sound bath and intuitive healers. If you’ve ever experienced a sound bath and its benefits, it resonates deeply with dogs because one of their strongest senses is hearing and those vibrational frequencies help put them at ease. When people are stressed, their dogs absorb some of that stress too, but when you’re relaxed and balanced, so is your dog.”
For those that have recently fostered or adopted a dog, Victorious and Lindsay recommend booking a sound bath or reiki session, which offers an opportunity for bonding with a new pet. In situations where someone has returned to work after spending months in quarantine with their dog, DEN Urban Dog Retreat helps dogs dealing with separation anxiety by socializing them with other dogs during pack hikes and playtime. They offer overnight pet sitting services for people going out of town who don’t want their pets to have to deal with the stress of staying in an unfamiliar environment. Different membership packages are also available that feature special rates, free classes and workshops, and more.
“We’re a win-win business,” say Victorious and Lindsay. “We offer high-end quality service, people are grateful and happy, and their dogs love coming here. It’s such a blessing to be able to wake up daily, go for hikes in nature with cool pups, and hang out and play here all day. The response has been incredible—we’ve had so many satisfied customers leave positive reviews and say that their dog has never experienced anything like this before. It’s incredible.”
For more information, visit denurbandog.com
PHOTOS: Courtesy of Den Urban Dog Retreat