You could call it the Ritz-Carlton hotel approach to boarding and kenneling your dog – doggy condominiums for the pampered pooch.

Bend Pet Resort earlier this year introduced the first doggy condos to Central Oregon after dog owners continually requested something more upscale.

“People would bring me their dogs and ask me, ‘Can’t you just take my dog home with you?’ Obviously, I couldn’t do that,” explained Bend Pet Resort owner Ken Gran-acki, who owns 11 American Kennel Club champion Samoyeds. “I really felt there was a market for more luxurious dog housing.”

When a dog checks in, it’s five-star treatment.

The 8-foot-by-8-foot rooms come with dog-sized wrought-iron daybeds, including the fluffiest of pillows.

These climate-controlled condos with white tile floors and walls also have cable access for canine guests to screen the “Animal Planet” channel, which is piped in 24 hours a day.

“We just thought having a 20-inch stereo television in each condo might make it feel more like home, so they could be less stressed and more relaxed,” Granacki said. “And some of these dogs really do like to watch ‘Animal Planet.'”

By the end of May, Granacki plans to install Web cameras in all six condos so dog owners can log in any time to check on Fido and see how his day is going.

But that’s not all these dogs get. They also get a personal valet of sorts.

Each canine guest of these condos gets walked several times a day and can have playtime with other condo guests.

Like the rest of the kennel, “room service” for food is always prompt and regular.

The nightly room charge: $45. A second dog, depending on size, can stay for an extra $30. In larger metropolitan areas, doggy condos can run $125 per visit.

Bend Pet Resort also has a “doggy spa” for special grooming and pampering. Spa treatments are extra.

With all the amenities, the resort aims to capture a human market receptive to pooch pampering.

“Bend people want this. It’s a dog-friendly place and it’s pretty high on the median income level,” Granacki said, explaining why he took a chance on building doggy condos. “This is the type of (dog) housing you’d expect to see in Scottsdale, Arizona, or certain cities in California, like Redondo Beach. It is very upscale, and there is a demand for it now in Central Oregon.”

Besides the wrought-iron beds, there are no metal bars or wires in the condos. Sliding glass doors on each condo allow dogs to view other canine guests, “so they don’t feel lonely,” Granacki said. “It also allows us to see them.”

After construction began on the condos last summer, Granacki’s wife, Kari, wondered whether they would be financially successful.

“I was a little scared whether we could fill these condos,” Kari admitted.

But the condos have been booked regularly since the resort began taking reservations in January.

“February, which is usually our slowest month of the year, we actually found we were short a (condo) suite because one owner extended his stay – he was supposed to check his dog out in the morning and we had another dog coming in that evening,” said Kari, laughing at the memory.

“I’d say not having enough (condo) suites to go around is a good problem,” Granacki joked.

During spring break, all the condos were booked and reserved a month beforehand, Granacki said.

Dog owner Donna Cook booked early enough to reserve a condo for her yellow Labrador during spring break. She plans to do it again this summer when she goes to Mexico.

“Well, we’d never left her alone before, so I guess we were feeling a little guilty,” Cook said with a chuckle. “I wanted her to feel like she was at home, and she got walks and playtime and TV … that is a little embarrassing to say. We may be turning into one of those kind of dog people.”

Cook’s not alone.

According to the national survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association, American pet owners are expected to spend $40.8 billion on their pets in 2007, the largest chunk coming from dog owners.

Companies like Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley-Davidson and Old Navy all offer dog product lines ranging from shampoo and pet attire to gour-met foods.

Granacki, who bought the 10-acre Bend Pet Resort five years ago, said he researched the area before he bought the boarding and kenneling business. He said he found a U.S. Census Bureau report about Bend’s many dog and cat owners.

“We cashed in our 401(k), we sold everything and we put every penny we had into this place, and our business has more than doubled since then – and that was before the doggy condos were built,” Granacki said.

The gamble of building the condos and adjacent indoor training arena has paid off.

“It cost us $300,000 to build this whole new building and already the condo suites have, so far, paid for the (monthly) mortgage on it,” explained Granacki.

Granacki is expanding his business to include “interactive doggy day care.”

He’s found nearly a dozen regular clients who don’t want their dogs home alone while they’re at work. For $20 per day, you can drop off Bowser early in the morning and pick him up in the evening.

A number of area kennels offer doggy day care, including Pet Paradise, Park Your Pooch, Paws & Claws, La Pine Pet Bed ‘n’ Bath Inc. and Lightning Creek Pet Resort. Costs average roughly $12 per day, from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Overnight stays are common at kennels, too, with costs averaging about $20 per day, which typically includes a daily walk.

But as far as doggy condos, Bend Pet Resort appears to be breaking new dog ground in Bend.

“People love their pets – and we cater to that kind of customer,” Granacki said.