By Ken Hegan for MSN

Pet PalapaInstead of smuggling a cute dog out of Mexico, why not sneak your dog in for a little pampering?

At the ‘chic, all-villa’ Viceroy Riviera Maya resort (located 3 miles from Playa del Carmen and just 35 minutes from Cancun’s international airport), your pet gets to share your fun tropical holiday. Bonus: your pooch will get blessed by a shaman.

It’s called the PetVacay Program at the Viceroy where your Fido will enjoy “the same relaxed and pampered luxury that human guests enjoy.”

“Your pet will be blessed by a real shaman, lounge in his own personal palapa , be indulged with his favorite foods and truly believe that he has landed in Doggie Heaven,” said the resort via press release.

WARNING:  Shamanism is a practice where you reach altered states of consciousness so you can interact with the spirit world, which can be both benevolent and malevolent. Some societies believe that shamans have the power to both cure and kill. And some say if you fail to return from an out-of-body journey, this can lead to death.

Yes, this is what Doggie Heaven looks like in the land of the midday margarita.

Your pet will receive a Mayan Blessing from the resort’s “authentic, in-house shaman” who comes from “a long family line of shamans from a local Mayan village.” According to the resort, the shaman’s blessing “releases the guests from their cares and worries into a new beginning at the resort.” Then somebody gives your Lassie a special doggie snack.

Viceroy Riviera Maya looks pretty fancy for humans, too. They promise lots of pampering, spa wraps, day beds at the beach, and outdoor massages on the pier. Currently there’s a 50% off sale so instead of paying $985 a night (US), you only pay $492.50/night, you lucky devil.


Beware any resort that is empty of humans and pets

It costs an extra $50/night for your pet. I assume you can bring any weird pet you like, just as long as it’s 20 pounds or less. So if your pet is plus-sized like my mid-sized, 45-lb dog Kyle, your fat pet will not allowed inside the resort. Instead, your fat pet must spend the rest of your holiday outside the resort gates, whining, clawing the dirt, fighting for survival, and begging for scraps.

By the way, if you’re thinking of bringing your cat or small dog to Mexico, you need to bring an international certificate of good health issued by a veterinarian, plus proof of vaccination against rabies and distemper. And don’t forget to bring an appetite for shamanic blessings, palapa chill-outs, and all the doggie snacks he/she desires!

What do you think…would you like your pet to get a shaman’s blessing on the sunny Mayan Riviera?

For further info on the resort, click here

— Ken Hegan  

Read more of Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

Photos courtesy the resort