Twelve years ago, Heidi Ganahl decided to pursue her dream and opened the first Camp Bow Wow in Denver. Camp Bow Wow has now burgeoned into a national franchise with more than 200 locations in 40 states, and her success has earned attention from the likes of CNN Money, CNBC, and various other news outlets.
One of the secrets to Heidi’s success? Her love of dogs. Born from a desire to provide a safe, healthy place where owners could drop their pets instead of cooping them up at home, each Camp Bow Wow location functions more like an all inclusive kids’ summer camp than a depressing kennel. Pooches are free to frolic with each other in indoor play areas and spend their afternoons making fun of the postman’s latest haircut, all while their owners watch them on Camper Cam video streams. For overnight visitors, temperature-controlled cabins host beds with fleece blankets, and the camp counselors give each canine camper a campfire treat before putting them to bed. Dogs and owners feel at ease knowing that certified camp counselors, trained in dog behavior and pet first aid, are close at hand.
It's rarely a good idea to indulge dogs with cookies and cakes—unless those cookies and cakes are made specifically for them. That's exactly the case at The Paws of Nature, where owner Kirsten bakes homemade treats for pups. Kirsten and her friend, Michele, had the idea to create a neighborhood pet store with a twist. Today, the twist they envisioned comes in several forms, such as community education programs, conveniently designed self-serve washing stations, and a stock of healthier food choices for pets—including, of course, baked goodies.
If you can't find it, build it. Certified master dog trainer Jaime Van Wye searched high and low for agility classes to send her dog-training clients to, and when she came up dry, she opened one herself. Today, the Zoom Room can be found in cities across the country, each one home to an indoor agility course, also known as a private gym. Dog owners can reserve 30-minute sessions for one-on-one some bonding time with their four-legged friends, tackling the course's challenges and playing without the distractions and silent judgments of other dogs. Group classes and private training cover topics ranging from general obedience and agility training to more specific classes such as overcoming shyness, tricks, and canine good citizen.
In fact, improving canine social skills is one of Zoom Room's missions, as evidenced by the regularly hosted meet-up events and Doggy Disco parties, which give dogs a chance to meet other dogs and expand away from the inner circle of fire hydrants. This combination of training and fun, in addition to the facility's selection of organic dog food, natural dog treats, and functional dog accessories, has garnered an array of local and national press.