Like many dog owners in a two-worker household, Russell Simpson had to figure out how to best take care of his chocolate labrador, Riley, when no one was home. A growing pup with lots of energy, Riley soon left the house torn apart and riddled with evidence of poker parties. Then Simpson took his dog to daycare and something miraculous happened: Riley started coming home content, relaxed, and manageable. But even with this improvement in Riley's behaviour, Simpson couldn't help but look around his dog's daycare and see an opportunity to make it even better. So he found a warehouse and applied his construction skills to a redesign.
Today, Simpson and his team—along with Riley and regulars such as Lucy—welcome clients and their four-legged friends to We Care Dog Daycare. Together they elevate the dog-daycare experience by rotating the dogs hourly—while some play indoors, the others are taken out on walks, which are included as standard. They also offer owners premium services, such as taking active dogs out on two-hour adventure hikes, or older dogs out on one-hour leisure walks. Further services include grooming, a dog taxi, and training with an accredited dog trainer. We Care's staff also runs a dog-of-the-month program, which recognizes especially well-behaved dogs with rewards such as an adventure walk or a five-album record deal.
During a full day of daycare, canines will enjoy leashed walks throughout the neighbourhood while also getting the opportunity to stretch out their legs on more than 3,000 square feet of play area, including 600 square feet of outside romping space. Give your Chihuahua the social interaction it so sorely lacks, or let the family Schnauzer enjoy surroundings that aren't covered in newsprint wallpaper. The Woof will pick up pooches anywhere in North Vancouver or Burnaby, including office buildings (pick-up and drop-off outside of those areas will cost $5 each way). Purchase up to five Groupons and give your better half five days of tail-wagging tranquility at The Woof.
GoDogWalk offers dog walking, daycare, and boarding services to four-legged beasts in the Vancouver area, out of the luxury dog boutique The Pet Shop Boys. Your Groupon can be used toward the total cost of any of four available dog-care services: send a sassy schnauzer on a one-hour morning beach run ($20), or opt instead to treat your dog to a two-hour mountain hike ($28) while you work. You may apply the value of the deal toward dog-distracting daycare ($29 for a full day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) or boarding services ($55 per 24 hours). GoDogWalk is owned and operated by two passionate dog enthusiasts, and you can rest assured that your canine companion will receive top of the line care in your absence. Certain area restrictions for walking services may apply; consult GoDogWalk's website and FAQs for more information.
At Dog Taxi Vancouver's daycare and boarding facilities, the comforts mirror those of a high-class hotel: personal trainers, walks on the beach, and no cages. The kennel-free environment uses homestyle boarding methods, which means dogs socialize, exercise, and rest freely, both indoors and out. There is some structure to their schedules, however—at least three times a day during boarding stays, the staff takes each dog for a long stroll past parks and shorelines. One of these sessions lasts two hours and includes an obedience-training course, during which qualified trainers impress the value of good behaviour and teach their charges how to properly enunciate "thank you" when your mouth is full of tennis ball. Pups that don't stay overnight can still benefit from these lessons by dropping in for half-day daycare visits.
As its name suggests, the company also oversees a fleet of taxis that ferry four-legged passengers to and from various locales. The cabs—all of which are environmentally friendly hybrids, propane-powered, or electric vehicles—shuttle pets between their homes and destinations such as airports, the vet's, or a friend's yard.
As owners of six dogs between them, Kirsty and Jen had plenty of opportunity to make use of Vancouver's doggie daycares. As they did, they realized that most didn't have the kind of play space their high-energy dogs really needed. So, Kirsty and Jen decided to create their own daycare facility in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse and stock it and the 1,000-square-foot outdoor space with ramps, tunnels, and toys plus a pool and tree fort. They called their new puppy wonderland Canine Adventure Den Daycare.
Instead of expecting the dogs to just play with each other and keep themselves amused, Canine Adventure's staffers lead some structured activities, such as adventure hikes and Hula-Hoop contests. Some of their activities even include owners, such as dating events that introduce singles to fellow dog lovers.
The facility's Muddy Paw Dog Hostel keeps dogs—and other pets, such as rabbits and turtles—overnight. Staffers even sleep beside the dogs to ensure that pups don't get too lonely without their people or Scooby-Doo night lights.
At Jonah's Ark Doggie Playcare & Training, play is the key term. In this 2,000-square-foot indoor playground, dogs romp freely, toss toys into the air, and clamber on and off agility obstacles. Plenty of lounge space offers tired pups quiet time as well. According to co-owner Saro Boghozian, wrestling and chasing other dogs not only teaches pups how to behave better, but also aids in their mental development. For further canine education, owners can enroll dogs in the center's training courses. During classes, the staff appeals to each dog's natural intelligence; owners are taught to train their dog with praise, rather than coax them with treats or discipline them with a rolled-up newspaper.