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 outdoor and 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.
Along with the visiting dogs, this Camp Bow Wow location also functions as a foster home for Project Halo, a local no-kill shelter.
Three out of four of K9 Playland’s co-owners can’t answer the phone without barking. That’s because Alvin, Zoe, and Allie-Gator are a pug, dachshund, and german shepherd who belong to co-owner Erica Iglesias. Erica and her staff view their canine clientele as being every bit as important as these three pups.
When owners leave for top-secret CIA missions, dogs can take vacations inside 4’x8’ kennel spaces equipped with miniature cots and blankets. Doggy daycare takes place in a 4,000-square-foot indoor space where pups play in groups divided by age, size, and temperament, and an outdoor play area entertains with playground equipment, toys, and pools. The facility also offers gentle, meticulous grooming treatments, such as balmy oatmeal baths, in addition to training programs, which aim to instill perfect table manners and obedience deep in pets' psyches.
At City Dog, canines romp and play with cohorts under the cover of a 3,500-square-foot indoor play area or amid the fresh breezes of a 5,000-square-foot outdoor space. During doggie daycare, the watchful eyes of caregivers certified in CPR and first aid track pups as they scurry up stairs and scoot down slides like buttered toddlers. Pooches foster rapports with new four-legged friends and share toys before winding down for quiet time with soothing melodies. For an additional fee, City Dog's Canine Cab picks up and drops off furry friends each day.
Doggie daycare proves an integral part of overnight boarding, where dogs can wind down after a long day in a 5'x5' run with comfy bedding, a nighttime treat, and classical music. Pups rise for breakfast and individual playtime, followed by bonding with peers through games or support groups for coping with electric fences.
Along the main promenade in Sam's Town, a row of lush lawns borders one another, cordoned off from the pavement by a white picket fence lined with potted mums. When a hand pushes open the front door of a gable-roof ranch house or cottage, it's attached not to the body of Donna Reed but to that of a yelping canine, one of the overnight guests staying in each of The Dog Knowledge's miniature homes. When pooches aren't watching G-rated films on flat-screen TVs or lounging beneath ceiling fans in their private or bunk-bed abodes, they can venture out to play in a 2-acre facility or relax in a homey lounge filled with couches, tables, and framed photos of Roosevelt's scottish terrier signing The New Deal into law. The Dog Knowledge also grooms dogs' unkempt coats and chips away at unruly behaviors with one-on-one behavioral training, boot camps, and a therapy dog-training program.
At Club K-9 of Charlotte’s two locations, more than 30,000 square feet of space sprawls out for pups to tucker themselves out while their families work or travel out of town. Owner J.P. Brewer and her first-aid- and CPR-certified staff maintain a safe, clean environment where four-legged friends can have fun, exercise, and improve their social skills with little to no anxiety. During doggie daycare, the staff separates dogs by age, size, and temperament and supervises the centers’ indoor and outdoor play areas. Overnight boarding guests enjoy some of the same amenities found in hotels for humans, such as climate-controlled suites with elevated beds, quiet music, and dimmed lights. The Club K-9 team also pet-sits and performs dog-grooming services.
For dogs, days spent home alone are typically not as fun and fraught with feel-good high jinks as they were for Macaulay Culkin. At All Wags Doggie Daycare & Boarding, pets find canine camaraderie in an ample indoor play space or in the outdoor dog yard packed with enough playground equipment and toys to entertain pups and breed a deep sense of envy in local children. In addition to general care, the facility also offers grooming services including haircuts, nail trims, and ear cleanings.