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WHO IS LOOKING AFTER YOUR DOG?


–by Anna Cooke


We are a sprawling state with a population of nearly 21,000,000, growing by the approximately 900 people who are moving here, every day. Our dog-friendly state holds many opportunities to start a business that serves the dog community – from trainers to pet sitters to dog walkers; groomers to daycare and boarding facilities to veterinary practices. The business landscape changes every day, with someone affixing a sign to the side of their car advertising dog walking services or hanging an “open” sign on the front of a building announcing a new daycare facility.


where in the middle is the truth. Do take the time to stop in to a grooming salon and a daycare/boarding facility, without an appointment. Ask to speak with the owners, but also have respect for staff as they attend to their clients. Stand back and observe. Ask to take a tour of the facility. If you are leaving your dog for boarding, daycare or grooming, ask to go beyond the lobby. If you are refused, without a reasonable explanation, recon- sider leaving your dog. Some things to consider if you are asked to come back for a tour: it may be nap time for the dogs, especially if you notice how quiet it is. Timeout for the dogs is just as impor- tant as playtime and your visit will surely wake up the guests. If you are granted a tour, remember: poop and pee happen. Understand the difference between waste that’s been sitting in a kennel for a long time in more than one kennel, and a recent accident. As more national chains offering


The International Boarding & Pet


Services Association (IBPSA) is currently the only trade association serving the pet boarding and daycare industry. The associ- ation provides animal-specific certification programs for the individual pet care providers, plus safety certification for the entire pet care facility. However, the pet boarding and daycare industry, overall, is mostly unregulated. It can be a lucrative business, motivating entrepreneurs with


58 THE NEW BARKER


little to no experience in handling dogs, to open a facility. How can you be certain that who


you are leaving your pet with is capable, caring and trustworthy? You, as a pet parent, must do your due diligence by doing some leg work before leaving your pets with anyone. Ask friends and business associates for references. Don’t always trust the reviews on the Internet as there are always three sides to a story and some-


daycare, boarding and grooming come into your area, be sure to know who will actually be caring for your dog. We inter- viewed the following daycare and board- ing facilities for their input and advice on what to look for when choosing a service that is right for you and your dog. Full disclosure: each of these businesses has been a longtime advertising partner with The New Barker dog magazine, which, we believe, also accounts for something very important. Each one of the businesses here are owner-operated with longtime vested interests in their communities. Longevity in business does account for something, as does an owner’s commitment to serving their community. To these select few we interviewed and included in a sidebar at the end of the article, exemplary care is standard procedure.


www.TheNewBarker.com


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