By Whiney Christy
There’s a hot spot in town that all the local pets are howling to visit. It’s great for all the pet parents that feel guilty leaving your pup at home during family vacations or when you’re gone all day at work. Camp Bow Wow may be the closest thing to heaven on Earth for your four-legged friend.
The 14,000 square foot doggy daycare on Pecue Lane is notably the largest Camp Bow Wow in the nation and is able to board up to 200 dogs at once. And with security cameras watching every inch of the facility, owners can rest assured that their dogs are always being safely monitored.
Drew Detlefs, owner of this pup paradise, always has his eyes peeled making sure no corners get cut. After much exposure and time within the doggy daycare industry, he seems to have learned exactly what the consumers need to have a great experience.
“There are currently 130 Camp Bow Wow locations, and this location is currently no. 1 in the nation,” says Detlefs, “and our two-year anniversary is coming this August. I think that speaks volumes about our camp. We have 52 staff members at the camp during the summer months, with 22 at the daycare at all times.”
Full background checks are done prior to hire, said Detlefs. Each employee must undergo intensive training that includes a system walkthrough and training DVD, and then they are slowly integrated into the camp’s system.
“They are hired to be lifeguards,” Detlefs explained. “Just as a lifeguard is trained to notice signs of a child drowning, our counselors are trained to notice signs before a dog is put in any danger.”
Regular pens are available for overnight stays, but clients can upgrade to a cabin “suite”, which has an in-room camera that live streams to website, and a television, tuned to dog friendly stations, such as Cartoon Network or Animal Planet.
Owners can bring anything to make the time at camp more comfortable, such as bedding, toys, treats, and blankets. Each dog’s cabin is identified the dog’s picture, medical information, special restrictions, feeding times, and list of every item the owner has brought for them.
After an extensive interview process to detect any problems with aggression or anxiety, dogs are divided up by size and temperament—starting from teacup, to medium, and then the largest breeds. Each pin is open to a grassy play area that allows the dogs to go in and out of the sun as they please and all areas of the camp are cleaned daily with a hospital grade, pet-friendly diluted cleaning solution.
Camp counselors patrol each pin with a spray bottle on their person, in case any of the dogs behaves unfavorably. The warehouse also has sound barriers on the ceilings which prevent the barking from echoing throughout the facility.
“Today we have 135 here with us now and we’re expecting about 40 more check-ins before the end of the day,” Detlefs said.
Dogs often come a few times a week to socialize with other dogs and there are some that stay for extended periods of time. The camp’s focus is for dogs to gain socialization and stimulation.
“They aren’t here for human interaction”, explained Detlefts, “Counselors give them attention, but very little, as we want to avoid them becoming attached to staff members. They are here to socialize with other dogs.”
The camp does not have a groomer or veterinarian on staff, however if a medical issue arises the camp will transport the animal to your vet of choice or to the closest animal hospital for emergency situations”. If the dogs know they come here to get shots here their experience will change, explained Detlefts.
“We want them to know they’re coming to have fun all the time. And when a medical incident arises, which is rare, we review our video footage with the owner to show them exactly what happened.”
Camp Bow Wow also offers separate training services for protection, basic skills, and therapy with Patrick Ransom, an on-site trainer at the camp with over fifteen years of experience. “Engagement training and maintaining productivity is key,” explained Ransom. Training is offered by group classes, private lessons camp, and at home.
For more information, visit campbowwow.com.