Camp Bow Wow offers dual services

Pet owners no longer have to stress if their pets don’t adapt to the services regular pet boarding provides.  Staff members at Camp Bow Wow, 860 N. 20th Ave., Hiawatha, will take care of pets in the comfort of their own homes.

Mackenzie Appleby, Manager of Camp Bow Wow, Hiawatha. Photo by Cynthia Petersen
Mackenzie Appleby, Manager of Camp Bow Wow, Hiawatha. Photo by Cynthia Petersen

Mackenzie Appleby, manager of Camp Bow Wow, said Home Buddies is a great alternative for dogs who are not very social or get too stressed being around other dogs.

“Staff members will come to your house and take care of all kinds of pets, as well as bring in the paper and water plants.”

Camp Bow Wow is locally owned by Shawn Mercer. The facility was opened eight years ago and provides around-the-clock daycare for dogs.

Monitors throughout the facility keep tabs on the dogs in their “cabins,” as well as the play yards.  Owners can access the monitors on their personal computers, iPads, and phones.

According to Appleby, their customers like seeing the dogs anytime they want.

“I think it comforts them to know that their pets are being well-cared for.”

There are 12 “camp counselors” at Camp Bow Wow, who take care of the dogs and provide other services, such as bathing and de-shedding treatments.

“It’s similar to human day care,” said Appleby. “We have to follow similar regulations and have periodic inspections.”

The dogs have their own cabins, which includes a favorite blanket and toys. They are taken into the play yard several times a day to socialize with the other dogs and play.

“We have a motto,” said Appleby. “’All day play, snooze the night away.’ We keep them active as much as we can during the day and then before we put them to bed at night, we give them a campfire snack, usually a frozen ‘Kong’ filled with peanut butter.”

The dogs and their owners go through a process when they first join, with an initial free in-home consultation. If all goes well, a meet and greet is held at the facility, where the dogs are introduced to one or two dogs of similar size. The dogs are put together in the play yard to see how well they get along before introducing them slowly to the other dogs.

“We want to make it a pleasant experience for the dogs,” said Appleby. “If we see that it is just too difficult for the dogs, we usually recommend the in-home care.”

Two foster dogs are also cared at the facility. Cap Bow Wow is working with Dogs Forever  to help make the dogs more adoptable by training them and caring for them until someone adopts them.

“We try to help when we can,” said Appleby, and added that Camp Bow Wow will be holding an adoption event March 20 at the facility, in conjunction with Dogs Forever.

“And later this year, probably in June, we will be kicking off the summer with a family-oriented adoption event,” she continued. “We will be working with Dogs Forever to raise funds for the Cedar Valley Humane Society. There will be a bouncy house and face painting, plus a lot of other fun activities.”

Camp Bow Wow takes care of up to 60 dogs in their facility a day, but Appleby said it’s hard to approximate because it changes all the time.  “It’s kind of slow right now, but it will be a lot busier in the summer when people go on vacation.”

Appleby, who started at Camp Bow Wow as a camp counselor four years ago, said the staff members take care of the dogs as they would their own.

“It’s a fun place to work,” she said. “I’ve heard it said that if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life. That’s how I feel. I love my job.”



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Write to the Point

As a writer, I have been conditioned to always be on the lookout for the next great story. But what I have found out, is that they are all great stories.

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