09 Dec Business Spotlight: New play space in Boynton Beach aims to be dogs’ best friend
Hannah Wickins operates her dog retreat on this philosophy: A tired dog is a happy dog.
After months of trying to get the drainage system right, the 20,000-square-foot Dog Activity World is open in the former Home Expo space in Boynton Beach. The center features upscale daycare, boarding, grooming, training and a photo studio.
“I tried to see the world through the eyes of a dog,” Wickins said.
Her clients and their owners love it.
Taz, a 7-year-old Lab mix, had a breakthrough day in mid-September. Initially shy, Taz played with another dog that morning. And the center has the video to prove it.
His owner, Michael Jacobson of Ocean Ridge, was so grateful he bought a doggie ice cream for Taz.
Frank Guerrieri of Delray Beach heard about the center from his veterinarian. In September he started to bring his 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Penny, and his 4-month-old Australian shepherd, Tucker, for doggie day care.
“The dogs are worn out when they leave,” Guerrieri said happily.
Mark Prendergast, owner of a chocolate Chesapeake Bay retriever named Rip, heard about the center from a friend who worked for a vet. The Lantana resident was pleased to see that the center is air-conditioned.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Prendergast, who drops 3-year-old Rip off at 6:30 a.m.
Aspiring to be a Disney World for dogs, Dog Activity World already has boarders. Staffers spend the nights to ensure someone is on-site 24/7.
The day care hours are roughly 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Dogs need up-to-date vaccines and are tested for their temperament. Instead of grouping them by big and small dogs, caretakers sort them by activity level and age. Portable 4-foot-high fencing creates partitions.
Each dog receives a break-away collar for when the play becomes rough.
For more information, call 340-3740 or visit www.dogaw.com.