Portfolio, Business Brief – March 28, 2017
This 870 word new business brief first appeared in the February 10, 2016, edition of the Mountain Home News.
Pampered pets a priority at Pawsitive Pals day care
by Tim Bondy
Mountain Home News
“A well-exercised pet is a happy pet, and we’ll exercise your pets.” That’s what LeeAnna Lathrop, the owner of Pawsitive Pals, said to a customer who phoned her looking for a doggie day care on the west side of Mountain Home.
Family owned and operated, Pawsitive Pals opened last November on a five-acre plot of land off Airbase Road near the airport. Recently, they hosted about 40 people during their official shop tour and ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Lathrop’s business caters to cat and dog owners looking for an exceptional place to board their pets, need help training their dogs or just wanting to socialize their pets.
“We also offer doggy spa services such as bathing, brushing and nail trimming, but we don’t cut hair,” Lathrop said, adding that they can recommend some very good local groomers if asked.
There are currently two buildings on the property used to care for pets with plenty of surrounding land to add outside pet exercise areas in the future.
The main building has almost 3,200 square feet of wide-open indoor space used to train dogs. When the dog trainer isn’t using that space, the most well behaved dogs are allowed to play and roam free in the climate controlled environment.
The smaller, second building is used to board cats and also includes a large cat tree and play area.
“We created the cat room to be as inviting and comfortable as possible… just like a typical room in someone’s home,” Lathrop said. There is also laundry facilities in that building to wash pet bedding, towels and cleaning clothes.
When the weather is good enough, Lathrop likes to give her daycare guests some outside exercise time. And with a 75-by-75 foot, fully fenced play and training area located right outside the back door, it’s convenient for both her as well as her canine clients.
“A few of our customers like our outside play time the most because their yards are muddy this time of the year, and ours are grassy,” Lathrop said.
The enclosure around the outside play area is rather unique at Pawsitive Pals. The fence is topped with a special spinning roller that makes it extremely hard for a dog to get any leverage should they try to scramble over the top. Lathrop also extended the fence below ground in the rare case a dog tried to dig under it to escape.
“With our location only about 200 feet from a busy road, some customers expressed concerns about their dog getting loose,” Lathrop said. “But once they see the fence and the gates we have, those worries aren’t a problem anymore.”
Beyond the developed outside play yard, there’s a large piece of land that Lathrop wants to develop for various canine training and exercise purposes in the future. When the weather starts warming up, she hopes to start building up a dog agility yard and possibly even a few doggy play pools for when the temperatures get really hot.
“I have a dream to create a large, off-leash play area out back where people can play with and socialize their pets… the possibilities are endless,” said Lathrop, who is also thinking about starting a dog rescue sometime in the future.
While most of the dogs at Pawsitive Pals are there because their owners are out of town or on a business trip, Lathrop said her doggy daycare business is picking up.
Busy pet owners who just don’t have time in their busy life are starting to realize the health and socialization benefits of bringing their pets to “Pals” two to four times a week while they are at work, she said.
The process for setting pets up for a week long boarding service or doggy daycare is very similar, she added. The most important step is to make sure their shot records are up-to-date. They can’t accept pets who do not have all the required shots.
Before boarding, Lathrop prefers to give the pet and the owners a tour of the facilities before signing a contract. The tour also gives her a chance to figure out the temperament of the dog.
Once the contract is signed, most owners bring along their pet’s favorite bedding, toys and some even lug in a bag of dog food for their stay.
Before Lathrop officially opened the door about three months ago, she said she struggled mightily coming up with a name for her business. Creating a name that fit her business philosophy was quite important to her and her family.
“I use positive training techniques and I just adore all dogs and cats so it just came to us… Positive Pals.”
Located at 3910 Airbase Road in Mountain Home, Pawsitive Pals is open seven days a week. For more information, call 580-2134 or visit them on the web at www.mypawsitivepal.com.
Note: The business owner’s family had a copy of this story framed for the wall of the brick and mortar facility.
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