Going to the dogs: Business to cater to pets and their owners

Peggy Barron looks over construction in an area of Wag Resort designed specifically for small breeds of dogs. The Grand Junction facility is expected to open at the end of July and offer boarding, daycare, grooming and training. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)
Peggy Barron looks over construction in an area of Wag Resort designed specifically for small breeds of dogs. The Grand Junction facility is expected to open at the end of July and offer boarding, daycare, grooming and training. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Peggy Barron knows what dogs need: plenty of exercise and interaction, but also a quiet place to rest and feel safe. She also knows what dog owners need: a boarding facility to care for their pets that also offers grooming and training.

Barron expects to cater to dogs and their owners at the Wag Resort, a full-service facility she’s opening soon in Grand Junction.

Barron brings to the venture 18 years of experience in operating a similar facility in Washington as well as her passion for working with dogs and their owners. “Its a very fun, service-oriented business.”

The Wag Resort is expected to open at the end of July in a newly constructed building at the intersection of Indian Road and the Riverside Parkway.

At 7,300 square feet, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the region and initially offer 67 enclosures for dogs, Barron said.

Rather than try to remodel an existing building, Barron said a new building was designed and constructed specifically to create a functional facility for dog care, but also one that’s quiet and reduces stress. Walls and doors separate enclosures rather than chain link fences and gates. “We designed our environment to be more homey,” she added.

Several boarding options will be available depending on the size, age and temperament of dogs, Barron said.

An area dubbed “Tiny Town” will offer enclosures specifically for smaller breeds that might feel threatened or stressed if they were boarded near large breeds. Other enclosures will cater to older dogs and feature orthopedic beds and soft flooring, Barron said.

Family enclosures will be available to board multiple dogs from the same family. Still other facilities will cater to social dogs that enjoy the company of other dogs during the day, but a private space in which to rest alone at night.

The facility will include indoor and outdoor play areas as well as a large indoor space that will double as a training area, Barron said.

Wag Resort also will provide daycare that similarly will offer separate housing and facilities to meet the needs of individual dogs, Barron says.

Daycare constitutes a good option for owners who don’t want to leave their dogs home alone in the yard or inside the house because of hot or cold weather or behavioral problems that can sometimes arise when dogs become anxious, bored or lonely, she said. Given an opportunity to exercise and interact with humans and other dogs, pets are happier and more relaxed at the end of the day, she added.

“Nuisance things that dogs can do can be easily eliminated with proper exercise and reinforcement,” she said.

A separate room on the second floor of Wag Resort will contain a grooming area complete with a bathing system that removes dirt and hair while giving dogs a water massage.

A variety of training programs also will be offered, including a play and train option that includes daycare as well as one-on-one instruction with a trainer. A more intensive, four-week program dubbed “Doggie College” also is available.

Group classes for dogs and their owners also will be offered and include sessions for puppies as well as beginning and advanced training. Additional training will be available for those interested in having their dogs participate in such activities as tracking or retrieving, she said.

Barron said she grew up in this area and moved back to live closer to her family. In between she operated a dog boarding facility outside of Vancouver, a full-service operation that steadily grew and she sold about seven years ago.

When Barron returned to the Grand Valley and discovered a similar facility wasn’t in operation here, she decided to open one herself.

The Grand Valley is populous enough to accommodate a business like the Wag Resort, and dog owners are willing to invest  in quality care for their pets, she said.

Moreover, the comments she’s heard even before opening Wag Resort offer encouragement of strong demand, she said. “I’ve had really good feedback.”

Meanwhile, Barron said she’s looking forward to establishing long-term relationships with her customers — dogs and dog owners alike. “Dog people are just fun.”

The Wag Resort is located at 398 Indian Road in Grand Junction. For more information, call 241-2949 or visit the website located at www.wagresort.com.