BRISTOL - Woof Pack dog day care center strives to make it easier and more comfortable for dog owners and their furry friends to be apart.
“People don’t just drop their dogs off to anybody,” Bob Carbonell, the manager of the facility, said. “We have an open-pack environment and no more than 10 to 12 dogs per trained staff member. The ratio helps maintain a nice, safe and structured environment.”
Woof Pack, located at 30 Cross St., began caring for dogs over the summer and now averages about 25 dogs a day, Carbonell explained. The facility is primarily cage free, open seven days a week and always has a staff member working, which he noted sets it apart from the majority of other facilities. “We never leave dogs alone, and always have activities planned,” he stated.
The dog day care facility has expanded since the summer and now offers overnight, cage-free boarding for dogs. Dogs are provided blankets, bedding and pillows, before “choosing a buddy” and a spot for the night in the open environment.
Another addition was a pet taxi that can pick up or drop off dogs, and bring them to the vet from the facility for an appointment, Carbonell said. “We’re all pet owners here, and we understand how stressful it can be to get your animals where they need to be, such as the vet. This just makes it a little easier for owners,” he said.
The facility also started to use Gingr, a software program with an accompanying app that dog owners can download for updates on their dog while it’s at Woof Pack. It includes report cards, updates on medication and videos and pictures, Carbonell described.
“Anytime someone can get the app, they can check on their dog,” he said.
In the near future, Carbonell hopes to care for more dogs and plans to have deluxe accommodations. Those accommodations would offer a more private area for dog owners with service dogs, or with multiple furry friends if they prefer they remain together.
The facility has also created roughly 20 part-time jobs that can be demanding because employees stay on their feet to keep up with the dogs.
“It can be a bit stressful, so we like to limit people’s shifts to just under six hours. But we seek out passionate dog lovers,” he said, citing that employees are CPR and first aid trained.
Wolf Pack recently staffed a full-time groomer and trainers who offer training after hours, Carbonell said. Woof Pack does not discriminate against any breeds and works with local shelters, rescues and their dogs, he added.
“That’s where trainers and socialization come into play,” he said, explaining that trainers work on social skills with the shelter or rescue dogs to make it easier to find a forever home. “To expose rescues to more people and more animals can be beneficial.”