Pup’s Playground is a fairly new addition to the Martensville business community; however, since opening in September 2017, they have seen immense success. Owner Kristen Dubé, along with her partner Lea Wiegers are extremely passionate about the level of care they offer to the dogs that they provide service to. That passion is evident the moment that you walk into the doors and see the joy on their faces and on the faces of all of the pups in the doggy park.
Offering the only large group doggy daycare in the Martensville and Warman area, transparency is one of their key beliefs. Upon walking into Pup’s Playground, you immediately have visibility into the back play area through a ten foot window, giving you full access to the daily activities that take place. “We love sharing pictures and videos everyday on our Facebook page for pup parents to see all the fun their pup is having with us throughout the day!” says Dubé. Additionally, each dog is sent home each day with a report card, which provides the owner information about their day, who their friends are, and more.
In the back indoor park, there are two separate areas, each having access to an overhead door that leads to the massive outdoor play area. The two indoor sections allow each dog to spend time with equal minded and energy level dogs. While one group may be rowdier, the other a bit more gentle, every animal attending daycare gets put into the group that suits them best. The indoor park consists of 3600 square feet, while outside is an incredible 6000 square feet, providing plenty of room for dogs of all sizes to expel their energy. “Daycare is for dogs that love to be with and play with other dogs, especially if they don’t have that opportunity at home. Off-leash parks can be a great way to exercise and socialize your pup but more and more dog owners prefer a more controlled environment where they know the other dogs attending are friendly and vaccinated. A well exercised dog is a happy dog and pups that come in and play one or two times a week are happier at home and have less destructive behavior,” Dubé advised. Dogs at daycare are constantly monitored, with a ratio set in place of one person for every 10 dogs.
The women, who are considered themselves “aunties” to all of the pooches, spend time getting to know each of the dogs. “We are heavily involved with the dogs, we get to know their personalities and they all have special little quirks and neat little ways that they fit into the dynamic of our pup family,” Dubé said. The “pup family” is not taken lightly and each dog that attends daycare goes through an assessment process, ensuring that they are capable of enjoying their experience within a large group daycare. “We want to know how each dog’s social skills are and ensure that they are dog neutral. We don’t want them coming in overly confident, or overly submissive. We want to ensure that it is a positive experience for everyone and that is something that we are really conscious of,” Dubé added. Wiegers explained that although there is an assessment, at Pup’s Playground, there is no breed discrimination. As long as each pooch has the proper social skills, all breeds are welcome.
When asked about their typical day, both women agreed that there is “a lot of cleaning involved.” Ensuring that the environment is clean, safe and healthy is on the top of the priority list! This means that each night, a heavy disinfecting cleaning takes place and all surfaces are sanitized with animal friendly cleaners several times a day.
The idea behind the business was always a dream of Dubé’s, who spent many summers helping at her aunt’s doggy daycare in Alberta. Dubé also managed a kennel in the Saskatoon area for numerous years as well, providing even more experience in the animal world. After becoming a mother, Dubé decided to pursue a different career path, which led her into finance. “When this facility became available, I knew that it was what I wanted and I also knew that if I was going to do this, I wanted to do it right. This large facility ensures that the pup’s are never over-crowded and having both parks allows us to cater to more dogs personalities. I was able to put aside a little nest egg to follow my dream, and it brought me to where we are today. We are here to love on these dogs and ensure that the pup parents know that their dogs are safe and looked after well, extending the love they receive at home to daycare” Dubé said. Wiegers, who has been an animal lover her entire life, was thrilled when her next door neighbor and close friend Dubé came to her with the business idea. “It’s personal satisfaction. We do this business because we love it. These dogs are not just numbers, they are our little pup family, and I am so proud and lucky to help see it grow the way it has,” Wiegers said.
Since opening, there have been numerous volunteers offer their time to pitch in with the dogs, including several students from Martensville High School as part of their Work Ed. Program. “We love volunteers here! It gives those interested in learning more about dog behavior a chance to get some firsthand experience,” Dubé said. For those interested in volunteering their time, contact Pup’s Playground at (306) 381-7512.
In addition to doggy daycare, Pup’s Playground offers boarding and has numerous pet food and treat options available. The boarding option is a fairly new addition and all dogs are crated with overnight surveillance and temperature sensors, with future plans to offer condo style boarding. More often than not however; the dogs end up going home with one of their “aunties” for the night. The available food options are similar to what is carried at Critters in Saskatoon, with a wide array of dry, canned, and raw options for dogs and cats as well as treats, chews and accessories. If you are unsure on what food is best for your pet, stop in and talk to the ladies at Pup’s Playground and they can help you find the perfect option for your pet.
Pup’s Playground is open from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 3pm on Saturday’s. More information about daycare, boarding and food options can be found at www.pupsplayground.net and daily updates can be seen on the ‘Pup’s Playground’ Facebook page.