The dogtenders

The dogtenders at Camp Bow Wow include, from left, Elise Roberto, Ashton Gregor, owner Julie-Rae Steinmeyer and Mackayelee Cudworth. (Kimberly Carrillo/Tribune Staff Photographer)

A doggy day care is bringing its pet-friendly services — including blueberry facials, TV-time with Netflix and “cozy cabins” — to Mesa. 

Camp Bow Wow, a national franchise, is opening at 2647 W. Baseline Road in Dobson Ranch. 

The 7,300-square-foot “camp” will offer 56 spacious cabins and three “family cabins” with comfy cots, four luxury suites, four teacup suites, three indoor and outdoor play spaces and a large agility training space. 

“It’s like a yappy hour for dogs, like when we go out and socialize with our friends,” said franchise Owner Julie-Rae Steinmeyer. “It’s the same thing for them.” 

The Mesa camp will also feature play equipment, dog pools, a climate-controlled atmosphere and a 24-hour monitoring system with live web cams to enable owners to check on Fido.

Both dogs and owners benefit, Steinmeyer said, since the canine guests will get regular exercise; relief from boredom, separation anxiety and destructive behavior; improved socialization with people and other dogs; and an increase in overall happiness. 

However, the four-legged guests must pass an interview process first. 

“The interview process with the dogs is really amazing,” said Steinmeyer. “We make sure the dog is comfortable here in our setting. We interview them by doing same-sex dogs first in the yard, and then introduce the opposite sex and start building a yard around them.” 

“We don’t rush the dogs; we let them determine the length of time,” she added. “If they are not comfortable, we stop the interview and will do it again later — we never push them.”

The company also ensures that all campers are either spayed or neutered, are current on vaccinations and that staff members are trained in dog behavior and certified in pet first aid and CPR.

Once inducted, the dogs have access to the unique array of Camp Bow Wow’s amenities. 

There are four outdoor play yards organized by size and temperament, with at least one camp counselor assigned to 25 dogs at a time. 

Whether the pups are signed up for doggy day care or overnight boarding, they can be pampered with grooming services — such as the blueberry facials and personalized blow-drying — as well as indoor and outdoor playtime.

One of the aspects that set the camp apart from its competitors, said Steinmeyer, is its unique pricing. 

“We are all-inclusive pricing,” she said. “We don’t charge for day care when you’re boarding — which can be a huge difference. Some places will charge al-la-carte for something like 15 minutes of playtime.” 

The average day care price rings in around $30 a day, while owners can choose from two different boarding prices.

An overnight stay in one of the main cabins, which feature complimentary cots, costs $51 a night. 

A luxury suite costs $93 a night, but includes extra amenities like tile floors, comfy cots, fleece blankets and Netflix televisions. 

“Having the TV helps with noise,” said Steinmeyer. “They can watch TV and they like that ambience noise. For a lot of dogs, when you’re home, your TV or radio is on, so it creates that same environment for them.”

Steinmeyer also suggests that pet owners provide camp counselors with items that are familiar to their pets so that they can feel more comfortable and at home at the facility. 

Another unique feature is that Camp Bow Wow also caters to foster dogs. 

Every week, counselors bring in foster dogs from local shelters to get in plenty of exercise and vital playtime — all with the intention of helping them get adopted. 

“We’ll bring fosters from local rescues to get them more socialized — they might find their best friend,” said Steinmeyer. “We look forward to doing that and giving them a break from being at a shelter and give them that all-day play.”  

Founded in 2000, Camp Bow Wow operates in more than 150 locations spread throughout the United States and Canada. 

Aside from day care and boarding, the franchise offers in-home pet care, dog walking, poop scooping, shuttle services and training.  

Steinmeyer, who has dogs of her own, said she is excited about running the franchise in Mesa because of its “up-and-coming” nature. 

The community has given her great feedback so far, she said. 

“It’s been very rewarding and I’m so ready for it to pay off and to help people,” Steinmeyer said. “Community outreach is so important to me, so if I can educate somebody and help them out, I’ve done my job.” 

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