by Tiffany Hyman
Do you want your dog to socialize well with other dogs? Is your dog energetic and restless when you are exhausted from a long day at work? Camp Bow Wow in Tonawanda just may be the place for you and your companion.
Camp Bow Wow is a premiere doggie day care and is just one of 200 franchises worldwide. The first location opened in Colorado in 2000 and has become known as the leader of the industry. In conjunction with the camp, two new franchises have opened. Home Buddies is an in-home service that provides care to all home pets. Behavior Buddies focuses specifically on a dog's behavior and how to improve it. Camps across the country share their expert knowledge with each other.
Camp Bow Wow in Tonawanda opened in 2008. Thus far, it has recruited more than 9,000 campers annually. The spacious 10,000-square-foot facility is a unique campsite that offers a safe and accommodating environment to dogs and their owners. Not only can dogs engage in a number of activities, such as playing on the slides and swimming in the dog-boned shaped pool, they can also chill in the shade under large tents. Between playing on the equipment and socializing with other dogs under certified camp counselors' supervision, pets will be entertained for the entire day.
Lewiston owner Mark Luczak explained how he and his wife, Nanette, co-owner, started the unique business.
"My wife and I are dog lovers," he said. "This is a passion we have and it is a fun business to run."
Luczak and manager Laura Glenn said their mission is to provide a healthy, happy and safe environment to all. They encourage owners to let their dogs participate in the doggie day camp to let their pets mingle.
"It is important to provide dogs socialization and to make sure they are healthy," said Luczak.
Glenn added, "Many dogs have never been socialized, but owners find they do well with other breeds."
Glenn also explained why parents love the camp.
"Owners are exhausted when they come home from work," she said. "Here, we play with the dogs and the dogs play with each other so they will be tired by pickup time."
The doggie day care offers packages to campers. For one camper, it costs $240 for 10 days and $650 for a month. For two or more campers, it costs $430 for 10 days, and $1,140 for one month.
In addition to all the camp offers, overnight boarding and behavior classes are also available.
Camp Bow Wow's overnight boarding is all-inclusive - it is available 365 days a year and dogs can be picked up and dropped off anytime during business hours. Participation in all-day day care, indoor and outdoor access to play equipment, food, a blanket, a cot and medication are included with boarding at a reasonable price. For one camper, it costs $38 for one to three nights, $35 for four to seven nights and $32 for eight or more nights. For two or more campers, it costs $30 a for one to three nights, $27 for four to seven nights and $25 for eight or more nights. Every Tuesday, the camp offers a special for $20. Parents are welcomed to watch their pets play, sleep and have fun while they are being boarded on the camper cameras. The camper cams can be accessed on computers or on the new iPhone application.
To ensure every dog has a safe and healthy shelter, Luczak explained the importance of boarding foster dogs.
"We want to make sure every dog has a home," he said.
Do you have a difficult time disciplining your dog because it's too cute? Camp Bow Wow offers behavior classes by certified camp counselor and owner of Ain't Misbehaving, Pat Schneider. The classes are an hour long and last for six weeks. Classes are offered for puppy, basic and advance levels. The classes cover basic commands and common problem behaviors.
"Dogs learn self-control and how to behave properly," said Schneider.
The classes cost $115 for the six-week session and drop-ins are welcomed at a cost of $20 per class.
The process to enroll a pet is simple. The camper must pass an interview to ensure dogs are well behaved and must be spayed or neutered after six months old and have the proper vaccinations.
Camp Bow Wow is located at 231 Grand Island Blvd. Its hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
For more information, call 877-WAGS or visit www.campbowow.com/tonawanda.
For more information on behavior classes, contact Schneider at 695-0737.