One of the biggest barriers to apartment living for many people is the inability to accommodate much-loved four-legged family members. Apartments at AERIS – as part of Bowden’s sustainable community and lifestyle focus – are proud to be pet-friendly. Not only are dogs (and cats) permitted residents, the surrounding green spaces of Kevin Taylor Park and the wider parklands offer ample space to run, play and meet fellow four-legged neighbours, within only a few minutes’ walk of their new home.
AERIS’ prime position also offers a brilliant benefit for the hard working dog lovers among you – a mere 4 minutes drive to one of Adelaide’s finest dog daycare facilities, Dogcity Daycare. We had to find out what it’s like to run such a dog lover’s fairy-tale, so we sat down with Owners/Directors/Cheif Puppy Cuddlers Alex Argenio & Daniel Spooner to find out!
Dogcity was recently named one of 25 finalists in this year’s SA fast movers program, congratulations! What do you think has been the key to your ever-growing success?
There are lots of reasons, so we’ll just pick a few!
Innovation: I think we’ve really honed in on what our clients – and the broader community – want from their furry friends, and have ensured that our daycare program really caters to that. Our clients want their dogs to be members of their family, coffee and breakfast companions and walking buddies; our clients prioritise a well-balanced, well-socialised dog and we ensure that our daycare program really has an emphasis on that. We’ve tried to really move away from daycare just being a fun and convenient service, and have made it meaningful, purposeful and educational.
Social Media and Staff: Everything about Dogcity is happy, enthusiastic and fun, and people are drawn to that – our daily Instagram and Facebook photo updates, photos sent home to ‘parents’ and the friendly, dog-loving faces of our staff are certainly our point of difference. We are the happiest place in the world and people want to be a part of that -they want to be a part of the Dogcity Daycare Pack!
Entertaining so many dogs must be a lot of fun, what sort of activities do your doggy visitors get up to every day?
Our regular daycare program is dynamic and individualised to cater for the dogs who attend on that specific day. Some of our favourite activities are ball pits, tug of war, apple bobbing, frisbee, paw painting, bubbles and hide and seek with food; our many activities facilitate safe play. They come to us to socialise so encouraging and supporting that is our main priority throughout the day
How do all the different personalities get along with each other?
Like people, not every dog wants to be besties with everyone else, and that’s totally okay. We have a number of playpens and dogs are assessed daily and placed with ‘friends’ who we feel they will have the best and most positive experience with.
It sounds like you work in a very fast-paced environment! Tell us about a typical day working with the dogs – what does it involve?
Our days are busy from the second our doggy doors swing open in the morning to the second they close at night. All of our furry clients arrive between 6:30 – 9.30, so we work hard making sure everyone is matched up with suitable friends and is feeling happy and content, then the fun starts; we usually will introduce a fun activity for some of the willing dogs, and the others are supervised to continue with their safe play. Around lunchtime we begin to encourage the dogs to slow down and take a bit of a rest, whether that be having a sleep, having a cuddle with their Pack Leader or just slowing their activity and energy down a little bit. At this time, puppies under 6 months are taken out for individual lunch breaks and cuddle sessions with the staff. The excitement kicks off again and the dogs play the afternoon away until their ‘parents’ come to collect them.
Do many of your clients live in small spaces or have limited outdoor space? What sort of benefits does daycare offer them?
Absolutely, and with block size continually decreasing and rates of dog ownership increasing, there is certainly a need for dog daycare to service these owners and their pets. Like humans, dogs need mental and physical stimulation, which is exactly what Dogcity Daycare provides. Dogs go home tired, happy and content, which means they will usually sleep the night and next day away, totally unbothered by their smaller habitat. Dogcity Daycare is exercise, socialisation and mental stimulation all in one – so Dogcity can help alleviate any concerns that owners with limited outdoor space might have; of course, daycare doesn’t substitute the need for selecting the right breed for your home and lifestyle.
Having three lucky day-care dogs of your own, what benefits of daycare do you observe personally?
We certainly notice the effects when they DON’T go to Dogcity. Our dogs -and us – rely on Dogcity to provide them with the exercise, mental and physical stimulation, and socialisation experiences that all dogs need. They come home happy and tired, and we can get away with only taking them for a short stroll rather than rigorous exercise.
Who are some of your favourite doggy clients and why?
We love all of the dogs at Dogcity like they’re our own, so we could never pick a favourite. When we’re feeling super energetic the working dogs are always there ready to entertain us with a game of fetch, we have little friends who are always up for a cuddle or a game of chasey, and then the Labradors are always very obliging in offering to share your lunch with you – we love them all, and that’s no lie!
You guys are such a fast-growing small business, where do you see the future for Dogcity?
We offer a really valuable, purposeful and safe socialisation experience, so we’d love to expand to offer that service to even more dogs in Adelaide. Our plan is to open a third facility by the end of this year and then who knows, the sky is the limit when you’re having this much fun!