Although Dogtopia is primarily an indoor doggy daycare that offers boarding and grooming services, we do also allow for franchise owners to have outdoor space as long as it is approved by your landlord and will be regularly maintained.
Currently, Dogtopia as a Canadian network has 17 locations coast-to-coast. Of these, only 4 have outdoor space. These locations are Coquitlam, Edmonton, and both Calgary stores. As a network, Dogtopia does support and will provide assistance where possible in obtaining and securing outdoor space, however, our corporate model does not recommend accounting for outdoor space because of the operational difficulties in managing it for three main reasons:
1- For staff, it is challenging to ask employees to stand in the extreme cold or heat for long periods at a time. If the space is not properly maintained in icy months, this can become an unsafe working hazard as well. Poor weather likely also means wet or muddy dogs which will create extra work for staff prior to each dogs’ pick-up time.
2- For owners/operators, it is difficult to maintain the space since landlords will require artificial turf to be installed to prevent the grass from being sprayed by dogs or heavy cleaning chemicals. Cleaning the turf is cumbersome and if not done correctly can create pungent smells that may deter staff from wanting to work outdoors or pet parents from dropping off their dogs.
3- For site selection, you may limit your options if you feel it is mandatory that you have outdoor space. Not every landlord will approve usage of outdoor space. Similarly, nearby cotenants may submit noise complaints and cit by-laws may outright prevent any commercial zone from having line animals outdoors.
Overall, our advice prior to securing outdoor space for your Dogtopia location is to assess both the positives and negatives involved with maintaining the space. If you feel comfortable you can make great use of the outdoor environment while still taking the above into consideration we as a franchisor support your decision
For more advice on how Dogotpia may be able to help you secure a location with indoor and outdoor space please email us at [email protected]