Dogtopia, the nation’s leading dog daycare, boarding and spa franchise, will soon add to its 15 open daycares throughout the state of Texas. With two locations under construction, the company signed agreements with three new franchisees, who committed to 15 more daycares throughout San Antonio, Houston and Corpus Christi.
Accounting for San Antonio and Corpus Christi’s growth will be serial investor, Deven Bhakta. Having developed major hotel projects with several leading brands, Texas-resident Bhatka is diversifying his portfolio and entering pet-sector ownership for the first time. He will develop seven daycares in San Antonio and an additional one in Corpus Christi. Bhatka joins new Houston franchisees Amber Woods and Cody Lovins, who signed two separate deals for four and three Dogtopia locations respectively. Woods is the largest Soccer Shots franchisee and Lovins owns 20 Sport Clips and three Jersey Mikes – both veterans in the franchise industry looking to diversify their portfolios.
“I’m excited to diversify my portfolio or businesses with Dogtopia and expand the brand’s presence in the Houston area to create jobs and help pet parents and their four-legged friends,” said Lovins. “I feel that Dogtopia is a very dynamic brand and they will be the market leader going forward.”
Largely tied to COVID, Shelter Animals Count, which runs a database that tracks shelter and rescue activity at 500 organizations, recorded 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than in the year before. This marks an increase of about 15 percent. These new pandemic puppies have become daycare dogs too, as Dogtopia had more than 1 million daycare visits in 2020 and opened 30 franchise locations during the year to meet demand despite COVID. Additionally, as many who welcomed a new puppy or dog during COVID head back to school and work, many pet parents are utilizing Dogtopia to ease in the transition as they combat separation anxiety, behaviors that make it difficult to leave their new dogs at home and the ongoing need for consistent socialization and exercise.
At Dogtopia, dogs enjoy an open-play environment with protective rubber flooring to ease joints while promoting safe socialization, exercise, education and fun. Dogtopia’s daycare rates are all-inclusive with meals prepared according to each pet parent’s request at no extra charge, or pet parents can bring their own food. Dogtopia’s webcams also provide pet parents with peace of mind and the ability to check in on their pups when they are away. The Dogtopia family is composed of many different types of entrepreneurs, including both single-unit and multi-unit operators.
“Dogtopia continues to outpace every pet franchise in North America, and we’re thrilled to be attracting leading franchisees from other sectors looking to diversify,” said Alex Samios, VP of Franchise Development for Dogtopia. “It’s clear that experienced multi-unit franchisees are now taking the pet industry more seriously since COVID-19 and they want a brand that has the experienced leadership, support and systems that they are accustomed to.”
With more than 150 centers open and 260 in development across North America, Dogtopia is the nation’s fastest-growing brand in the pet industry. In September 2020, Dogtopia was featured on MSN Money as a “best franchise to buy post-pandemic.” It ended 2020 by jumping 18 spots to No. 12 on the Franchise Times “Fast & Serious” list, an annual ranking of the smartest growing brands. The company is on track to open more than 50 daycare centers in 2021.
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