SanTan Sun August 17, 2019

Page 26




Chandler to get its first Dogtopia this month BY KEVIN REAGAN Staff Writer

Michael and Susan Perlman are passionate about turning dogs into responsible, canine citizens. The Gilbert couple believes the doggy daycare they’re opening in Chandler can help Rover become less skittish and anxious. Similar to daycares for children, their facility lets dogs interact and engage with other dogs in a safe environment. “We think it’s a really important part of a dog’s socialization,” said Michael Perlman. The Perlmans will be operating their Dogtopia location on the northeast corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Heights Road. It’s part of a national chain of doggy daycares throughout the country. The Perlmans’ facility will be the sixth Dogtopia in Arizona and the first in Chandler. The couple had been working in the corporate world and were eager to try running a business of their own. They vetted various business opportunities, but kept being drawn back to the Dogtopia franchise. Michael and Susan say they’ve always loved dogs and felt the Dogtopia model could serve the community. Dogs may spend all day waiting for their owners to come home from a long workday, Susan said, but the owners may not always have the energy to play. “Then the dog might end up misbehaving because they’re not getting the attention, exercise or mental stimulation they need,” Susan said. The Perlmans noticed their own dog, Lola, started acting up after the couple’s other dog passed away. They took her to daycare and after being around other dogs for a while, they said Lola started to return to normal. “That pack mentality really took hold,” Michael said. Dogtopia originated in 2002 and expects to have over 400 locations open by 2021. It offers up to 12 hours of playtime throughout the day. The dogs get a couple of hours of naptime in the afternoon before returning to play. The dogs are separated into three different indoor playrooms based on their size and temperament. Each dog is evaluated before they can come to daycare to see how well they interact with other canines. The Chandler location will accept all breeds and can service up to 119 animals.

The new Dogtopia in Chandler is a canine heaven for the animals and their owners alike. On top, general manager Angela Wlch mans the front desk. Lower left, owners Michael and Susan Perlman with their dog Lola are lookin forward to new guests. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

Dogs must be at least three months old and be current on their vaccination shots. The facility has eight suites for dogs that might need to stay overnight. But the Perlmans encourage owners to have dogs experience daycare a few times before leaving them overnight. Boarding can be stressful for the dogs, they said, because they’re being left in an

unfamiliar place with strangers for a long period of time. The facilities are equipped with webcams so pet parents can monitor playrooms from their phone or computer. Owners can pay for a full or half-day of daycare. Monthly memberships are also available that offer various amount of daycare.

The Perlmans say they’re excited to be in the Chandler community and hope to partner with local businesses to offer petfriendly events. “Chandler seems to be a real dogfriendly community,” Susan said. They’ll be hosting an open house for dog owners on Aug. 24 before their official opening on Aug. 29.

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