When the temperatures drop, we humans want nothing more than to stay warm inside. Dogs still need their exercise though, which often leaves the people walking them with cold toes and a bit of impatience at the dog park. A new business in western Michigan aims to turn this less-than-ideal winter chore into a fun, warm activity.
“The Pack” is more than just an indoor dog park; it also boasts a daycare facility and even serves food and beverages to its human clientele. While the people watch their dogs play, they enjoy snacks and heated air.
Raechel Macqueen, part owner, told Fox the idea came from the need for a dog park that’s safe and fun for people and canines of all ages.
“We realized that there’s really nowhere we can go where I feel comfortable bringing [my daughter] for her to be able to sit and be apart from the dogs, because some dogs really do not appreciate kids. Somewhere where we could sit have a coffee or a bagel sandwich or whatever, while our dog was able to run and play and get some exercise.”
Any midwesterner can tell you how brutal winters get around there. Few honestly enjoy standing in the chilly wind while their dog plays. Not to mention those steamy summer walks. The Pack can be your dog’s indoor exercise solution.
“Me personally, after about 15 or 20 minutes my toes are frozen and I’m ready to be done even if my dog isn’t quite done yet. Even in the summer when days are unbearably hot, same kind of thing I’m ready to be in the air-conditioning after too long, even if my dog isn’t done playing yet.”
Safety And Cleanliness Are Top Concerns
During your dog’s first visit, they’ll be evaluated to ensure a safe and fun dog park visit for all. Macqueen said:
“We can get an idea of how they like to play, what they enjoy, that they enjoy group play, and that it’s going to be a good experience for everybody.”
Pet parents will also need to make sure their dog’s vaccinations are up to date.
“We do require some vaccinations which owners can upload themselves or we’re happy to request from your vet to get them for you. We ask if you questions about behavior, just so our staff can kind of know what to expect from your dog, what to look for on their first few visits.”
Staff will monitor the dogs as they play, and they’ll also attend to any messes left behind. The floors were designed to be easy to clean. The Pack is doing all they can to make going to the dog park fun and comfortable.
“We have been really intentional in construction and staff training, so that anybody feels welcome to come here, dog owner or not. Everyone just feels comfortable walking into the space, that it’s enjoyable, and it’s a positive experience for them and their dogs.”
Officially Open For You And Your Dog’s Business
Despite having to push back a planned summer opening due to coronavirus, The Pack officially opened this January, 2021. If you’re local and want to visit, you can start by registering your dog online.
Price-wise, dog park options include a $200 annual membership or a 5-visit punch card for $30. You can also board your dog for half a day for $15 or $30 for a full day.
According to Macqueen, once it’s pandemic-safe to do so, an enticing menu of shareables including pizzas and cheese curds will be served onsite. They’ll also serve craft beers and ciders. For the people, of course.
Follow The Pack on Facebook for more updates and information.