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New dog boarding, daycare open in Marshalltown | News, Sports, Jobs – Marshalltown Times Republican

Jan 20, 2024
T-R PHOTOS BY LANA BRADSTREAM — Katie and Tyler Smith hold Atticus, a west Highland white terrier, who stayed at their new dog boarding business, Paws & Play, on Thursday.
Dog owners in Marshalltown have a new boarding business under an old “woof.”
Paws & Play is located on Iowa Avenue in the same building that housed Man’s Best Friend. Owners Tyler, 41, and Katie Smith have a long history of taking care of pets. Katie petsat for her family as a teenager before working as a veterinary technician. In 2008, she offered the service for additional people.
“Then in 2020, COVID time, that’s when we started bringing dogs into our home, because people were still having to travel,” Katie, 35, said. “We were home all of the time, and we had the capabilities.”
She said it’s essentially been 20 years since she began sitting for pets, and it just slowly grew to the point where the Smiths could open a brick and mortar business. A self-described “animal person,” Katie said they saw a need for more animal boarding in Marshalltown.
“I’ve been in the industry for a long time and I have a passion for taking care of animals,” she said. “I want animals to be taken care of the way I want my animals taken care of. That is our goal.”
Griffin, a German shepherd mix, gets some time to walk around and greet people at Paws & Play on Thursday evening.
The Smiths want to ensure each dog receives “pawsitive,” individualized care – from daily routine needs to specialized requirements, such as administering prescriptions. That way, they can give reports to the owners as to how their dog’s day at Paws & Play was spent, and whether or not it was a “ruff” one.
“If you board your dog someplace, and [the owners] only spent 15 minutes with your dog, you just don’t know what the dog’s been up to,” Katie said. “I want to be able to say what Atticus has been up to. That’s the care we want to offer, so we’re not going to become giant.”
When the Smiths were given the opportunity to take over Man’s Best Friend in August, they took the initiative to change the name and renovate the interior. Since the recent renovation, word has gotten out amongst dog owners, and Paws & Play has reached maximum capacity a few times.
“We’re going to have to add kennels because we want to meet the need,” Katie said.
The facility has 13 kennels available — 11 of those are 4×6 and two double kennels are twice the size. Katie said they plan to add more kennels, but want to make sure they are meeting individual dog needs first, so 20 spaces will be the maximum.
There is also a daycare called Enrichment Day Camp — something dogs who love to play can really “dig.” The Smiths keep the dogs entertained, give one-on-one attention and provide the opportunity for group play.
“You take your child to daycare, and you still want your dog taken care of,” Katie said. “Dogs go outside and get enrichment activities. We have things like snuffle mats. We like to give them in-kennel stimulation. That’s just one different way we offer stimulation for them, and we don’t charge additionally for those.”
Including the fun aspects for dogs in the general fee — $30 for one-day boarding, plus $15 per day for an additional dog in the same kennel — is important for the Smiths. Katie said some places can charge $5 for every add-on experience.
“We would offer it for our dogs, and we don’t want to upcharge people for little things,” she said.
They do require dogs to be current on vaccinations. There are no breed or size restrictions at Paws & Play, but Katie added they do not take dogs who are known to be aggressive to humans.
“I fully believe it’s never the breed, it’s always the owner,” she said. “Any dog can be worked with.”
Something the Smiths plan to offer in the future is “rent-a-tub.” Katie said instead of normal bathing, bathtubs will be available for people to rent and bathe their own dogs. She said people sometimes end up putting their dogs in the shower or use a hose in the yard, when sometimes a basic bath is all that is needed.
“We want to give them the option where they can book the time and bring their dog in,” Katie said. “We will also have dryers so people don’t have to take their dogs home super wet.”
When the baths are up and running, she said owners will have to pay for baths for short-term dog residents. For canines who are there for longer periods of time, Katie said complimentary baths will be provided.
They also hope to eventually provide boarding space for cats, which would be kept separate. However, Katie said that would be a small portion of the business, as most cats do not like to be taken out of their environment. For the kitties who do not do well at home while their owners are gone, she said the service would be able to accommodate them.
“A lot of things are in the works,” Katie said.
Name: Paws & Play
Address: 1410 Iowa Ave. W
Phone: 641-752-7387
Email: pawsandplaymtown@gmail.com
Website: pawsandplaymtown.com
Drop-off and Pick-up Hours: 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 8 to 10 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Friday; 9 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m., Saturday
Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 ext. 210 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.
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