Does bigger necessarily mean better? Or is it a coincidence that the Pooch Palace, voted No. 1 by the readers of Mount Pleasant Magazine, actually is the biggest dog-boarding and daycare in East Cooper?
“We have the largest play yard, inside and out, but there are plenty of other reasons to vote us No. 1,” said Pooch Palace owner Jeff Sutton.
For one, according to Sutton, visitors to the Pooch Palace are usually impressed with the way it smells – it doesn’t.
“We take a lot of pride in how clean we keep our facility,” he said.
The first thing you see when you walk through the doors is a 12,000-square-foot playroom with about 15 leather couches and minisuites and master suites for the boarding dogs. A staircase leads to a raised area with standard dog cages for those on a smaller budget. According to Sutton, the “cheap seats” have one advantage: “the best view in the place.”
A double doorway leads to a 4,000-square-foot room for the smaller dogs, which also has couches, minisuites and cages. When you step outside, you’ll notice a giant pool, usually with five or six dogs splashing in its cooling water. A gradual slope at the front of the pool gives dogs the option to walk into the water, which starts at an inch deep and gradually reaches the 5-foot level.
“About three seconds after the door opens to the outside area, visitors see the tennis balls flying, a huge group of dogs chasing after the ball and other dogs diving into the pool,” said Sutton.
Do the dogs ever fight?
“Most people ask that question because they have already toured several places that don’t allow toys or balls because the dogs will fight over them,” Sutton said. “Many places don’t even give a tour of the play area because the people will see a bunch of dogs just standing around. I know this because I have employees who have worked at the other places. They are used to an environment where they were instructed to start spraying the hose at dogs if they start getting wild and crazy with each other. I have been training dogs professionally for over 20 years, and that experience is passed on to everyone who works here.”
“We have specific drills that we put the dogs through every time employees rotate. They are designed to identify any dog who might be playing too aggressively. If a dog insists on playing his or her way instead of our way, I have no problem calling that dog’s owner and explaining that their pooch needs individual training, which we are willing to provide, or their dog will have to go to one of the places that don’t allow toys,” he explained.
Sutton pointed out that his dog-training background sets the Pooch Palace apart from other daycares and boarding facilities – and the fact that his management team includes vet technicians.
“I hire them because their experience working in a vet office is invaluable. They recognize signs of a sick dog that you or I would not notice, and it has saved the lives of several dogs over the years,” Sutton said.
At the Pooch Palace, you’ll find a fun, safe controlled environment that is unmatched elsewhere in East Cooper.
To learn more, visit www.charlestonpoochpalace.com.