By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Camp Bow Wow™... more than Doggie Dog Care
By Beth Volpert Johansen

The campers at Camp Bow Wow are an enthusiastic bunch. The love they show their counselors is evidence of just how fun and comfortable a day at camp can be.

The flexible hours and attention to even the smallest detail leaves a dog’s “person” at ease when they head off to work knowing their pup is going to have a great day! 

“While we do provide care for dogs, our primary product is trust,” says Camp Bow Wow owner, Kathy Stone. “What sets us apart from other facilities is that we truly love the dogs.” The love of the dogs shows in the calm demeanor of each counselor as they engage the campers in fun games that serve a dual purpose. “We use a positive reinforcement system here to correct unwanted behaviors and reinforce good behaviors,” says Kathy. “We focus on what they did right.” 

The facility is set up with a variety of cabins sized for the comfort of each camper. Each has a comfy cot and blanket. Cleanliness is achieved with only natural disinfectants in order to ensure the health of each camper. All campers must be current on vaccines and be spayed or neutered. In addition to the health requirements, each camper must pass a socialization test. “We introduce the new dog to a seasoned camper of the same sex and allow them to play together,” says Kathy. “We introduce one dog at a time so the new camper is not overwhelmed.” Their system has proven exceptionally effective and the results can be viewed on the official web cams (Camper Cams) installed so puppy parents can keep up with their pet’s day.

The unique arrangement of Camp Bow Wow was part of what attracted Kathy and her husband, Rick, to the franchise. “We wanted an exit strategy from corporate life and because we loved how our own dog was treated at another camp, we looked into Camp Bow Wow,” says Kathy. “That big dog with a big bark changed my life.” The new adventure includes Kathy and Rick’s daughters, Elie and Sarah who both work at Camp Bow Wow.

“We get the added bonus of Elie being a vet tech as well,” says Kathy. “She is my go-to person when I have any questions.” 

Having been dog “parents”, Kathy and Rick understood that trusting a caregiver is a high compliment and not one to be taken lightly. Knowing that has led them to extend their services to include Home Buddies and foster care to their list. Home Buddies in-home pet sitting includes any kind of pet. “Our Home Buddies caregivers are bonded with a background check and are actual employees, not independent contractors,” says Kathy. “This allows those with multiple pets to leave them in the comfort of their own home.” 

The foster care aspect of Camp Bow Wow has resulted in a number of “fur-ever” home placements. As a Certified Behavior Buddies Trainer, Kathy is able to help foster dogs become more adoptable. She also offers Board and Train and Play and Train services to get dogs ready for their Good Citizen designation. “We not only train the dogs, but the parents also,” says Kathy. “The dogs need to have the same commands at home as they learn here.” 

Overall, Camp Bow Wow looks very much like “The Best Day Ever” in a dog’s eyes. Plenty of friends, good eats, safe surroundings, plenty of ear scratchings, and careful care all add up to a well-exercised pet who is happy to see their favorite “person” at the end of the day.

For more information on day camps and boarding: www.campbowwow.com/