There's a new local spot that's gone to the dogs, and the crew at Dogtopia of Ellisville wouldn't want it any other way! They seek to socialize, exercise, educate and even entertain canines with dogged determination every day.
"Our pet parents appreciate our progressive approaches to being a clean, organized and safe place for their dogs while they can't be with them," explains Nick Losciuto, dog dad and owner/general manager of Dogtopia.
"Everyone likes our webcams so they can check on their dogs whenever they want. Webcams share our transparent way of caring for the dogs, and they provide peace of mind," he adds.
Nick says before any dog can join Dogtopia, they administer a temperament test and meet-and-greet process to cover the basics of how each one will react to the sniffs and pawing of other dog friends, as well as how they deal with being away from pet parents. While a dog is being assessed, clients get a full tour, vaccination records are being confirmed, and a review of the dog's history is captured.
He says some pooches may not be immediately ready for an indoor dog park environment, particularly if they are anxious rescue dogs that need more time to acclimate to their new lives. For those dogs, they can recommend trainers and tips as next steps.
Dogtopia dogs participate in more than 5,500 square feet of open playrooms with canine coaches. The dogs are separated into various playgroups based on temperament, size and personality. They also have an outdoor play area for that type of recreation and stimulation.
Nick says he and staffers spend a notable amount of time monitoring and adjusting what he calls "energy balance." Because dogs are in different moods on different days, just like people, some want to play more than others—or not. But Nick adds that dogs are very good at reading each other's body language, so dogs often will just move on to the next dog to see if they're ready to hang out together.
Introductions of new dogs are carefully controlled at Dogtopia, Nick assures. They help shy, timid or yappy dogs gradually learn social cues and how to play with the other dogs. Nick says behavior modifications can take more than a month to occur, but they routinely witness positive transformations once dogs realize they can depend on a safe, supportive place.
"Many pet parents watching on the webcams tell us they can't believe how differently their dogs behave when away from them, how outgoing they are," Nick says.
He says many people also appreciate the amount of exercise that dogs get at Dogtopia, especially breeds that need an outlet for their natural energy.
"We realize every dog is unique, so we always work from a feed list and pass on general observations to our clients."
In addition to daycare, Dogtopia offers full-spa pampering services and boarding packages. Spa treatments can include teeth brushing, ear cleaning, massage and facials.
Drop-offs at Dogtopia start at 6:30 a.m., and pickups are as late as 7 p.m. Nick says their facility works especially well for teachers, nurses, law enforcement officers and others who tend to have long work hours.
Birthday photos, bacon-flavored bubbles and Super Bowl themes are a few of the highlights included in the variety of Dogtopia paw-ties.
15400 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.283.2444, DogTopia.com