Apparently it’s not just dogs that dig this daycare, but people do, too! Dogs Dig It won high Top Dog honors in six categories this year, proving that in the care of new owner Ryan Kling, the business has grown and improved, and people have noticed.
Kling purchased Dogs Dig It in August 2012. “I had looked at several kennels and daycares, and none really looked like the kind of place I would want to take my own dog until I found this one,” he says. “It has a great client base and a great facility in a great place.” One thing dogs and their people dig here is the huge play space. “They can run around in 14,000 square feet, and about 9,000 of that is outdoor,” says Kling. “Customers love taking their dog home and having them sleep for a day and half because they’ve had the space to run and have high-energy play.” Astroturf with drainage allows urine and water to go right through it, keeping the dogs clean and the facility smelling fresh.
Knowing from experience how difficult budgeting daycare or boarding can be, Kling was especially pleased to win the Boarding on a Budget category. “I’ve always tried to stay right in the middle or slightly below market price, and that’s apparently hit a nice tune with my customers,” he says. “We recognize that it’s not cheap to add on the expense of daycare and boarding. You have to care for your dog, and make sure s/he’s staying in a happy, fun place.”
A big part of DDI’s appeal, says Kling, is the “fantastic” staff that gets to know the dogs and the people personally. “They get to know their quirks and what makes them happy,” he says, “and they’re really good at managing the dogs for happy, playful, safe packs. The folks on staff here love dogs, our customers, and their jobs, because they get to play with the 4-legged customers every day.” Dogs Dig It is conveniently located in SE Portland, and offers end of day shuttle service.
Before becoming a boarding/daycare business owner, Kling says he was a customer, with Chewie, his 50 lb. “mixed mutt” Boxer/Healer mix. “Out of all the daycares I visited there seemed to be something lacking or something that could be done better,” he says. “I’ve visited different boarders and daycares with other dogs throughout my life and I was just never super satisfied with the way they did things.”
At 42, Kling is not only a new business owner, but a new father. He and his wife, then pregnant, moved to Portland from Seattle to purchase DDI. They now have an 11-month-old son. Formerly a business consultant, Kling now combines his experience as a dog owner and business expert. “I’ve always been kind of an entrepreneur, and this job struck a chord, so we took a leap,” he says. “It’s been really great. I’ve been able to improve the business and how we deliver services, and make it what it is today. With our dedicated customer base I think it proves we’re doing things right.”
Dogs Dig It Daycare
1132 Se Salmon St, Portland
503-236-8222 * dogsdigit.net