Camp Bow Wow is a state of the art pet care franchise with many locations in the US. It offers doggie day care, boarding, grooming and training services.
I toured a Camp Bow Wow in Memphis, TN when I looked for a doggie day care for my boy Buzz, a 75 lb Boxer mix back in 2016.
He’s a high energy pup who needs quite a bit of physical (and mental) exercise on a daily basis.
Camp Bow Wow was the second place I looked at.
The first place was a true downer, and I can tell you that the difference between the two places really couldn’t have been any more drastic!
If you’re interested in reading about my downer experience, check out the link in my Related Reading section at the very end of this blog post.
Camp Bow Wow Memphis Balmoral
The Camp Bow Wow Memphis Balmoral location is located at 6108 Quince Rd in Memphis, TN, 38119.
The very first thing I noticed as I walked up to it was this cute outside potty area featuring a fire hydrant.
A fire hydrant!
Talk about attention to detail. That’s a huge plus in my book and indicative of the overall atmosphere and quality of care at Camp Bow Wow.
Unlike the first place I toured, the entrance area at Camp Bow Wow is at ground level. That makes it easy for people who have to carry an older, slower and/or arthritic dog inside.
The see-through glass front of the building allowed me a glimpse inside before I even opened the door. It also made me sigh an inner sigh of relief at what I saw!
A bright, well-lit interior with the rustic charm of a log cabin!
It definitely invites you to drop off your pup for a little doggie adventure.
Bonus points for a top notch first impression!
Once inside, I was immediately greeted by friendly staff.
While this should be the most normal thing in the world, it clearly isn’t. I found that out first hand when I checked out the other facility I mentioned before.
Camp Bow Wow: Webcams
The next thing I noticed was the wall-mounted flat screen TV. It was on the left of the reception area and featured live views of the different day care sections.
This live webcam feature really does provide ultimate peace of mind.
That’s because it literally shows that the place doesn’t have anything to hide. You can see Camp Bow Wow’s doggie campers via their respective app. Since it’s a franchise business, there are many locations across the U.S.
Camp Bow Wow: Socialization Interview
Before any dog is allowed to hang out at any Camp Bow Wow location, they have to pass a socialization interview.
It tests their temperament around humans and other dogs. This interview is free and part of the initial onboarding process.
I was also able to watch Buzz’s socialization interview on the flatscreen TV in the reception area.
First, Buzz spent some time with a human caregiver to see if he showed any aggressive tendencies in their evaluation room. He didn’t! By the way, that’s the image you see in the the middle of the screen.
He was then introduced to a female doggie camper to see how he reacted to her – curious and friendly. The staff then added a male doggie camper to the evaluation room, and all pups got along great.
At that point, it was determined that Buzz was well-behaved and socialized.
3 hour test stay
The next step of the interview was a 3 hour stay at camp, to see how he would do around more dogs.
It turned out that he was fine with groups of up to 10 dogs, but that he would start humping several other dogs once the groups exceeded 10+.
This was a sign that he was overwhelmed with that many dogs!
Since the groups at camp typically exceed 10, I chose not to set him up for failure and decided that this day camp wasn’t the right fit for him after all.
Although the staff suggested to enroll him in one of their training classes to see if that might change things.
Other Prerequisites at Camp Bow Wow
Besides passing the socialization interview, all new pups have to be spayed or neutered and up to date on their rabies, distemper and bordetella vaccines.
I also had to fill out and sign a 3 page “Camper Application” form going over health & behavioral details about Buzz, emergency contact information, and a waiver of liability.
Although Camp Bow Wow didn’t work out for us after all due to their large dog groups, it is a wonderful, well thought-out pet care. I could tell immediately that peace of mind, fun, and safety are of the utmost concern to their staff.
The socialization interview and 3 hour stay at camp are great.
They’re proactive approaches to test how comfortable dogs are around fellow campers in a new environment.
The webcam feature provides ultimate peace of mind. It also underlines the fact that this franchise is a fun, modern and safe pet care facility.
P.S. I hired a dog walker who takes care of Buzz at the house instead of sending him to doggie day care. Mandy loves him like her very own dog and does a wonderful job with my big boy!
Have you heard of Camp Bow Wow and/or taken your pup to a doggie day care? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
3 Immediate Doggie Day Care Deal Breakers
I was thinking of starting a doggie day care myself at one time, and I heard of this franchise at that time. They seemed like they had a very good program.
I prefer to have pet sitters myself; we only have one doggie day care in our area and I was not that impressed with it; though people in the area rave about it. I’ve just always felt that my dogs are happier at home, but I’m a homebody so that might influence my preferences there!
It just might 😉 Well, doggie day care is definitely not the right fit for every pup, which is why I really appreciate the mandatory interview/trial day at Camp Bow Wow. I have the pleasure of caring for so many pups in the comfort of their own home because they don’t do well in a day care environment, so I totally understand where you’re coming from.
Very cool to hear that you looked into running a doggie day care yourself though. I read about it a little and the only downside I could find was that it’s A LOT more expensive to start than my dog walking/pet sitting business 😉
Which is exactly why I never did it. 🙂 I had a pet sitting business with a friend for a while but it just didn’t work for me. It’s a great business to be in though, and you must love working for yourself!
I really do, I’m so glad I no longer work in an office environment. I’ve been mobbed before, so I do appreciate being my own boss so very much. No drama, just happy pups and kitties, and appreciative clients. The only downside would be that I have some crazy hours every now & then when several clients are out of town at once, and that I work a lot on weekends and holidays. But every job has its shortcomings 🙂
I think we have one of those not too far from us. We have never used it. i really do not like the idea of dog day care. I guess if I needed something like that, I would prefer just to board my dogs. I guess I do not like the idea of my dogs mixing with so many dogs I know nothing about.
I remember you telling me that you’re not a fan of day care 😉 I have to say that they do an excellent job about making sure that only healthy, well socialized dogs get to be together at their day care. I really like that aspect of it.