Businessweek Archives

A Success Story For the Dogs (and Cats)


Four years ago I wrote about Denver-based Camp Bow Wow, a new and rapidly growing doggie day care business. At the time, when pet owners were buying kosher dog food and Gucci kibble bowels, the idea of pampering pets and spending money on them as if they were children was increasing in popularity. At the time the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reported that pet products had mushroomed into a $34 billion industry – today that number has moved north to $50 billion.

Camp Bow Wow’s founder Heidi Flammung (now Granahl) had plowed $100,000 – her entire savings into the business – only to look up and see numerous similar type doggie day cares springing up all over the place. Unfazed, she sought to distinguish her business with a set of services such as caring for older, sickly pets, offering on-site vaccinations, and placing Webcams throughout the facility that allowed owners to check in on there pets anytime. When I first wrote about Camp Bow Wow, there were 11 locations and Granahl planned to open an additional 15 day over the next two years – expanding through a combination of franchising and wholly-owned shops.

Frequently, we return to some of the companies we have covered to see what developments have occurred, are they on track, have they met their goals etc. As a result of the economic slide, I’ve noticed many businesses have recalibrated their growth targets, some have taken big hits, while others have thrown in the towel. However, Camp Bow Wow sent me an email recently with some pretty good news. In August, Camp Bow Wow opened its 100th outlet in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Good news indeed and one that suggests that dogs (and cats and birds etc) are a growth industry…


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