Pooch haven

NESTLED in industrial O’Connor is an unassuming haven for pooches.

Wagz, a doggy daycare and groomers, allows pet owners to break free from the guilt of leaving their canine friends at home, giving them a day of fun, games and socialising, all thanks to owner Lisa Horn.

After a bout of illness in 2011, Horn decided to leave her demanding jewellery business and try and have a better work-life balance.

After realising there was a gap in the doggy-care market south of the river, she and a friend launched Wagz, and they hasn’t looked back.

• Two content doggies chillin’ out at Wagz. Photos by Emilee Neeson

Seven years on and doggy day cares have popped up all over Perth, but Wagz is still booming.

The secret? According to Horn, it’s simple.

“We keep it simple,” she says.

“There’s other daycares out there that are prettier, but that’s for the owners, not for the dogs, we keep it all about the dogs.”

• Wagz owner Lisa Horn.

They certainly do: the reception walls are crammed with photos of current and past doggy-clients, as Horn looks on fondly, recalling every pooch by name.

I get the feeling this isn’t just a job for Horn who tells me, “if I won Lotto I wouldn’t sell the business, so that makes you realise how much I enjoy it”.

That sense of enjoyment extends to the play area out the back, where I’m greeted by more than 20 slobbering pooches chasing after a handful of tennis balls.

As they bombard with me with barks and tail-wags (except for a couple of pups snoozing on a day bed in the corner), they all look more than comfortable under Horn and her staff’s care.

I’m told every potential new pooch has a full-day assessment to assure Wagz is right for them and all the dogs are fully supervised.

Horn says it’s mostly professionals who use doggy-day cares, but also owners concerned their pooches aren’t getting enough exercise and socialisation.

“They’re generally just dog lovers who want their dog to have fun,” she says.

With full days of care starting at $45, discounts for multi-bookings, and a full grooming service, owners can pick up a tired, beautifully-styled pooch at the end of the working day.

by EMILEE NEESON

WAGZ Daycare and Grooming
1/25 Zeta Crescent, O’Connor
0410 788 547

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