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Exercise, socialization key to doggie heaven
by Garrett Valenzuela
Jul 03, 2012 | 3584 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Elite Doggie Daycare owner Rafael Ibaibarriaga, left, and manager Johnathan Avemaria hold two frequent dog visitors to their facility Tuesday in Reno. Elite Doggie Daycare specializes in providing exercise and a social atmosphere for dogs.
Elite Doggie Daycare owner Rafael Ibaibarriaga, left, and manager Johnathan Avemaria hold two frequent dog visitors to their facility Tuesday in Reno. Elite Doggie Daycare specializes in providing exercise and a social atmosphere for dogs.
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Elie Doggie Daycare manager Johnathan Avemaria receives a wet kiss during playtime at the facility on Tuesday. The dogs enjoy human and canine interaction throughout the day at the 22,000-square-foot facility.
Elie Doggie Daycare manager Johnathan Avemaria receives a wet kiss during playtime at the facility on Tuesday. The dogs enjoy human and canine interaction throughout the day at the 22,000-square-foot facility.
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RENO — It’s 8 a.m. at 324 Vine St. and the loud, high-pitched cries of a dog with its head out the window at the stoplight on Fourth Street can be heard. Bystanders think the dog is not well-trained but, in fact, he yelps in anticipation because Elite Doggie Daycare is just down the street.

The dogs that come running through the door of this daycare center are anxious and excited to be back for another day of exercise with their fellow canines. They are greeted with the calling of their names before they even get out of the car.

“We always try to have an intimate relationship with our customers. We know them by face, we know their dog by face and we know their car when they pull up,” owner Rafael Ibaibarriaga said.

Elite Doggie Daycare is in its second year of business in Reno and sees between 30 and 35 dogs during its most busy times. Ibaibarriaga said because they are open 365 days a year most of their business comes from daylong care, though they offer overnight service as well.

One of the most attractive features for dog owners who choose Elite is the ability to keep them exercising throughout the day.

“We just try to have a good time and tire them out so when the parents come pick them up and get them home they go right to sleep,” Ibaibarriaga said. “We want to make sure they have a fulfilling day.”

Manager Johnathan Avemaria said there are lulls in the day when customers neither drop off or pick up their dogs, which is the time he takes to play with them in the sections of the 22,000-square-foot perimeter of the daycare, most of which is outdoor for the dogs to run and play.

“Your dog doesn’t care if you have an HD TV. That is the last thing your dog wants is to be trapped in a room with a TV,” Avemaria said, adding that exercise and social entertainment are necessities for most dogs.

With their allotted outdoor space, which consists of gated areas and a barn area that is heated and air-conditioned, Elite provides its four-legged guests with several drinking stations, a soft rotating sprinkler that covers areas that are not shaded, a pool, a sandbox and sectionalized areas for different types and sizes of dogs. Ibaibarriaga said the differently grouped cages allow for the dogs to interact with similar dogs, making them more comfortable during the day.

“What we do is give the owner the first day of daycare free so we can see how interactive the dog is with the other dogs and if they are going to like it,” he said. “We also separate the dogs according to size and playing style. When they get here and see their friends it is like kids going to school -- except it’s recess 24/7.”

Elite Doggie Daycare charges $17 a day for one to two days of daycare, $15 a day for three or more days and multiple dogs are $15 per dog each day. Dogs can be dropped off and picked up between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and dogs must be over the age of 16 weeks, spayed or neutered and must be up-to-date on their vaccinations.
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