Daycare goes to the dogs at new Steamboat Springs business
October 2, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Daycare in Steamboat Springs has gone to the dogs, and that’s exactly what Monica Schultheis was hoping for when she opened Peace Love Petcare in March.
"This is an indoor daycare designed for people who go to work and don't want to leave their dog at home," Schultheis said. "The dogs are going to bark all day at the door; they are going to chew up the furniture. This is good for socialization, and they get to come here and play, and by the end of the day, the dog is exhausted … the dog normally goes home and chills with their owners that night."
Schultheis started caring for dogs more than a year ago when she launched a dog walking business, which also involved taking care of people's dogs at their homes when they left on vacation. But she quickly discovered that the job pulled her away from her own home and away from her dog.
"I've always loved animals, so when I saw the need here in Steamboat, I was like, ‘This is a great idea; I want to create it.’ This is my passion," Schultheis said.
So she created a business plan and then tested her plan as part of the annual business plan competition hosted by the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center at Colorado Mountain College Steamboat Springs.
"It was so cool," she said. "I guess I learned that a business plan isn't a really set-in-stone thing — it's an ever-changing thing, and you are always learning.
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"I also learned to be a little resilient and not give up even though people told me that this wasn't gong to open here," she said. "They told me that people had tried it, there is no zoning and you are never going to find a spot."
Eventually, Schultheis found a location at 984 Captain Jack Drive in Steamboat Springs and worked out a deal to lease the property. The building is a little bigger than 2,200 square feet with the perfect configuration to house between five and 15 dogs each day as part of the doggie daycare operations. She can also board four to five dogs using separated 6-foot by 7-foot rooms that hold a small bed, water bowls and a fan for ventilation.
The best part is that if a dog is unhappy or starts barking, Schultheis lives right upstairs to address the dog’s needs.
"We have four separate rooms, plus a fifth that can be converted if we need it," she said. "I live upstairs, so I'm right there. We try to keep the overnight occupancy low, so that the dogs get the attention they need, and the dogs feel super loved."
For $25, a pet owner can drop off their dog on the way to work and retrieve the dog up to five hours later. If the work day is a bit longer, anything over five hours is $35.
The facility also offers overnight stays. The overnight room packages begin at $45, and that price includes four hours of daycare. There is also a $60 overnight package with six hours of daycare and a $75 package that includes all-day daycare.
Schultheis said she also offers discounted prices through 10-day punch cards. The doggie daycare program and overnight stays include a leashed walk around the block and the chance to get out in a full-sized, fenced-in dog run.
The business also offers light grooming, and nail clipping for an additional cost.
Peace Love Petcare is not the only dog-care business in the area, but she is the only business within the city limits.