Wag'n'tails - Doggy Daycare
Disneyland for Dogs
Locate East Sussex visits Doggy Day Care Centre Wag’n’Tails Doggy Daycare to see how they are getting on following launch of the centre which was supported with East Sussex Invest (ESI) loan and grant funding.
I am truly grateful to Emily who has played a tremendous part in helping me believe in myself and helping me through some wobbly momentsMichelleOwnerWagnTails
As we walk up the path around the side of a quaint cottage in the peaceful village of Etchingham, we are keenly followed by a cute spaniel dragging his owner excitedly to the front door of Wag ‘n’ Tails Doggy Daycare clearly enthusiastic for the day ahead. The door of the bespoke built building, clean, spacious and secure is opened by Owner Michelle whose smile welcomes her guest, who is obviously delighted to see her.
You can immediately see the passion and adoration Michelle and Paul have for dogs and for their role here, and that is replicated across all of the spaces within the centre. Nothing has been forgotten, with large indoor spaces for the dogs to play and relax in, quiet areas for much needed downtime, a doggy shower for those muddy paws, and a large outdoor playground full of tunnels, logs, paddling pools and shade…the ultimate theme park.
The only dog day boarding centre of its kind, Wag ‘n’ Tails prides itself on offering enrichment to its guests, providing routine, exercise, mental stimuli and affection in a safe, social, and positive environment. As you watch dogs of multiple breeds running around the outdoor space, playing with each other and exploring, you can’t help but smile. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and so socialisation is incredibly important, and this is recognised by the regular clients of Wag ‘n’ Tails, with many simply bringing their dogs to play with others.
“You would think our main clients would be those working long hours, wanting someone to look after their dog, but actually we have many clients who use us simply as a socialisation day for their furry companion so they can play with their pals and be in a pack environment”
Paul, Wag ‘n’ Tails
Getting to this point hasn’t been an easy ride for Michelle. Leaving her job in London working for an Investment bank, starting a doggy day care was her dream. Viewing the cottage in East Sussex, her dream became reality as she was drawn to the open space, and the welcoming community. She set the wheels in motion and began creating her space, employing contractors to create the bespoke centre, and put in a secure perimeter fencing. If a global pandemic wasn’t enough of a barrier to launch her business, a terrible storm caused a tree to fall directly onto the centres roof, causing a large amount of damage, which had to be rectified before she could open. A ray of light, however came in the form of Business Manager Emily Wright from Locate East Sussex.
Locate East Sussex are a business support organisation that helps businesses based in East Sussex or those moving to East Sussex to grow. Assisting with advice, access to funding and finding commercial property, the service is fully funded by East Sussex County Council, the 5 District and Borough Councils and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) making it free to businesses.
Emily was able to assist Wag ‘n’ Tails to access funding from the East Sussex Invest Fund (ESI). The ESI fund is an East Sussex County Council and Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme that offers grants and loans for capital investment to stimulate business growth and job creation in the county. Wag ‘n’ Tails successfully applied for a £10,000 loan, which upon creation of jobs will convert into a £5,000 loan and £5,000 non repayable grant. This funding supported Michelle with her expenditure on the building and perimeter fencing.
“I am truly grateful to Emily who has played a tremendous part in helping me believe in myself and helping me through some wobbly moments. There is no other person I know who has the enthusiasm, determination and drive in helping you to succeed! Emily, quite frankly is the best mentor anyone could have and I am super grateful! Not only having Emily as my mentor, I was also provided with Financial Planning from Jim, which was so insightful. Thank you to you both.” Michelle, Owner, Wag ‘n’ Tails
Leading the way
Something that makes Wag ‘n’ Tails stand out from the rest is simply the clear devotion to each and every guest that arrives. It is clear this venture is about passion and not money, as the centre is setup to provide maximum space and enjoyment, and each new client is carefully introduced to the other dogs before being taken on. Michelle and Paul recognise the needs of each dog, getting to know their personalities and needs, and then fulfilling them.
We have a designated ‘downtime’ every day between 2-4 to give the dogs a chance to sleep, and relax before going out to play again. It makes us laugh, how quickly they get used to this routine, queuing up to go indoors to get the best spot on the sofa”
Paul, Wag ‘n’ Tails
Now open fully, Michelle and Paul have already started spreading the word on their service, and want to continue to develop as things become more established. They told us of plans to develop agility courses, and add to their already expansive space, something I’m sure will be well received by their clients. We can’t deny the joy that it brought to us to see these dogs running around, happy, and making friends, and so we are delighted to see a business such as this grow, and to have been able to be a part of it.
Wag ‘n’ Tails are open 6.30am – 6.30pm weekdays with day boarding from £22 a day. They have been awarded 5 stars by Rother District Animal Welfare Licencing for 5 Star Facilities.
To find out more visit the website https://wagntails.dog/.