Perham’s pooches will now have a place to stay pampered while their owners are on vacation, or even just at work.

The Backyard is gearing up to open its pet boarding and “play care” facility next week. The standalone building in the Perham industrial park is chock full of amenities for pets, and their loving owners as well.

Store managers Taylor and Tyler Doll said the idea to open a boarding facility had been brought up while ice fishing for at least three years.

Those discussions turned more substantive as the pet supply store’s grooming business has taken off in the last couple years,

Tyler said ever since they started grooming, customers have been asking if they’d ever do boarding.

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“It looked like it was a great need for the town and community,” Taylor said. “It ties in well with what we’ve got going on now.”

The Dolls toured a number of different boarding facilities, in and out of state, to configure the best possible experience.

Tyler says the building will have kennel space for 35 dogs, with day care available Monday through Friday.

The Dolls anticipate pet owners using the day care option a few times a week, to tire out anxious and overactive dogs that run into behavioral issues while left alone.

“We find it very beneficial for the dog to release that energy in a safe, supervised way with other dogs,” Taylor said. “That way when you get home from a long day, the dog isn’t trying to get you to play, they’re also tired and well spent.”

Once a fluffy family member is dropped off for day care, they will have two hours of indoor or outdoor playtime, a meal and time to rest in the afternoon, before ending the day with a few more hours of play time.

“These days dogs are more and more a part of the family,” Taylor said. “It’s just like dropping your kids off at daycare, you’ll drop your dog off and pick them up at the end.”

During a building tour, Taylor said he’s most excited for the outdoor play area. A large, green yard is framed with buried fencing to prevent dogs from digging out. A floating deck is also designed to stop dirt and grass from getting inside.

The inside is lined with specialty white siding panels that brighten up the space, while making messes easier to spot. A tall, perforated steel ceiling will also cut down on noise.

Music will continuously play throughout the day to keep the dogs calm and relaxed. Security cameras in each corner will give customers a peek at what their dog is up to at all times.

Playtime will be 100% supervised, with the ratio of dogs to handlers yet to be determined.

“It will depend on if you have a rowdy group or if you’re watching the seniors play,” Taylor said.

The boarding kennels are broken down into different “suite” categories. The Manny Suites, named after Taylor’s dog, are separate rooms that feature a TV and personal pet camera. Other options range from a 4-by-4 kennel, to a 4-by-6 kennel with an attached outdoor run. Additional a la carte options include one-on-one playtime, including a leashed walk, and a personal video call.

While the building’s space is mainly dedicated to dogs, a cat room features double windows to let in more natural light.

After so much planning and thought, Taylor said he’s excited to get going.

“If you would’ve asked us this 10 years ago when we started up, we would’ve never thought we’d be doing it,” he said.

Open house

The Backyard, 105 Ninth Ave. NE, Perham, is having an open house 3-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

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