El's Pampered Paws opened its doors in October 2020 to fulfill a much needed spot for pet accommodations, training and things to do for both pets and parents in the Richfield, Utah area. Today, they are a sought after destination for travelers and locals for their luxury boarding, structured dog daycare, and training services. Along with owner Danielle Peterson, their staff is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the dogs and are passionate about doing whatever it takes to keep them happy, healthy and comfortable while in their care as well as the pet parents mind at ease for leaving their baby. They even send photos and updates to parents that need the extra love! Keep reading to learn more about our February Business of the Month!
UMLF: Why are you passionate about dog training and boarding?
Danielle: My passion came from raising pheasant and farm dogs while growing up with my two grandpas. Anytime they were working the dogs on recall, fetch, bearding or just playing in the river I was right by their side. Over the last 15 plus years I have just always done it as a hobby until 2018 when I put that passion and hobby into serious consideration as a life skill and job. I have self-trained my own service dog over the last 3 years as well as helping others train household pets, and helping those in trouble and seeing the change one dog has on the mental and physical self is just amazing to behold. Watching a fearful dog change its entire life around with the right family and the right guidance is why I do what I do. There is hope always, I never want to turn someone away because of trouble and or just not having the knowledge to help themselves.
UMLF: What makes El’s Pampered Paws better than other training/boarding facilities?
Danielle: We strive to be the best stress-free option for dogs when you have to be separated from your four-legged family member. Our “home sweet home, away from home” feel take us to the level of comfort your dog needs when your away. When daycare is also needed while everyone goes back to work or school without worry the dog will destroy the home while they are away, we offer a safe and supervised exercise and play space that will help social skills and tire out any dog. As well as offering support and help to better you and your dog communication skills and have an over all happier healthier life together.
Because we know personally how much we love our own pets, and how hard it is to leave our fur children with just anyone we wanted to create a place where I’d like to leave my own dog. We have high expectations and standards to keep your fur kid and you as happy as can be.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as an entrepreneur and how you overcame it?
Danielle: The challenges we have faced is the small town troubles of being new and unknown, being able to get the vision and support through to the big wigs at the banks and city council to get this up and running. I started this with no funding, no loans, just $5000 of my own savings during the pandemic.
Another small town problem is old school zoning and people not wanting to rent to pet businesses. We have been on and off with city zoning commissioners to get zoning approved to be in the town and after six months or so we were devastated when they halted that change up and essentially made us leave where we were and find a new place of business in under 30 days. Again this was a huge surprise and financially hit us hard. We were able to get fundraising from our wonderful clientele and support of friends and family to keep us open. While I found a new location and any and all options for funding to help us move and stay open. That’s how I found the Utah Microloan Fund.
UMLF: How do you feel like the Utah Microloan Fund has helped your business?
Danielle: This loan made it possible to get the new location set in writing and upgraded with the specific modifications to keep us heated, clean and safe. This also helped upgrade us from 15 kennels up to a much needed 28-30 kennels. So we are able to help more people in need of our services. We also got some much needed upgrade and advertising. With this help and with the move we have boomed. I have now hired my first two employees and have loved watching them love the dogs and business as much as I do!
UMLF: Most fun dog names you have encountered at your business? :)
Danielle: Dog people are the most creative people on this planet and also the most safe when it comes to naming their dogs. I have heard it all. From the ten dogs named the same Ace, Ranger, and Koda to the fun and interesting names like Skyla, Sprocket the Rocket and yes I’ve even a dog named Corpse. But my all-time most fun name has been Spud the Stud!!
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