Suffolk Business Takes the Lead in Doggy Day Care

Dogs across Suffolk are barking with joy as an Ipswich business providing the ultimate in doggy day care is set to expand.

Suffolk Canine Creche (SCC) Ltd was established three years ago by Candace Rose, who was then working as an HR professional. A long-time dog-lover, Candace found that she was forever trying to arrange care for her own Dalmatians and was often left disappointed by what was available.

In 2011 she decided to fill this gap in the market by setting up her own luxury canine care facility – the first of its type in the UK. During a holiday in Florida, Candace’s eyes were opened to the kind of superior dog care businesses that could be created and on her return, this became her goal.

In less than two years since the doors opened at Suffolk Canine Creche, Candace has earned a formidable reputation for providing the highest levels of canine care. With the space to look after up to 40 dogs per day, SCC has been operating at full capacity since February and has an extensive waiting list to boot.

By providing facilities that look similar to a children’s play area with climbing frames, slides, paddling pools, ball pits and Wendy houses, SCC appeals to pet owners who want their dogs to be well stimulated, both physically and mentally.

Candace explains: “when left alone for a significant part of the day dogs can become very bored, which can lead to destructive behaviour. Nobody wants to come home from a busy day at work to find a chewed basket of washing, or worse! Dogs left with us are exposed to a fantastic range of equipment and activities in a caring environment that puts their needs, and the wishes of their owners, first. To ensure the well-being of all our canine guests, we do require dogs to pass a ‘temperament test’ before they can register with us.”

Now, with the help of a Regional Growth Loan, a government funded initiative providing finance to help businesses based in the East of England region to grow, and a Growing Business Fund grant from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), SCC will move to new premises, taking on 12 new staff and seeing dog capacity double to 80 per day.

The move will allow facilities to be improved further, with new services also being added. This will include a ‘Bark N Ride’ service where dogs can be collected from and dropped off at designated locations in the area, a grooming spa and a swimming pool as well as a training room where dogs with additional needs and behaviour issues, such as those that have failed the ‘temperament test’, can receive training and rehabilitation. The provision of care will also be extended to include weekends and overnight stays. A suite of themed, heated bedrooms with flat screen TVs and webcams for owners to view how content their dog is, will help to alleviate any guilt they feel about going on holiday.

Stuart Ager, Senior Fund Manager at Finance East, which manages the Regional Growth Loan Scheme says: “Candace and her team have created a strong business which has flourished through the challenges of the wider economic downturn. The success of SCC is based almost entirely on customer satisfaction with word-of-mouth recommendations driving business growth. We are delighted to be supporting this dedicated team through this next phase of development, which has clear potential for success, and indeed, future replication across additional sites.”