My Montrose: Nathan Rao, Wag’n World
Tell me about Wag’n World.
Wag’n World is a dog daycare, boarding and grooming facility with capacity for 30 dogs. We have two rooms: one for small to medium dogs, and one for medium to large.
Is size the only thing that determines which room the dog is placed in?
It depends on [the dog’s] social skills. I don’t like to mix large and small, but depending on the dog, if it’s been with a sibling and the larger dog is scared of big dogs, we will place them in the small dog room. I have an evaluation day that allows the dog to come in and be socialized, and we try to find a match for the dog.
You do daycare and boarding?
Yes. Everything is tied to capacity, depending on the kennels I have. We have 10 kennels, but sometimes a family shares a larger one. But it’s basically first come, first serve. So if it’s 15 boarding, I have 15 daycare spots. It really depends on who comes in. And grooming is just revolving door, in and out.
Describe a typical day at Wag’n World.
We do rotations [for the dogs] outside. Thirty minutes for the big dog group; thirty minutes for the small dog group while the big dogs come inside and cool down. That’s up until 11:30-1:30, depending on the heat. Then we have a cooldown period, which is naptime. It’s almost like a kids’ daycare. It’s needed because the dogs play outside so much, and it’s so hot right now. Even though they don’t really nap, they get to cool down. In the afternoons, we bring them back out for shorter rotations until it’s time for them to leave.
I saw you may do dog walking too in the future?
That’s a goal. We are starting to grow. We already have four people, plus two groomers. It’s growing fast, and the more dogs we have, the more people I’m going to hire. A lot of people like that we stick to the 30-dog capacity…we don’t pack dogs in with maybe one person per 30 dogs. That can create fights. If we get maybe 10 or 12 big dogs, sometimes I’ll even limit our capacity to just another 10 or 12. For me it’s not about the money, it’s about getting the right attention for the dogs.
What made you choose this small, boutique-style building?
I chose this building because the high-rise condos and the apartments with smaller amenities are nearby, and people are looking for amenities for their dogs. I was expecting a lot of small dogs, but it’s funny because I’ve gotten a lot of big dogs—I think the word has gotten out that I take big dogs. A lot of other kennels in this area only go up to 30 or 40 pounds, so I’m getting like 100+ pound dogs. It’s fun. I have the yard space, so even if there’s 10-15 big dogs, they still get a lot of room to play outside.
Was there anything else that drew you to Montrose?
I grew up in Pearland, but I hung out here. This is the area I spent time in as a teenager and in my early 20s. This whole area has always been fun for me. It’s so easy to walk between places. And the want is here for daycare because a lot of people…instead of having kids, their dogs are their kids. All I see is people walking dogs.
Do you have any other plans for Wag’n World?
I want to start doing meetups on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Have a golden doodle meetup, or a pug meetup. I want to start a running club, too. I’m a marathon runner; I ran a hundred-miler last year and did 12 marathons, one per month. So I wanted to tie in running, but also having a running service, because we are so close to the parks.
Wag’n World, 3230 Yoakum Blvd, Houston, TX, (281) 416-5988, www.wagnworld.com/