A Brief History of Camp Bow Wow

It was 1994 when founder Heidi Ganahl and her first husband, Bion, realized their need for a quality doggy day care and boarding center for their two furry friends. It didn’t take much research for Heidi to realize that the traditional ‘kennel model’ was not what they had in mind for their pets. Being entrepreneurs at heart, Heidi and Bion set out to conceptualize the idea of a fun, friendly environment for their two dogs. Unfortunately, a short six months later, Bion died in a tragic plane crash before they could make their dream a reality.

2000: Although Bion had passed, the idea for Camp Bow Wow still lingered in the back of Heidi’s mind. When her brother approached her about it five years later, she took the remaining $80,000 from her settlement and said, “let’s give it a try.” And so, the first Camp Bow Wow was opened in Denver, CO.

2003: Just three successful years later, Heidi realized the potential that Camp Bow Wow had to both generate a profit and fill a need for pet parents searching for quality boarding and day care services in the pet care industry. So, in 2003, the franchising began with a new location opening in Castle Rock, CO!

2007: Making a profit and becoming a leader in the pet care industry weren’t the only items on Heidi’s agenda. She also wanted to create an opportunity for Camp Bow Wow to reach every pet parent nationwide, especially those in need. And so, the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation was formed – a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to providing urgent medical care funds to sick and injured dogs across the country.

2010: Camp Bow Wow opened its 100th franchise location! What an incredible feat to reach in just 10 years – and of course, our company growth didn’t stop there!

2014: Veterinary Clinics of America (VCA Inc.) acquired Camp Bow Wow, which allowed us to reach even more pet parents and ensure a safer pet care experience for all. VCA owns, operates and manages the largest network of freestanding veterinary hospitals and veterinary-exclusive clinical laboratories in the country. It’s no wonder we’re so proud to be a part of their family!

2017: Today, Camp Bow Wow is the largest doggy day care and overnight boarding franchise across North America. We’ve set up Camp in over 130 locations already and see no end in sight!

With pet parents spending an average of $60 billion dollars annually on their pets nationwide, and a whopping 63% of pet owners considering their pets to be members of the family, the promise of a prosperous future is bright for current and prospective franchise owners. We plan to open our 150th Camp in the near future, and project that 2017 will be a big year for franchise owners and Campers alike.

Are you ready to become your own “Top Dog?” If so, the only name you need to know is Camp Bow Wow! In this growing industry, the paw’tential for growth is limitless and the personal reward of providing love and care to tons of tail-waggin’ dogs is greater than any you could ever imagine.

Mark your territory and set up Camp in one of our available markets today! Reach out at (870) 600-2713 for more information or request a free executive summary below to learn how you can join the Pack!