DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kristin Basden, left, and Sandy Stenen are opening Pacific Paws Doggie Day Care at Koko Marina Shopping Center. Above, Kristin sat with her pet dog Kea, a English Springer Spaniel, and Sandy with Kira, a poi dog, at the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center yesterday.
Hawaii Kai canine care grows with Pacific Paws
New business rides the wave of dog day care startups in Hawaii
STORY SUMMARY »
Pacific Paws Doggie Day Care, catering to today's pampered canines, is poised to become part of a $3 billion industry when it opens at Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai next month.
Kristin Basden and Sandy Stenen are riding the wave of dog day-care centers that have opened on Oahu over the last few years. The island has at least three other centers, though the trend already is well advanced in upscale mainland markets.
Pacific Paws is not advertising leather sofas, high-definition television or toddler beds. However, it is targeting a high-end clientele with "pawdicures," optional excursions in addition to daily walks, and "pawrobics."
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There will be no fancy, leather sofas, toddler beds, slides, or high definition televisions at the new Pacific Paws Doggie Day Care set to open next month at Koko Marina Center.
Pet care in Hawaii Kai
Pacific Paws Doggie Day Care
Koko Marina Center, Suite Q103
Grand Opening Nov. 2, 5-9 p.m.
But there will be daily walks, optional excursions, and 1,800 square feet of space for pooches to play and mingle in.
Kristin Basden and Sandy Stenen -- who also are the owners of the Serenity & Massage spa in Hawaii Kai -- will hold a grand opening on Nov. 2.
It is the latest of a handful of new canine day care and boarding businesses to sprout up in Hawaii, which is catching up with the mainland as it serves a growing demand.
In Kakaako, there is the Ohana Doggie Day Care & Spa, along with Pets in the City on Young Street. Tails of Hawaii Playcare and Boarding Kennel is also open for business in Waipahu, targeting Leeward Oahu.
While there are no frilly amenities, the pair is targeting a high-end clientele.
Day care services start at $7 an hour, and go to $40 for an eight-hour day or packages of $400 for one month. For overnight boarding, rates range from $40 to $55 per night, depending on the size of the dog.
"We're keeping it to the basics," said Stenen, "Keeping it clean, happy, fun and safe. There's nothing better than to see happy dogs, playing and having the best time, with an opportunity to interact with one another."
There will be a regular walk to Koko Head district park in the middle of the day, as well as optional excursions to nearby play areas.
There will be no high-definition TV, but just a regular one, tuned in to Animal Planet. A doggie daycam and taxi service are also in the works.
Luxury services that will be available include "pawdicures" (just like a human manicure and pedicure, but for dogs, with dog-friendly nail polish), massages and "pawrobics."
Pawrobics targets dogs that need a higher level of cardio activity, with walking and running workouts, as well as those that may need to lose a little weight.
Basden and Stenen also happen to be kickboxing instructors at Taerobix Hawaii in Aina Haina.
The pair decided to open the pet-care business to fill a void they felt existed in East Honolulu, as well as to meet the needs of many of their existing clientele at Serenity & Massage who were seeking the service.
Basden said they wanted to open a business ideal for their own dogs. She has often sought boarding services for her 3-year-old English Spaniel, Kea.
Stenen has a 9-year-old poi dog, Kira, who she takes hiking, swimming, running and surfing. She envisioned a center catering to clients and canines with an active lifestyle.
Their greatest challenge was to find a space to run a canine daycare business -- given that many retail centers were wary of the idea. Pacific Paws will move into the former Pure Golf Academy space at the side parking lot of Koko Marina, near Bark Avenue, the pet boutique.
Pacific Paws is tapping into an increasingly lucrative market.
Expenditures on pets in the U.S. are poised to reach an estimated $40.8 billion this year, almost double the $23 billion spent a decade ago, according to a recent survey by the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association.
The share of the pie for pet services, such as grooming and boarding, is estimated at $3 billion.
Dogs are no longer the backyard dogs of yesteryear, but an integral part of the family -- often serving as child substitutes for empty nesters and double-income couples with no kids.
Canines of today are lavished with organic treats, and their owners are target market for a growing line of fashions, custom-made furniture, beauty products and services. Some 42 percent of the dogs in American households are sleeping in their owners' beds, according to APPMA.
The dogs at Pacific Paws will need to be at least 12 weeks old and potty-trained, with updated shots. Each will also be screened for behavior and sociability in order to be accepted.
Down the line, Basden and Stenen want to offer dog portraits by an artist along with photo sessions and paw readings.