COLUMBIA, S.C. — It's an essential service you might not think about, but one local doggy daycare and boarding business is staying open for customers on the front-lines.
Dog Daze owner Patrick Hall said Wednesday they're still open, caring for furry friends of all sizes.
The business, deemed essential by the city of Columbia, according to Hall, did make procedural changes to try to limit potential exposure to sick customers.
“How we handle the dogs, how we interact with our clients, usually what we've done is we've limited how many people can come into our lobby, and how many people are kind of interacting with our clients and handling the dogs,” Hall said over videocall.
Hall has owned the business since 2006 and said besides the 2008 recession and 2015 flood, he's never experienced anything like the current pandemic.
Boarding is down about 80 to 90 percent and the daycare business has decreased 50 percent. Hall said there are some customers still in urgent need of the service.
“We have a couple clients that are actually nurses. We have one client that has actually gone up to New York to help with the situation up in New York City, so they brought their dog the other week and we've kept their dog and we're actually going to keep their dog for several more weeks. We've also had a couple clients that are nurses here at the VA hospital,” Hall said.
They've helped other customers like corrections officers and folks working at home that don't want barking on conference calls.
Hall said they're offering discounts to essential workers and are happy to help.
“One thing that I enjoy is I enjoy helping people that are helping other people,” Hall added.
Dog Daze is doing alright and keep doors open a few more months with small business loans and other help, but they hope people can start traveling again this summer, according to Hall.
The business owner suggested this is also a good time for pet owners, now working at home, to spend more time bonding with their animals through playtime and walks.