Profile of Success: Dr. Boyd's Pet Resort & Veterinary Center

Profile of Success: Dr. Boyd's Pet Resort & Veterinary Center

By Kathy Hosler
Photos By Jennifer Ellis

From the moment you enter the expansive, welcoming lobby of Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort & Veterinary Center, you step into a world that has been designed around the desires and needs of the pets that they serve.

“It’s a brand new sector of pet care called Veterinary Hospitality,” says Dr. John Boyd, founder and CEO. “We are open 24/7 and we provide complete pet care. Our all-inclusive pet resort offers veterinary supervised overnight boarding, day care, and date care, plus training, and grooming services. And, our full service veterinary hospital provides medical, dental, and surgical care, and also physical rehabilitation services...all under one roof.”

Four years ago the first Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort & Veterinary Center opened in San Diego, California. Before beginning construction on the San Diego facility, Dr. Boyd spent a lot of time selecting the right location and designing the layout of the facility.

“When we began to design, we did it from the dogs’ perspective,” shares Dr. Boyd. “We tried to avoid construction designs that would create anxiety in pets. For example, we selected flooring that would allow our guests to feel safe and secure. In many veterinary hospitals and boarding kennels, we see dogs come in and as soon as they step on tile or linoleum, their toenails splay out and they slip and slide. Their anxiety levels immediately go way up. So, we installed non-slip rubber flooring in our facility.”

And, we’ve elevated all the ceilings to between twelve and twenty-six feet,” continues Dr. Boys. “It opens up the space. Dogs are not nearly so anxious when they have open space.”

The bedrooms for the overnight guests have glass front doors, and the other three walls are solid. This gives the dogs a den-like experience where they feel safe. There are raised cots for the dogs to sleep comfortably on and calming music plays to further relax the guests. Everything has been designed expressly for the dogs’ comfort...there are no astronaut or cowboy suites to impress the people.

About a year ago, a second Dr. Boyd’s location opened in Irvine, California. This location encompasses 25,000 sq. ft. and has 200 bedrooms.

A unique feature of Dr. Boyd’s is that they have veterinary supervised boarding and daycare. “Having 24 hour vet care creates a level of comfort for the families and for us,” says Dr. Boyd. “If a pet gets sick or is injured while it is with us, we take care of it - at no charge to the owners.”

Both of the locations have lots of indoor and outdoor play space. Fresh ocean breezes, lush trees, and beautiful foliage invite the dogs to enjoy their playcation to the fullest.

Overnight guests and daycare attendees are divided into groups, and they romp together in carefully supervised all day play. There are pools for splashing and lots of play equipment to keep them engaged and active. There are multi-level structures in the play areas that add even more play space, and allow the dogs to climb, jump, and explore, and then relax in the areas underneath.

Another exclusive service the resort offers is date care. When the pet parents go out for the evening, they don’t have to feel guilty for leaving their pets at home alone. The pets can have their own evening out at the resort, where they can have lots of fun while being safely supervised.

And, all dogs are welcome at their facility. None are turned away for behavior problems. If a dog comes in that does not get along with others, they don’t participate in playgroups. Instead, they receive individual care, and are exercised separately from the others.

Feline guests have their private bedrooms, but they also get to experience the fun and freedom of the great outdoors while they are in a safe enclosure. They have a fabulous treehouse environment where they can play, jump, climb, and explore. They can even run on a huge cat wheel if they want.

Both of Dr. Boyd’s locations have instituted twenty-four hour pricing. “We are always open,” says Dr. Boyd. “When you bring in your pet to board, the clock starts ticking. Whether you drop him off at 10 AM or 10 PM, you have twenty-four hours. Beyond the twenty-four hours, every hour the pet is still there, there is a $5 happy hour charge. This way, clients don’t have to co-ordinate their life to the hours of the resort - we are there to service them at their convenience.”

“When you are a 24 hour facility, it’s fair for everybody,” Dr. Boyd continues. “Both of our locations are on the freeways and near airports. Our convenient locations and our 24/7 hours are an appreciated service. The client’s pets are not held hostage until regular business hours, they can get them anytime that works with their schedule.”

The full-service on site veterinary hospital is a very busy, yet relaxed place. The hospital has a surgical suite, x-ray and ultrasound rooms, laboratory and pharmacy, medical treatment rooms, and a dental suite. They even have a Recovery Care Boarding option where they care for your pet after surgery, while keeping you informed of their progress. It’s great for working owners.

Their physical rehabilitation department is becoming very popular with Dr. Boyd’s clients and those that have been referred by other local veterinarians. The pets can get their physical rehab and/or hydro therapy while they stay on premises, or it can be done on an outpatient basis.

John Rubin heads up the training department at both resorts. They offer a myriad of training options, such as group training lessons, day training, resort stay and train training, and one-on-one in home training. Mr. Rubin has created a training protocol that will be taught to all of the staff members of the facilities. There will also be a dog trainer’s academy on site.

Grooming and spa services are available at both locations. Whether it is a simple bath, a show groom, or getting a little wild with a bit of color - the resorts’ grooming salons can take care of any grooming request.

One of the most important business building assets of the resorts is their website, “The website is incredibly important to our brand and our business,” shares Dr. Boyd. “Initially, about 60% of our clients said that they saw our facilities from the freeway. Over time, our website and social media became the primary driver of clients to our business.”

“A highly functional website is critical to business operations running smoothly. Our website is extraordinarily helpful for people and for us to be able to take online reservations live, and complete the booking in real-time.”

We asked Dr. Boyd how important his staff is to the success of the resort.

“The staff and team is everything!” said Dr. Boyd emphatically. “Anyone can build a beautiful pet care facility. The trick is developing operating systems and assembling a staff that has a culture of kindness, expertise, compassion, and knowledge, and that also works well as a team.”

“We have approximately forty five team members at each resort,” continues Dr. Boyd. “We have training programs for each staff position and we have internships available for any team member who wants to advance to positions like veterinary technicians or dog trainers.”

“We like to have growth within the system - we hire people, not positions,” shares Dr. Boyd, and then adds, “We get so much more done as a team as opposed to individuals.”

It’s pretty clear that there is a great deal of teamwork involved in making sure that all the departments and services in these multi-business facilities run smoothly, while providing everything that a dog or cat could need or want under one roof. Dr. Boyd’s Resort & Veterinary Center - it’s veterinary hospitality at its best!

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