Green Valley K9: Built from the “Dog” Up
By Kathy Hosler
Photos Provided By Green Valley K9 Resort
Green Valley K9 Resort was built from the dog up,” says an enthusiastic Josh Muller, the Director of Operations. “It all started with the end in mind—to design and build a luxury resort that could care for about 100 dogs.
“Every decision during the planning and construction phase was based on creating a facility designed specifically to enhance the health, safety, and wellbeing of the canine guests, and to provide them with the ultimate all-inclusive experience. Its overall design and build was truly a team effort, between the builders, developers, architect, and everyone involved.”
The team did in-depth research on the plumbing and drainage needs, air handling systems, safety and security options, fire protection, advanced cleaning and sanitation systems, and housing choices. Their efforts came to fruition with the completion of Green Valley K9, which is located in Rochester, New York. The entire project took about five years from concept to its opening in the spring of 2019. It offers the ultimate in luxury, safety, security and sanitation for canine guests.
The resort’s floor plan is configured to eliminate transmission of zoonotic diseases. It has a fully-customized air handling system with UV sterilization and ionization to eliminate airborne pathogens. There are state-of-the-art safety, security and camera systems, as well as a fire suppression system equipped with 361 sprinkler heads, and a monitored alarm system to protect the building. To view the construction step-by-step, visit their website, www.gvk9.com, and check out the “Concept to Completion” slide show.
“We have 44,000 sq. ft. of fully-fenced outdoor green space, 17,000 sq. ft. of indoor space, and 90 custom-built suites spread out over three separate wings,” says Josh. “We put a lot of thought into the design of our custom suites. They range from 5′ x 7′ up to the family size of 9′ x 13′. Each room has a window to allow natural light to enter.”
Custom acoustic panels for noise abatement are strategically placed throughout the facility. The flooring in the building was selected to be easy to clean and sanitize, and to be non-slip and offer cushioned support for the dogs.
The facility itself is spectacular, and so are all the services they offer. No detail was overlooked to ensure that every dog’s visit is as low-stress and comfortable as possible.
“Green Valley K9 functions much like a fine hotel,” says Sarah Marvin, General Manager of Green Valley. “We are an all-inclusive resort. There are no extra fees for activities or amenities, or price increases during holidays. The only additional charges are if the owner requests grooming or training services.”
The full-service grooming spa has its own private entrance and is open seven days a week. Their services range from a basic bath and nail trim to full-service, breed-specific grooms, as well as several luxury packages.
Green Valley K9 has a full range of both private training and group lessons. It all begins with a behavioral evaluation. After the trainers evaluate a dog, they formulate a training program for it. For dogs who are already boarding or attending daycare, many owners select the day training program, which is where the dog receives personalized training while at the facility. With private lessons, owners and their dogs learn together at the facility, then work on at-home reinforcement between the lessons.
Daycare is so popular that the resort is often at full capacity. Every dog who comes in for daycare is assigned its own private suite and an activity schedule is custom-tailored to its interests. For example; if a lab absolutely loves to swim, it will get extra time in the pool. Dogs that don’t care for swimming are scheduled other fun activities.
Most of the playgroups consist of five to seven dogs who are similar in size and temperament. The rotation-based daycare allows the pups to romp in the indoor playroom, play fetch on the natural grass of their private outdoor dog park, swim in the endless summer pool, then rest and nap in their private suite. One of the resort’s most popular features is the 20′ x 20′ indoor, in-ground, custom-designed swimming pool. It has a step-in entrance with a shallow end for splashing fun and a deeper end for swimming.
A sophisticated camera system is installed throughout the facility. It serves to protect the resort and also provide assurance for the pet parents. In the event of any type of incident, the video can be reviewed and shown to the owners.
Green Valley K9 is staffed 24/7. The building and dogs are never left unattended, and 24-hour veterinary care is also available.
“Whether you care for five dogs or 500, the want and desire to surround yourself with excellent team members is the most important thing,” adds Josh. “When you get quality people on your staff, they grow and advance within your facility. That’s what makes me successful as an operator.”
“Our staff of over 30 people brings experience, passion, and multiple talents with them,” says Sarah. “That really shows in the way they interact with our canine guests and their owners.
“Everyone loves photos and videos of happy dogs. Dedicated team members who also excel in photography, marketing, and social media post great content and behind-the-scenes glimpses of what we do. We have a large Instagram following and over 3,500 Facebook followers,” Sarah explains.
Their website has been absolutely vital to the resort’s meteoric success. The user-friendly site is packed with information, and allows prospective clients to take a virtual tour of the facility. That’s more important than ever since in-person tours had to be discontinued in 2020. But even with the difficult year everyone has gone through due to COVID-19, the resort continues to thrive.
“In New York, we were deemed essential from the start,” says Josh. “Our business hasn’t really dropped off, but it’s shifted. We’ve lost a significant amount of boarding, but our daycare is extremely strong. A lot of our clients are essential workers, police, and medical personnel—and they rely on us to care for their dogs when they can’t.
“From the beginning they were impressed by our air handling and purifying system, and how clean the facility and everything in it is. They are very comfortable leaving their dogs with us. Then when COVID-19 hit, we jumped out in front. We were already doing more than the required protocols,” Josh states. “Even during this pandemic, we are fully booked 1-2 months out. That’s a real testament to the planning, logistics, and how we run this facility—and to our community.”
“We are continuing to grow,” says Sarah. “Right now we are in the design phases for our second location, with eyes on future expansion. And, of course, everything will be built ‘from the dog up!’”