Dogs are welcomed with open arms, fresh treats and new toys inside Muddy Puppy Pet Market’s 5,000-square-foot store in Coralville at 570 First Ave. “We encourage people to bring their dogs in,” said owner Tracy Davis. “They love being in here, and the dogs are interacting with each other all the time.” Before opening the […]
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Dogs are welcomed with open arms, fresh treats and new toys inside Muddy Puppy Pet Market’s 5,000-square-foot store in Coralville at 570 First Ave.
“We encourage people to bring their dogs in,” said owner Tracy Davis. “They love being in here, and the dogs are interacting with each other all the time.”
Before opening the store, Mr. Davis ran a dog wash business in town for eight years but decided he wanted to do more to “help out the industry” since he has always been an animal lover.
His newest venture is a retail store, dog wash area and grooming salon business (with the two groomers constantly booked, he says) all rolled into one and is located within a mile of Thornberry Dog Park.
“It’s inexpensive,” he explained about the dog washing service. “It’s $10 for 12 minutes…you get the shampoo, conditioner, blow dryer and we provide the towels. It’s economically priced, and people love it.”
“I’m always on the lookout for new products and toys for the store,” Mr. Davis added. “When customers come in, they always want to know what the best, long-lasting toy or treat is. We have a lot of varieties for that. As dogs mature, they want to find something that entertains them for a while.”
Toy and food products now cater only to cats and dogs, although they plan to expand into the small animal and reptile sector soon.
Donna Manchester, a dog trainer for nearly 40 years, leads classes out of Muddy Puppy Pet Market. Those classes last eight to 10 weeks. Beginning and advanced classes are an hour once a week.
“She’s just fabulous,” said Mr. Davis. “She really knows her stuff, and I’ve seen some major, major improvements on some of these dogs that come in through our system. It’s neat to see the transformation.”
He said that the business is looking to hire one or two additional groomers to help manage the demand of new and repeat customers.
They have also begun hosting events, like a Barks and Bags cornhole tournament, as a social outing for pet owners.
“We’re looking at doing things all of the time,” he said, noting the facility is much larger than people usually expect, so there is room for activities. They hope to start nights where pet owners can draw and make paintings of their pets or even have them participate in boxcar races.
“We can set up a little racetrack and put dogs in these little boxes and decorate them,” he explained. “I think we have our first one already set up to go. We have one customer that has six Dachshunds, and I have a friend that has three. So we’re going to start our first boxcar race here probably in the next month or so.”
“During colder nights, we encourage people to come in and even just walk the store with their dogs,” he added. “Or if you want to set your dogs loose in our training area and throw the ball around, we’re perfectly fine with that. It’s a great social environment.”