Located in the South Bronx, Bronx Barx is the only full-service doggie care facility in the borough. Catering to dog owners in the community, this Bronx neighborhood business founded by Renzo Pereda and Steven Toledo provides daycare, boarding, grooming and training.
“We opted to move to the Bronx - my husband Steven’s hometown - back in 2016, and within a year we decided to apply my seven years of dog walking experience to establish the South Bronx's first full service dog daycare center” says co-owner Renzo Pereda.
The inspiration for embarking on this entrepreneurial venture was their personal experience as doggie parents. “As dog owners who provide a quality of life to our pets, we saw the necessity of extending these essential services to our Bronx community.”
Their instinct about filling this void in the local community proved spot on as they quickly acquired a long list of regular tail-wagging canine clients and happy puppy parents! From a business standpoint, dog services is a growing segment of the pet services industry that is here to stay and on the rise. There are currently at least 4,000 exclusive doggy day care facilities which provide no other services operating in the United States right now, according to CBS News.
Like most businesses around the country, Covid-19 had a direct impact on Bronx Barx’s thriving business forcing a shutdown for three months between March and June. Although this was indeed a business hardship, they understand the necessity. “We empathize with all small businesses, and we believe that it was the necessary action to protect the health and well-being of our community members. Unfortunately, our landlord has not been willing to provide any relief, and so our main expense has compounded over this period and we have an uphill road ahead of us” says Renzo. “But thankfully, our clients have been very loyal and, for the most part, have been able to return now in June and July, along with a whole new set of clients.”
Doing their part to help out during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, this small business extended free daycare days to a number of essential workers in The Bronx Barx family working in the hospitals, to which they are very grateful.
Many might say that while grooming, training and boarding are necessities and come with the territory of owning a dog, but doggie daycare is merely a luxury, industry growth says otherwise. According to Pet Boarding and Daycare Magazine, “The dog daycare industry is a couple decades old, and daycare has moved from being viewed as a frivolous activity for a pet to a much needed social outlet for a beloved family member.”
He goes on to add, “dogs are social animals and it is important to keep their brain stimulated. Working from home can be hard on a dog, especially if you have a dog who is highly energetic. For puppy owners in particular, we cannot stress enough the importance of proper socialization, to ensure a well-adjusted dog who can enjoy a long and fulfilled life.”
Bronx Barx reopened on June 22nd, as part of the NY State Phase II reopening. Committed to taking all effective steps to protect both their team and clients from COVID-19, the small business is following OSHA guidelines for medium risk establishments. This includes required masks and hand sanitizer for their team members as well as required masks for guests.
The facility also has advanced HEPA air filtration systems and daily deep cleanings to prevent not only COVID-19, but also all other transmittable canine pathogens. Additionally, Renzo points out, “we are proud to always have been in compliance with the DOHMH regulations, and will work to ensure a safe and fun environment for all of our doggies and staff.”
The 4000 square foot space is designed with an open concept and gates that provide visibility making it possible to see everyone and allowing for the staff to be attentive to each dog. It is divided into two areas to accommodate small and large dogs. Full of ramps and toys, dogs are free to roam about and play. The space is also equipped with cameras so doggie parents can tune and watch their beloved pet play during their stay.
Regular protocols for new daycare guests remain in effect, which includes an initial temperament test and the required standard vaccinations (rabies, distemper/parvo and bordetella). More details for newcomers can be found at BronxBarx.com. With an average of anywhere from 16-23 guests daily for daycare, Bronx Barx also has the capacity for up to ten dogs at one time for boarding.
- Till next time,