It’s a family affair at Dogtopia of Viera, a 5,500-square-foot, off-leash, open-play dog daycare and boarding facility.
Dogtopia of Viera represents the first of its franchise in Brevard County. The site at 5410 Murrell Road, Suite 117, had its grand opening Nov. 14.
Owners Amy Hattrup, husband Lorin Hattrup and daughter Megan of Suntree researched several national options before they signed up with Dogtopia, which was founded in 2002 and started franchises in 2013. Nationwide, the company is at 150 locations and growing.
“I’m a former Brevard County schoolteacher (at Quest Elementary School), and I was looking for something different. I wanted something that would allow me to have productive use of my time and a full-time job even throughout the summer,’’ Amy Hattrup said.
The idea was formed when her parents went on a 2018 RV trip with dogs and utilized dog daycare services, she said.
“My mom said we should open up a doggie daycare, so here we are,’’ she said.
The open play facility — filled with coordinated graphics and windows for dog viewing — has a philosophy keyed on certified canine coaches constantly overseeing the open play rooms, which are designed for dogs of similar size, temperament and play style. All dogs are required to be fully vaccinated and pass the Dogtopia evaluation process. The coaches are trained to ensure that each dog makes new canine friends and learns socialization skills.
Dogtopia of Viera offers a climate-controlled environment that is clean and sanitary using pet-safe cleaning protocols, rubberized flooring and plastic play equipment in each playroom. With no outside access, accommodations are made in an area with a hydrant that is regularly changed out. A live webcam in each playroom can be accessed during playtime from a desktop computer or mobile device.
Dogs have access to up to 10 hours of safe socialization and mental activities designed to improve their manners and behavior.
“Dogs want socialization as much as humans do,’’ Megan Hattrup said.
Boarders are individually kenneled at night. For added comfort, pet parents are given the option to bring in their regular food and familiar bedding that smells like home.
Prospective customers are requested to visit the facility first and have the dog assessed through a meet-and-greet session that helps staff determine if they are a good fit for an off-leash, open-play setting.
For more information, call 321-294-4102.