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Berthoud Goes to the Dogs

Here’s a Look at Some Local Businesses for Four-Legged Friends

Epic the German Shepherd has had a special home away from home since he was just four months old.     

A short drive off County Road 1 is a doggie heaven on Earth: an expansive, 22-acre property with six different, vast play yards where Epic and other dogs can romp and play while their owners are away — whether that’s just for a workday or for a longer vacation.

It’s called the Happy Tails Dog Ranch, and if Epic is any indicator, the name is fitting.

“Everyone that works there has been there since I started taking him almost three years ago, so I trust them, and I trust that it’s a great place to work,” says Epic’s owner, Andrea Lewis, of Berthoud.

For $24 a day, Epic gets a full day of fun, plus a report card and photos. Dogs are evaluated and placed into groups with other dogs the appropriate age, size and, well, style of play. Harder players are separated from the timid and more gentle pups.

“I’ve boarded Epic for up to a week there before, too, and it’s been a saving grace to have somewhere to take him while I’m at work and go on vacation,” Lewis says.

Happy Tails is one of the many locally owned businesses in Berthoud that cater to the four-legged family members. Whether you’re headed out of town for the holidays and need someone reliable to take care of your pets and house, or your dog’s hairstyle just needs a new year’s tune-up, Berthoud’s businesses have you more than covered.

Here’s a peek at a few local canine specialists. Due to how much Berthoud loves its dogs, this is by far not a the total list — but it’s a great place to start. Some of these are in-home businesses and hidden gems you’ll be glad you now know about.

Dog Walking

Justine Lund walks dogs through her business Pup Relief, LLC. She has been walking dogs for three years, first for another company, but she says she decided to open her own business when she moved to Prairie Star.

“I am a huge dog-lover. Both my daughters love the dogs, too. I get my exercise. They get to take stroller rides, and we all get to be with the dogs we have come to love,” Lund says. “I treat all the animals like they are my own.”

She is currently focused in the Prairie Star neighborhood, but her plan is to hire more people who live in other neighborhoods to expand throughout Berthoud.

Pup Relief also offers housesitting, doggie day care, dog running and cares for other animals.

Dog Training

Kaitlin Miller, of Berthoud, is the founder of TruDog Training. Miller, a German Shepherd breeder, offers a customizable training approach tailored to you and your dog.

Dog Day’s Training Center, in Berthoud, is headed up by Laurie Buffington, who has a lengthy resume in all things canine. She was a certified dog behavior consultant and is a nationally certified dog trainer, among other accolades. She has more than two decades of experience training dogs, including work with at-risk dogs on behalf of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. 

Another training option in Berthoud is PAWSitive Approach LLC, which offers custom, in-home dog training. Some lessons include general obedience, how to politely greet visitors, how to get your dog to come when you call (every time) and how to teach your dog to do chores around the house (yup, you read that right).

Dog Food

Miller also runs a home-based raw dog food business called NoCo Raw Dog Food.

“My dogs mean the world to me and after having some minor health issues with all of my dogs, I decided to research more about their food and the effects their diet has on them,” Miller writes on her website.

She says she decided to make a serious change and only feed them raw food. She started making a blend of raw meat for her dogs and within weeks, their health problems began to disappear.

“Once I saw the amazing results, there was no going back to kibble,” she says.

Today, she provides a high-quality, low-cost raw food. To keep costs down, she doesn’t ship; she only offers pick-up or delivery in the Northern Colorado region.

Dog Grooming

Bow Wow Meow Fairy Tale Villa is a favorite local “paw spa.” This groomer offers low-stress appointments that are charged by the minute.

The Canine Corral also offers dog grooming, and despite the name, it can even spruce up your cat.

 Dog Boarding

The Dog Ranch is another reputable, local dog boarding facility, located on 30 acres just south of town off U.S. 287. The Dog Ranch features large play yards, as well as a big indoor play area, a vet facility, an adoption center, a retail store and more.

Destiny’s Club Mutt is another family-owned and operated pet boarding company in Berthoud that has been caring for pets since 1998. Here, you can get climate-controlled, overnight dog and cat boarding, day care and dog grooming. Bonus: Ask about the “luxury penthouse suite,” which comes with personalized attention in a private section away from the standard suites. This upgraded wing features eight themed suites decorated like Paris, the beach, a cabin and more. 

Dog-Centric Nonprofit

The Dog Ranch is home to the nonprofit Rescues Rescuing Veterans, which matches rescued animals with veterans who need an emotional support animal. More than 22 veterans are lost to suicide every day, making it the leading cause of death in the military, surpassing war. In addition, thousands of dogs are killed every day in shelters. The nonprofit aims to bridge this gap and help two problems with one mission, providing a home for the dogs and companionship for veterans.

Physical Therapy

Katy Patrick-Carlson, a local doctor of physical therapy and certified canine rehab therapist, owns Northern Colorado Canine Rehab. She offers home-based physical therapy services for pets and works closely with vets in town. 

Patrick-Carlson started her work helping people for eight years, but transitioned to canines in 2018. This was inspired by the first dog she had as an adult, a pitbull mix named Sancho.

 “He was the love of my life, and I would have done absolutely anything for him,” she says.

But he had some health issues. He needed three different knee surgeries, but he recovered well from each one with normal walks and a few laser sessions. It was in those sessions that Patrick-Carlson learned about canine physical therapy.

Then, when Sancho was 10, he developed a brain tumor that led to violent seizures, severe limitation in mobility and the inability to safely maneuver the house. Traditional vet care didn’t have any options other than medication to help manage the issues, and she struggled to find holistic and palliative care for him.

Sancho’s death was life-changing. She began studying canine physical therapy and learned there was a ton physical therapists could offer for dogs that are aging, with a terminal diagnosis or recovering from surgery. So she went back to school and changed her career.

“Now, I treat all my clients with the care and knowledge that I lacked during that time with Sancho,” she says. “It is my way of honoring his memory and finding purpose.”

Today, Patrick-Carlson specializes in helping geriatric dogs and dogs that need conservative care to address orthopedic or neurological conditions.

“I offer the full spectrum of rehabilitation services to both dogs and their owners, in the comfort of their own homes,” she says. “I have a passion for empowerment through education and work with each client to develop a personalized plan of care that fits their dogs’ needs.”

She also treats post-op and traumatic cases and works closely with the Berthoud Animal Hospital on these cases as part of their interdisciplinary care network.