Wanderlust Dogs in Eagle set to expand operations | VailDaily.com

Wanderlust Dogs in Eagle set to expand operations

Jason Hershman and one of his canine clients are pictured Wanderlust Dog Ranch in 2016, just two years after its establishment. Since, the business has grown exponentially, and with a rebrand to Wanderlust Dogs, it's ready to take on more Eagle clientele.
Pam Boyd/Vail Daily

Nearly at its 10-year mark, Wanderlust Dogs has all paws on deck for its 8,500-square-foot expansion. On April 1, what once was Wanderlust Dog Ranch will debut its new building and new branding. 

Now Wanderlust Dogs, the business is discarding its Chambers-facing reception facility for a bigger building behind the current dog daycare center. Building 11 of Park East Drive, which includes the current reception area, and building 31, are the two buildings the business had been operating within. 

Wanderlust Dogs also owns building 45 and is currently fixing it up for the new reception area as well as much more connecting room for dogs to roam. Wanderlust Dogs owner Jason Hershman said the new building will offer ample space for more dogs to join the Wanderlust pack.

“We just wanted to be able to take on new customers and service the community,” Hershman said. “For a long time, we weren’t able to accommodate new customers. I think almost all of the last year, we weren’t able to. So, we just thought it’d be a good opportunity now to expand and be able to give our services to more people.”

Wanderlust Dogs operates as both a daycare service and overnight kennel service, both of which will have greater capacity with the expansion. 

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Alongside all the extra room, Hershman said the new building will also involve fun features for playtime and bedtime. Like the original daycare space, the new building is being renovated to include platforms for jumping on, obstacles to zigzag around and lots of yard space. 

Fun features that are unique to the new building include a play ramp for jumping on or hiding under, dog bunk beds and a slide into a ball pit.

Wanderlust Dogs’ current facility has separate, designated zones for small dogs and older, low-energy dogs so that larger and more playful dogs don’t hurt or overwhelm them. These zones each have separate yard spaces for dogs to spend time in as well. The new building will also have separators, establishing two additional yard play areas for six total. 

“We just like to have a lot of space for the dogs,” Hershman said. “We don’t like them to feel confined and enclosed.”

Also, the kennels for overnight stays at Wanderlust Dogs are designed to be more spacious and welcoming than what most kennel services offer. The overnight accommodations sit right inside play areas, so dogs are already familiar with the space, and aren’t enclosed up top, which has several benefits, Hershman explained.

“A lot of dogs aren’t accustomed to sleeping in cages, so we didn’t want them to feel like they were, so we keep it open,” Hershman said. “It also helps with air circulation and is just a little more comfortable for them.”

Also contributing to the dogs’ comfort is music throughout the establishment and air exchange systems for even better air circulation. Hershman said these elements will continue to allow Wanderlust Dogs to stand out among other daycare and kennel services as they’ll be implemented in the new building as well. 

At the moment, Wanderlust Dogs is focused on finishing up construction within the new building. Hershman said they’re in the “mad dash to the finish line” with the project now.

Building 45 used to be five separate office units, Hershman said. However, for the expansion, construction workers gutted three neighboring units to open up the space and add the fun features for dogs. 

“The two other units, we aren’t going to renovate at this time, but we have the opportunity to expand if we need to,” Hershman said. 

Currently, one of the units houses a break room for individuals working on-site overnight. 

“Someone stays on-site 24/7,” Hershman said. 

Ruger, an English Labrador, soaks up some sun after a 2016 walk at Wanderlust Dogs in Eagle. Since, the business has grown. With its ongoing expansion, Wanderlust Dogs will have six total yards for dogs to play in.
Anthony Thornton | athornton@vaildaily.com |

Not only will three extra units of space allow Wanderlust Dogs to service more of the Eagle canine community, Hershman said it should also help boost connectivity among humans who stop in, too. With the main entrance and reception area moving to the new space, Wanderlust Dogs is seizing the opportunity to create more of a community hangout spot.

Hershman said the new lobby is designed to be more welcoming, akin to a hotel lobby. There will be two large garage doors with a small, fenced area outside. Hershman said customers will be welcome to come and hang out there. 

With the current setup, Hershman said customers are almost rushed in and out of the establishment with their dogs. The new setup is meant to foster a sense of community, “making it a lot less transactional,” Hershman said — a spot for fun.

“I think we’ll be putting on some events as the weather gets nice,” Hershman said. “Maybe music, food trucks, things like that.”

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