Dan’s Pet Care has opened its first cage-free boarding and doggy daycare center, in Glen Cove.
What started out as a pet-walking service out of his parent’s basement 14 years ago, is now a 24/7 daycare space for pets, said Daniel Reitman, the company’s CEO and founder.
Reitman launched the company in 2009, after dropping out of college and spending a few years working at Manhasset Animal Hospital.
“I was lucky enough to be able to turn my love of animals into not just a job, but an actual business,” he said. “I started with a few clients here and there on the weekends and before I knew it, I was hiring employees and growing the business across the Island.”
Now, at the 5,000-square-foot center in Glen Cove, 4,000 square feet is devoted to an indoor play area, while outdoors, there’s another 2,000 square feet for play. The center features round-the-clock staff, an on-call vet and a focus on “rigorous sanitation,” according to a press release about the new center. All team members receive pet first-aid and CPR training.
Pets get regular playtime at the center. In addition to daycare, the center offers grooming, training and other services, including flexible pickup hours and a pet taxi.
The company, which has a focus on digital and an avid social media following, now has 80 employees, and more than 3,500 clients, Reitman said. He expects to expand services in Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey, in addition to re-opening in Connecticut.
“Long term we are looking to build out our app and expand our facilities across the country,” he said.
The expansion of Dan’s Pet Care comes at a time when the pet-care industry is growing. Since the pandemic, there are 5 million more pets in the United States, according to a 2022 report by Morgan Stanley. Spending on pet services is expected to grow throughout the decade, hitting $118 billion by 2030, according to Morgan Stanley.
The company has grown its social media following to more than 700,000 on YouTube, more than 100,000 on Facebook and more than 50,000 on Instagram. Engaging content online of pets and their antics has led to coverage in People, The Dodo, as well as network news.
Still, Reitman hasn’t forgotten his roots.
“We were in my parents’ basement from 2009 to 2016,” Reitman said of the company’s early beginnings.
“In 2016 we got a one-room office in Port Washington. In December of 2021, we rented our office in Manhasset where we have our production studio and multiple office spaces. We also opened our Brooklyn office in summer of 2020,” he said.
The company opened its doors in Glen Cove to the public on Dec. 18, he said.
COVID, he said, hit the company hard. That’s when people were home, and didn’t need dog-walkers. Layoffs soon followed.
“After I had to lay off the entire company, we had to crawl our way back up from basically zero,” he said.
Now, as the company is back in growth mode, Reitman says he is keeping his focus on safety.
“Safety is our number-one priority, always has been and always will be,” he said. “I put my name on this business because I stand by what we do and that is to provide peace of mind to pet parents.”
To help dogs and cats in need, the center has installed an 85-inch monitor in its lobby, featuring those who are available for adoption at Cove Animal Rescue, and Gatto’s Pups so that these animals can find new homes.
Through Jan. 31, the center is holding a giveaway – a full year of doggy daycare. The company is also teaming up with BarkBox, The Farmer’s Dog and other local businesses for additional giveaways.
These days, Reitman is grateful.
“I was a bit of a handful as a kid,” he said. “I was in rehab by 16 and struggled with substance abuse into my late teens and early twenties. I was lucky enough to clean my act up and funnel that addiction into this business. I eat, breathe and sleep what we do. Some might say I am obsessed but I simply feel that I have found my calling.”