Owned and operated by Mykenzy Gagnon, Wilderness Wags offers a service where she picks up dogs and takes them off-leash for an outdoors adventure on an area trail and then returns them home after a rinse off and a tick check. The personalized service is provided Monday through Friday in smaller-sized groups and gives dogs plenty of room to roam and an opportunity to make new friends.
"The best thing about what we do is being able to hang out with the dogs and getting them exercise,” Gagnon said. “We have no more than eight dogs at one time and the experience makes both the dogs and their parents happy.”
She said what distinguishes Wilderness Wags from other similar dog experiences and dog walkers is that she doesn’t just walk them around in their neighborhood.
“They get to go out and have fun hiking and swimming while also getting to socialize and work on their trail manners,” Gagnon said. “I also allow for a smaller group setting so dogs aren't overwhelmed by their furry friends and truly get to connect with not only me but with the other dogs.”
According to Gagnon, the most challenging part of her work is
earning a dog’s trust.
Wilderness Wags is a new business that offers personalized
off-leash adventures for dogs and provides convenient
pick-up and drop-off service, socialization and plenty
of exercise and room to roam for dogs.
“Getting super shy dogs to trust me is by far and away the most difficult part of what I do,” she said. “But once you do earn a dog’s trust, it is also the most rewarding aspect of this work.”
Pricing for the service is highly affordable.
“I consider my pricing to be within range for the area as it is $30 for one dog for one hike where they spend three-plus hours with me as well as I offer discounts for more than one dog in the same household,” Gagnon said. “The most important thing that I would like readers to know is that when they are sending their dog with me, their dog will be with someone who is experienced in all things dog as well as that they will be both mentally and physically enriching their dog’s life leading them to live a happier and healthier life.”
Because of her extensive experience working with dogs at kennels, Gagnon noticed that dogs loved getting outside but enjoyed it even more if they had the opportunity to run and explore with other dogs. She founded Wilderness Wags a few months ago and the business offers pooches a happy place they enjoy rather than being stuck to a traditional kennel style.
“I offer a superior quality as I believe it is quality over quantity and spend my time working to make sure each dog gets the best experience they can have. I ensure that every dog is safe and taken care of by meeting with each client before they can join on any hike as well as being cat and dog first aid/CPR certified,” she said. “Clients are loving my services as now they know their dog is getting out and having a wonderful time while they are working or away and they no longer have to feel guilty for leaving their pup at home all the while they don’t have to do anything.”
Along with being first aid and CPR-certified, Gagnon is fully insured and bonded and has ample equipment to accommodate dog groups during transport.
Gagnon has stayed current with trends in the animal care industry and says that she is always looking for seminars about how to improve each experience with the dogs as well as how to further educate herself in safety protocols, training tools and techniques and researching new and exciting locations to hike in the Windham area.
“A popular trend that customers should pay attention to is that during COVID when everything shut down lots of people got dogs while they were home all day but now that they are going back to work their dogs aren't getting the same attention and exercise that they were used to,” she said. “While they could spend their money going to doggy daycares to socialize and hang out or with a dog walker to get a short outing, with my service they would be paying about the same while their dog would get to socialize in a smaller and safer setting and getting more exercise than with a short walk around the neighborhood.”
For more information about services offered by Wilderness Wags, call 207-233-5583 or visit them online at wildnernesswags.com or find them on Facebook at WildernessWagsME. <