Picking a daycare and boarding facility can be stressful: Will your dog be safe? Loved? And have fun, too? We’re here to help with a series highlighting the pup-lovingest daycares and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Rio Gran Boarding, Daycare, & Training Academy
Rio Gran is a big, beautiful facility in the Southeast Metro known for its luxurious suites (with seriously sweet themes, but more on that later) and loads of training options. Its Labradoodle mascots Joey and Louie can’t wait to show your pup the ropes.
Give the doggies what they (and you) want
The first thing that’ll wow you when you set foot in Rio Gran is its unique walkway, graced with park benches, trees, and a water fountain. This decor is in keeping with the facility’s overall city vibe — its luxury overnight rooms each have a different ‘storefront’ theme, ranging from Harley Davidson, to a bar, coffee shop, police station, and more. (Editor’s note: My Brody would pick the bar for sure, even though he can’t hold his licker.) Each 100-square-foot suite at Rio Gran is big enough for a comfy cot-style bed, connected to a separate, individual playroom that features stainless-steel food and water bowls, toys, and wide-open space.
Rio Gran dogs are also treated to two enormous indoor play areas fitted with low-impact rubber flooring. The playrooms give way to two equally spacious outdoor areas on this three-acre property: We’re talkin’ over 15,000 square feet of running room complete with artificial turf and pea gravel for safe, clean play.
“We pride ourselves on providing a nurturing environment; a value shared by our caring staff,” owner Jeff Peters tells us. “We’ll love your pet like you do. And we love all breeds!”
Also setting Rio Gran apart from the pack is their Training Academy, which runs the gamut from basic and advanced obedience, to rally, agility, and Canine Good Citizen and therapy-dog preparation. Classes are open to Rio Gran clients as well as members of the public. “If your pet has special needs, we will cheerfully accommodate them,” says Jeff.
The Hooman Perspective
The reviews are in: As Mary M. put it, “Rio Gran is an amazing facility, and their caring staff are wonderful. Our dogs — and our cat — are excited to return. They seem to enjoy their Rio Gran vacation as much (and sometimes more!) than we enjoy ours.”
Another client, Bob K., writes, “Simply the best. Jeff and the employees put a lot of work, care, and time into giving the best care for every pet who visits. If I were ever reincarnated, I would want to be a dog in this facility!”
The Quick Sniff
- Contact info: Rio Gran, 651-480-1122, email
- Location: 16440 Fischer Ave., Hastings (map)
- Hours: M-Sa 7am-6pm; Su 4pm-6pm
- Starting rate (daycare): $28 (full day); $16 (half day)
- Starting rate (boarding): $36/night
- Advanced daycare reservations required: No
- Breed restrictions: No
- Spay/neuter required for daycare: Yes
- Test day required for daycare: Yes
- Boarding available for pets other than dogs: Yes (cats)
- Amenities: Air conditioning, dog beds in kennels, dogs can bring toys and/or comfort objects from home, foster dogs accepted, half-day pricing, indoor and outdoor play areas, luxury kennels, music played in kennels, one-on-one cuddle time, one-on-one play time, online scheduling, report cards, separate play areas by size and temperament
- Services: Bathing, behavioral consultations, training (obedience, therapy-dog, rally, and agility)
- Nonprofit ruv: Rio Gran supports Pet Project Rescue, Secondhand Hounds, and Shih Tzu Rescue of MN.
Your dog will be wagging her little tail off when she hears she’s headed to Rio Gran. (Don’t forget to tell ’em Sidewalk Dog sent you!)
This spotlight was sponsored by the team at Rio Gran, who love dogs. Period. Current and former customers are encouraged to submit reviews via their Sidewalk Dog directory listing. (Know or own a daycare or boarding biz we should feature? Doo tell!)