The pet boarding business is a family affair for Ryan Bauman, the owner of Karnik on Black in Waterville. His father owns Karnik Pet Lodge on Central Ave. and in Ann Arbor. Ryan grew up on the land Karnik on Black was built on.
“The original, traditional dog kennel that used to sit next door, that was built in 1973,” Bauman said. “Where the driveway currently sits runs through where our family house used to be. So I was born and raised here on the property.”
Modern pet care
The opening of Karnik on Black’s new luxury pet lodge in 2019 marked the expansion of the business into the next generation. And not just for Ryan, stepping into the family business on his own, but in terms of the kind of services provided.
The new pet lodge on the property is distinctly modern, but with plenty of nods to the original kennel built nearly 50 years ago. The original was a traditional indoor/outdoor kennel. The new building still offers plenty of outdoor play spaces for pets, but is designed to give the feel of being outside even when indoors. It features over 20 skylights, a 20’ diameter fan and large windows that can be opened to circulate air.
“We wanted the feel of being inside the building to not feel like a warehouse,” Bauman said. “We wanted clients to feel, dogs to feel, employees to feel like ‘I might be working inside a building but it very much feels like I’m outside.’”
Despite the modern amenities, Bauman said it was important to preserve the feel of the country at Karnik on Black.
“The biggest thing that makes Karnik on Black unique is that we are truly a country location. We have four acres. Any of our competitors, any of the other pet care providers in Northwest Ohio, are much more of a commercial feel, a commercial setting.”
The lap of luxury
The biggest draw for Karnik remains its pet boarding services, with a variety of options for clients, from 4’ x 6’ “classic suites” to 8’ x 8’ luxury suites— full-on pet hotel rooms with a doggy day bed, a flat-screen TV playing Animal Planet and more. The luxury suites have quickly become Karnik on Black’s most popular option.
“Let’s give all clients an opportunity for different suite options, depending upon what their needs might be. Our classic suites are very reminiscent of the suites we had in the old building— more of a classic, traditional style,” Bauman said.
“If they want more space, and they want something that’s a tad bit nicer, they can move up to the deluxe suites— almost double the space as the classic, so it gives the dog even more space. If they want all the plush frills— they want the flatscreen TV, and the ceiling fan, they want the web-based cam so they can go watch their pet— that’s what our luxury suites offer.”
In addition to boarding and day care, Karnik on Black aims to expand in the future. Bauman has plans to add dog training and build a dog park on the property. Recently, in the wake of the COVID shutdown, Karnik on Black added pet grooming to their services.
“Post-COVID reopening, grooming was one of those services that people very much had a need, that had been delayed for that 8, 9, 10 week period, and people were very desperate to get their dog a haircut, get their dog’s nails trimmed. And just talking among our staff, we realized we had the skillset, right here on our own team, to be able to launch into grooming,” Bauman said.
Karnik on Black also offers Cat Condos for taking care of your feline friends, located in a luxury lounge near the facility’s entrance. The lounge can be repurposed for special events, such as the monthly “Puppy Cam” event featuring dogs up for adoption, held in partnership with the Toledo Humane Society.
Above all, Bauman said that pet owners can take comfort in the transparency that Karnik on Black gives them.
“We give them access— private, web-based access— to all of our cameras. They can scroll through all the different cameras in our facility. They can see what our staff’s doing, they can see all of our play yards, they can see when we take their dog out and have play time or a potty break. They can see our day care, our entire play and day care spaces, from the inside play spaces to the outside play yards. Nobody else does that.”
Karnik on Black
5411 Black Rd., Waterville
419-878-8888 | karnikonblack.com