A Dog’s Life
Led by owner Kevin Lehman, the team of experienced pet professionals at Perfect Pooch ensures each four-legged client has the best days possible
by Leigh Stuart

As any loving dog owner will say, canines truly deserve the title “man’s best friend.” As such, these loyal companions deserve nothing but the best. This is exactly what owner Kevin Lehman of Perfect Pooch strives to provide at his facility in King of Prussia every day.

Having led the Perfect Pooch team for nearly 10 years, Lehman is more than well versed in all things canine, so when he explains that the goal of his facility is to be “a resource for the life of your dog,” it doesn’t sound too lofty at all. Whether an owner is looking to find the best in boarding, daycare, grooming or training for their pet, Perfect Pooch has the answer.

To this end, every inch of Perfect Pooch’s three-acre facility is used to the fullest. Dogs can enjoy areas within the nearly 12,000 square feet of turfed yards. The facility already houses full grooming and overnight-stay facilities, but Perfect Pooch recently expanded with the addition of a 4,000-square-foot indoor exercise yard. This space is climate controlled during winter months, and can be combined with the facility’s existing outdoor space to offer a shaded pavilion area during the summer months.

These facilities complement the existing and quite expansive play areas at Perfect Pooch that cater to dogs of all sizes and levels of sociability. In fact, to ensure all Perfect Pooch pups are placed in an environment they will find most beneficial, all dogs who become regular guests undergo a thorough evaluation.

During their first day with Perfect Pooch, each dog undergoes an evaluation by an experienced Perfect Pooch staff member. This measure is taken to assess temperament and ensure each dog is placed within a like-minded group of dogs that the pup will be happiest with, all with the goal of maximizing each dog’s Perfect Pooch experience.

“The services and benefits we provide, and the amount of time we spend interacting with the dogs, set us apart,” Lehman says.

Perfect Pooch daycare and boarding dogs get to enjoy hours upon hours of off-leash playtime each day, all under the supervision of experienced staff members. This amenity is standard, Lehman notes, and comes at no extra cost to an owner, as the staff at Perfect Pooch believes playtime is something all dogs deserve.

“We excel in the environment we provide for dogs,” Lehman says. “They are not trapped in individual cages; they run most of the time and interact with the staff and other dogs, either outside on nice days or indoors on cold or snowy days.

“We provide a stress-free environment for dogs,” he continues. “They are closely supervised, plus, when they are inside to take a midday break, there is staff walking by the cages. In general, the staff is always around.”

Along with daycare, Perfect Pooch’s most popular service is boarding. Unlike some of the pricier boarding facilities in the area, Perfect Pooch does not believe in the necessity of over-the-top amenities such as flat-screen TVs for dogs. Rather, the staff at Perfect Pooch believes dogs need to be dogs; this means being afforded plenty of time to play, socialize, eat and nap—and perhaps the occasional tummy rub.

“Ideally, dogs will come to us as puppies; they’ll get used to us and the socialization, and we’ll help them through their ‘puppy times’ with daycare,” Lehman says. “Then, when they’re older and need less exercise or they have special needs, we can help. … We have large areas so they can lie down, and we have beds for them. We always have options to exercise less. We watch the dogs closely; we don’t want them to overdo it.”

In addition to offering facilities to meet the needs of dogs of all sizes and ages, Perfect Pooch offers a highly qualified staff. Most staff members who have regular interaction with the dogs are certified in specialized CPR/first-aid training for dogs. The trainers at Perfect Pooch also have a great deal of experience.

These qualifications are a great asset to Perfect Pooch’s training programs. Whether a dog is in daycare, boarding or just needs a bit of help with manners around the house, Perfect Pooch’s expert trainers can provide assistance.

The head of the training staff is Tamar Paltin, who has a great deal of experience working with and studying animals of all kinds. Paltin, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, holds an undergraduate degree in psychobiology with a concentration in animal behavior from Arcadia University in Glenside. She has also garnered experience working locally as an intern with the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown and abroad with the London Zoo.

Paltin offers her expertise to Perfect Pooch pups through a variety of means. Two popular options are the “board and train” and “daycare and train” programs. For both programs dogs spend, on average, 10 to 14 days at Perfect Pooch, either staying overnight or going home with their pet parents in the evening. Along with both training services, Perfect Pooch adds five private lessons to the training regimen.

“We are a one-stop shop to support you and your dog,” Paltin says. “We really get to know the dogs. … It’s like sending your child to school—your teacher knows your kid.”

Perfect Pooch has also grown to meet clients’ demands for in-home lessons outside of the board and train or daycare and train programs. While the facility has always offered such lessons, they were offered on a more limited basis. “Private in-house lessons can treat more specific behavioral problems,” Lehman says. “In-home lessons can help with different or environment-specific issues.”

In addition to expanding their training services, one of the newest ways Perfect Pooch is working to be a resource to all dog owners is via their blog, www.perfect-pooch.com/dog-blog, which features articles ranging in subject matter from animal behavior to common pet questions. Recent topics have included “Puppy realities,” “Spring safety” and “Is it time to add a second dog?” The blog even explores answers to questions such as “Who should go through the door first?” as well as “Can your dog eat that pizza crust?” and “Do you let your dog sleep in bed?”

As Lehman says, “We deal with a lot of dogs. We have certified trainers, people with educational experience, so we are trying to become more and more of an educational resource for people as well.

“I think certain places have really fancy facilities but end up charging a lot more,” Lehman continues. “We’re efficient, we’re thorough, and we care. We have experienced people supervising, and for a reasonable price.”

Perfect Pooch
200 King Manor Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Photograph by Jody Robinson