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Science grad takes doggy daycare to the next level

June 10, 2015 — 

Faculty of Science grad Laurel Skuba [BSc/2008], owner of The Pawsh Dog, has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2015 BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) Young Entrepreneur Award. The award pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age.

To claim the $100,000 grand prize, Skuba needs to secure the most votes from Canadians coast to coast. If she wins, she plans to use the funds to help her company develop canine physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatments for injuries and age-related conditions that often lead to premature loss of mobility and euthanasia.

The Pawsh Dog is a high-end doggy day care that offers grooming, training and boarding. The company has four locations in Winnipeg, including The Pawsh Dog Wellness Centre that features a hydrotherapy pool, dry-land fitness facility and team of canine-mobility specialists. However, due to regulatory constraints, the facility can’t provide medical or therapeutic treatments without the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Skuba hopes to bring on board full-time veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation therapists to provide specialized medical services. She also plans to invest in canine rehabilitation equipment currently not available in Manitoba, such as a underwater treadmill. When complete, the facility will be the first of its kind in Canada.

“Anybody who has ever owned an animal and watched them get sick and lose the ability to run and play will be sympathetic to this cause,” Skuba says. “Dogs, like people, can benefit from disciplines like rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, laser therapy, massage, chiropractic and acupuncture, but no one, including local veterinarians, offers all these services under one roof.”

Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC, says, “Each of this year’s finalists has provided a compelling story about how their business stands at that crucial crossroads where the right mix of vision and action can secure future growth and success. With her canine wellness centre, Laurel is giving dog owners a better way to help their furry friends live longer, healthier lives.”

Voting for the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest runs from June 3 to 17. To vote, log on to the contest microsite and vote once a day. Follow the contest through updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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