So we finally took the plunge and visited Action Petz in Cardiff. I have to admit I don’t like the idea of the place. I have voiced my concerns about it to friends and people I walk with and discussed it at length but I really couldn’t judge until I went along and saw for myself.
So what is Action Petz? Their website says;
Action Petz indoor dog play park and training centre is the first of its kind in the UK! We aim to make your pooches dreams come true! Action Petz…. Where dogs can run free, play, jump, learn, socialise and have the time of their lives in a completely secure indoor park. We absolutely promise that you won’t get rained on in our park and as for mud! Well there isn’t any, a big bonus in our book! For those fine weather days, there is also an outdoor dog play area.
So I got the on the bus with dog (and alternative walk in case it was terrible) in hand and we went to find out.
First impressions were its in a rough area of Cardiff. It is next to Cardiff Indoor Flea Market at the industrial estate end of Tremorfa.
I walked in and was greeted by a friendly lady. She immediately said hello to my dog and me and made us feel welcome. I explained in detail Trevors issues around other dogs and explained to her that I wasn’t entirely sure it was the right place for him, but I was willing to try. She was actually very understanding and rather than letting us get on with it, she showed us around and told us more about herself, the centre and its regular visitors.
When you first go there you walk out to the open air bit at the back to encourage your dog to do a wee and a poo outside (of course Trevor waited until he was inside to do both of course…). The park does admittedly have a smell of dog wee about it which I found a little concerning. I don’t believe there is any specialist drainage to allow proper cleaning.
The park was empty bar one Shih Tsu that was more interested in plodding about on its own than Trevor (which suited him fine) so the helpful lady brought one of her daycare dogs in to meet Trevor. A lovely collie called Lacey who was matched to him perfectly. She was fast and enjoyed being chased and when she was tired would simply lie down, and Trevor would get the idea of ‘game over’ fast and wander off to do his own thing. He ran around with a trailing lead at first so I could grab him if needs be.
The outdoor area
Inside the park
The equipment there is great, with lots to do. The outside area proved useful for Trevor to ‘cool off’ and he loved the agility kit. There are bottles of dog friendly disinfectant around the edges of the park to clean up if your dog does do a mess. One of my main concerns was the communal water bowls too, however I figure I should just take my own water for Trevor next time.
Staff are helpful
Coffee was good
Quiet on weekday mornings
Good equipment (agility etc)
Safe and secure
Didn’t seem that clean
I could see it be chaotic when busy
Sensory overload for the dogs
Rough area of Cardiff
Expensive (compared to a walk in the park)
I have some issues with the hygiene within the place, and they say your dog has to be vaccinated yearly and mine will only be done every 3 years, which means after March I cannot go for two years. Hopefully this will change though as I would like to go back. Additionally while the staff were helpful and seemed knowledgeable, I don’t think they are qualified to care for that many dogs safely.
We stayed for two hours in total, Trevor socialised with about 8 dogs in total and I admit it, I enjoyed myself and so did my dog, and isn’t that what it’s all about? As long as other dog owners in the park are responsible for their dogs and don’t treat it like a free-for-all and leave their dog to cause havoc while they have a coffee, then it’s a different adventure if you’re bored of the local field.