Muddy Puppy Pet Market & Bath is a retail pet business featuring quality pet foods and supplies, training and a full-line grooming salon, as well as unique-to-the-market self-serve dog wash stations, specialty photography and an immersive, interactive environment centered around experiences rather than mere transactions.
With a mission focused on the health and well-being of animals – and the happiness of those who love and care for them – Muddy Puppy offers a full complement of high-end, quality products, including a large custom-built area for treats, and a seasoned staff of pet professionals. Our grooming salon will employ four experienced groomers working with the latest equipment, while our 500-square-foot training area, managed by an industry expert with 20 years of experience, offers ample space for classes, clinics and special events such as rescue and adoption fairs.
Alone in the market, the 5,000-square-foot store will offer three self-service dog wash stations, open 24/7, complete with the choice of four soap varieties, flea and tick treatment, a deodorizer, a vacuum and a dryer. A separate self-service area allows owners to snap one-of-a-kind pet photos, including the ability to dress up animal friends for holidays or special events.
As Coralville’s only independent pet store, Muddy Puppy aims to blend the full-service convenience of big box pet outlets with the community, customer-service-based ethos of a small, neighborhood business. Home delivery of bulk food and other items is just one service that will set us apart from our competitors. Pet-friendly agility activities throughout the store and a stream of in-house events – from charity walks incorporating the nearby Thornberry Dog Park to free veterinary clinics – will keep animals and their owners coming back again and again.
The store, sited on a highly visible property along heavily trafficked First Avenue in Coralville, is well positioned to take advantage of its location near Interstate 80, the University of Iowa and a large population of pet owners. Iowa Department of Transportation figures indicate about 23,000 cars pass the address daily. What’s more, two pet-friendly student housing units, Aspire and Latitude, are located within a one-mile radius and a number of area non-student condo and apartment complexes also allow dogs. That places Muddy Puppy on the walking route of hundreds of busy professionals and students looking for a convenient one-stop shop for their pet care needs.
The retail pet industry is stable and growing. 2018 sales amounted to more than $72 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), and are expected to grow to $90 billion over the next two years. The APPA estimates about 48 percent of American households own dogs, and not even poor economic conditions slow down their spending, with one association survey suggesting 70 percent would not curtail their spending in an economic downturn and 11 percent reporting they would spend even more. Millennials, like those living in Muddy Puppy’s one-mile radius, lead the way in pet care spending. A 2014 petfoodspending.com report showed younger Americans spent nearly $11 billion on their pets, accounting for 15 percent of the total $60 billion spent on pets that year.
Tracy Davis, a longtime dog-lover who currently has three at home, envisages his business as a sole proprietorship LLC. He has 25 years of executive management experience, including 15 years as the owner, operator and general manager of Core Fitness, the chain he founded.