Our Story Healthy Hound Playground & Grooming
Healthy Hound Playground was conceived by Brandon Power in the summer of 2012.
Brandon grew up with a passion for dogs and always had a keen interest in these special creatures. After spending 18 years in the management consulting industry, he decided it was time for a big change - it was time to turn his passion into his career.
Brandon wanted to build a dog care facility where he and his wife, Shayda, would feel comfortable leaving their own dogs. It was their belief that dogs are entitled to some core services, whether socializing in daycare or boarding overnight.
After investigating the pet boarding service industry in Northern VA, he felt he could offer the market something new and innovative by combining some key features that were not currently being provided in tandem, along with a high level of creature comfort and a superior customer experience. Such features included regular outdoor potty breaks along with 12 hours of continuous cage-free dog daycare, spacious kennels, and 24/7 onsite attendants. His goal was to provide these services and keep the cost to customers at a competitive price point.
Brandon’s dream became a reality when Healthy Hound Playground opened its doors in March of 2013. The original 6,200 sq ft facility boasted 23 large 4 ft by 6 ft canine cottages (kennels) and 2,000 sq ft of dedicated daycare space, subdivided into two large playrooms.
The quick growth of the business surprised Brandon and Shayda and they realized that if the opportunity came along to expand the current facility, they should seize it.
In the forefront of their desire to expand was the desire to grow their customer base responsibly. They did so by increasing the footprint of the facility, ensuring that their guests have ample space to run, play, and socialize in daycare, and also maintaining their spacious canine cottage size so that the dogs are always comfortable overnight. They have also kept staff to dog ratios consistent, ensuring that their safety standards are consistently met.
Since 2013 Healthy Hound Playground has expanded three times into three adjoining suites and now boasts 18,000 sq ft that provides over 100 large, built-in canine cottages and 6,000 sq ft of dedicated daycare space divided into multiple playrooms – becoming one of the largest dog care facilities in Northern VA.
After initially offering daycare and boarding, Healthy Hound Playground decided to expand their service offering by building a full spectrum Grooming Salon & Spa. The salon has since been Voted “Best Groomer” by Northern VA Magazine in both 2018 and 2019 and by the Washingtonian in 2020. Customers of Healthy Hound Grooming Salon & Spa include both daycare and boarding guests, as well as those who come solely for haircuts, bathing, and nail trims.
Today, Healthy Hound Playground and Grooming Salon & Spa continues to offer doggie parents a top notch customer service experience while providing a fun, comfortable, and safe environment for all canine clients.
Healthy Hound Playground and Grooming Salon & Spa maintains consistent 5 star ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. It has received recognition from both The Washingtonian Magazine and Northern Virginia Magazine as the Best Dog Daycare and Boarding Kennel in the area, as well as Best Groomer. It has also received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for maintaining a perfect “A Rating.”
Top Pet Care Provider 2020 Washingtonian
Best of Nova Magazine 2020
NOVA Magazine 2019
Top Pet Care Provider 2019 Washingtonian
Best of Nova Magazine 2018
Best Washingtonian 2015
Best of Nova Magazine 2017
Angie's List 2015
Best Washingtonian 2017
Best of Nova Magazine 2016
The combination of an expansive facility, highly trained staff, continual supervision, and a common love for all dogs makes Healthy Hound Playground a truly unique business in our industry.
Owner Brandon Power
As a teenager, Brandon's academic dream was to study business at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1995 he earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Economics with a dual concentration in Marketing and Strategic Management.
After graduation, Brandon began his career in the management consulting field with KPMG, working for such companies as Heinz, Campbell’s, Vlasic Foods, Ryder, as well as for federal clients including the U.S. Senate. Brandon came to Northern VA in 1999 to support an internet startup during the dot-com bubble. In the aftermath, he and a handful of coworkers built a management consulting firm that was eventually sold to a larger government contractor. Brandon then spent several years in the federal cleared recruiting space.
After working for 18 years in a corporate setting, Brandon became eager to follow both his passion for dogs and entrepreneurship; together with Shayda, he decided to make a bold career move by starting Healthy Hound Playground in 2012. Their vision was to provide the level of service to their customers that they would demand for their own dogs.
Today, Brandon works closely with Gus to oversee back of the house operations and is currently engaged in the development of additional locations. Brandon resides in Northern VA with his wife and business partner, Shayda, and their ever expanding pack of dogs.
Owner Shayda Power
A McLean native, Shayda was born and raised in Northern VA. She earned her Bachelor's of Arts in English with a concentration in Russian Literature in Translation from George Mason University. During this time, she began an administrative career that led to serving C-suite executives at two major telecommunications firms. Her final role prior to moving out of the field was Chief of Staff at a recruiting firm focused on top level cleared human capital in the federal space.
Encouraging Brandon’s entrepreneurial ambition, the two identified a market need and created the idea of Healthy Hound Playground. Their concept was brought to fruition when in 2013 the business opened its doors to its first four-legged customers. Shayda continues to utilize her administrative management skills to oversee marketing, human resources and accounting for the business. She is very active in working with their rescue partner, Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland, to identify and coordinate the rescue and care of Healthy Hound’s foster dogs.
Manager Gus Coughlin
Originally from Alabama, Gus spent his childhood moving to different states along the East Coast, finally landing in Northern Virginia. He began his career working with dogs in 2012 as a summer part-time Training Assistant for a company that focuses on dog training and rehabilitation. Finding that he truly enjoyed working with dogs and learning the inter-workings of small business, Gus stayed on past the summer and continued to work while completing his Bachelor’s of Science in Business at George Mason University. Over time, Gus honed his skills to become one of only three employees trusted to work with the most behaviorally challenged dogs in their care. He also advanced into a full time management position.
One of Gus' most rewarding experiences during this time was working with one of the company’s foster dogs, a black lab named Bear. The rescue organization Bear was being fostered under had concluded that he was unadoptable due to his aggressive nature toward both dogs and humans. Gus saw the potential in Bear, and continued to work with him until he was able to be around both people and other dogs without exhibiting any aggression. Having forged a bond with Bear, Gus and his family decided to adopt him, and they will now tell you that this unadoptable dog is the best dog they’ve ever had.
Hungry for a new challenge, Gus joined Healthy Hound in 2017 where he would have the opportunity to utilize his management and dog experience in a larger capacity. Although he was brought in to serve in a management role, Gus agreed to start with the company as a daycare attendant and work in various positions to become intimately acquainted with the requirements and functions of each role, as well as to earn the respect of his new teammates. While doing this, he evaluated the functioning of the facility as a whole and made changes to improve processes that have directly resulted in higher customer satisfaction rates. Today, Gus continues to serve as Operations Manager, overseeing all departments and ensuring the team delivers the best possible experience to all clients.
Salon Manager Tonya Jarrell
Raised in north central PA, Tonya grew up in the country and enjoyed the company of many family pets. At a young age she was interested in understanding their behavior and learning proper handling techniques. After attending a local college to study business management, she decided she would be happier in a hands on career for which she had a passion. She decided to venture into what she knew and loved - dogs! She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Pet Grooming and received her certification.
With business education classes under her belt and her newly obtained grooming certification, Tonya decided to start her own dog grooming business. She successfully operated her salon until an opportunity to move to Northern VA prompted her to sell her business after twelve years of operation.
Upon moving to the area, Tonya worked for two years as the Salon Manager of a national retailer that provides grooming services. She then went on to manage a locally owned grooming salon in Herndon, VA. After six years, Tonya decided to accept the position of Salon Manager at Healthy Hound, where today she actively grooms while overseeing the entire grooming operation, always ensuring the salon meets the highest level of grooming standards.