About us

OUR STORY

Welcome to South Wales’ first purpose built dog facilities. Our secure adventure parks offer a safe, secure and enriching environment for you and your dog to enjoy some quality, one-to-one time together. 

 

After 6 years in the making we are so thrilled that The Cwtch Animal Homestay is now up and running. Years of what seemed like endless set backs and of course the recent pandemic, we were starting to wonder whether all of this would ever be possible, but here we are, finally! 

The idea of The Cwtch Animal Homestay began back in 2015 when I spoke to a very good friend of mine. She was working full time and as a result, was using a dog day care centre three to four times a week. She was very dissatisfied and was constantly wishing she had an alternative option, somewhere with more outdoor space and better stimulation. With my background in animal care and business experience, the idea of a new business prospect involving dogs really got me thinking. 

After 30+ years in the corporate world I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2015, and due to the treatment process, I was forced to drop out of work whilst I recovered. This was when I had the time to re evaluate my life and prioritise what was important going forward, and without sounding too cliche’, I realised that life really is too short to not do what makes you happy and excites you! Luckily I got the all clear in 2021! 

I started the long, tedious, but very informative process of writing my business plan in 2015, shortly after my diagnosis. During this time, I realised just how much there is a need for dog facilities in our local area. Dog owners were travelling over 20 miles, twice a day, often more than 3 times a week, just to give their dog company in often over crowded, under stimulating environments. There had to be a better alternative. As a new dog owner myself, I also realised just how difficult it was to find places to walk dogs locally, in a safe and secure environment, especially whilst in the process of training recall and building trust between dog and owner. This experience made me even more determined.

With the business plan all signed off in 2017, we then began the long hunt for the right place to bring my idea to life. My husband Stephen and I began looking at land for sale in the local area but each all came with their own problems, such as drainage, access or location. As time went on and our frustration to find the perfect place grew, we viewed an industrial unit with limited outdoor space. However, I soon realised that I was losing sight of my vision and this just simply wouldn’t cut it, the search went on…

Luck was on our side in 2020 when we came across Little Cwrt Bach Farm. A run down, 29 acre plot nestled in the countryside of Henllys, just 1.6 miles from Cwmbran and 3.6 miles from Newport. We put in our offer and moved in during the Summer of 2020, peak lockdown. It was everything I could have imagined and more! So much work needed to be done but it was the perfect place for our business and I couldn’t have been more grateful. 

We spent our lockdown days, fighting with overgrown brambles, ripping out old broken fences, de-moulding our (temporary) house and slowly bringing our vision to life. With covid holding up the plans for building our dog accommodation, my attention turned to what else we could do with the land we had available, this is when the idea of a Dog Adventure Park came to mind. A completely secure, stimulating and enriching environment where dog owners can spend one to one time with their dog(s), worry and stress free with no interruptions or distractions.

After copious amounts of research I found that I wasn’t the only one that struggled with re-call whilst out on walks in public areas, in fact, 10% of UK dogs have no recall, 13% are scared to walk their dog in public places incase another dog attacks, and a large percentage of dog owners have nervous or reactive dogs where walking has simply become unenjoyable for them. With this in mind and a lot of help from family and friends, we are absolutely thrilled to be opening The Cwtch Animal Homestay’s new Dog Adventure Park.

Now in June 2022, we are 6 months into our journey of The Cwtch and we couldn't be prouder. It has been so amazing to see our vision come to life and watch both parks being enjoyed by all types of dogs and owners. We are also extremely proud to have received over 300+ 5 star reviews on Facebook and google, as well as winning 2 awards, one for 'Best New Pet Business of the Year 2022' and 'Best Pet Business Marketer of the Year 2022'.

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Our building plans for our brand new luxury dog accommodation will be progressing during 2022, which we're excited to document with you all. But for now, I hope you enjoy our Dog Adventure park and South Wales’s first Dog Sensory Park, we look forward to sharing the next chapter of The Cwtch Animal Homestay with you all. 

Cathy and the rest of The Cwtch team x