Most dog-owners know from experience that their canine companion appreciates a healthy diet, friendly company and regular outdoor walks. But what about mental stimulation?

“We offer services such as play groups, pack walks and we also condition them on treadmills,” says Kristin Sapinski, owner of Prairielands Kennel. “The treadmill provides really good mental and physical exercise for dogs.”

Sapinski, who has operated Prairielands Kennel on an acreage just outside Portage la Prairie since 2006, provides overnight care for dogs, whose owners may be going on a planned trip, in the midst of a move or simply on a night away from home. Along with the boarding service they also provide daycare for families looking to socialize their pet as well as grooming services.

“We can do a ‘Bath & Tidy’, which is a bath, blow-dry, brush, nail trim and tidying up the paws and ears,” she explains. “There’s also the ‘Full Groom’, which is a bath, blow-dry, tailored haircut, nail trim and ear cleaning.”

Owners who are looking for just one specific grooming service are also able to select a nail trim, a nail trim and paw tidy, or ear cleaning from the a la carte service menu.

Then there’s Prairielands’ daycare and boarding services.

Running from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, the daycare allows dogs to socialize, play in a fenced yard and go for a walk or run down a trail located just down from the property. Sapinski says some dogs come daily, some once per week and others for a day here and there.

“It really depends on your schedule,” she says. “If something comes up and you need them to be here for the day, it helps to get your dog out and socialized, and burn off some energy.”

When it comes to boarding at Prairielands Kennel, which runs 365 days per year, Sapinski recommends trying some daycare days if the dog hasn’t boarded before. She says it helps them get accustomed to the facility and staff, and takes away some stress – especially if they’ve never been away from home.

“They’re just like kids, right? It’s kind of like sending your kid off to school,” she says. “We want to make the transition as comfortable as possible for the families and their pets.”

She also advises owners to consider booking their boarding in advance, especially if it happens to fall over a long weekend or holiday, though she says she’ll always do her best to accommodate last-minute requests.

A self-described life-long animal-lover, Sapinski recalls her grandmother’s German Shepherd as the inspiration behind the breeding operation she launched in 2003. After registering with the Canadian Kennel Club, she began breeding and showing German Shepherds and continues to take considerable pride in placing puppies with well-suited families.

“We try to allow families to pick their own puppies, but we also want them to have the puppy that will best suit them,” she explains. “Some puppies are obviously a bit more energetic, and that may not necessarily make them the best companion for some families. If a family is looking for a calmer, more laid-back puppy, we try to place that puppy in the right home – so that it’s a forever home.”

She says she’s particular about where the puppies go, as she acknowledges German Shepherds aren’t for everybody.

“It really all depends on what you’re looking for in a family companion,” she says.

Given Sapinski’s experience and well-known expertise in providing exceptional hospitality and care for furry friends, Portage area owners can be confident their dog will receive a healthy, welcoming and enjoyable experience at Prairielands Kennel.

Situated at #34042 East Angle Road, Prairielands Kennel can be reached by calling (204) 856-0985, by emailing or through their website.