Nikki Johnson is the owner of Pickles Playland, a dog daycare in Kirkland. The daycare opened in July and will have a grand opening on Oct. 20. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Nikki Johnson is the owner of Pickles Playland, a dog daycare in Kirkland. The daycare opened in July and will have a grand opening on Oct. 20. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Pickles Playland barks into Kirkland

Small dogs daycare will full open on Oct. 20.

After spending the better part of two decades working with dogs, Nikki Johnson is opening up her own small dog daycare in Kirkland, named after her own pet.

Pickles Playland had a soft opening in July and will be fully opening on Oct. 20. The small dogs daycare was already full of excited animals on a recent weekday morning, and Johnson said when she opened it was so popular she had a waiting list of around 15 people. She’s had a pet sitting and walking business for around seven years and said many of her clients are crossing over to book their dogs at her daycare.

“I’ve been working with dogs for 16 years, so it just seemed like a natural progression,” she said.

The daycare is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on the weekend. Members can swing their dogs by and drop them off while they work, shop or if they just want their four-legged friend to have a good time, Johnson said. Staff members reinforce basic obedience training and three are generally working at any given time. Johnson said she tries to maintain a comfortable place for the dogs, complete with natural plant-based cleaners, essential oils and plants in the daycare that deter fleas.

“One of the No. 1 focuses is trying to be a homelike environment,” Johnson said.

The dogs are separated into two groups: those with lots of energy and those that are more reserved to better take care of them during the day. Couches are provided as are resting zones where playing isn’t allowed, and the facility has a fenced outdoor deck area for fresh air. The daycare accepts dogs up to 20 inches in height and does not have weight requirements.

In addition to being a daycare, members can swing by for a beer or some wine during the weekends. Both the outdoor patio and the inside register have alcohol available for purchase. Johnson said this allows dog owners to hang out with their pets as well as see how they run the daycare center.

“I understand that they would want to see a little bit of what we do during the day,” she said.

Pickles Playland will host events that range from educational to pure recreation and members will get free access to most events. Yoga classes will also be held every other Saturday.

The pet industry across the country has been growing rapidly over the past decade. According to the American Pet Products Association, the pet industry generated $43 billion in 2008, a figure that increased to nearly $70 billion in 2017. This includes food, supplies, vet care, purchases and pet services like daycares and grooming. In particular, grooming and boarding generated more than $6 billion in sales in 2017.

Johnson said she eventually wants to open up four more locations on the Eastside.

“Our main goal for the play land is not just to have somewhere for dogs to go when their people are at work, but have somewhere that helps,” she said. “Any way that we can help people is something that we think is really helpful to the community.”

Pickles Playland is located at 12669 NE 85th St., Kirkland. Visit pickles playland.dog


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Pickles Playland has space for around 24 dogs and only accepts dogs that are 20 inches in height or shorter. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

Pickles Playland has space for around 24 dogs and only accepts dogs that are 20 inches in height or shorter. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo

More in Business

A new measure from the King County Council could increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas of King County. File photo
County measure would increase flexibility for businesses in rural areas

Staff report Legislation the King County Council passed June 23 could lead… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino is located at 37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie. Courtesy photo
Snoqualmie Casino reopens June 11 with social distancing, other safety measures

Staff report Snoqualmie Casino will reopen to the general public at 6… Continue reading

Like similar businesses across King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, Bothell restaurant Hana Sushi closed due to public-health concerns. Sound Publishing file photo
Inslee changes course, says diners won’t have to sign in

Restaurants may still ask customers for information that contact tracers could use to stop an outbreak.

Construction worker installs siding to a building in Snoqualmie. File photo
Inslee gives construction a green light

It was unclear when sites would re-open, but employees will have to have PPE and stay six feet apart.

Report shows severity of COVID-19 impacts on hotels nationwide

70% of employees laid off or furloughed, eight in 10 hotel rooms empty

State processes record number of applications for unemployment benefits

Employment Security Department had challenges with the volume

Cantwell calls for nationwide support for local media hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

Remarks come on Senate floor: ‘We need the media. …and need to help them’

Gyms, fitness centers must allow members to cancel memberships or face legal consequences

State attorney general responds to consumer complaints during COVID-19 outbreak

Boeing to resume Washington airplane production next week

More than 27,000 employees are expected to return to work at the Everett campus starting Monday.