- What are the requirements for my dog to attend daycare?
If you’re interested in daycare, please fill out our online application. Once submitted, we will contact you to schedule a temperament test. We require all doggy daycare members to have passed the 1-hour temperament evaluation. This evaluation allows us to observe how your dog interacts and reacts to other dogs and how they might behave on a full day of daycare. If an existing doggy daycare member has not attended daycare in more than 6 months, we recommend scheduling another temperament evaluation. Before any dog is allowed into daycare, we require proof of current vaccine records including Bordetella, Distemper, and Rabies. It is also required that all dogs be spayed or neutered by 7 months of age.
- Why is it required my dog be spayed or neutered?
Intact dogs are likely to be singled out in the pack by dominant male and female dogs. This can result in conflicts and aggressive behaviors. Females releasing pheromones are also at risk for bullying or unwanted attention. Because dogs that are not spayed or neutered smell very different, the other dogs react differently to them and cause increased stress among the pack. To decrease the risk of conflict and inappropriate behaviors, we require all of our attending dogs be spayed or neutered by 7 months of age. We cannot make any exceptions to this policy. If you’d like to wait to spay or neuter your dog at a later age, we ask you to leave your intact dog at home until then.
- Why might a dog not pass the temperament test?
Not all dogs are suited for or enjoy the environment of doggy daycare and this does not mean they are bad or vicious dogs. During the 1-hour evaluation, our objective is to determine whether this dog will be a safe addition to the pack and enjoy socializing with other dogs. If a dog shows signs of increased stress or discomfort such as excessive drooling, pacing, or attempts to escape, daycare may be too overwhelming for your dog. Aggressive behaviors are a big red flag such as snapping, growling, lunging, or asserting dominance. These behaviors are a major concern because they are likely to lead to an altercation. A reserved or shy dog may temporarily cower or submit to the other dogs and eventually warm up to the daycare environment. If any serious concerns arise during the temperament test, we will contact you to pick up your dog immediately. Otherwise, we will give you a verbal report of how your dog reacted to the daycare and advise what the next step for your dog should be regarding their daycare visits.
- What do the dogs do all day in daycare?
- What is a temperament test?
A temperament test is required for all dogs who are interested in attending daycare or boarding. It is a 1-hour long, free-of-charge, visit in which the owner drops their dog off, provides the required vaccinations, and leaves for the 1-hour. We limit the number of dogs initially in the play area upon the arrival of the new dog. Gradually, we introduce dogs into the play area based on how the new dog reacts. During the entirety of the evaluation, there is staff closely monitoring the body language and behavior of the new dog. Should any serious concerns arise, the temperament test will be concluded, the dog will likely be moved to an isolated area, and we will contact you to pick your dog up immediately. Keep in mind that a dog’s behavior can change with time and although they may have passed the temperament test, issues may arise at a later time of which we will then inform the owner that daycare may no longer be a good match for your pup.
- Are there toys allowed in daycare?
We do not allow toys in the daycare play area. This is due to avoid any territorial behaviors such as resource guarding and to reduce conflicts between the dogs. Boarding dogs are allowed to bring toys should the owner wish, however the toys will remain in the individual’s kennel for the remainder of their stay.
- Should I bring food for my dog attending daycare?
We recommend feeding your dog at home a minimum of 60 minutes before dropping them off for a day of daycare. This can help reduce risk of bloat or vomiting during play. If you wish to provide lunch for your dog or young pup, we can pull your dog out of daycare to an isolated area for feeding. However, most dogs are too excited or distracted to have an appetite during daycare and we have experienced food aggression in these situations. When these behaviors are observed, we inform the owner that their dog is better off being fed at home.
- Do I need to make a reservation for daycare?
- What should I expect when my dog comes home from daycare?
After a day of daycare your dog will most likely come home hungry, thirsty, and very tired. This is normal. During play, dogs might not take the time to stop and drink as much as they should. We always have fresh water available but many dogs are too distracted with playing. Dogs may not find time to rest or take breaks due to over-stimulation, which can result in exhaustion at home. It is also not uncommon that dogs attending daycare may experience some mild diarrhea due to increased stress or activity.