Here We Go There is a lot of information here but I hope that after you read all of this you will understand how our daycare program is run. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call 517-655-4178 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking for the typical "commercial" or "warehouse style" daycare program that you have seen on TV or other primarily daycare facilities, you will not find this at our facility. We have been honing our daycare program for over the last 15yrs. Our main goal is to provide a safe environment that your dog can learn to play well with other dogs and burn off some extra energy. We believe that daycare is a great opportunity for dogs that have never boarded before get used to the kennel before they have to stay overnight.
We do not have an indoor play area. The play yards are all outside; we have two very large grass yards and two smaller gravel yards. A lot of daycare facilities only have cement or vinyl flooring for their play areas. We find that to be on cement or vinyl all the time is hard on the dog's feet, nails and joints. We also like that our dogs don't get used to going to the bathroom indoors or on cement. Inside we have kennels or runs that are an average size of 4.5ft wide by 9ft long with 6ft sides. For the dog's first daycare day they are in their own kennel during downtime. After a few times coming into daycare if they are ready we will put them into a kennel with a couple of other friends from their playgroup.
Our program believes that dogs need downtime and structure. We have found that having downtime for the dogs leads to less unruly behavior and them actually playing and engaging more with the other dogs. Just like human kids, dogs that are constantly playing can become over tired and get moody or extremely hyper which can lead to outbursts and injury. Dogs generally live in the moment, so every time they run out into the yards after having down time they get excited to play again. When they are in the yard they will only play for maybe 10 to 15 minutes and then wander off and not play. So we have decided to keep outside playtimes down to about 20 minutes or less; depending on the weather, too hot or too cold. When they are inside we provide them with Nyla bones to chew on and if they are okay having other dogs in the kennel with them they will sometimes wrestle amongst each other or maybe take a little snooze.
We do not have a before pre-screening process or evaluation for your dog. We allow all breeds and ages to come in for daycare. Puppies have a much easier time adjusting to new situations and they learn good play manners from the get go. We do require puppies to have at least two Distemper/Parvo shots; it usually shows up on your vet receipt with the initials DHLPP or something along those lines By the time they have two distemper shots they are somewhere between the age of 10 to 12 weeks (more on requirements towards the bottom) We do allow toys in the yards and promote teaching the dogs to share, but sometimes dogs can get possessive over toys and if that is the case we just take the toys out when those dogs are playing.
We do not believe in "flooding" our first time daycare dogs with a bunch of dogs right away. Their first day can sometimes be a little scary for some dogs no matter their age. So we typically let them get used to the facility and the staff and only introduce them to one or two other dogs. If they are super relaxed and are enjoying themselves their first day we may let them out with a larger group. As your dog comes in more days their playgroup will expand or it may not it all depends on the dog. Our playgroups are always on the smaller size then most daycare facilities. We only allow 6 to 8 dogs out together at one time. Smaller groups ensure better socialization, less bullying and better safety. If a fight were to break out between two dogs we are able to control it better and break it up faster then if we had groups of 30 plus dogs out together at one time. Dogs are pack animals and when altercations occur some dogs want to jump in and "help" so having small groups helps to keep them safer. Always remember that we try our hardest to not have fights break out or dogs get injured but they do have teeth and they can sometimes get puncture wounds or scrapes.
Some people wonder "What do I need to bring in with my dog?" Honestly, you don't have to bring in anything. We have everything you can think of here, bowls, bedding, toys and nyla bones. We don't have a ton of extra space for daycare dogs to bring in all of their belongings. We also find that our bedding and toys smell like so many other dogs they become "neutral" but a dog's own personal bedding and toys smell like their human family and can sometimes lead to fights amongst the dogs over these items. If you provide lunch for your dog we do not mind feeding them. This being said, if your dog does not need to eat three times a day, then I would not bring in lunch for them. This is better for your dog and their health while here at the kennel. We have to worry about bloat in dogs that are eating and playing hard. When dogs get lunch we have to make sure that they are inside and relaxed for 30 to 45mins before we feed them and then let them digest their food for 30 to 45mins after they eat. This can sometimes cut into their playtime with others. We even suggest that you feed your dog breakfast at least 30mins before you drop them off at the kennel and wait 30mins before you feed them dinner. If you do bring in food for your dog we have a pick up basket in the office waiting area just under the shelf, you will find your baggies or containers in here at the end of the day. Again, we do not have a lot of extra space to keep a large container of food for your dog but if your dog is coming five days a week you are more than welcome to leave a bag for the whole week just please remember to pick it up at the end of the week.
RULES, REQUIREMENTS AND BONUSES:
Dropping off and Picking up Rules: When dropping off your dog please make sure you keep your dog on a short leash, meaning right next to you, when other dogs or people are around. We do allow dogs that may be aggressive towards other dogs or people into our facility for boarding and grooming. Please do not assume that just because you have a super friendly dog that gets along with everyone that every other dog is friendly too. Our waiting area is small and the staff is not allowed to bring another dog into the waiting area until the dog that was last brought up is out of the building or at least under control and heading out the door, so please keep this in mind when you are picking up your dog. We are open Monday through Friday 7:30am to 11am for drop off and 1pm to 6pm for pick up.
Vaccinations: We require all dogs older than 6 months of age to be current on their Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella. Puppies under the age of 6 months must have at least two Distemper/Parvo shots and Bordetella before they come into the building. Usually we ask for the Bordetella vaccine to be given at least 10 days before you bring your dog into the building. For our established daycare dogs we ask that when your dog needs a Bordetella update that you try to get an appointment for the shot on a Thursday or Friday, so that you can keep the dog away for a few days. Sometimes the dogs can shed the virus into the kennel after they get the vaccine especially when it is given intranasal (up their nose). BUT, whenever you take your dog to a kennel, daycare facility, vet clinic, dog park, pet store, training classes or even playing with your neighbor's or friend's dog; you risk the chance of your dog picking up an upper respiratory virus. The Bordetella vaccine helps to prevent some of these respiratory viruses, but I like to think of it like the flu vaccine. You can still get flu even if you have the vaccine but the symptoms might not be as severe. You can read more about Bordetella and kennel cough under out "Let Talk about" section on our website.
Limited Daycare: After your first day we do not require you to sign up to drop your dog off for daycare. We have walk-in daycare Monday-Thursday. We have limited daycare on Fridays and over the holidays. On these limited days it means that you will need to sign up or request that your dog comes in for the day. To make it consistent Melissa (the manager) is the only one the can okay these limited days because generally she is one that knows how much room we will have for daycare on limited days. Email is one of the fastest ways to get approved because she checks her email a lot even when she is at home But we do suggest that if you need a Friday you do not wait until that morning or late Thursday night to put in your request; chances are we won't have space. The other big times that will be limited besides Fridays are the public schools spring break (generally the first week of April), the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving and the two weeks during/around the Christmas and New Years holidays. We always have a calendar up in our office area that lists when limited daycare days are for that month.
Limited Daycare Exceptions: We do offer exceptions to our limited daycare rule. If you are looking to do daycare five days a week throughout the year or at least throughout the school year, September to June, we will guarantee you a spot on Fridays. This means that you will only have to let Melissa know if you won't be coming on a Friday instead of always requesting it. If this is something that you would be interested in doing then you will have to talk to Melissa about it so she can make room for your dog. If you start to only come four days a week or are consistently going back and forth between a few days to five days, we will have to let you go from the five day a week program. You will then have to go back to requesting Fridays like the rest of the non-five day a week daycare clients.
We are one of the lowest priced daycares in this area and the only way for us to keep these costs lower if for us to have space for our boarding dogs. This is why we have limited days and are pretty strict about daycare dogs showing up for the Friday spots they requested. If you request a Friday kennel and don't show up for it we lose out on a potential dog boarding for the weekend. We also only have a limited number of kennels that we hold for the five day a week daycare dogs.
Free Bath Program: If you consistently bring in your dog two or more days a week, every week, then you will be enrolled into our free daycare bath program. Once you rack up 15 days of daycare you will be issued a FREE BATH CARD. You will find these on the white dry erase board in the office waiting area. The free bath cards expire in one month and if you could please take your card off the board to make room for more cards to go up that would be greatly appreciated. When you are ready to use your free bath card, please turn it into one of the staff members and let us know which days you plan on bringing your dog in for daycare that week and we will schedule them for the best day that works for us. Sometimes we will have too many baths on one day already and we won't be able to fit your dog into that schedule. You cannot use your free bath card towards grooming appointments. Our groomer is completely separate from this program.
HOLIDAY WAIT LISTS: If you are a daycare client that comes in two or more days week, every week and end up on one of our waitlists for boarding; you will be eligible to get chosen off the list before the non-daycare clients. We appreciate our daycare clients and want to be able to give you an edge up if you get placed on our waitlists. Now, this does not guarantee that you will always get in off of our waitlists it just gives you a better chance than non-daycare clients. So still get those reservations in early.
1 dog only coming in 1 day a week = $15 for the day
1 dog coming in more than 1 day a week (in the same week) = $12 each day
2 dogs same owner* coming in only 1 day a week = $23 for the day
2 dogs same owner* coming in more than 1 day a week (in the same week)= $20 each day
If you have more than 2 dogs add an additional $8 to the base price.
*Same owner means that the dogs have to be under that same name at the vet as they are here at the kennel. Even if you are dropping off your parents dog with your dog or a friends dog with your dog, you will both get charged the 1 dog price. You will only get the discounted price if you actually own multiple dogs.