What do I need to know to bring my dog in for boarding or daycare?
Important things to know before boarding your dog at DogServices include:
- A free trial day is required for all new dogs prior to boarding (a day of daycare)
- Reservations are required for boarding and daycare.
- Proof of certain vaccines – Bordetella, DHLPPC and Rabies – are required prior to boarding or daycare. Your vet will be happy to fax us a copy of vaccine records at your request. Please click here for more details on our vaccine policy with waiting periods.
- You will need to bring food for your dog and any necessary medications. Individual packaging is greatly appreciated.
What do the dogs DO during daycare?
Dogs are carefully paired in small groups for playtime, and enjoy a balance of outdoor playtime and indoor rest.
When do the dogs get to go outside?
Daycare: morning and afternoon, with a mid-day rest
Boarders: every morning, mid-day, late afternoon, and evening
On days when weather is very nice, we often bring dogs out earlier to extend their outdoor playtime.
What time do I need to drop-off and pick up my dog for boarding?
Please drop off your dog for boarding before 4pm. This will allow you to check your dog in before the rush for daycare pickup, and also give our staff time to test your dog with their playgroup before the evening playtime.
As far as the daily rate for boarding, it doesn’t matter what time you check in (during business hours), but you must check out before 12pm, or you will be charged an extra day. Feel free to drop off your dog(s) early in the day so they get more playtime with canine friends and it won’t cost you any extra.
Should I bring my dog’s food?
Yes! In order to keep meals consistent with home, you are required to bring food for your dog. This helps your dog keep their regular routine and avoid tummy upsets from eating unfamiliar food. Individual packaging is greatly appreciated!
Do you provide bedding?
Yes! Bedding is washed regularly and provided at no additional charge.
Do you use full-bodied heated dryers after baths?
No, we do not use full-bodied heated dryers on dogs in our care. Regular fans are used to speed fur drying after baths. If dogs receive grooming beyond just a bath (style, cut, etc.), a hair dryer on warm or cool may be used to dry and style fur.
Do you charge for medication administration?
No, there is no charge for us to administer medication for your dog. Simply provide us with the medication and give us the instructions from your vet. We’ll take it from there!
Do you charge for dogs to play together during boarding?
No, there’s no additional charge for dogs that are with us for boarding to join play groups! Both Daycare and Boarding guests enjoy community play!
Will my dog get plenty of exercise?
Yes! Dogs with us for daycare and boarding enjoy multiple play sessions outdoors in small playgroups. If your dog seems to have endless energy, you can add a walk, game of fetch, or even a one-hour nature hike on to their stay. Nature hikes are provided by our friends at River City Dog Excursions and at the end of the day your dog will come home very tired and very happy!
Can I bring toys for my dog?
We strongly discourage bringing toys from home for your dog. Toys that are brought in are frequently damaged or destroyed, so we recommend leaving them at home. Don’t worry, dogs have plenty of fun and stimulation in their playgroups at DogServices.
Can I bring my dog’s bed?
Dog beds are another item we strongly recommend leaving at home. DogServices provides bedding at no additional charge.
Do I need to bring my dog’s food/water bowl?
No, you do not have to bring bowls from home. We provide stainless steel food and water bowls for all of our guests.
How are dogs teamed up?
Dogs are assigned to small playgroups based on size, temperament, age and play style. Our staff evaluate each dog’s behavior and their assessment, along with the information provided on the new client paperwork, help us decide which playgroup to assign them to. Dogs who attend daycare regularly enjoy playing with familiar friends (and making new ones!). Some dogs become best friends – almost inseparable – and we make sure those dogs are in the same playgroup.
Do you have cameras?
Yes, we have security cameras. Everywhere. Our security cameras are in place for the safety of our guests as well as our employees.
Can I schedule a tour?
We welcome you for a tour, but there’s no need to make an appointment. Simply call the DogServices location of your choice between 10am and 3pm and we can gladly show you around and answer any questions. Sometimes we may be too busy. So please call ahead.
Does my dog have to be vaccinated before boarding or attending daycare?
Yes, Bordetella, DHLPPC and Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Proof of these shots are required, and your vet will be happy to fax us a copy at your request. Click here to read our policy on vaccine waiting periods.
What happens if my dog becomes ill or injured while at your facility?
If your dog becomes ill or injured while in the custody of DogServices, we will contact you or your emergency contact about providing the animal with emergency veterinary treatment. You, as the pet owner, are responsible for the cost of emergency veterinary treatment. The new client paperwork that pet parents fill out prior to bringing their dog to DogServices includes a section for veterinary care scenarios you would and would not like done in case of an emergency.
During your dog’s stay our staff will make every effort to contact your listed veterinarian for any medical emergency or medical information. However, after hours, weekends, and holidays, we must use the Dogwood Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center or Veterinary Referral & Critical Care. Every time you leave town and your dog is in our care, please check with your listed emergency contact to make sure they’ll be available to transport your dog to and from the veterinarian’s office, Dogwood or VRCC. Your emergency contact also needs to know a history of any medical problems that you may have experienced with your dog. For example, if your dog sometimes limps after playing ball, gets diarrhea easily, or occasionally is lethargic and cranky, it would be helpful to have that history available. Then if your dog exhibits these same behaviors when in our care, your contact person will know this is normal for your dog.
When your emergency contact person is not available, we will transport your dog either to your veterinarian’s office, Dogwood or VRCC. Our customary charge is $25.00 per trip. If our staff transports your dog, we need to convey your wishes during your absence.
How can I help my dog have a smooth transition leaving home for an extended time, then coming back home again?
Successful boarding is the result of the partnership between you and the team at DogServices, working together for the best interest of your dog. If possible, do not feed your dog for at least four hours prior to boarding to minimize the possibility of stomach upset. There are many positive aspects of dog boarding, but separation from the family or being in strange surroundings can produce stress in some dogs. And stress can result in lowered resistance to disease and sometimes even temporary changes in behavior. Be sure to inform DogServices of any special idiosyncrasies or medical problems your dog may have (history of seizures or fear of thunder, etc.) that may assist in keeping your dog healthy and happy.
Dogs should be prepared psychologically for boarding. It’s best, of course, to begin with a puppy as soon as the immunization program is complete. (Puppies usually learn very quickly to enjoy boarding.) DogServices offers daycare, which is an excellent way to introduce your dog to boarding. While a trial day is required for all dogs before boarding, a few daycare visits can help your dog feel much more comfortable with our facility and team.
Socialization, getting your dog used to new people and experiences helps dogs prepare for boarding, and also helps develop a healthy personality. This is probably most easily accomplished by taking him or her through training classes, spending a few days at DogServices for daycare, and occasionally boarding him or her. Naturally, a dog who is relaxed about boarding is more likely to board well.
Please remember it is not helpful to lament over your dog in the lobby before leaving, this causes a dog to be unnecessarily upset. Understanding the kennel environment is important to understand the possible effects of stress on a dog and to do everything possible to minimize stress both prior to and immediately after boarding.
Sometimes temporary behavior changes can occur as a result of unfamiliar surroundings. While boarding, your best friend tears up the bed that has been slept in for years. Or “Spike,” normally rowdy, turns into a little lamb. Eating habits may change if stressed. Some will eat like canaries at home and like vultures at a boarding facility. They may put on a few pounds. Others can lose weight despite eating well or lose weight by not eating enough. Life in a boarding facility can be very exciting, and some dogs lose weight because they run the weight off as they run around playing, barking at other dogs and having a wonderful time. These dogs often leave the facility exhausted but happy, and sleep a lot the first couple of days they are home.
Successful boarding depends not only upon the pet care facility, but also upon how well the owner prepares the dog for the experience. When your dog is picked up, he or she will be very excited to see you. Do not feed your dog (though he or she will act hungry after getting back to familiar turf) for at least three hours, and then be very careful not to overfeed. Also, excitement might cause your dog to pant a lot and become thirsty. Give a few ice cubes to hold him or her over until feeding time. Again, in a happy, excited state, excessive food and water consumption can create problems.
The vast majority of dogs view their stay at the boarding facility as a vacation. Relax and enjoy your trip.