Before a dog comes into our facility they must meet certain criteria:
Dogs must be spade or neutered when they turn 8 months old. Dogs may become aggressive and domineering with other dogs when not fixed as they get older. In addition, the non-fixed dogs may pick on, become overly excited or try to dominate the intact dog.
Dogs must be current on vaccines for Bordatella, Distemper-Parvo Series (DHPP) and Rabies. The Bordatella and Distemper protect the dog and the Rabies protects the staff.
Questions are asked regarding the dog’s prior socialization, the length of time in the household, physical limitations, and any behavior issues. If there are any red flags, the owner may be told that their dog is not ready or would not be a good fit for our cage-free environment.
Once the above-criteria are met every dog must go through an introduction period of a half-day play day, before they are able to spend the night in our cage-free facility. We set an appoint for the first play day.
Our Pack Leaders go through 16 courses to become certified in dog language and behavior along with working with a dog trainer on Pack Leadership. Based on the dog’s character and attitude, the introduction may be quick or slow. Your pup may be completely comfortable in 10 minutes or it may take 3-5 visits before your pup is relaxed and understands the fun nature of daycare. We are staffed day and night. This means your dog is never left alone or caged.
With our cage-free active environment there are risks. Dogs play with their mouths and paws. They jump on each other and wrestle.They grab each other’s necks, cheeks, ears, tails and skin. Sometimes, an ear will be nicked, a nose scratched or a puncture occurs. Bleeding may occur and cuts may become infected.
Fights are rare, but dogs do compete for the ball, wrestle and tease each other. Just like kids on the playground, unintentional injuries may occur. You must be willing to accept this risk when your pup is in a cage-free play environment.
On the occasion when a dog is injured, we will clean the wound with an antibacterial solution and notify you. If we believe the dog should be taken to a vet, we will ask you to pick up your pet. If you are not available, we will bring your dog to your vet or a nearby vet.
Sometimes, there is no indication that an injury occurred. This may happen if the cut occurred during normal play. We may also not see the wound based on its location or the fur and/or skin color. Please let us know if your dog has gone home with a wound that we did not detect.
Although the facility is constantly being cleaned, dogs do catch viruses from each other that we cannot control. Unfortunately, like in humans, most viruses in dogs are contagious before the dog shows signs of symptoms. For example, a dog may come into our facility with Giardia (intestinal parasite causing diarrhea) or Kennel Cough (respiratory infection causing a hacking cough). In the meantime, this dog may infect another through the air, water or mouthing a toy. That pet and your pet may show symptoms a few days later. The passing of these viruses is uncontrollable, but we do try to limit exposure with our cleaning protocols. This is a risk of dog socialization.
If your pup is not on a flea preventative and a dog comes in with fleas, the fleas will jump on another dog that is not on a good preventative. The fleas will not jump on a dog that is protected. Fleas do not and cannot live in our facility. Fleas only live on unprotected hosts.
Along with the risk that your pet may get hurt or sick, you must be willing to pay for your own vet bills and the bills of another dog if your pet causes injury.