We know that everyone has questions, so to save you and us some time; Petopia has put together a list of common questions about our company and services. If you don’t find what you’re looking for below, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to address your concerns.
Daycare & Overnight Stays
Doggie Daycare and Overnight Stays (Boarding)
What is dog daycare?
Doggie daycare is an organized, controlled and monitored environment, in which a group of friendly dogs, from multiple families, can interact and play throughout the day in an enclosed building or yard. Depending on both your dog’s activity level and the curriculum set by the daycare, your dog may enjoy the day by playing with other dogs, playing with people, inside or outside, or whiling away the hours ensconced on somebody’s couch, getting loving attention. There is a daycare for every kind of dog, and it’s important to find one that fits the needs of your dog the best.
What do the dogs do all day?
The dogs are separated into one of two play groups where they can socialize and play with other dogs. Playgroups are determined by size, temperament, and activity level. Your four-legged friend will also get to run and romp with his or her buddies in our large outdoor dog park throughout the day. Click here (internal link to Useful Info > Typical Day) to see what a typical day entails for our daycare doggies.
How many times do you walk the dogs per day?
Unlike other daycares that only have an indoor space, Petopia has a large fenced in dog park where your canine companion is given leash-free play time at regular intervals. Because the dogs are out playing all day, there is no need to walk them for exercise purposes. Moreover, they may relieve themselves outdoors at our dog park as well.
At what age do you accept puppies into daycare?
Not everyone has the privilege of being a stay-at-home doggie parent. Unfortunately, puppies do need a lot of attention to ensure they are properly trained and socialized. That is why, at Petopia, we will be there for your puppy when you can’t. Puppies between the ages of 8-16 weeks can join in the fun at Petopia’s puppy daycare program as long as they have their first set of vaccinations, as well as the Bordetella vaccine or nasal spray and also flea prevention from May to November. Click here (internal link to Services > Puppy Daycare) to earn more about our Puppy Daycare program.
Is puppy daycare safe for my young puppy?
The following is an excerpt from an article written by Robert K. Anderson DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and Diplomate of American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
“Puppies begin learning at birth and their brains appear to be particularly responsive to learning and retaining experiences that are encountered during the first 13 to 16 weeks after birth. This means that breeders, new puppy owners, veterinarians, trainers and behaviorists have a responsibility to assist in providing these learning/socialization experiences with other puppies/dogs, with children/adults and with various environmental situations during this optimal period from birth to 16 weeks.
To take full advantage of this early special learning period, many veterinarians recommend that new owners take their puppies to puppy socialization classes, beginning at 8 to 9 weeks of age. At this age they should have (and can be required to have) received a minimum of their first series of vaccines for protection against infectious diseases. This provides the basis for increasing immunity by further repeated exposure to these antigens either through natural exposure in small doses or artificial exposure with vaccines during the next 8 to 12 weeks. In addition the owner and people offering puppy socialization should take precautions to have the environment and the participating puppies as free of natural exposure as possible by good hygiene and caring by careful instructors and owners.
Experience and epidemiologic data support the relative safety and lack of transmission of disease in these puppy socialization classes over the past 10 years in many parts of the United States. In fact; the risk of a dog dying because of infection with distemper or parvo disease is far less than the much higher risk of a dog dying (euthanasia) because of a behavior problem. Many veterinarians are now offering new puppy owners puppy socialization classes in their hospitals or nearby training facilities in conjunction with trainers and behaviorists because they want socialization and training to be very important parts of a wellness plan for every puppy. We need to recognize that this special sensitive period for learning is the best opportunity we have to influence behavior for dogs and the most important and longest lasting part of a total wellness plan.”
Can any dog come in for dog daycare or boarding?
Every dog must first complete an initial consultation and temperament evaluation process before we accept them into daycare or overnight stays. After an interview with the pet parent, we will schedule a trial day of daycare for your fur kid (for dogs over a year old. Puppies under a year do not require a trial for daycare) so we can see how he or she interacts with other dogs and acclimate to the daycare environment. This will also help us determine which playgroup your four-legged friend is best suited for. We are concerned not only for your dog’s safety, but for the safety of all the other dogs that play at Petopia as well. In our social environment, it is extremely important that we exclude dogs that exhibit aggressive behavior or has any medical conditions that may be harmful to the other dogs.
What does the temperament evaluation process consist of?
During the temperament evaluation, we will slowly introduce the new dog to the other dogs in daycare. This is done in our neutral room so the new dog is comfortable and not overwhelmed. We are very selective about which dogs we use as “greeters”– they are often staff dogs or dogs that attend daycare frequently and do well amidst a variety of personalities. After the initial introduction, the new dog will be brought into the playroom that is most suited for his or her size and temperament. As the dog becomes accustomed to the new surroundings, our staff keeps a watchful eye for any fear or aggressive behaviours. Posturing is to be expected. A new dog may emit a nervous growl to let the other dogs know that he needs some space. Overt aggression and lunging at other dogs, however, is not tolerated.
Can I come for a tour of your facility?
Absolutely – we encourage you to come and see what Petopia all about. When choosing a daycare or boarding facility, it is important to go visit as many places as possible so you make an informed decision. We would be happy to show you around our facility. Please call ahead to see what our availability is for tours. Tour are usually available between 11am to 4pm daily.
Why do you require that my dog be spayed or neutered?
Any dog over the age of 7 months must be spayed or neutered. The main reason is that intact dogs are at greater risk of injury from other dogs. In a social environment, intact males are often viewed as threats by other dominant dogs. Intact females, whether in heat or not, may be picked on by other female dogs and male dogs will view her as an intact female and treat her as such.
What vaccinations do you require for daycare or boarding?
All dogs that attend daycare or boarding must have written records from their veterinarians showing up to date vaccinations, including Rabies, Bordetella (within the past 6 months) & DHPP. We do accept three year rabies vaccinations and titer testing. All dogs must also be on a flea prevention program from April to November and provide proof of a negative fecal exam.
Can I afford dog daycare?
Doggie daycare really can fit into just about anyone’s budget. For a whole 12 hour day at Petopia, it works out to be roughly $2 to $3 per hour of fun and games for your dog. There are no requirements for how often your dog comes to daycare – some clients have a set weekly routine, while others call to reserve their dog’s space whenever they know they’ve got a busy day ahead. There is also the option of letting your dog spend a half day at daycare, which cost less than the full day. We also offer discount packages, monthly plans and memberships which give even greater savings (click here (Internal link to Rates) to learn more about our rates).
How often should my dog attend daycare?
Dogs may attend daycare any number of days during the week. We recommend that you keep to the same schedule as dogs are creatures of habit. When the dogs enter daycare, they go through a routine of establishing their ‘pack.’ The fewer changes to the pack, the sooner they can get to playing, and the less anxiety. When dogs are bumped from one pack to another, they may experience more anxiety at returning to daycare than other dogs.
Are there separate groups for small and large dogs?
Yes, we have 2 separate playrooms to accommodate dogs of different size, temperaments and play styles. Overall, we find that activity level and temperament to be better predictors of behavior than size. For example, a older shy lab may do better with smaller friends or a very active terrier may be better suited to romp with the bigger dogs!
Are the dogs always supervised during play?
The dogs are constantly supervised by a 1 to 10-15 employee/dog ratio. Inappropriate play is stopped and good behavior is rewarded. The staff keeps the dogs safe, clean and well cared for.
Can I bring lunch for my dog?
Yes, if your best friend is used to having lunch at home, we would be more than happy to maintain that routine. Please package your fur baby’s meal in a zip-lock bag or container with their name on it. Dogs are fed their lunch or snack around 11am. This gives them a chance to unwind and relax before going out for more fun and play.
How do you handle dogs that are playing too rough?
As a dog parent, you know that dogs can sometimes play too rough with each other, and occasionally, rough play can get out of hand. At Petopia, our staff closely monitors all play activity between dogs and use preventative measures so that rough play does not escalate into fights. We generally will use our voices or spray bottles (filled with water) to separate dogs who are playing too rough. We also use time-outs, and will pull one or more dogs from the play area for a few minutes until everyone has settled down.
What about dog fights?
The key is prevention. Our thorough temperament evaluation process screens for aggression. If an accepted dog exhibits unacceptable behavior, the dog is given a timeout and the owner is informed of the concern. We will then work with the owner to resolve the problem or the dog will be removed from daycare. Dog behavior is unpredictable but our staff is constantly watching for signs of potential fights and dogs are separated or redirected before anything escalates. We use our high voice to interrupt rough play and then remove the offending dog. The dog who ends up with the nicked ear, pulled hair, or puncture is usually the aggressor. Many owners are surprised to hear that their dog’s behavior is very different when they are not around.
Will my dog get hurt in daycare?
Because the dogs are playing with other dogs, we often see minor injuries such as ripped toenails or scratches. We can clean and treat these minor injuries in-house, and will let you know when you pick your dog up that he’s received a minor injury. If your dog suffers a major injury, we will take whatever steps are necessary to make sure he or she is properly treated. We’ll call you first to let you know, and to take any specific instructions from you. If the dog needs emergency care, we will transport the dog to the nearest veterinary clinic.
What about water?
There is water available at all times to all dogs. We have several automatic water delivery bowls. The bowls are stainless steel. These supply a constant flow of FRESH clean water. These bowls are also removed and sanitized several times a day
What is Canine Cough?
Canine infectious tracheobronchitis (Canine cough) is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in dogs. Fortunately, the majority of cases are not serious resolving on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. The main cause of canine cough is the airborne bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica. A dog with Canine Cough will develop a coarse, dry, hacking cough about five to ten days after being infected. It sounds as if the dog needs to “clear it’s throat” and the cough will be triggered by any extra activity, drinking water, exposed to change of temperature or exercise. Many dogs that acquire Canine Cough will cough every few minutes, all day long. They will wretch and sometimes vomit a white foamy looking matter. Their general state of health and alertness are usually not affected, they usually have no rise in temperature, and do not loose their appetite.
Even in the most hygienic, well ventilated, spacious dog facilities, the possibility of a dog acquiring Canine Cough exists. Canine Cough can be acquired from your neighbor’s dog, from a Champion show dog at a dog show, from the animal hospital where your dog just came in for treatment of a cut paw, from the sidewalk where an infected dog walked earlier. Try not to blame anyone or any place if your dog develops Canine Cough. There may have been an infected dog, unknown to anyone, that acted as a source for other dogs. The signs of Canine Cough usually will last from 7 to 21 days and can be very annoying for the dog and the dog’s owners. If you suspect your dog has canine cough, isolate your dog and visit your veterinarian for medical advice. Do not take your dog to public places in order to prevent the spread of infection. If your dog has recently been to daycare, training, boarding or any other place where your dog was exposed to other dogs, notify the appropriate individuals to advise that your dog is coughing. For more detailed information on Canine Cough, click here (Internal link to Useful Info > Pet Tips > Canine Cough article).
Why is my dog tired when he or she comes home?
This is one of the great benefits of coming to Petopia for daycare! Your four-legged baby gets to play all day so, naturally, they are tired at the end of the day. We do have a scheduled nap time so that the dogs can unwind and relax, which prevents them from being over stimulated. Most dogs will just go home and curl up and sleep for the rest of the day. Remember, a tied dog is a good dog!
Why is my dog thirsty when he or she comes home?
Water is available at all times in all of our play areas and suites. Playing hard all day is just as strenuous as working out. Even though water is available, some dogs will often forget to drink amidst all the fun. The excitement of daycare will cause a dog to pant excessively and become thirsty as a result. Refrain from allowing your dog to drink uncontrollably when you first get home as this is not good for him or her. Let your dog drink for 15 or 20 seconds, then take the bowl away. After 20 minutes or so, give him or her another drink. Repeat this for an hour or two, then your fur baby should be fine.
What makes Petopia different than a traditional kennel?
There are many different types of kennels out there, but in a “traditional”, your dog is usually left in a cage most of the day that is not very big in size. He or she may be let out briefly or placed in an outdoor run a couple of times a day. The dogs usually do not interact with other dogs. Some kennels will offer 15-minute play times with a staff member for an extra charge.
Would my dog be better off boarding at my vet’s office?
If your pet is sick or in need of specialized medical care, then perhaps your vet would be the better choice. But if your dog is healthy, why board in a hospital environment where your dog will get limited exercise and be stuck in a cage all day. At Petopia, your fur baby will get to play and interact with other dogs and people throughout their stay. This mental and physical stimulation is far better than the stress most dogs experience at the vets or traditional kennel.
How do you justify your prices?
Compared to a traditional kennel, we provide a social getaway for your best friend. To keep a safe play environment, we maintain staffing ratios of one staff member for every 10 to 15 dogs; whereas a kennel may have one or two staff members for 100 dogs. There is always a qualified staff on the premises to attend to our canine guests 24 hours a day. The dogs are never left alone and they get to play with other dogs or cuddle with our staff all day long. We will feed our food or your own food at no extra charge and provide afternoon and nighttime treats for free. We also do not charge extra for providing your pet their medications, walks or play times. Doggie daycare is included in all of our boarding rates, and access to our webcams so you can watch your pup play is always free.
Where do the dogs sleep?
We have luxury suites where the dogs rest and relax after a day of fun and exercise. Each suite can accommodate 2-5 dogs and we always put dogs that are buddies or from the same family in the same room. The suites are furnished with comfy beds so your fur kid can rest up for another full-filled day the next morning. For dogs that like a little late-night entertainment, we also offer movies and soothing music in each suite. Of course, there are plenty of chew toys if your dog still has the energy to play. Lights out is at 10pm.
Does a staff member stay during the night?
Yes, there is always a qualified staff member on the premise to attend to your dog’s needs 24 hours a day. For the safety and well-being of your fur baby, we keep a watchful eye throughout the night in case of any emergencies.
What do I need to bring when my dog is staying overnight?
You will need to bring enough food for the length of your dog’s stay – it is less stressful on your dog if their regular diet is maintained. If you do forget to bring your food, we will happily serve them Orijen. A familiar article with your scent like a toy or towel is welcomed as long as your dog’s name is clearly marked on it so it does not get lost. You can also bring any special treats that you would like us to give to your dog. You do not need to bring bowls as we provide easy to clean feeding bowls for all the dogs.
Can you feed my dog a raw diet?
Absolutely – as long as you provide us with portioned meals and instructions for each day, we would be more than happy to provide your fur baby with their raw diet. If you feed raw but do not want to prepare it, we also have Mountain Dog Food raw food that we can give your pup at an additional charge.
Can you provide my dog his/her medications?
Yes, we will provide your dog’s medications at no extra charge. Please bring the medication in the original prescription bottle and provide clear instructions.
My dog is crate trained and enjoys sleeping in his crate; can I bring his crate for overnight boarding?
If you are crate training your fur kid, or if your dog sleeps in his or her crate at home and you think that he or she would prefer his or her crate, then you may bring his or her crate. We will not crate your dog unless you tell us to.
Can I bring in my dog’s favorite toy while she stays at Petopia?
We provide lots of toys and comfy beds for all our doggie guests, but please feel free to bring any toy or familiar article with your scent that will help your fur baby enjoy their stay with us. All personal items will be marked with permanent ink, and please keep in mind that even well behaved dogs will occasionally become destructive in a new environment. Sometimes leaving an expensive bed or toy at home is a treat for your best friend to look forward to after a stay with us.
Will my dog get dirty?
Depending on your dog’s activity level he or she may get dirty while playing at Petopia. While the indoor facility is cleaned daily, the outdoor area has grass and dirt just like any dog park. Many dogs love to roll around and wrestle with their buddies, which often can result in dirt or doggie goober on a dog’s coat. We can give your fur baby a good wipe down (or brushing if needed) so he or she is nice and clean upon pick up.
Can I call to check on my dog while he or she is boarding at Petopia?
We encourage pet parents to call as often as they like to see how their canine companion is doing. All of our guests are carefully monitored at all times, and we will be happy to let you know how your pet is getting along. Upon your request, we can also send you email updates to keep you posted on all the fun your fur baby is having. And if you have internet access, you can always see your dog play during our daycare hours on our webcam.
Do I need to make a reservation?
For overnight boarding, we definitely will need a reservation. Depending on the time of year, we can often accommodate short notice or same day notice (if your dog has previously completed the interview process). Please be aware that during peak holiday periods (such as Christmas or long weekends), we get really busy and boarding spaces can fill up months in advance. To help insure our staffing ratios, we request that a reservation be made in advance for doggie daycare, although we can often accommodate same day notice.
How far in advance do I have to make a reservation?
Daycare reservations should be made at least one day in advance. Boarding reservations tend to fill up quickly especially for weekends and holidays. It is not uncommon for holiday weekends to be booked as far as two months in advance. We suggest that you make a reservation as soon as you know your travel plans.
What is your cancellation policy for boarding?
We require 48 hours cancellation notice for boarding reservations. Cancellations made less than 48 hours from the stay date may be subject to a cancellation fee. Please check our policies (Internal link to Getting Started > Downloadable forms) for further details.