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Q: I am considering your services for my dog, but I’m not sure if he/she will do well at your facility– how can we find out if my dog(s) will be a good fit?
A: We are a good fit for many dogs, but not all dogs. We will first start with a phone conversation where one of our staff members can learn more about your dog and get a better understanding of what type of care you are seeking. If appropriate, we will schedule a “meet & greet” where you would bring your dog out for a visit so that, among other reasons, we can evaluate your dog’s compatibility with our services.
Q: I am very nervous about leaving my dog– can I visit your facility before I decide to leave him/her for boarding or daycare?
A: Absolutely, and we’d require you to bring your dog for a visit anyway. We will schedule a “meet & greet” so that you can come see our farm and how we do things, and so your dog(s) can meet us and some of our dogs in a controlled, safe environment. We will also evaluate your dog’s suitability for our environment (and vice-versa). We are not always the right fit for dogs. Evaluations/ meet & greets are $20.
Q: How much time do the dogs spend outside?
A: Boarding and daycare dogs go in and out throughout the day. To a certain extent, we let the dogs choose how much time they would like to spend outdoors. Dogs that are enjoying the outdoors and would rather not come inside during parts of the day are usually allowed to stay outside, provided they are playing well and are not barking excessively. Weather plays a role in how much time the dogs spend outside.
Q: Will my dog go to the farm when boarding?
A: Our new home and daycare/boarding facility is on a 25-acre farm, so the answer is “yes”:).
Q: It says you are”cage-free”– what does that mean? Where do the dogs sleep? Are they put in crates?
A: By default, we do not use crates and we do not have kennels or other “cages” like most dog boarding facilities. To be clear, though, we do not have problems with crates, and we see a great value in them, especially when properly used for training puppies and providing a safe place for dogs. However, for our purposes, we do not use crates unless the boarding puppy/dog is in the process of being “house-broken”. If you have a puppy that uses a crate at home, and you’d like to bring a crate for him or her for naps, time-outs, etc, we think that is a good idea. We can set the crate up in our bedroom so that your puppy is as comfortable as possible. We may choose not to keep the puppy in the crate if he/she is too unhappy with it. Our number one goal is a comfortable and anxiety-free environment for dogs and humans alike!
Q: What about fights and bites?
A: Fights and bites are rare, but they do happen. Our number one goal is to provide an environment in which dogs are happy and comfortable. To us, this means allowing dogs the necessary space and freedom to interact and play with other dogs, and to rest where they are comfortable. But this relative freedom comes with some risk, including injury from a bite by another dog. However, happy, anxiety-free dogs tend not to bite, and we take many steps to ensure happy, anxiety-free dogs. These steps include:
Prohibiting dogs that are overly-anxious/fearful around other dogs, or are otherwise aggressive towards dogs.
Providing an awesome farm where dogs can really run and play outdoors.
Providing attention, friendship, and love, and of course fresh water and food (and medications, if provided).
Proactively managing group play to ensure safe and fun interactions.
Reducing situations where “resource guarding” can happen (e.g., feeding dogs separately).
Actively interpreting body language to ensure dogs are happy and/or relaxed.
That being said, just like human friends can quarrel, dogs can quarrel too. But, dogs can quarrel with their teeth, and sometimes a bite can happen before we can intervene. There are many reasons for fights and bites, and they can happen independent of each other– a bite doesn’t have to involve a fight, and a fight often doesn’t result in a bite. We strive to eliminate and mitigate most of those reasons, and we are proud of how seldom we have any bites.
In addition, dogs will occasionally come home with scratches or minor scrapes/cuts. This is completely normal and not a sign that your dog was “in a fight”. dogs do play with their teeth and nails…
Once you visit, you will better understand how dogs can live in relative harmony with each other given the right setting.
Q: Do you take aggressive dogs?
A: This is a difficult question to answer in a paragraph, but the short answer is…we do not accept “aggressive dogs”.
Any dogs showing clear signs of aggressive (reactive) behavior during an evaluation will not be accepted into Dog’s Day. However, there are many levels and types of aggression and very specific circumstances in which aggression can present itself. A dog can be very friendly with 99% of other dogs, 99% of the time and neither we nor the dog’s owner’s may ever see that 1% situation that brings out aggression. An initial evaluation with a dog may not turn up any aggressive/reactive tendencies. But, subsequent daycare and boarding stays may foster a level of comfort that will allow latent reactivity/aggression to present itself. Additionally, maturing dogs can also develop “aggressive” reactions that were not present during puppyhood. Our goal at Dog’s Day is to offer an environment that allows dogs to be comfortable and happy. However, just like in human relationships, where individuals can be on their best behavior during the “honeymoon” phase, bad habits (instincts) can emerge when a certain level of comfort is reached. Conversely, dogs that are initially fearful or shy due to inexperience/bad experiences with other dogs, and therefore might have a tendency to warn approaching dogs through a growl, snap or bark, might shed these “aggressive” behaviors through measured, positive experiences with other dogs. We do our best to try and understand innate and learned behaviors in each of the dogs, and work with them if possible. If at any time we feel like a dog is a danger to other dogs, we will not allow that dog to return.
Q. How many dogs will be staying with you while my dog is there?
A: While many kennels and boarding facilities keep as many as hundreds of dogs at a time (generally warehoused in crates, cages/kennels), we have a maximum capacity of 60 dogs, but usually don’t come close to this number. On a square-foot basis, be have the fewest number of dogs in Montgomery County. With five large separate outdoor yards, and multiple indoor accommodations, we can easily separate the dogs into small groups, each with lot’s of space to run and play. We have at least one staff member for each 15 dogs at all times, and we usually have more than 1 person for every 15 dogs. Keep in mind that we are also a family home, so there are other non-staff humans (aka our kids, other family members, and friends) who frequently like to dote on the dogs under our care.
Q: What happens if my dog gets hurt or sick? What vet will you take him/her to?
Injuries and illnesses that require vet visits are pretty rare, but do happen occasionally. We would generally contact you prior to any vet visits, and if your vet is local to us, we can take your dog there. We have a few vets that we have personal experience with, including Laytonsville, GreenValley, and VCA (which is 24 hours). If there were an emergency, we’d likely go to one of these three immediately.
Q My dog is not neutered/spayed. Do you take dogs that are not neutered or spayed?
A: We generally do not take intact females over 6 months, and males over 8 months for daycare or boarding services. While we understand that many owners elect to keep their dogs intact for health or other reasons, it can be a dangerous environment for an intact dog. One of our evaluators can provide more information.
Q: What do I need to bring for boarding services?
A. All we need from you is a happy pup, a leash and food (packaged per meal and/or with specific instructions)….. if you are not taking advantage of our food offerings* (see Pricing page). If your pup is on any medication or supplements, please provide those. In addition, please make sure your pup has a collar fitted so that it will not slip off easily! In addition, please make sure the collar has your dog’s name either embroidered or with a tag. Label all items with your pup’s first and last name!!
*Please do not send toys, bowls, beds or other belongings. They tend to get chewed by other pets or lost. We have plenty of beds, toys and food/water bowls available for your pup!!
Q: What do I need to bring for daycare or farm trips?
A: All you need for daycare and farm trips is a leash and fitted collar (snug so that it cannot slip off) with name tag.
Q: May I come see my dog interact/get settled-in with the other dogs when I drop him off for “camp”?
A: Outside of the initial meet & greet/evaluation, for drop-offs and pick-ups, it is important that you remain in the parking area until a Dog’s Day staff member comes out to receive or deliver your dog(s). We understand that you may want to see your pup off at “camp” and see how he or she does with the other dogs, but during our regular operations, this is very disruptive to the dogs, and potentially dangerous. Excitement is contagious with dogs, and having human visitors, especially with their dog, can spread a significant amount of disorder and fear in the whole group. Excitement and fear are both closely correlated with aggression, fights, and bites. When we have our meet & greets/evaluations, we carefully plan a slow introduction of dogs in specific orders, and we usually plan on having an extra staff member on-site to help ensure a safe and calm atmosphere. If you would like to come observe your dog with the other dogs outside of the initial meet & greet, this needs to be planned in advance so that we can ensure a safe and calm environment for dogs and humans alike.
Q: When are peak rates?
A: The short answer is that peak rates are during holiday weekends, Spring Break, Summertime, Winter Break, Thanksgiving week– generally when school is out. There are holiday fees on major holidays.
Q: Why do I have an extra daycare charge on my invoice for boarding?
A: Boarding rates are based on a 24-hour time period. There is an extra $25 charge for up to 4 hours after the 24-hr period and $35 for anything over 4 hours. Ex: “Rocky” was dropped off at 9am on Friday and picked up at 5pm on Sunday. The charge would be $75 (regular rate period) x2 nights, plus $35 daycare for Sunday = $185.00
Q: What is the best way to contact you for reservations or questions?
A: If you are not yet a client of Dog’s Day, please fill out the contact form HERE. If you are already a client (you’ve already had a successful evaluation (meet & greet), the best way to schedule service is HERE, and general questions can be emailed to email@example.com. If you are already a client and you need last-minute service, text or call us at 301-263-5887.