Q: How do I know if my dog will get along well with the other dogs?
A: Most dogs do very well in day care even when they have never been exposed to other dogs. We will take it slow with your dog on the first day and evaluate his or her behavior for you. We will provide a "My First Day" report card so you will know how he or she did. If your dog has a history of aggression and fighting, then daycare is not going to be a good environment for him or her.
Q: If my dog acts scared or nervous when I drop him off, should I be worried?
A: No. A lot of dogs don't like the initial separation from their owners. Once your dog has been coming to daycare for awhile, he should relax and be excited to come in. There are some dogs that will always put on quite a show at drop-off, but once you are out of sight, they happily come to play. We will always let you know if we feel your dog is stressed out or upset in the daycare program. We want this to be a good experience for all them!
Q: When I drop my dog off and he is taken back to the daycare, I hear the other dogs going crazy. Are they fighting?
A: Nope! It is always very exciting when a dog comes into the daycare group and everyone is talking like crazy. They sound like that for a minute or two and quickly settle back down. When a dog checks into daycare, they are brought into a holding area first so they can sniff noses through the fence before entering the group. It's a very controlled and supervised entry.
Q: Why do you require the Bordetella vaccine every six months?
A: The Bordatella vaccine (kennel cough) is very much like the flu vaccine us humans get. It covers a few of the most prominent strains of the virus at that given time. The virus is ever-changing. Having it strong in your dog's system will help him or her fight off the virus more easily. Because dogs play in daycare, the chance of being exposed is much higher. We have learned from experience that if this vaccine is only given once per year, the kennel cough outbreaks are much more frequent. Of course, daycare is like school for your kids and germs are shared.
Q: Why are you asking for the CIV (Canine Influenza vaccine)? My vet says it is not necessary yet.
A: Your vet is correct in that we in Washington state have not seen an outbreak of CIV yet. The reason we ask our customers to schedule this shot is because we take dogs from out-of-state for boarding on a regular basis, and it could very easily be brought in with one of them. Influenza is sort of like kennel cough but is much more severe and spreads extremely fast. Also like kennel cough, CIV can be contagious for up to two weeks without showing any symptoms. By the time we see a dog sick, it's too late. Our approach is prevention. This is always more successful than waiting for an outbreak and having a lot of sick dogs.
Q: Do the dogs fight in daycare?
A: It is actually very uncommon for us to have a fight in daycare. The daycare is well-supervised at all times and we match up playgroups by personality and size. The pack is usually much more interested in playing with each other than looking for a fight. Daycare works because the dogs are not protecting their property or owners. They are on neutral territory and that puts them at ease. They get to just be dogs!