Your Questions, Our Answers
What does my dog do all day in Daycare?
Typically, dogs burn off their initial energy and have a rest before going for round two.
Some dogs run, play tug with toys, chase balls, and wrestle with their friends. Other dogs just enjoy watching all the action and playing in smaller groups.
Typically dogs burn off their initial energy and have a rest before going for round two. They nap whenever they need to on our comfy Kuranda beds.
Are there ever dog fights or injuries?
Our daycare employees are amazing and provide constant supervision. They watch for body language and behavior cues, often resolving a situation before it escalates into anything more than posturing. The most common injuries that owners find are scratches and the odd small cut. Dogs play with their teeth and paws, so the occasional scratch is par for the course. We know our clients well here at It’s A Dog’s Life. We are aware of who doesn’t like who. Yes... just like people, some dogs just don’t care for each other! We separate dogs by size and temperament and have several different areas to place a dog, depending on who else is there that day. Dogs that are new to the facility are introduced slowly, and are watched carefully. They all eventually (some quicker than others!) find their niche of pals and doggie things to do.
How old does my dog need to be to attend daycare?
The age will vary for every dog depending on when they were given their first vaccinations. We require puppies to have at least 2 sets of puppy shots (distemper combo) and that it has been 10 days since their last set was given. This will make most puppies about 12 weeks old when they are ready for daycare.
Do I need to book an assessment to bring my pet to daycare and/or boarding?
No, we do not require assessments before your pet comes for daycare or boarding. In our experience, dogs behave very differently on their very first encounter with us than they will after they have gotten comfortable with their new surroundings. We do, however, work dogs into the daycare groups slowly on their first days so we can assess which play group is best suited to them.
Do I need to bring anything with my pet when they arrive for daycare? What about on the first day?
On your pet's first day we will need to see a copy of their most recent vaccination records. For future visits this information will be stored in our computer system.
We supply everything needed for a fun day of play. We do recommend a flat collar as any other types of collars will be removed before your pup goes into the daycare for safety reasons. Of course you may use any collar to bring your pet to and from daycare, but it would be appreciated if your pet had a flat collar on as well.
Should I bring lunch with my dog for daycare?
For most dogs lunch is not necessary however, for some dogs with special dietary needs or younger puppies, you may want to bring lunch in a Ziploc bag. Please clearly mark your dog’s name on it. There is an additional charge of $1 per feeding.
What vaccines are required?
Required vaccines are Rabies and the Distemper Combo. (Distemper, Hepatitis, Para influenza, Parvovirus)
Proof of these vaccinations is required to be submitted every three years. Alternatively, we also accept annual Titre test results. Please note: Bordetella (Kennel Cough) is optional but we recommend researching it yourself and/or discussing whether it is necessary with your vet.
** Please note that the vaccines should be given 7-10 days prior to your visit, to be effective**
My dog doesn’t seem to like playing with other dogs, and seems to prefer time spent with people instead. Is daycare still appropriate?
Yes, some of our current clients simply enjoy watching the action from the sidelines. They prefer spending the majority of their day being petted and loved by our staff when appropriate, and being our little helpers. Also, after a few days “people dogs” will often come out of their shell and actually start making new canine friends.
Do the dogs have treats or chew bones during daycare?
No. We do not allow food of any kind in the daycare. Some dogs are food aggressive, so this would not be safe.
When’s the best time to drop off a new or timid dog?
The earlier the better, that way your dog will be one of the first dogs in daycare and can meet each incoming dog one at a time. It will be less intimidating than coming into a group that has already been playing together for most of the day.
Sometimes if I look through the viewing window when picking up my dog, several of the dogs are standing at the fence and staring at the door; Is that what the dogs do all day?
The short answer is no. A lot of the dogs get into a routine (particularly if they get picked up the same time every day), so they start to watch for when it’s their turn to go home. We do make attempts to distract the dogs back into fun and games. For some dogs this works, and for other dogs it doesn’t. Throughout the rest of the day, these dogs are running, playing and having fun; they are not thinking about their owners.
What happens if I am late to pick up my dog?
Please call or email us if you are going to be late. Although we have some staff at It’s A Dog’s Life past 6:00pm, these employees have other evening duties and are not able to handle daycare dogs and/or check-outs. Keeping a dog past our closing time of 6:00pm costs us more money; therefore, we need to charge a late fee. This fee is $1.00/per minute. If we do not receive a phone call, we will assume that your dog is going to spend the night with us. They will be set up with a comfy bed, fed a great meal of our special food, and you will be charged for boarding.
Can I see the complete facilities where my dog will be staying?
We encourage you to visit and tour the facility before enrolling. Our facility is available to tour any day before 4 pm.
My dog is not feeling well; should he/she still come to daycare?
If your dog has had unexplained vomiting, diarrhea, green discharge from eyes or nose, coughing, lethargy, etc, please do not bring him/her to daycare. Consult with your veterinarian.
Does my pet need to start getting monthly parasite prevention medication to attend daycare?
No, preventative flea/tick/lice medications are not required. However, we do recommend looking into them for yourself and discussing with your veterinarian if they are right for your pet. There are pros and cons to all medications, particularly with insecticides.
If you do choose to use a topical treatment, we only recommend Advantage Multi or Revolution which can be purchased at your vet.
**Please note: Topical treatments are also available at most pet stores at lower prices. Pay attention to the chemicals used in these products and do your research first before using these. They have been shown to have far more side effects than their more expensive counterparts. STAY AWAY from products that contain Permethrin, resmethrin, and propoxur, to name a few.**
Do I need to book an appointment or let you know when I'm bringing my dog for daycare?
No, appointments/bookings are not necessary. Just bring your furry friend to us when you need to.
What kind of risks are associated with pack play?
Whenever you expose your dog to other dogs in a public environment like a doggie daycare, vet offices, or dog parks, there are risks involved. Of course, there are benefits also! Your dog learns how to socialize, play and interact in the pack. Friends are made and games are played. stimulated and exercised, and learn new things instead of sitting home alone. The staff at It’s A Dog’s Life are trained to recognize potential risks, however some are simply unavoidable. Unfortunately dogs are very much like small children - they pass viruses and parasites between each other. We have outlined some common risks below.
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Kennel cough is an airborne virus passed from dog to dog. It is very similar to what we consider a common cold, and early stage symptoms may include: a dry, non-productive cough (may sound like your dog has something stuck in their throat), and vomiting a white foamy liquid. Kennel cough is most often treated by keeping your dog at home and allowing the virus to run its course. Unfortunately it takes 2-7 days once a dog is exposed before they start showing any symptoms, so a dog in daycare may have kennel cough and we will not be aware. For this reason, we ask you to please pay attention to any symptoms your dog may exhibit at home and do not bring him to daycare if you are in doubt. There is a vaccine available; however, it only protects against approximately half of the strains of kennel cough, and therefore has limited effectiveness. If we suspect a dog may have kennel cough, we will remove them from the daycare area and contact their owners.
Lice are, unfortunately, now a very common parasite in Alberta. Many dog owners’ first thoughts when they hear the term "dog lice" are… “Oh no! First my toddler, now I have to worry about the dog getting infested?!”
Let's get to the good news right up front, that way the rest won't seem all that bad. Dog lice cannot be transferred to humans. Lice are easily treated and there are many holistic alternatives to keep them from re-infesting your dog. Dogs with lice may display excessive scratching or have a dry, flaky coat. Lice are visible to the human eye – simply part the dog's fur and look for little bugs close to the skin. If we see a dog scratching while in our care we always check for lice and other parasites. If a dog is found with lice, we will remove them from the daycare area and contact their owners.
Papilloma (Dog Warts)
Papilloma is a virus found most frequently in the mouths of dogs less than two years of age. They appear as cauliflower-like growths on the lips and gums. It is passed from dog to dog via physical contact - playing, sharing toys, and sharing water bowls. If your dog contracts papilloma, a supplement such as Peterna may help it run its course faster. Again since it is a virus, it just needs to run its course. If a dog if found with a paplilloma we will remove them from the daycare area and contact their owners.
Should I bring my dog’s bed or kennel for boarding?
We prefer to supply all bedding for our guests. Due to our strict daily cleaning practices it is much easier and safer for your pet to use our bedding as we can make sure that everything has been sanitized on a daily basis.
Should I bring my dog’s bowls and toys?
Once again we try and make everything as convenient for you and as safe for your pet. We supply all stainless steel bowls for our guest and we have plenty of safe toys in the recommend size to suit our guest. This allows us to make sure that everything has been cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis.
Can I bring treat and bones?
Treats and bones are always welcome; however we do not accept rawhide at our facility. Rawhide can pose an extremely dangerous choking hazard; even to dogs that have been chewing on it for years. That is why, in the best interest of all our guests, we ask that you leave the rawhide at home where your pet can enjoy it under your supervision.
Can my dogs stay in the same run at night?
Yes all family members can stay in the same run.
Is there nap time?
Although there are plenty of beds for napping throughout the daycare, you may request that your pet be brought back to his run for nap time. This is extremely important for our older guest as well as some over active puppies.
If I pick up after 12 pm from boarding am I charged FOR ANOTHER FULL DAY?
Your nightly boarding ends at 12:00pm the next day. There is a $2.50/hr/dog charge after 12:00pm
What will my dog do during the day if he is boarded? Does he/she stay in a run?
All dogs that are boarding are welcome in the daycare during the day at no extra charge. If your dog is found to be unsocial or aggressive we will keep him/ her in the kennel area and take them for walks.
My dog is on medication, can that be given during his/her stay?
Yes of course ! All medications should be clearly labeled with your pet’s name and dosage requirements. Please note there is an additional charge for administering medications. Pill/liquid-form medications are $1 per dose and injections are $2 per dose.
My dog's food needs to be frozen and/or refrigerated, is that possible?
Yes we have both freezers and fridges and also sell raw food /bones if needed.
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