FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you are unsure of your dogs’ temperament around other dogs, you should first bring your dog in for a temperament evaluation from one of our DogMasters. It’s best to call us first and ask what time is a good time for us to do it. Based on the evaluation there in the office, we will either tell you, “don’t worry, he’s fine!” or “we think you should do a day of daycamp to get him comfortable before leaving him overnight” or “ahhhh! My arm!” just kidding. Most dogs are very quick to adapt to any situation and ALL the time we see transformations of dogs during boarding or daycare. They may start out timid or defensive and by the end of the day, they are running with the pack, happy and carefree the way a dog should be.
From the start, we only accept dogs that are friendly with other dogs. During the initial evaluation if we feel like the dog is a threat to other guests then we will inform the owner that it’s not going to work until the dog receives further training/rehabilitation. Our trained and experienced DogMasters know enough about dog behavior to see the signs of two dogs not getting along before a fight actually happens so if a dog was to act aggressively toward another while they were already here in camp, the dogs involved will be put in separate playgroups and if they show any other aggression signs with other dogs then they will not be allowed to return to camp. Each dog is different and just because one dog might have growled or snapped at another once over a tennis ball doesn’t necessarily mean that they are aggressive in nature. We have to handle each case differently and evaluate each dog’s behavior individually in order to make the determination if they can’t come to Poochie’s again. With that said, if a dog gets yelled at so much for being too rough or scaring others or just being a terror during play time then that dogs mom and dad will be told that they can’t bring him back unless and until he’s been properly trained/rehabilitated from that kind of behavior.
Each dog that comes here for the first time is evaluated and placed in the group that best suits their size and also their play style. We will have a young and active large dog group and a small, timid group and also a separate elderly dog group. Each separated group lives together and plays together throughout their stays.
Boarding: Poochie’s has always been about dogs playing together outside on BIG open natural spaces. Only letting them go into a small artificial turf “toilet yard” or spending most of their outside time in a 10-foot “run” is not our thing. Because of that, we purposely only built enough kennels here for the amount of time, yard space (15 dogs max at a time in each 2-acre fenced area), and attention that we believe each dog needs. Your dog is going to get at least 3 to 4 hours of off-leash running and swimming with friends on acres of beautiful land every day EVEN during the busy holiday periods. The routine goes like this: out for 30-40 minutes and then in for 40 minutes and then back out and then back in and then back out, back in, back out a …all day long, every day from 7 am to 7 pm, 365 days a year, even if the front office is closed.
Daycamp: The daycamp routine is almost the same as the boarding routine. We do our best to get the daycamp dogs out to play as much as possible from the time they arrive to the time they get picked up. They will have inside breaks throughout the day as well so they don’t over do it. Sometimes they play inside in the air conditioned “Doghouse” too!
Naptime/lunch-snack time is for everybody every day from around 12 to 2. Sometimes it’s only an hour for daycare dogs. You can bring a snack for your dog or ask us to give him some of our treats homemade by Grammie.
Only if it’s really heavy rain or if there’s any lightning around then we will go inside and wait it out. For a light rain with no lightning, we love to play in it with your dogs*, how often do they get to do that at home? (*if we see a dog that REALLY hates it when it rains then we would send him/her back inside) We have a 2000 square foot indoor playground with artificial turf to use during times when we can’t go out. We rotate all the dogs through there to play for a while during storms so they’re not cooped up too long. We also make rounds through the kennels to make sure nobody is freaking out during the storm. If it’s very hot out then we shorten their outings to about just 20 minutes during the hottest part of the day. They come in for about 30 minutes to cool off and then they’re back out again. Smashed face dogs (bulldogs, pugs, etc..) that have trouble breathing when it’s hot will be inside the indoor play turf building more often so they still get exercise in a safe way.
When boarding, you are not required to bring any food or belongings with you though we prefer that you leave at least her own leash with us during her stay. We have soft blankets for bedding and stainless steel food and water bowls. You pups can eat our Science Diet Advanced Fitness food but you are always encouraged to bring their own if they have something they are already used to. We also have treats, fresh and homemade by Grammie, and we have other types of Hill’s Science Diet brand foods that may be a more suitable fit for your dog’s needs. The vet also carries prescription foods. If your pet has her own bed, favorite toy, treats, chew bones, or anything special to him you are encouraged to bring it to make your dog’s stay as close to home as possible. Though we do our best with personal belongings with your dog’s very own built-in locker, we can’t guarantee it won’t happen and shouldn’t be held responsible for lost items. Your dog might grab a toy or their bone and run with it outside for example.
Yes! Your dog might need a day or two of rest after leaving camp. The exercise they get here is usually a lot more than they normally get at home. Most dogs enjoy resting and relaxing as soon as you get them back to their own home and bed. They may also be very thirsty when they get home. My dogs drink a lot every time when I get them home, rest assured they have access to fresh water the entire time they’re here, it’s just some unexplained post-boarding behavior that seems common. We’ve also had reports of dogs seeming a little depressed when they go home! Don’t worry, this too will pass, they probably just made some close friendships with a special dog-friend here.
You should know that every year, each of our staff is re-trained and tested in their abilities to perform canine CPR and recognize the most common health issues that could arise. Though rare, it is possible that a dog will need medical treatment due to something unforeseen and/or unpreventable. It’s a very good thing for your dog to have our veterinary partners right in the building with us if this should ever occur!
Steps we take: Should anything that doesn’t seem right about your kid’s health be noticed, you will be notified immediately by the manager. If we for some reason you cannot be reached or get back to us within 3 hours (or less if an emergency) then we will need to make the best call on your behalf after consulting with the veterinarian. You are responsible for any charges that veterinary services require and will need to pay the vet at pick up time.
There is no need for one of our pups to suffer with a health issue while at camp. The vet can get them feeling better with medicine and Poochie’s can get them feeling better with extra TLC and a quiet place away from others to rest if needed. We will treat them just like they are one of our own family dogs.