FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT EXACTLY IS "HOME-STYLE" BOARDING? Home-style boarding is a concept we came up with several years ago. It started simply enough: a friend would ask us to “babysit” their dog when they went out of town, because their dog became too stressed in a kennel environment. We developed this babysitting idea into a boarding concept that allows your dog to stay in surroundings that are as similar to his home life as possible. The dog is not “kenneled” in the traditional fashion. Rather, he is kept in our home, and spends the day socializing, playing with other dogs, and generally hanging out. Please note we are not a "cage free" situation - we do use crates, mostly at meal times and bedtime.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS? Because this is our home, ALL drop off and pick up times are by appointment only. We are usually available to you on Sundays, evenings, and most holidays. We prefer to schedule drop-offs/pick-ups between 9 AM and 8 PM Eastern time. **VERY Important** - If you are unable to keep your appointment or are running late, please call us to reschedule.
DO YOU NEED A COPY OF MY DOG'S SHOT RECORDS? Yes, absolutely. We need proof of current rabies, dhlpp, and bordatella vaccinations. Your vet can easily provide this to you. Your dog CAN NOT board with us without proof of vaccinations.
MY MALE DOG HAS NOT BEEN NEUTERED, BUT HE IS FRIENDLY WITH OTHER DOGS. CAN HE BOARD WITH YOU? Unfortunately, he can not. We have a hard and fast rule regarding male dogs, and any male 6 months or older must be neutered in order to stay with us.
SHOULD I BRING BOWLS, TOYS, OR A BED? You are welcome to bring whatever you think will make your dog comfortable. However, we will provide treats and toys for your dog during his stay. We don’t need your dog’s bowl (we used stainless steel bowls that are easy to sanitize) unless your dog refuses to eat out of an unfamiliar dish. If you bring toys, we will try very hard to ensure that the toy is returned to you in the same condition, but we can’t guarantee it. We recommend you simply bring food and a blanket or bed (something that smells like “home” will give your dog comfort if he is homesick).
WHERE DO THE DOGS SLEEP? It depends on what the dog is used to at home. Most dogs are given a crate for sleeping and mealtimes. Some dogs sleep in the master bedroom with us. Others sleep downstairs on the sofa. It all depends on the dog and his/her behavior in the house.
HOW MANY DOGS DO YOU USUALLY BOARD? Generally, our limit is about 10 dogs. Holidays can get a little busier because we have so many loyal clients who depend on us to care for their pets.
IF YOU ONLY BOARD A SMALL NUMBER OF DOGS, WHY DO I SEE MORE THAN THAT? Call us crazy, but we have 10 of our own. We are a childless couple and our dogs are our “children.” Plus, we work with dog rescue, so there are often a couple of dogs here that need permanent homes.
HOW WILL MY DOG BE INTRODUCED TO HIS/HER PLAY GROUP? While boarding, the dogs are split into “playgroups” based on size, play-style and activity level, with most groups having at least one of our own trustworthy dogs as an "anchor". We will introduce your dog to each member of his/her playgroup one at a time to ensure there are no personality conflicts. Generally speaking, first-time boarders do not go into the play-yard with a group until they have had time to socialize one-on-one with each member of that group.
WHAT IF MY DOG HAS PROBLEMS GETTING ALONG WITH THE OTHER DOGS? This is rarely the case, but when it does happen, we will have to keep your dog separated from the others. If it is one particular dog that he doesn’t like, we will often simply reassign that dog to a different group. If your dog has trouble with other dogs in general, then we will keep him separated and inform you when you arrive to pick him up. In situations such as this, you will need to consider boarding your dog at a traditional kennel, as the whole point of home-style boarding is socialization and fun. We have a ZERO TOLERANCE rule for aggressive/bullying behavior. We understand that sometimes play can get a little rough, but any signs of actual *aggression* will result in your dog not being welcome back.
I LIKE THE IDEA OF MY DOG MEETING NEW FRIENDS, BUT MY DOG IS VERY TINY/ELDERLY/FRAIL, ETC. I AM CONCERNED THAT BEING IN A LARGE GROUP MAY BE UNSAFE FOR HIM/HER. That is a valid concern. Dogs will be dogs, and that sometimes involves roughhousing during play. As a safety measure, we do not assign elderly, infirm, or or otherwise delicate dogs to a playgroup. Instead, they have time in the play yard with one compatible dog.
WHAT WILL MY DOG EAT WHILE STAYING WITH YOU? Ideally, he/she will eat the food that you bring from home. Abrupt changes in diet can lead to upset tummies, which we want to avoid, so it is best if you bring your dog’s own food for his stay with us. We do ask that you bring only as much food as you think your dog will need - 50 pound bags get very bulky! While we encourage you to bring your dog’s own food, we don’t require it. We feed our own dogs a high protein/high fat premium dry dog food and are happy to feed that product to your dog as well. We feed twice a day (morning and evening) and have water available all day. We also hand out treats (dog biscuits, chew bones, etc.) on a regular basis.
WHAT IF MY DOG NEEDS MEDICAL CARE WHILE STAYING WITH YOU? If your dog becomes ill or injured, we will do everything possible to ensure he/she receives proper care. Mild cases of upset tummies, etc. may be treated by us at home after a telephone consult with our vet. If your dog needs to go to the vet, we will attempt to use your vet if they are open and available. Alternatively, we will arrange for your dog to be cared for by a vet of our choice. We will always attempt to reach you by phone, text, or email prior to any veterinary visit but if we are unable to get in touch with you, we will use our best judgement and do what is needed. You will be responsible for any bills incurred by your pet's vet visit.