Will my dog be allowed contact with other dogs while here for grooming?
Your dog will be within eyesight of other dogs in the same room but is not allowed to come into contact with them. If your dog doesn't enjoy the company of other dogs in the same room, please let us know when scheduling so we can make their stay with us as stress-free as possible by scheduling them during a less busy day or time.
How long should I expect to leave my dog for his/her appointment?
We ask that you plan on leaving your small dog for 2 hours and your large dog 2-3 hours. We like to make sure we can take our time and make your dog as comfortable as possible including giving them periodic breaks, if needed. Rushing leads to stress and injuries so please be patient with us as we take the best care possible of your furry friend!
Do you take walk-ins or do I have to make an appointment?
We are appointment-only for bathing and grooming so please call ahead to schedule an appointment before bringing your pup in. We do have a small list of walk-in services including nail trims that don't require an appointment, but it is a good idea to call ahead to make sure there will be a groomer available when you plan on coming in. We don't have a groomer scheduled for the entire duration of our business operating hours as our daycare is open longer than our grooming salon.
Does my dog have to have a bath before having his hair cut?
Yes! Even if your dog has had a bath recently, we need to start with a freshly washed, dried, and fluffed coat to achieve the beautiful finished results we strive for. Much like a hairdresser must wet your hair before cutting it to ensure evenness and style, the prepping of your dog's hair is vital for us to be able to trim it appropriately.
Is my dog crated while he's there for grooming?
We do utilize cages while your dog is staying with us. If your dog is particularly against the idea of being crated, please let us know so we can minimize the amount of time he has to be in one. If you know your dog is stressed by being crated, we ask that you pick them up as soon as their appointment is finished and that you don't drop them off more than 5 minutes before their scheduled appointment time - this will minimize their stress of having to wait in the crate to begin grooming or to go home. We also offer an expedited grooming - we block off extra time before your dog's appointment to guarantee we are not running late so that we are able to begin the moment your dog comes through the door, and groom him straight through. There is a $10 fee for this service.
Can I drop off my dog earlier than my scheduled appointment time, or can they stay later after they're done?
Unfortunately, due to space limitations in our grooming area, we are not able to offer an All Day Stay option for our grooming clients. A $5 per hour fee will apply for dogs picked up more than one hour after we've contacted you to let you know they're groom is complete, or dropped off more than 30 minutes early. We do offer Saturday grooming appointments to help accommodate those who work Mon-Fri, but they fill up fast - so plan accordingly!
What can I do to help make my dog's grooming experience better?
Dogs are better able to relax and stand still when they've had exercise, so taking your dog for a long walk or a visit to the dog park before grooming can be a good idea. Also, make sure they've had a chance to drink and go potty before coming in. Regular brushing and handling of feet, legs, and face at home will also help your dog become accustomed to the sensations he'll experience during grooming.
What if you find fleas or ticks on my dog while they're there for grooming?
If we find fleas, we'll give your dog a flea bath at your expense to prevent the fleas from spreading to the facility and other dogs. If we find ticks, we'll remove them and let you know we found them.
I know my dog is extremely stressed or aggravated by the grooming process. Can I give him a "doggy downer" my vet provided to help calm him?
Unfortunately we are NOT able to work on pets that have been sedated - even pets that have been sedated with the veterinarian's approval. Sedation can cover up signs of stress and illness such as an inability to regulate body temperature and can have unwanted side effects that we are not medically trained to deal with. If your pet must be sedated to be groomed, we recommend talking to your veterinarian about grooming them at the vet's office or working with a behaviorist to help them learn to accept the grooming process. If we suspect your dog has been sedated, we will stop the grooming process and a fee for services rendered up to that point will apply.
Do you use heated cage dryers?
No! Our cage dryer is basically a large fan that circulates room temperature air into the crates. It does not contain a heating element of any kind. The High Velocity hand-held dryers are heated by the friction of the fast moving air; these dryers are hand-held and used to remove water, to fluff and straighten the coat, and to remove loose undercoat while the pet is on the grooming table. Many pets do not tolerate the faster moving air on their face or feet; these dogs are allowed time in the crate for their feet and face to dry with the slower, room temperature air circulating around them.
Do you shave double coated breeds such as Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, or Malamutes?
Generally, no. We will only shave a double coated dog if it is medically necessary or if the coat is too severely matted to safely de-mat. We make every effort to leave the coats of double coated breeds as natural as possible but the safety of the pet must be taken into consideration in the event of severe matting. Click here to read our blog post on shaving double coated breeds.
Can I stay and watch my dog's initial interactions on his Evaluation Day?
Unfortunately our facility is not designed to allow for visitors during business hours. Additionally, many dogs are too preoccupied by the presence of Mom or Dad to want to play with other dogs, which can skew their behavioral assessment. Our evaluation space is set apart from the regular play rooms, which allows your dog to take as much time as he needs to investigate all the new sights and smells before we slowly introduce him to some new friends. We will monitor their interactions for any signs of fear or aggression. If all goes will with the first couple friends he meets, we'll continue to add new friends to the playgroup until we feel he will be successful as part of our regular group of students.
What does a typical day at daycare look like? Is there a schedule?
Daycare begins with drop-offs from 7:00am-10am. During this time a staff member will greet each owner and dog as they come in, and assign each dog to the appropriate play group based on play style, size and energy level. We keep the front room as empty as possible during drop-offs and encourage one-way entrance and exits to prevent chaos at the door. The dogs can choose their activities within their playgroup as there are resting spots, play equipment to climb on, staff to interact with and toys to play with. During mid-day, most dogs will settle in for a nap in our Slumber Room, which allows faculty to rotate play groups in and out of specific focused activities and training. Though we have no mandatory nap period, we do encourage rest time by grouping the dogs who are trying to nap together so they aren't disturbed by the dogs that are still playing. In the afternoon, after a recharging rest, the dogs will return to free play until their pick up time.
Can I take a tour of the facility before signing my dog up for an Evaluation Exam?
Sure! We can only offer tours on Saturdays as our set-up makes it impossible to see the majority of the facility while the dogs are occupying it. Please call ahead to schedule so we arrange for a staff member to be available to give a tour.
What kinds of dogs attend daycare? Do you have restrictions on breed/age/size?
All kinds of dogs attend daycare! The minimum age for beginning daycare is four months old and all dogs must be spayed or neutered by six months old. We evaluate each dog on an individual basis and assess their behaviors in the group environment. Dogs of any breed or size are eligible to join daycare based on their individual behavior assessment. We may limit the days that your dog can come to days that we have a playgroup that meets their needs. A very timid small dog might be overwhelmed by days that playgroups are much more rambunctious. We don't currently list a maximum age for attending daycare, but we evaluate a senior dog's stress level, tolerance and health. A dog with arthritis or hip problems often finds off-leash play in large groups to be overwhelming and potentially painful if they get bumped into by another dog. Many senior dogs would rather snuggle than wrestle!
Are the dogs crated at all during the day?
We have crates for mid-day nap breaks. Some dogs may also become over-stimulated and need a few minutes of alone time to calm down. Some dogs prefer to nap in a crate and we are happy to allow them a crate to take a break in outside of scheduled down time. Not all dogs participating in the DaySchool Program are required to use a crate for breaks, depending on their comfort level with the crate for nap breaks and their willingness to accept the crate as a safe and quiet space to relax. We also provide cots, blankets, and dog beds in the Slumber Room for resting outside of the crate.
What if you find fleas on my dog while he's there for daycare?
If we find fleas on your dog while in daycare, we require that the dog is either given a flea bath at your expense or removed from the group until they've been treated and the fleas are gone. All dogs are required to be on a flea prevention program but we understand that even treated dogs can sometimes end up with a few fleas.
Do the dogs wear collars while in daycare?
Our dogs play "naked" while in daycare - meaning no collars or harnesses: breakaway collars only are allowed to be worn in the daycare play spaces. Seresto flea collars are breakaway so they are fine for daycare. This is to prevent a dog from getting it's teeth or jaw caught on another dog's collar. We use slip leashes to move the dogs when needed. If you'd prefer your dog wear a collar, you may purchase a breakaway collar (the buckle opens automatically when strong pressure to the collar is applied) for them to wear while playing.
Will daycare ruin my potty training efforts?
If your dog is already potty trained at home, daycare should not effect that.
What if my dog is injured or becomes ill during daycare?
If this occurs, you will be notified immediately if the problem is severe. If the injury is small and does not need medical attention (small scrapes or cuts) you will be notified when you pick up your dog. If your dog is limping or not acting like his normal self or exhibiting signs of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, coughing) we'll contact you so you can pick up your dog and take him to the vet.
If immediate vet care is needed, we will transport your dog to Colonial Veterinary Hospital. You will need to call them to give permission for them to treat your dog.
Remember that even normal dog play can result in some type of injury. It is not a common occurrence, but can happen just like a child can trip and fall during recess and sustain a cut or a bump to the head. All injuries and illness are prevented to the absolute best of our ability!