Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Typical Day like for my pup?
Upon arrival, pups are separated into playgroups based on their size, energy level, and play style. There are anywhere from 4-6 playgroups each day. We call our groups "Littles," "Mediums," "Bigs," and "Extra Larges." We often have two separate groups for one size based on different temperament of the dogs. For example, the "Big" dogs will be separated into two different groups, one for the more high energy and playful "Bigs," and one for the more mellow "Bigs." Pups will rotate through outdoor play time and indoor rest with their play group throughout the day. Groups are rotated through our huge play yards and also take "cool down" breaks inside their kennels while other play groups are taking their turn outside. We rotate the groups every 45 minutes to 1 hour. So on most days, your pup would be outside for 1 hour playing with its group, and then rest inside for 1 hour until their next turn outside, and we do this rotation all day. We have 2 groups outside at a time, one group per yard, and the other two groups are waiting inside. On days when there are 4 play groups, we rotate every hour. On days where we have 5 or 6 play groups, we rotate every 45 minutes. So the most time a dog will wait indoors for their next turn is 1.5 hours.
How much time are the dogs outside?
We give the pups as much time as possible to run free and play with their pals in our large play yards! This is not the type of boarding facility where dogs are kept cooped up inside their crates all day. We are a full service doggy day care, and we believe dogs need as much exercise and socialization with friends as possible! Play Groups are constantly rotated throughout the entire day so that we maximize all of the dogs play time. There is only one time during the day at 3:30 PM when we stop play group rotations for 30 minutes while all staff feeds all boarding dogs their dinner and completes "departure baths" for those who have signed up for a bath before going home. At 4 PM, play group rotations resume. At no other time during the day does the staff pause play group rotations to take a "break." Playtime is maximized here and the dogs' happiness, health, and exercise is our priority!
What if my dog does not like the outdoors?
We cater each experience to the individual pup. If your pup is not a fan of the outdoors, they will not be forced to stay outside! We will take them outside to do their business, we will watch them and see if they start to explore or engage in play, but if they are sitting by the door wanting to go back inside, then we will absolutely take them back in. They can relax in their cozy kennel or their private suite, or they can walk around with us while we are cleaning, doing laundry, etc. We will make them feel right at home. They may even enjoy sitting in the office on a dog bed and looking out the window while we do paperwork or answer emails! No pup will be forced outdoors if they don't want to go outside! However, one thing to keep in mind is that we do not have indoor play areas. All of the play and socialization takes place outside in our play yards.
What happens at Pups & Pals on rainy days?
Just a little drizzle doesn't bother most of the pups at all! They will still be outside playing chase, wrestling around, and possibly splashing in a few mud puddles! When it is drizzling or light rain we still stay outside. When it begins to rain hard, we bring all pups inside and wait it out. As soon as the rain stops, we are all back outside for more play time! Some pups love the rain, some hate it! We cater their experience to them individually. If your pup doesn't mind the rain, they are welcome to keep playing their hearts out! If they are scared of the rain, they can come inside to get warm and stay dry! We do our best to make the most out of rainy days and get the pups as much play time as possible! In cases of hours and hours of rain storms, we will do our best to rotate dogs in very small groups or pairs to stretch their legs and play a little inside. We can't control the weather, but we do our best to keep the pups in our care happy and comfortable.
What do I need to bring for Overnight Lodging?
All you need to bring for overnight lodging is your dog's food! We do not provide food for lodging, so you'll need to bring your pup's food in a labeled bag or container. Be sure to let us know how many "scoops" or cups to serve when filling out your paperwork at registration. You do not need to bring any toys or treats, we have plenty of those! We request that you do not bring bring blankets, dog beds, or pillows from home as we have all of that here! Your pup may love and respect his nice dog bed in the comfort of your home, but all too often we see the anxiety or nervousness of being in a boarding facility result in soiled or destroyed dog beds, chewed up blankets, etc. We request that you leave these items at home.
How much is a boarding deposit for lodging reservations?
In order to book an overnight lodging reservation for your pup, we require a boarding deposit. For a one-night reservation we will collect a one-night boarding deposit at the time you make the reservation. For a lodging reservation between 2 nights and 7 nights long, we will collect a 2 night deposit at the time the reservation is made. For lodging reservations 8 nights or longer, we require a 50% boarding deposit, or the purchase of a 10 Night Package.
What is the cancellation policy for lodging reservations?
For non-holiday reservations, we require a 48 hour notice to cancel a reservation and receive a full refund of the boarding deposit. Within the 48 hours, there is no refund of the boarding deposit. For example, if your boarding reservation is scheduled to begin on Friday morning during the 7-10 AM morning drop off period, you must notify us on Wednesday morning prior to 10 AM to receive a full refund. If notified on Wednesday morning at 10:15 this is within the 48 hour window and there is no refund.
For holiday reservations, we require a 72 hour notice to cancel a reservation and receive a full refund of the boarding deposit. Holiday Reservations include any reservation that falls on a day of the week within 7 days of the actual holiday. So even if your reservation is for Dec. 20th - Dec. 23rd and does not actually cross over Dec. 24-25th, this reservation is part of "Christmas Week" and falls under the 72 hour notice cancellation policy. Holidays include: New Year's Eve Week, Valentines Day Weekend, St. Patrick's Day Weekend, SXSW Music Festival Week, Easter Week, Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, ACL Weekends 1 & 2, Halloween Weekend, Thanksgiving Week, and Christmas Week.
How does pricing work for Lodging?
Lodging is $38 per night for a Private Lounge, which is a standard crate, and $48 per night for a Private Suite. This price includes the entire day of doggie day care. Here at Pups & Pals, we do not charge additional fees for group play time, couch time, cuddle time, or fetch/frisbee time, it's all included as a part of what we do every day!
When dogs are dropped off in our morning drop off hours, the $38/$48 covers the entire day of doggie day care and the overnight stay. When you pick your dog up the following morning during the morning pick up hours, you do not pay anything for the second day. Morning pick up is 7-10 AM Monday through Friday, and 9-11 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. If you would like your dog to stay for another day of doggie day care on the second day (or the last day of the boarding reservation), you can pick them up during the evening pick up hours. Monday through Friday the evening pick up time is 4 PM - 7 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays it is 4 PM - 6 PM. When you pick them up during the evening pick up hours you will pay $28 for doggie day care on Day 2 (or the last day of the reservation).
So if your pup stays with us for 3 nights, and then is picked up in the morning hours on Day 4, you will only pay for 3 nights of lodging. If you dogs stays with us for 3 nights and then is picked up in the afternoon hours on Day 4, you will pay for 3 nights of lodging and 1 day of doggie day care. The only exception to this rule is if your dog is dropped off in the afternoon hours on the first night, and then is picked up in the afternoon hours on the second night. In this situation, the additional day of day care for $28 is not applied and you will only pay for one night of lodging for $38/$48. However, this exception applies only to a 1-night reservation. For any reservations that are 2 nights or longer, this afternoon drop off exception does not apply.
How old does my pup have to be before they can start Day Care or Lodging?
Pups must be 4 months old (16 weeks) before they can attend day care of lodging. This is because pups younger than 16 weeks have not yet completed their last round of puppy vaccinations and are not cleared to be around other dogs. For their safety, they need to have their last round of puppy vaccinations at 16 weeks before they can be exposed to other dogs. After receiving their last round of shots, we request they wait 3 days before coming in for their first day.
What is Pups & Pals Spay & Neuter Policy?
We require all pups to be spayed and neutered by 8 months old. Between 4 months old and 8 months old your pup does not need to be spayed or neutered, and they can still participate in play groups at Pups & Pals. Sometime between 6 months of age and 8 months of age, they need to be spayed or neutered in order to continue attending day care or lodging at Pups & Pals once they reach 8 months old.
What vaccines are required for my pup to attend Day Care or Lodging?
We require 3 vaccines for day care or lodging. Rabies, Distemper (DHPP) and Bordetella. Your pup must be up to date on these vaccines or they will not be able to attend day care or lodging. Check your last vet bill and look for the "reminders" for your pup's due dates on these vaccines to make sure they are up to date! After receiving the Bordetella vaccine, pups must wait a minimum of 3 days before arriving for day care or lodging. Dogs are still "shedding" the Bordetella bacteria after receiving the vaccine and are contagious to other dogs in our facility.
What is Bordetella (Kennel Cough)?
Much like the common cold, the bacteria that causes kennel cough floats through the air after being expelled by a cough. Other dogs in the same space may inhale the air containing infectious agents, and boom! They have kennel cough. The reason this illness seems so common, and is commonly called “Kennel” cough, is that wherever there are numbers of dogs confined together in an enclosed environment such as a kennel, animal shelter, or veterinary office waiting room (yes, even there!), the disease is much more likely to spread. The same is true with “colds” spread from human to human…they are much more likely to occur in a populated, enclosed environment such as an airplane, office, or school. Symptoms include dry hacking, coughing that sounds like honking, and sometimes spit-up. Don’t be alarmed, as this is not a serious illness and most dogs will recover within 2-3 weeks. If you hear your dog coughing, we ask that you do not bring them to day care or boarding for 3 weeks after coughing symptoms have stopped. All dogs here at Pups & Pals are required to have the Bordetella vaccine, but please keep in mind that this vaccine only protects against some strains of kennel cough, and it is no where near 100% effective. Just like the flu shot in humans only protects against some strains of the flu. So even if your dog has been vaccinated against some strains, they are still susceptible. Just like humans who get the flu shot may still contract the flu. We sanitize and disinfect our entire facility every single day, but this is an airborne illness and it is simply not something that can be prevented. Just like your child’s day care or elementary school cannot prevent the common cold from spreading, as clean as they keep the environment! We have air purifiers in every room to combat the bacteria and allergens in the air and help it stay clean and fresh, but this is not a foolproof system. Puppies under one year of age and elderly dogs older than 10 years are more susceptible to Bordetella, as well as dogs with pre-existing health conditions, breathing abnormalities, allergies, and brachycephalic breeds.
Does Pups & Pals have Breed Restrictions?
We do not have breed restrictions here at Pups & Pals. Each pup is evaluated individually during their Play Day Evaluation to see if they are a good fit for group socialization. We will observe their temperament, play style, and try them out with different dogs to see how they get along! Most of the time, it's peachy keen! Some dogs do better with the opposite sex, and if this is the case we will make notes in their account such as, "Fido plays best with females, and does not do well with other males." That way, they can still come to play at day care anytime, but the specific notes about their play groups will keep everyone safe! Because we are a social kennel, all dogs seeking day care or lodging here at Pups & Pals must pass a Play Day Evaluation and be able to play in a group with other dogs. We do not have the capacity to cater to dogs who must be isolated because they don't get along with other dogs. For pups with these specific needs, we will recommend a few wonderful In-Home Pet Sitters!
What do the pups do overnight? Is anyone there to watch them overnight?
Pups have their dinner around 3:30 PM, and then head outside at 4:00 for their last rounds of afternoon play time and potty breaks! They stay outside playing and enjoying the sunset until 7:30 when all dogs are brought inside for bed time. All pups are in their Private Suites or Private Lounges at 7:30 for lights out. We leave classical music playing on the radio in every room to help soothe them and block out distractions. For dogs who are allowed to have treats and peanut butter, we hand out Kongs with peanut butter to give them something to do! The staff leaves shortly after 8 PM and does not return again until the morning. It is best for pups not to be woken up or disturbed during the middle of the night. This gets them all riled up and disrupts them when they would have slept quietly through the night after a long day of play time! So, we do not return in the middle of the night. We have an alarm system and cameras connected to the owner, DeDe's smartphone and she can monitor the building from home. She can adjust temperatures on the thermostats and view the cameras from home to ensure your pups are safe and sound. In the event of an emergency, the owners, as well as 4 other staff members live right across the street and can be at the facility in just a few minutes.
Can I have a tour of Pups & Pals?
Yes! We love to show our new clients our entire facility. We have an open door policy and we will show you everything from the kennels, private suites, common areas, and the play yards! We think it is important for you too see the accommodations where your dog will be spending it's time. We offer tours of our facility every day of the week including weekends, however tours are only offered by appointment between the hours of 11 AM - 3 PM. Please call in advance to set up a time for a tour. Our "lobby hours" are when Pick Up and Drop Off is happening in the morning and afternoon and we are not able to offer tours during this time. We have too many dogs coming in and out of the building at this time to be able to give a tour. Please be on time for your tour appointment as we have scheduled one of our staff members to stop their normal tasks in order to provide the tour.