Hi all! My name is Jordan and I’m the manager of Lucky Dog Daycare. I’ve been working professionally with dogs for over 20 years and this is the third dog related facility that I’ve managed.
Our daycare is structured a lot like daycare or camp for kids. The dogs have periods of free play, periods of games like fetch or follow the leader, and nap time. Yup – nap time! Our packs get an hour-long nap midday (the hour falls somewhere in the 12-2 pm range) as well as their own freely taken naps whenever they choose. Body language, posture, play noises (growls and barks) and other behavioral signs are always monitored to ensure that everyone is comfortable & having fun.
What kind of safety and cleanliness protocols do you have in place?
Great question! I’ll answer it in reverse order. Regarding cleaning, we utilize the following cleaners in the course of cleaning all surfaces at Lucky Dog: Castile soap, vinegar, Top Performance 256, and bleach. All surfaces, bowls and toys are disinfected daily, with bedding run through the washer.
For the safety of our pack, we utilize the following setup: all collars and leashes are removed from the dogs upon arrival, dogs are separated based on size/play style/energy level with puppies further organized into an appropriate group for their grasp on appropriate play.
We remove the collars from the dogs in order to prevent sensitive teeth, tongues and gums from being cut/chipped by dangling tags (or having tags ingested!) and to prevent dogs from inadvertently getting caught/strangling one another during play. Yes, there are breakaway collars designed to prevent such a thing from occurring, but they aren’t fail proof. Sometimes the buckle can be caught in the other dogs’ mouth, preventing the sides from separating.
Why do you have an evaluation period if my dog is good with other dogs? Is it always no more than 4 hours?
Lucky Dog Daycare requires that your dog pass an initial ‘meet and greet’ before signing up for actual daycare days. This is our chance to evaluate your dog for any general issues (gate crashing, mouthing, resource guarding), dog related issues (aggression, inappropriate play) or people issues. Your dog is introduced to both male and female staff members, evaluated with toys, treats, on/off leash and finally intro’d to some dogs one at a time. For some dogs, this can be a stressful and/or unwanted experience. The time block is capped for the interview to make sure that it ends on a positive note for dogs that enjoy it, or ends soon enough for dogs that have problems/issues. If your schedule conflicts with picking up your dog after the 4-hour window, let us know, and we’ll try and figure out a date/time combo that works.
Do the dogs have access to water? Is your facility heated or air-conditioned? Do they go outside to potty?
The dogs have access to fresh, cool water out of stainless steel bowls. Bowls are dumped and rinsed out multiple times throughout the day to ensure they remain as clean as possible.
The facility is both heated and air-conditioned! They do go outside to potty – we have an outdoor fenced-in area.
Do they have safe and dog friendly toys?
Yes! The dogs have access to fun & safe toys throughout their day. These toys include balls, ropes, and rubber toys. All toys are sanitized at the end of the day and regularly inspected to cull those with signs of wear and tear.
Do they eat throughout the day or get treats? Will my dog be crated?
All great questions! I don’t generally encourage owners to bring food unless; the dog needs meals medically, is a young puppy that gets multiple meals throughout the day, or comes so very early (arrives at 6:30 am) that feeding early enough to let them digest for an hour after isn’t possible for your schedule. If that’s the case, we will crate dogs that require meals out of the play rooms and feed them, letting them relax and digest for an hour before re-entering the playgroups.
We do utilize treats here! We periodically treat dogs that we’re working with (not jumping or gate crashing) or as we work with a group (group sits or calm downs). Dogs can be crated for a variety of reasons: to digest after a meal, because they won’t ‘settle’ for nap time, because they’re a younger puppy and require more breaks than the group typically gets, or because they’re overstimulated and need a break to relax. When they’re crated, they are typically given a frozen treat to occupy them and keep the experience mellow. 🙂
Can I just drop by any time for a tour or evaluation? Why are you a pickup & drop off only facility?
We schedule evaluations ahead of time to make sure your dog is attending on a day that provides a solid group of dogs in his size/age range. We also conduct one evaluation per day.
In the past, we functioned like a regular daycare with lobby dropoff access. Like many other businesses during Covid times, we shifted to curbside pickup & dropoff to cut down on lobby traffic. Because of the physical layout of the facility, not having folks constantly in & out works a lot better for our dogs. Cuts down on boundary anxiety, over excitement, and in general just allows for a smoother day for us. Tours are available by appointment on Wednesdays, and you can view pictures of our facility on our facility page.