Hi all! My name is Jordan and I’m the manager of Lucky Dog Daycare. I’ve been working professionally with dogs for 19 years now and this is the third dog related facility that I’ve managed.
I’ve tried to address some of the common questions I receive in the FAQ, but if you have a question I missed or just want more information on one of my responses, feel free to email or FB message me!
Daycare is actually structured a lot like a daycare or camp for kids. The dogs have periods of free play; periods of specific games with us like fetch or follow the leader, and nap times. Yup – nap time! Our packs get an hour long enforced nap mid-day (the hour falls somewhere in the 12-2 range) as well as their own freely taken naps whenever they choose.
We’re always careful to monitor body language, posture, play noises (growls and barks) and other signs to ensure that everyone is comfortable and having fun. It’s for that reason that we typically don’t allow games of chase when the groups are full, instead breaking apart the dog that wants to run and working with/tiring them out to an energy level more on par with the group.
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: soap, Pine Sol, Odoban, Windex, Top Performance 256, and bleach. Each night before we leave all surfaces, bowls and toys are disinfected and run through the washer.
For the safety our of pack, we utilize the following setup: all collars and leashes are removed from the dogs upon arrival, dogs are placed in groups no bigger than 15 dogs (our typical group sizes range from 7-12 dogs), dogs are separated based on size/play style/energy level and puppies are 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.
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, so we’ve capped the amount of time all dogs remain for the interview to make sure that it ends on a positive note for dogs that enjoy it and 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.
The dogs have access to fresh, cool water out of stainless steel bowls. We dump and rinse the bowls out multiple times during the day to make sure it stays as fresh and clean as possible. When the dogs are having very active play sessions we will pick up the bowls – placing them down after so that everyone can have a drink and then rest for 15, 20 minutes to avoid vomiting it back up. The facility is both heated and air conditioned! They do go outside to potty- we have an outdoor area for them to hang out and play or potty in that I scrub down and disinfect.
Yes! The dogs do have access to fun and safe toys throughout their day. These toys include balls, soft toys, ropes, and rubber toys. All toys are sanitized at end of day and regularly inspected for signs of wear and tear- at which point they’re tossed.
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 on behaviors with ( not jumping or gate crashing ) or as we work with a group ( group sits or calm downs) and we use either cream cheese or peanut butter along with some form of treats to stuff kongs that are frozen and given to crated dogs. 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. : )
We arrange both our tours and our evaluations for specific dates/times. 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. As a smaller facility, we don’t bother with having a full time front desk receptionist – though someone is available in the front during pickup and drop offs, during the bulk of the day we’re all with the dog packs. So in order to grant you a tour, we’d have to completely dismantle a pack.