What is a dog daycare?
A dog daycare is an environment where dogs are dropped off for the day to play with other dogs in a fun, well supervised, and safe environment.
What are the benefits of good dog daycare?
There are a multitude of benefits. You'll see for yourself the joy your dog exhibits when nearing our front door after his or her first few visits. In brief, exposing a dog to a variety of people, dogs, sights and sounds is the definition of socialization. Behaviorists encourage regular socialization and daily exercise for dogs' overall quality of life and improved behavior.
My dog doesn't always want to play with other dogs; sometimes he just wants to be given affection. Is daycare appropriate for him?
Yes, several of Dog Days' current clients simply enjoy watching the action from the sidelines. They prefer spending the majority of their day being pet and loved by our staff. We're happy to cater to the lovers of the group.
Do you have a small dog area?
Dog Days has a separate indoor play area with its own private outdoor yard just for the little ones. If you have a small dog who prefers to play with the big dogs, we will certainly discuss this with you and place your dog in the area best suited for him.
Are the dogs supervised at all times during off-leash play?
Can I bring my dog's favorite toy to daycare?
We provide toys, and ask that you not bring your dog's own. It's just too much to ask any dog to share his favorite toy. (If your dog is boarding with us, however, you may bring a few comfort items which will be kept in his private suite.)
Do the dogs have treats or chew bones during daycare?
No. We do not allow food of any kind in the play rooms. Some dogs are food aggressive, so this would not be safe.
Does my dog get fed during his/her daycare visit?
Most of our daycare clients eat meals at home before and/or after daycare. However, if any dog needs a meal while here, we are happy to feed them during the mid-day nap time. Please bring the food, pre-measured, in a container or baggie with your dog's name on it. Drop off the food at the Front Desk at time of check-in.
Can I see the complete facilities where my dog will be staying?
Of course. We encourage you to visit and tour the facility before enrolling.
How often is your facility cleaned?
We clean and disinfect daily, regardless of how many dogs have visited. Toys are given anti-bacterial baths daily as well. Blankets, beds and cots are always kept clean.
Are the facilities well equipped with toys, bedding and supplies?
Dog Days has plenty of Kongs®, tennis balls and playground equipment designed just for dogs! For relaxation, we have pet cots and comfy dog pillows.
How will my dog behave after a day at Dog Days?
One of the great benefits of dog daycare is that your dog gets to play all day so, naturally, they are tired at the end of the day. Often, they will sleep through the night and into the next day. Rest assured if your dog becomes overly tired during the day, we will take him/her to a private suite for a nap. Even though fresh water is available to the dogs all day, dogs generally will drink a lot when they arrive home. They play all day and need to re-hydrate just like someone after a work out.
Are there outdoor play areas?
Dog Days has outdoor areas adjacent to the indoor play rooms. The outdoor areas have play equipment and plenty of room for the dogs to engage in a good game of "chase". Outdoor areas are fully fenced and secured so dogs cannot dig under our fences.
What do the dogs do during the day?
The dogs are assigned to a play group based on size, temperament and play style. The dogs may play indoors and outdoors throughout the day. The dogs play with each other, climb on the doggy play equipment and interact with the staff. Mid-afternoon, we bring out the toys for dogs to play fetch. If a dog is tired, they may take a nap on a cot in a quieter part of the room or go into an overnight suite for a nap. All dogs take a break from play time during 11:30am – 1:30pm and relax in a crate or suite.
Do you walk the dogs?
No. Because the dogs are out playing all day, there is no need to walk a dog for exercise.
Do dogs ever get hurt?
We do our best to minimize any injury to your dog, during normal play a dog may get small scratches, nicks, and lose small patches of fur. Although rare, it is possible for more serious injuries to occur.
It seems like a "zoo" when I drop my dog off; is it like that all day?
No. When we have visitors such as a new dog or new person, the dogs often get very excited and you can hear and see this excitement. There is always playing and some barking going on, but the dogs actually settle down quite a bit once the new dog is introduced into the play areas and our human visitors either leave or are very quiet for a few minutes.
When I pick up my dog at the end of the day, several of the dogs are standing at the fence and staring at the door; is that what the dogs do all day?
Absolutely not. Once a few dogs depart towards the end of the day, many dogs realize it is that magical time when their owners reappear. Some get anxious to see their owner and sit and watch for them. We do make attempts to distract the dogs back into fun and games. For some dogs this works, and for other dogs it doesn't. Throughout the rest of the day, these dogs are running, playing and having fun; they are not thinking about their owners! (No hard feelings, "mom" and "dad".)
Why do you require that my dog be spayed or neutered?
The main reason is that intact dogs are at greater risk of injury from other dogs. In a social environment, intact males are often viewed as threats by other dominant dogs. Intact females, whether in heat or not, may be picked on by other female dogs and male dogs will view her as an intact female and treat her as such.
How do I get my dog started as a daycare client at Dog Days?
There are a few simple steps to get started.
- Fill out the "Owner & Dog Profile" form and read and sign our "Client Agreement". Submit these two forms online.
- Check your dog's vaccinations record. Once he has all of our required vaccinations, ask your vet to fax the vaccination record to us at 651-642-9664.
- Call or email us to set up your dog's initial day of daycare when we'll do the doggy interview / temperament evaluation. A reservation for this first day must be made in advance; we cannot take walk-ins. We only take a couple new dogs per day so we can give them lots of attention and time. We like your dog to spend at least four hours with us on the first day, and he/she is welcome to spend the full day. Standard daycare charges are incurred for this first day, per our current rates, and may be paid at time of picking up your dog.
Policies and Rules
Can anyone bring their dog over for a daycare visit?
No. For safety reasons, you first must complete the application process. See the "requirements" section below for more details.
What are the daycare hours?
7:00am – 6:30pm Monday – Friday. When possible, please avoid dropping off or picking up your dog between 11:35am – 1:25pm. This will disrupt the dogs who are having nap time.
When's the best time to drop off a new and/or shy dog?
Dropping off your dog for daycare early in the morning is less stressful for your dog. This way he will be one of the first dogs in the play room and can meet each incoming dog one at a time.
What are the nap times?
The dogs have relaxation time from 11:30am – 1:30pm. During this time the dogs are placed into crates or suites. We place only one dog per crate/suite, unless we have two dogs from the same family who want to rest together.
What if I want my dog to attend a half day of daycare rather than a full day?
We do offer half day rates. A half day of daycare equals 5 hours or less. Once your dog is with us for 5 hours & 1 minute, then the full day rate applies. To get the full benefit of your dog's half day visit, please keep in mind our nap time from 11:30am – 1:30pm, when your dog will be in a crate or suite relaxing.
What should I do when I drop off and pick up my dog?
Please keep your dog on a leash when coming in and leaving our facility. You and your dog should check-in with the employee at our front desk/counter. An employee will then take your dog and place him/her into a play group, as appropriate. When you pick up your dog after daycare, please stop at the front desk to check-out. An employee will then bring your dog out to the lobby or front hallway to meet you.
What happens if I am late to pick up my dog?
Our daycare late fee is: $0.50 per minute after 6:30pm. This is due at the time of pick up.
Although we have some staff at Dog Days past 6:30pm, these employees have other evening duties and are not able to handle daycare dogs and/or check-outs. Keeping a dog past our closing time of 6:30pm costs us more money to keep an employee here; therefore, we need to charge a late fee.
What if I have a special situation where I need late pick up and I know in advance?
You may arrange this ahead of time when attending the Vandalia or Capitol facility (sorry, not Grand). A small late fee per half hour will be charged.
My dog is not feeling well; should he/she still come to daycare?
If your dog has had unexplained vomiting, diarrhea, green discharge from eyes or nose, coughing, lethargy, etc, please do not bring him/her to Dog Days. Consult with your veterinarian.
Please alert us to any changes that may be affecting your dog's behavior. Some of the things we see affect a dog's behavior at daycare are: change in medication, family member absent from household, new baby in household, move to a new home. Also alert us to any conditions such as if your dog has loose stool from changing his food, or he is tired because he was awake all night scared of a storm, etc.
When should I pay for the services?
Payment is due at the time of pick up or in advance.
How do I make a reservation?
You may reserve a spot in daycare by speaking with our Front Desk Coordinator. If you forget to make a reservation in advance, just give us a call before coming in to be sure we have space available in daycare for that day. We appreciate clients making daycare reservations at least 24 hours in advance, so we are sure to have the appropriate number of staff to monitor the play groups.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please call us to cancel a reservation if your dog will not be attending daycare.
- If we are not full on the day your dog had a reservation, there is no cancellation fee.
- If we are full for daycare, a 24-hour cancellation notice is required. (So, for example, if you have a Tuesday reservation, then we will need to be notified of the cancellation by 7:00am on Monday.)
Requirements to Stay & Play
What vaccinations are required?
Dog Days' requires your dog to be current on Rabies, Bordetella and DHPP. Your dog also must:
- be at least 16 weeks old.
- be spayed or neutered (if over 7 months of age).
- be in good health and with no communicable diseases.
- be free of fleas and ticks.
- be given a flea/tick preventative during the months of April – November.
- He may not wear a flea collar into daycare; we suggest using a topical product such as Frontline or Advantix.
- be free of internal parasites.
- be friendly to people.
- pass our temperament evaluation in order to be in a play group with other dogs.
Still have questions?
Ask the Dog Days Staff. They're more than happy to help you, and want you to understand why Dog Days truly is the best environment for your dog!