Daycare Informational Packet

Welcome to Daycare at Pinnacle Pets!
 

We’re so glad your pup will be joining our daycare fun and truly appreciate the trust you place in us. We hope this helps answer some of the questions you may have about Pinnacle Pets Daycare.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.

What are your daycare hours?

Monday – Friday: 6:30 am – 7:30 pm. Drop off no later than 9 am.  If hours are needed earlier or later for pick up, we will be happy to accommodate you in day boarding.

Saturday/Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm.

When is the pick-up for a half-day and full-day?

On Monday-Friday, a half-day has a pick-up cutoff of 1pm.  If your pup is picked up any time after 1pm, a full-day of daycare will be charged.

Saturday daycare is considered a half-day.

Why must I drop off my dog by 9 am on weekdays?

For the wellbeing of our daycare dogs, it is crucial to have all dogs in the playgroup by 9:00 am. While we understand that it is not convenient to all owners, it is in the best interest and safety for the daycare group.

By 9:00 am, the group has established itself for that day. When a new dog arrives after that time, they are of intense curiosity to the others in the group, which increases the excitement and reactivity for a period. This is a stressful and potentially dangerous situation for dogs and staff.  When they establish their group early in the day, they enjoy getting to know each other without having to be interrupted and excited by constant newcomers and they all get tired at the same rate!  Introducing new dogs throughout the day keeps the dogs on alert and irritable when they are unable to rest.

We currently do not offer afternoon daycare options.

What is Day Boarding?

Some owners need their pup to be watched, fed, loved, taken out for walks during the day while they travel or work. Not all day boarding dogs are daycare dogs. Some attend daycare while day-boarding at discounted prices. Some pups need cared for before or after grooming appointments until their owners can come get them. Some owners just need their pup to stay with us an hour or so before daycare begins or a few hours after the end of daycare.

How much does day-boarding cost? $20 includes the room, feeding, potty breaks, and medication. Individual or group play can be added on at a reduced rate. Pick up is by 8:00 pm. We cannot accommodate pickups later than 8:00 pm for security reasons.

Is Daycare less expensive if I am Day Boarding? Yes!! Daycare Pricing is as follows:

2 hours daycare = $4.00

4 hours daycare = $6.00

8hours daycare = $8.00

*Prices are subject to change

Do I have to bring lunch for daycare?

If your pup is coming for half-days, they will not get lunch.  We start handing out lunches at 1:00 pm after the half-day pups go home.  Dogs attending full-day daycare may appreciate lunch or a light snack mid-day as they expend more calories playing with other dogs than when they are at home. However, not all dogs care to eat during the day. You know your pup the best. You are welcome to bring one portion of your dog’s regular food. Please pack it in a plastic Ziploc bag with your pup’s first and last name written on the bag.

While we have accepted bins and bags of dog food from owners in the past, our daycare storage space is limited and we can no longer accommodate large Tupperware containers or large bags.

What should I expect when I pick up my dog?

How your pup behaves after a day spent in daycare is dependent on a variety of factors including age, normal activity level, breed, and physical fitness. If your pup is younger, and is accustomed to regular physical activity, he may be tired when he comes home but be ready to go again the following day.

Most pups will be VERY tired after a long day of frolicking, running, chasing, wrestling, and having a great time at daycare. Even if your dog is a little older and not as energetic, they will be sleepier than had they spent a day laying in front of your television set.

At home, most dogs will sleep 4 to 6 hours a day while you are at work. At doggy daycare, they do take brief rest breaks and short naps but it doesn’t come close to the amount of down time they get while you are at work. If your older dog seems too tired the day after attending daycare, you may want to reduce their playtime to half-day of daycare or reducing him to every other day daycare schedule.

On the other hand, if you have a pup that attends daycare on a regular basis, they will recover faster as their muscles and cardiovascular system gets stronger.

We will always try to keep contact with you and recommend increasing or decreasing daycare time if we have any concerns!

The Perfect Doggy Daycare Candidate

A dog that loves to play with other dogs, enjoys being around new people and has lots of energy to spare without significant medical problems, is the perfect daycare candidate. Many times, this is a friendly, active dog that is already social and needs to release all his/her excess energy. If your pup doesn’t get enough exercise, they may be at risk for forming destructive behaviors such as chewing, excessive barking, compulsive licking, or other bad behaviors. Bringing this type of dog to daycare a few times a week gives them an outlet for their boundless energy and gives the owner guilt free downtime when they come home from work at the end of the day!

What dogs are not good daycare candidates?

Not all dogs are appropriate daycare candidates. It is important to honestly evaluate your dog’s personality and behavior to determine if daycare is a good fit for them. Dogs that may not enjoy daycare include:

Dogs that don’t like other dogs;

  • Dogs that are fearful of other dogs;
  • Dogs that are fearful of other people;
  • Dogs that bully other dogs;
  • Dogs that don’t enjoy socializing with other dogs;
  • Dogs that have grown out of enjoying playing with other dogs; or,
  • Dogs with medical conditions that may be exacerbated by

rough housing with other dogs.

When Good Intentions Backfire…

Many owners with well-meaning intentions bring their dogs to daycare to help them develop social skills and learn to become friendly with other dogs. Sometimes this can be achieved with slow introductions to daycare but many times, it backfires, leaving a dog miserable or feeling worse in social situations. Pushing a dog into daycare may result in reactive-aggressive behavior that could be a danger to other dogs or staff members.

A dog with bullying behaviors is not a good fit for daycare. Owners with a dog that tends to be aggressive to other dogs will not learn good social skills in daycare. Rather, it offers them a “feeding ground” with opportunities to victimize, reinforce and strengthen the bad behavior.

Dedicated one-on-one training may be able to retrain a dog who enjoys bullying other dogs but requires an individual trainer that is not within the scope of a daycare setting.

Dogs with severe separation anxiety from their owner may also not be a good fit for daycare. While it may be worth a try, in severe cases, it doesn’t make the dog any happier and adds to his stress. The best course of action is to communicate your dog’s manifestations his separation related behavior and see if the daycare is willing to trial a day or two to see if the daycare environment is a good fit or if the dog remains unhappy. We never want a dog to be miserable and will always communicate openly with you about how your pup is feeling.

What should I expect after the first couple days of daycare?

Even if your pup has been to other daycares, our daycare is a new place with new dogs, people, and smells – they may be a bit nervous!  They will probably be timid and slow to warm up to everything which is why we suggest half-days for the first few visits to ease them into the new environment without exhausting them with a full-day. They may not eat their lunch and will be thirsty and hungry (and very sleepy) when they get home.  It takes most dogs anywhere from a day to several days to feel comfortable with their new environment, playmates, attendants, and daycare rules. Most people notice their dog’s posture beginning to relax and their movements becoming less guarded within a day or two. That is when they feel at home and begin to have some real fun with the other dogs.

Doggy Daycare Screening

All dogs will be screened for their ability to get along with other dogs under daycare circumstance. You may not know if your dog is a good daycare candidate because frequently, dogs react differently in the presence of their owners than they would under different conditions. Some dogs are very protective of their owners and can become aggressive to others that try to approach their family. On the flip side, some dogs feel confident when their owner is close by but become very afraid when removed from the presence of them.

Even if your dog passes the initial daycare assessment, some dogs become stressed or do not enjoy daycare after being immersed in it after a couple days. A good daycare center will let you know if your pup is not enjoying his daycare experience or if your pup is making the daycare experience stressful for the other daycare dogs. We understand this is may be difficult for some pet parents to hear but will always maintain honesty and the goal of a safe and happy daycare.

Please refer to the article “What to do if my dog gets kicked out of daycare”. If this is the case, there are other options. Sometimes working with a trainer on behavior modification could make strides in helping socialize dogs before returning to daycare.

What behaviors do you discourage in daycare?

Our daycare attendants promote their leadership in a positive manner.  Just like you have house rules, we have daycare rules!

  • All four paws should stay on the floor. No jumping on humans or other dogs – they can easily scratch or knock someone over!
  • Excessive Barking. Excessive Barking puts everyone’s nerves on edge and makes life very stressful for other dogs, our staff, and our neighbors.
  • No Bullying of other dogs. While it may be difficult to distinguish some play behavior from bullying because it may involve growling, light mouthing, and “pinning” the other dog to the ground, the difference is in the response of the less dominant dog and the dogs around them. If both dogs are having a good time, no one is getting hurt, and it is balanced wrestling (the dogs take turns pinning and chasing), it is usually fine to allow this type of play to continue. In a non-bullying situation, the softer dog will attempt to reinstate the play session when we intervene. Another form of bullying is where a dog consistently targets softer dogs and seems to enjoy intimidating those less confident (much like a typical playground bully).
  • Toy/Water/Human possessiveness. Some pups are not happy sharing! We try to discourage this type of behavior for the safety and comfort of all the dogs and humans in the group. If the possessiveness is extreme, you may be asked to utilize a trainer to help curb this type of behavior.

 

What do you do if there is a behavioral issue?

Each behavioral issue will be different.  If a behavioral issue puts another dog in danger, we will discuss it with you and try to come up with an action plan.  We may discuss training options with you or a break from daycare play until the pup is doing better.  If the behavior is not an immediate danger, we will work on the dog’s ability to listen to the daycare attendants and help to teach them the daycare rules to make the environment safe and fun for everyone.  We use many tactics, like positive reinforcement with snacks, love, and toys.  We may also ask the pup to walk with us on a leash to calm down and reset a high-energy level.  We may ask the pup to take a 10-minute break in one of the enclosures in the daycare area.  We will never do anything to harm or intentionally frighten your pup.

How do you decide which daycare group my dog is in?

Daycare is split up by size first – the small pups are away from the big pups so they don’t accidentally get trampled during play! We have two large group areas and will determine how to split up the group each day according to the individual needs of each dog.  Most days, we’ll have a more calm and relaxed group on one side, but if everyone is feeling playful, we’ll move the groups around to be split by play style (wrestlers vs. runners/chasers).  Each day will be a little different but the goal is to make the groups so that everyone is safe, comfortable, and happy.

What do you do if there is an accident or my pup gets hurt?

Most injuries that occur at daycare do not require veterinary care. The most frequent injury we see are like what you may see on a child’s playground including a superficial scratch, a torn nail, a skinned paw pad or possibly a twisted ankle that can fully bear weight within a few minutes of the initial injury. Minor injuries are dealt with by our staff following canine first aid recommendations including ice, wound cleansing, or antibiotic ointment. If the injury requires veterinary attention, we will contact you and/or your veterinarian on record.  Depending on the injury and treatment needs, we may ask that you pick up your dog at your earliest convenience. If we are unable to contact your veterinarian on record due to time of day or other circumstances, we will contact another veterinarian in the vicinity. If an injury or illness is deemed severe and will require immediate medical attention, we will contact you, your veterinarian, and depending on the circumstances, transport your pup to an emergency care veterinarian with 24/7 service such as MedVet or OSU Emergency Veterinary Medicine. If your dog caused another dog harm that required veterinary care, you may be asked to pay the veterinary bill.

What is the pick-up procedure for my pup?

You are welcome to call when you are a minute or two away.  Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get your pup dressed and out of daycare (especially when they don’t want to leave!).  You can pull right up to the front of the building, in front of the glass doors. If it is raining, we will bring your pup out to you or pick him up while you stay nice and dry inside your car. If you have a daycare package, we will take a credit off at the time of pick-up. You don’t have to do anything for payment!  You will receive an automatic email when your package reaches two credits.  If you do not have a package, please pay upon pickup or pre-pay at drop-off.  You can also add a credit card to your account or give us permission to charge a card on file at the time of pick-up.

 

Our goal is to make daycare fun, safe, and enjoyable to everyone involved! We believe in honesty and transparency (you can watch in our daycare cameras) and will always do what is in the best interest of the pups in our care.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!

614.991.5149

info@pinnaclepets.com