HIDDEN PAWS RANCH
DOG BOARDING AND DAYCARE
Frequently Asked Questions
What vaccines are required for my dog to attend Day Care or Overnight Boarding?
We require 3 vaccines for day care or overnight boarding. 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 Boarding. Check your last vet bill and look for the "reminders" for your dog's due dates on these vaccines to make sure they are up to date! After receiving the Bordetella vaccine, dogs must wait a minimum of one FULL WEEK 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 Hidden Paws 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.
How old does my puppy have to be before they can start Day Care or Boarding?
Puppies must be 4 months old (16 weeks) before they can attend day care or Boarding. This is because puppies 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. All pups should receive one Rabies vaccine, as well as 3 Distemper (DHPP) and at least 2 Bordetella booster vaccines. These 3 rounds should be administered at ages 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and the 3rd and final round at age 16 weeks. After receiving their last round of shots, we request they wait one FULL WEEK incubation period before coming in for their first day.
Does Hidden Paws have Breed Restrictions?
We do not have breed restrictions. Each dog is evaluated individually 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! If they are aggressive toward any human they will not be able to stay.
What do I need to bring for Overnight Boarding?
All you need to bring for overnight boarding is your dog's food! We do not provide food, so you'll need to bring your dog's food in a ziplock labeled bag or container. Be sure to portion out each feeding so that we feed the correct amount, not to much or to less!! 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 dog 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.
What is a Typical Day Like For My Dog?
When your dog first arrives they will be let out to potty, then they will be settled into their kennel with water and blankets. The dogs will be fed in the mornings, noon, and evening depending on your feeding schedule. Dogs will rotate through outdoor play time and indoor rest with their play group throughout the day. Groups are rotated through our play yards and also take breaks inside their kennels while other play groups are taking their turn outside. We rotate the groups every two hours. So on most days, your dog would be outside for 15 to 30 minutes playing with its group, and then rest inside for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until their next turn outside, and we do this rotation all day. All play groups are monitored by staff to keep the play safe and fun for everyone!
How much time are the dogs outside?
We give the dogs time to run free and play with other dogs in our large play yards! Play Groups are constantly rotated throughout the entire day so that we maximize all of the dogs play time. We are mindful of the individual needs of each dog in our care. Some dogs will require more frequent breaks, which are always given.
What if my dog does not like the outdoors?
We cater each experience to the individual dog. If your dog 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. We will make them feel right at home. 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 on rainy days?
Just a little drizzle doesn't bother most of the dogs. 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 will still go outside. When it rains hard, we bring all dogs inside and wait it out. As soon as the rain stops, we are all back outside for more play time! Some dogs love the rain, some hate it! We cater their experience to them individually. If your dog 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 dogs 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 potty. We can't control the weather, but we do our best to keep the dogs in our care happy and comfortable. Please be aware on rainy days that the dogs may go home dirty, we are not setup to give dogs baths, we dry and clean them off the best we can but they still may be a little dirty!!
What do the dogs do overnight? Is anyone there to watch them overnight?
The dogs have their dinner between 3 - 4 PM, and then head outside beginning at 4:00 for their last rounds of afternoon play time and potty breaks! Last potty break is between 7:30PM and 8PM. All dogs are in their Private Kennel at 8PM for lights out. We leave music playing on the radio in every room to help soothe them and block out distractions. As the staff is cleaning up the facility, we are checking on the dogs to see that they are settling down, snuggling up on their blankets, and falling asleep. The staff leaves by 8 PM and does not return again until in the morning around 630AM. It is best for dogs 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, Tammy's smartphone and she can monitor the building from home. She can view the cameras from home to ensure your dogs are safe and sound. In the event of an emergency, the owners live within minutes of the location.