Although your dog is bursting with excitement at the chance to meet new friends in a fully interactive environment, you may be a little more apprehensive about his first day at doggy daycare. When your furry BFF is enrolled at Hounds Town, you can rest easier. This short guide was designed to answer your first day questions and sooth some of your anxiety about leaving Spike with strangers for the first time.
The Environment and Experts at Hounds Town Doggie Daycare
When you walk into our Hounds Town facility, you’ll notice just how clean it is — even before you see just how comfortable our staff is with the dogs that are coming and going. We know our pooches by name and treat them just like members of the family.
Hounds Town was founded by a former New York Police Department canine unit officer who has dedicated over 35 years to the understanding and training of working dogs. Because of his extensive experience, he wanted to create something different, where dogs could really just be dogs. That’s why Hounds Town focuses on both psychological and physical stimulation, with dogs placed in carefully chosen playgroups based on their personality and size.
We don’t discriminate, so you might see:
- “Pitbulls,” German shepherds, rottweilers and other “banned breeds.”
- Disabled dogs with missing limbs or wheelchairs.
- Deaf or blind dogs.
There’s nothing so different about these dogs that would make them unable to play with friends and have a great time at our facility. We always place them into groups that will ensure their safety. We love our disabled and “banned” dogs, they’re some of the best to come through our doors!
A Few Basic Things to Keep in Mind
Because we’re a different kind of daycare, we may have a few rules and regulations that are slightly different from the corporate chains. The following items are required, regardless of how your dog did on his evaluation:
- Spayed/Neutered and up-to-date shot records. Rabies, Bordetella, Distemper, and Canine Influenza vaccinations absolutely must be current. No exceptions. In addition, all dogs over six months of age must be spayed or neutered. This is for everyone’s safety, including your dog.
- Leave the toys at home. We have tons of beds for your pup to take a mid-day lounge on, along with bowls and anything else you can think of. Because we want to provide as natural an environment for dogs as possible, we don’t introduce toys into a play group (it can also cause a scuffle). If your pup is boarding with us, you’re more than welcome to bring his favorite toy, t-shirt, or bed for him to have overnight. Sure, you might want to bring Spike’s favorite toy to help him acclimate to the new environment, but leave anything that you can’t bear to have destroyed at home. Even though Spike never chewed it, that’s no guarantee that other dogs won’t.
- Put your wallet away for those “extras.” There’s no charge for giving absolutely unbelievable belly rubs, tossing out treats or administering most medications (please pick your dog up on time, though, or he’ll be welcome to board overnight in one of our townhomes or suites).
When you pick Spike up from doggie daycare, he’s going to probably want to nap. Don’t worry, this is totally normal, especially in the beginning of his time at doggy daycare. He may also be a bit sore, or come home with a pulled muscle or two. This is just because he’s getting used to having so much exercise on new surfaces. In a few weeks, he’ll be used to the activity level!
Making Introductions: Spike’s First Day at Daycare
By the time Spike comes in for his first day of daycare, we pretty much already know which dogs are going to be his besties. Even so, we like to take it slow so he’s not overwhelmed and transitions smoothly into pack life. Instead of throwing the whole playgroup at him, a trained dog handler from our facility will introduce Spike slowly into the pack, one dog at a time, making sure he is comfortable before adding more friends.
When that looks like it’s going well, we might introduce a few other members of his eventual playgroup so he can figure out how he fits in a group setting. Even if this all goes as smoothly as possible, we still keep a close eye on your pupper throughout the day to ensure that the new kid doesn’t get picked on or too stressed at all the new stuff around him. Most dogs thrive in our natural pack settings.
We have some quiet areas where he can go if he starts to get overwhelmed or simply wants a long, private nap. Otherwise, he’ll be with at least a portion of his playgroup all day. It’s too bad he can’t talk, because if he could, you’d know just how awesome the whole experience was and how eager he is to go back.
Bergen County Residents: Hounds Town is Coming!
If you think you live too far away to enroll your dog at Hounds Town, don’t worry! There’s a Bergen County location that is NOW OPEN! Instead of driving forever just to get to doggie daycare, you can drop Spike off around the corner. It’s going to make taking him to play with new friends so much easier and you’ll spend a lot less time on the road. Check out our website for more details and give us a call today to schedule a free evaluation!