Browse our collection of frequently asked questions. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Please call us at (248) 230-7297. We are happy to help answer your questions!
What are the benefits of dog daycare?
There are many health and social benefits that dog daycare can offer your dog. It can improve their socialization with other dogs and people. Dog daycare provides a routine and safe environment for your dog to socialize, play, stay fit and active. It can help relieve loneliness, boredom and separation anxiety and help eliminate destructive behaviors at home. It can increase your dog’s overall happiness. Dog daycare provides peace of mind for owners knowing that their pet is having a good time and getting lots of attention and TLC at 4 Paws.
I work from home, why would I bring my dog to daycare?
People often use dog daycare for the benefits of socialization with other dogs and people. Ideally, dog daycare is a safer environment for this type of socialization than dog parks, because all the dogs have been evaluated and are supervised by experienced, trained staff members. Some people just want their dogs worn out from play so they're a little easier to manage. Socialization and exercise are crucial for a healthy, well-adjusted dog.
In what other situations is daycare helpful?
Many people bring their dog to daycare if there is construction or other service workers in the home. Some dogs find the noise upsetting. Your dog may also enjoy daycare while you run errands, attend important business meetings, or just to give them exercise on a rainy or cold day.
Should I feed my dog before coming to play?
We recommend that you feed your dog a minimum of 90 minutes before joining the playgroup in order to prevent bloat or vomiting. Bloat may be caused from playing too soon after eating and may be deadly. If they have eaten sooner than that, be sure to let us know when you check-in and we will make sure they rest before playing.
Do you require that I spay or neuter my dog before allowing them to participate in playgroup even if he/she is a nice dog?
Not necessarily, but they may be rotated with other intact dogs. Not only do we have to consider the reproductive concerns, but it has been our experience that intact dogs may be singled out and picked on by other members of the group. Also, an intact female may release pheromones when coming into heat that may cause conflict, and instability within the group. In order to keep our play regulated and fun and provide a happy, healthy, noncompetitive environment for our guests, intact animals may not be a good fit for the group, but we will evaluate them individually and give them a chance if appropriate.
How do you evaluate my dog for play group?
For the safety and well-being of all our guests, we evaluate all dogs on their first day. An evaluation is conducted by one of our trained professionals with every new dog before bringing them into playgroup. We will talk to the pet parent about the dog’s history and health. This screening process gives our staff an assessment as to whether your dog will enjoy participating in group play. We then bring your dog into an empty play area to sniff around and become comfortable with our environment. We then perform a series of slow introductions to new dogs in a controlled environment. Our staff observes how your dog interacts with other dogs and determines if group play is an appropriate fit. Your dog is separated into a group that is consistent with their size, temperament and activity level.
What do the dogs do while they're at daycare?
The dogs spend most of the day interacting with each other, while we supervise the play. They wrestle, run, rest... then wrestle again. We have a large facility, with an even larger outdoor area, so there's plenty of space to play, run around, and explore. When weather permits, we have wading pools in the play yards, and we have plenty of play structures. We also allow the dogs to rest or eat during lunchtime (12p-2p). Our trained staff also practice leadership exercises several times throughout the day to engage the dogs and provide individual attention. This includes activities such as practicing recall, group sits, gate boundaries, etc. This provides the dogs with stimulation and keeps them engaged with the staff.
What if my dog doesn't like to play with other dogs?
Not every dog likes to wrestle. Some dogs prefer to spend their time in a mellow group lounging and hanging out with people. We usually have a more relaxed group of dogs that tend to spend the better part of the day just hanging out.
What if my dog REALLY does not like group play?
Group play is not the answer for every dog. While some dogs may love it, others may be overly fearful or stressed, show signs of aggression, or display antisocial behaviors. If group play is not a good fit for your dog, that does not mean that your dog is a bad dog. It only means that your dog prefers more individual attention. Our goal is always to respect the comfort level of each pet. We can accommodate all dogs with special needs using our four separate play areas where they will spend their day hanging out with our staff and stretching their legs in our spacious play areas just for them.
Why aren’t toys allowed in the play areas?
This is to ensure the safety of all of our guests. Dogs can become possessive of toys, which can cause an altercation. If small pieces are torn or broken off, a dog could choke or swallow these and cause an obstruction.
What if my dog is fearful of people?
Our staff is very good at helping fearful dogs feel more comfortable and confident, however, your dog must not be aggressive with our staff in order to stay with us. We must be able to interact with your dog and move them using a leash in order to care for them properly.
What if there is an incident or injury between my dog and another dog?
We do our absolute best to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet. During play it is possible for dogs to get minor scratches and scrapes - just like kids on a playground. Our highly skilled staff is trained to read dog body language, identify stress signals, and intervene if we see that a dog is becoming agitated before an incident occurs. We take steps to deescalate the situation and remove the dog from group. In the unlikely event that a more serious injury occurs, we would contact you and your veterinarian if needed.
Why is my dog in a condo during playgroup?
We work hard to create a safe environment for dogs. Although every dog is evaluated, minor conflicts or altercations may occur from time to time. Our trained staff intercedes before these situations escalate. We may remove a dog from the play group or we may rotate these dogs to take turns in the group. Sometimes a dog may get too aroused or excitable and we may give them a brief time-out in a condo to relax a bit. At the end of the day, some dogs get overly excited at the gate so they may be placed in a condo for their safety while their friends are going home.
What is a half day of daycare?
A half day is 5 hours or less Monday-Friday and a full day is more than 5 hours. Weekends and Holidays are full day only.
Do you offer daycare on weekends and holidays?
Yes, but we only offer full day daycare on weekends and holidays. The dogs are resting between 12p and 2p when the staff takes their lunch break.
Do you have breed restrictions?
No, there aren't any breed restrictions. We carefully evaluate each individual dog. We're confident in our experience and ability to recognize potentially problematic behaviors in a dog, no matter the breed. We make special accommodations for those that have special needs or those that do not enjoy or get overwhelmed in playgroup. We do our best to meet the needs of all our pets. We have 4 separate play areas for those dogs that are more comfortable with one on one attention.
Can I watch my pet online?
Yes. We have cameras in each play area as well as in the cat lodging area. These cameras are available Monday through Friday from 8 am until 6 pm.