We recommend that you read the following information closely, as it will better help you prepare for your stay, as well as let you know what to expect when your pet comes home.
Leashes and Collars
All owners are required to have full control and are responsible for their dogs while on the property until the dog has been handed off to one of our staff members.
Collars are not allowed to be worn by the dogs in the building for the safety of the dog.
No Bark Policy
We know that this sounds funny in a facility full of canines. Our "No Bark Policy" means no excessive barking outdoors and indoors. Our property is in the historical district of Hollis and we have a responsibility to our community to keep the noice at a reasonable level. A dog barking nonstop is not only stressful to the other dogs and staff, but it is potentially dangerous in a group setting. We do our best to curb this behavior by name recalls and distractions. When dogs display this behavior indoors and at night particularly, it can keep the other boarders up all night. Ultimately, it results in a less than fun stay for the other dogs. We strive for the absolute best care possible for your pets and feel like this policy can help ensure that. Thank you for understanding.
VSPC's Updated Spay and Neuter Policy For
Over the years, we have done play trials for all dogs without restriction, regardless of if they were spayed or neutered. However, these dogs often did not perform well in our Doggy Daycare after a certain age due to their hormones and behavior. Although typically males, it is difficult for us to work with them, and we often have to excuse them or ask that they are neutered before returning to our daycare. Even after returning, there is no guarantee that their behavior will be resolved and that we would allow them in our play groups. That is why, for the safety of both your pet and the rest of the dogs in our daycare, we have decided to put a 9 month mandatory neuter policy for all incoming male daycare customers. In other words, if your dog has not been socializing from a young age and applying for daycare, we ask that they be neutered no later than 9 months old to be accepted into the program. Again, there are no guarantees that this will be an automatic acceptance into the Doggy Daycare program.
We understand the importance of letting your puppy grow until they are of a mature age, and we wish to respect you and your veterinarian's decisions, but ask in return that you understand the potential risk factors in their behavior as they age in the play groups.
For females, we are not requiring that they be spayed by a certain age. However, we
need to be notified when they will be expecting to be in season, or if we notice that they have come into it while at our facility we will let you know. When females are experiencing this, we have found the other dogs are not receptive to it, and it can often cause problems for the female or those around her. Because of the safety hazards for your pup or those around her, we ask that she stay at home or separated from the other dogs for the duration of her cycle.
What To Expect When Your Pet Returns From Boarding
When you pick-up your pet, they undoubtedly will be happy to see you. Following a few simple steps will help ease the transition back to home life, particularly after longer stays:
Overexcitement may make a pet pant excessively and act thirsty. Even though they may be acting overly thirsty, they’ve had plenty of water available at the boarding facility. Ice cubes can often mitigate this excitement until they calm down.
As for seeming to be hungry, they act this way for the same reason that they appear to be thirsty. Please be aware that excessive drinking and eating may lead to digestive upsets and bloating. Do not feed your pet until a few hours after coming home from the boarding facility, and then limit food and water provided until they have settled back into home life.
Walk your pet upon arrival or allow access to a yard area. Excitement may also cause a change in urination or bowel movements outside their normal schedule.
Give your pet some personalized attention–some play time, sitting, petting or brushing them will help them get through this excitement stage and calm down.
Re-establish home patterns by following a normal schedule. Pets love following a schedule–it makes them feel safe and secure.
Injuries and Illnesses
Injuries and illnesses are not common here, but these risks exist any time that dogs are boarded away from home. This is a risk you take when bringing your dog to daycare, similar to taking your dog to the park, pet store or beach. We believe that the risk is actually much lower here because of our controlled environment, knowledge of dogs and behaviors, and our vaccination requirements.
We will always call you if we know that your dog has a serious injury. If it’s less of a concern, we are sure to let you know upon pick up from either daycare or boarding.
Dogs can become anxious while boarding and may itch or lick themselves, leading to skin irritations. These are known as "hot spots."
While our staff members are always attending to your dogs, we ask that you understand how quickly certain situations may occur. Our employees are always watching over the dogs and keeping a close eye out, but it is impossible for them to be everywhere at once.
If a person's child gets sick at school, you wouldn't normally blame the school, but would say it was caught from another child. With pets, some people tend to apply different logic, saying that the business got their dog sick. We do not get dogs sick–other dogs do, and we take all precautions against this occurring:
We require every dog that enters the facility to be up to date on their
Rabies, Distemper, and Bordetella (K9 Cough) vaccinations. Please review below about K9 Cough–there’s lots of confusion about this virus.
Like humans, some dogs can carry an illness but not show any signs of it. They can pass it along to others, even if the owner may not even realize it themselves.
We clean up poop right away, but some dogs will eat it. If a dog eats poop, it can lead to health conditions such as gastroenteritis, worms, or Giardia. We strongly dissuade having dogs who eat poop to partake in play groups. The health and well-being of your dog is important to us.
We use veterinary-grade, top of the line chemicals that are specifically made for pet care and combating pet-related illnesses.
Like humans, a dog can have a weak immune system and be more prone to illness than others. This is especially true with puppies and elderly dogs
Common Illnesses: “K9 Cough”, Giardia, “Puppy Warts”
Bordetella (“K9 Cough”)
Please refer to our additional information regarding K9 Cough below
Dogs can contract Giardia by drinking from puddles or even stepping in poop, then licking their paw. They can also get it from eating poop or drinking from a water bowl of a dog with Giardia.
Giardia can be treated with medicine
Canine Papilloma Virus (aka CPV or "Mouth Warts")
This appears as pink growths on your dog's skin, frequently in the mouth. It is very contagious and particularly common in puppies who may get exposed.
A customer could potentially bring a dog here that has CPV, and neither the owner nor our staff may realize it is present. It is not always a visually noticeable condition.
We take extra precautions to clean and change out shared water dishes during group play, but please acknowledge again that dogs often play with their mouths and can easily transmit a virus like this.
Like chicken pox for humans, once your dog gets CPV, they build up a slight immunity to it, and may not get it again.
At Village Sentry Pet Care, we are sensitive to Tracheobronchitis, or Bordetella, being referred to as 'kennel cough.' Many years ago the term 'kennel cough' came from dogs being housed together in a facility, most often a kennel. During this time, a common space shared by dogs was considered a kennel.
Today, our dogs are our favorite companions, and where we go, they follow. They go to many places with us such as trips abroad, to the local store, trail walking with other dogs, the local dog park, Doggy Daycare, boarding facilities, the groomer’s, or to the vet’s office. These places, and many more, are all areas a dog can contract Tracheobronchitis.
A dog does not have to be in a kennel, or even be in direct contact with another dog, to contract the illness.
Like human colds and flus, canine upper respiratory viruses are airborne and spread through the air. It’s the same idea as your children going off to school or riding the bus. They can be vaccinated against the flu, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot get the flu. Whether or not someone contracts a virus depends on their own immune system. Even if a dog has received the Bordetella vaccination, some will still contract a virus while others might not. We firmly believe that the deciding factor is your own dog's immune system.
The most common symptom of Tracheobronchitis is a dry cough or a hacking sound (almost as if your dog had something stuck in their throat). Sometimes this cough can cause your dog to vomit. You might notice this cough when your dog is pulling on their leash and pressure is applied to their throat.
If you suspect your dog has Canine Cough, please keep them at home and contact your veterinarian for their advice. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if there is a bacterial or secondary infection, but antibiotics are not prescribed for viral infections.
If you have confirmed that your dog has a case of Canine Cough, we ask that your dog be cough-free for at least 5-days before returning to our facility.
We know that it’s sometimes hard to leave your pet for a few days or longer, but we strongly discourage feeding your pup anything out of the ordinary before they come in for their boarding stay as it could upset their stomach. While it may seem like a nice treat for them to have before they board away from home, it could actually make the first couple of days of their stay pretty uncomfortable. It’s best to keep their diet and routine as it would normally be before check-in.