1. My pet has never been away from home before, should I worry?
Not at all! As “pet parents” ourselves we all know boarding our pets is typically much more stressful for us than them. Surprisingly many of our guests love coming, and can’t wait to get in the door! We've gone to every extent to ensure you have peace of mind that your pet will be safe, loved and have a great time. Whether by phone, e-mail, or text, we are here to give you honest, up to date reports at any time. To help you and your pet adjust to being away from home, we suggest bringing him or her in for an overnight stay. This experience allows you both to get to know us and become familiar with the boarding concept. In the unfortunate event your pet has a difficult time adapting to the new environment; we can recommend in-home pet sitters as an alternative.
2. Can I tour your boarding facility?
ABSOLUTELY! In fact, we encourage you to do this! Please call to schedule an appointment. Tours must be arranged in advance and are available 6 days a week. To ensure safety for our guests and for your pet's peace of mind, we do not take pets into the boarding area with their owners during tours.
3. What are your hours for check-in/check-out?
Available 6 days a week between: 8:30am-10:30am/4:00pm-5:00pm
*Wednesday hours & tours are available by appointment only.
The hours listed above are designated for customers checking in or checking out. They do not indicate our opening or closing times.
*Hours may vary due to inclement weather, please call for more information.*
4. Why are kennel hours limited?
Like a hotel we must allow enough time to clean and prep between guests. We take great pride in our personal attention to the needs of each pet and strive to make your pet’s stay with us a positive and stress free experience. When you walk in the front door, you are instantly a part of the Happy Tails family, when you meet us; you are meeting the people taking care of your pets. We provide pet care 365 days a year, in order to maintain such high quality care; we must make time for ourselves and our family outside of the kennel. We will provide a courtesy reminder call to confirm whether you will be arriving during our morning or afternoon hours. This way we know how to plan our own activities, run errands, make appointments, transport pets, pick up supplies, etc.
5. What should I expect at check-in?
We know that leaving your pet is not easy, but it can be an enjoyable experience for your pet – one that he or she will be excited about on your next visit. During your first check-in, we will review the registration materials and vaccination records that you brought with you. Then, we’ll have a short discussion about your pet’s visit, reviewing information about his or her habits, routine, or any special needs. You will then have an opportunity to say good-bye to your pet. A quick hug or kiss at this point is great! Especially on a first visit, a prolonged, nervous or emotional parting is not a good idea. You want your pet to be excited and happy about a new adventure. He or she will surely pick up on any anxious feelings coming from you and associate it with checking-in. Remember, your pet is going on a fun-filled vacation with people who will care a great deal for him or her. Feel good about sending your pet to make new friends and just tell him or her you’ll see them soon! The check in process will take approximately 15-20 minutes on your first visit. It should take no longer than 5 minutes thereafter.
6. What is your minimum age for boarding a dog?
Our minimum boarding age for dogs is 6 months. It is generally recommended that puppies get their first round of shots at 12 weeks and the second round at 16 weeks.
7. My pet does not get along with other animals, is this a problem?
No, if your pet is aggressive towards other pets, they can board with us since they all have their own room. However, for our safety, if we believe that your pet may be aggressive towards people, we will advise you that we are not the best place for your pet to stay.
8. Do you offer any grooming services?
We are sorry, but we do not offer grooming at this time. We would be more than happy to refer you to various groomers in the area. We do offer bathing services; however, we do not use muzzles or harnesses of any kind, therefore we do not do any clipping or cutting.
9. Will you give my pet medication during their stay?
Yes. We will do this for you at no extra charge if the medicine is in pill form. Additional medications/injections will be subject to an extra charge. All medications need to be in their original containers from the vet's office with the directions written clearly on them from your doctor.
10. What Vaccinations does my pet need?
Dogs must be up to date on Rabies, Bordetella, and Distemper. For cats we require Rabies and Distemper. This is a standard guideline that most kennels will require from you before boarding.
11. What if my dog doesn’t eat right away?
Do not worry! This is a normal occurrence, with all of the excitement; pets sometimes do not eat during their first night. We recommend bringing your pet’s food to avoid any diet issues; we will sit with your pet and feed them by hand if we have to in order to keep them healthy during their stay. We have special ways of helping them deal with the stress and anxiety of being away from home. We can discuss special needs in more detail upon request.
12. What if my pet becomes sick while we are away?
We always keep very close attention to our guests. If we see that one is not feeling well, we will contact you or your emergency contact first. If we are unable to reach you and we feel it is an emergency then we will transport your pet to the vet.
13. How much exercise will my pet get?
On nice days the dogs are let out into the exercise play yards several times throughout the day. On rainy days the dogs are let out to relieve themselves and have a short run between showers, they are not left alone outside in the rain and are towel dried upon going back into their room. The dog door access in an amenity, it is not used in place of going outside.
We tailor our exercise times to the seasons and during the hot summer months the dogs are exercised very early in the morning and late in the afternoon/evening once things have cooled down. In winter they stay out longer through the middle of the day and go to bed earlier.
If sociable we will try and place your dog into a small group for exercise as we find the dogs are much happier with a couple of friends to hang out with. Social groups are made up of dogs we consider to be complimentary in both size and personality. We have lots of experience in determining the right mix however if you prefer your dog not mix with any others please let us know.
Dependant on the weather, number and disposition of guests staying it is often possible for the dogs to stay out in the exercise areas for a great part of the day.
Cats are let out into the cattery twice daily to explore new surroundings. Their large rooms and wall shelves allow them plenty of space for climbing & playing. We do not socialize cats, therefore they get one on one time with us, but we all know cats, it’s on their terms!
14. What can I leave with my pet for his/her stay at the retreat?
We provide everything your pet will need during their vacation with us, including raised cots. If you want, however, you can bring a small washable bed or blanket (no large or stuffed beds). We also accept toys, treats, or an item of clothing from your home to remind your pet of your scent. Please label your pet’s belongings and make sure that your pet’s name is on any medication or special food/container that you leave. While we will do our best to ensure that no items are lost or damaged during your pet’s stay, our primary focus is on caring for our guests so please avoid bringing any irreplaceable items.
15. What should I NOT bring?
Do not bring food and water bowls. Our stainless steel bowls will be washed after each use. Please do not bring any glass or metal objects. We do provide kuranda beds for all guests; larger filled beds may not allow enough room for the dog door to swing in & out and cannot be laundered.
16. Are the animals alone at night? Do the dogs bark continuously?
Dogs become familiar with us very quickly. They are relatively quiet except when a new dog or a stranger enters the retreat, and then they “express their greetings!” Dogs are generally very tired at night after a full day of activity so nighttime is extremely quiet. We try to have new dogs arrive as early in the day as possible so that they tire a little before evening. We usually open & close the kennel the same time each day to keep them scheduled. We have an alarm company that monitors the property during this time, which is also linked to our cell phones. There are also family members who live on the property and are available in case of emergency.
17. Early/Late Arrivals:
We understand that life can be unpredictable at times. This service may be available for an additional fee at the discretion of the kennel to current Happy Tails Pet Retreat clients only. It can be disrupting to enter the kennel before we open to retrieve a pet or introduce a new pet to the rest who are patiently waiting to get outside. Likewise, even if we are still on the premises after we close, it is not fair to disturb the dogs after they have gotten settled for the night. For clients arriving early/late, a charge of 10$/per 15 minutes will be assessed at check-out (beyond the 15 minute grace period). If a courtesy call has not been made, guests will have to make other arrangements during regular hours.
18. How do you keep the kennel clean?
Cleanliness is so important and is a top priority at Happy Tails Pet Retreat. We use a non-abrasive animal friendly disinfectant, all kennels are thoroughly cleaned inside & outside between guests. The floors and all counter surfaces are cleaned twice daily. There are multiple windows in both the kennel and the cattery allowing a constant fresh air supply. When the dogs go out in the play yard, their waste is scooped right away. The play yards are lined with pea gravel, which allows us to sanitize it once a week. This also keeps them clean regardless of the weather. We keep the play yards raked in the fall and shovel paths for the small dogs in the winter.
19. What are your check-out procedures?
At check-out, your belongings will be returned to you and your invoice presented. You may pay your bill with cash or check only. Since some pets get car sick, especially after the excitement of re-uniting with you, we do not feed guests that are checking out. Changes to your pet's check-out day and time must be made in advance and are subject to availability.
20. What should I expect after bringing my pet home?
Because of the amount of activity they have during their vacation, your pet will be tired for a few days after an extended stay. Even though they are happy to see you, many times they are asleep in the car before you can even get them home! Pets will frequently become very thirsty from the excitement and stress of seeing their family and loved ones again when they're picked up. It's natural and you should expect your pet to be a bit dehydrated from all the excitement once you get them home.