A Dog's Haven
A Recreational Homestead for Your Best Friend
During the Assessment
When bringing your pet to A Dog's Haven for the first time, be prepared to spend about an hour at our home. You will first meet the Havens family who will be taking care of your dog. Next, Kimbrey will perform a temperament assessment on your dog to assess how your dog greets, plays, and interacts with other dogs. In order to decrease the stress on your dog, we ask that you complete paperwork in our sitting room while the assessment is performed. Upon your dog passing the assessment, we will offer you and your pet a tour of our home to see where your pet will be sleeping, eating, and playing.
Admittance from the assessment allows for a 3-day "trial" period for daycare services only. This trial period allows us to observe changes in your dog as he or she becomes more comfortable with our environment, as occasionally negative behaviors may take some time to emerge. It also allows your dog to learn that A Dog's Haven is both an enjoyable place and that you, the owner, will return. Clients interested in boarding services MUST complete this 3-day trial before any reservations are confirmed.
What if my dog is nervous around new dogs? Will he still pass the assessment?
We do our very best to carefully screen all new applicants before we offer services. Good social behavior is paramount to keeping all guests, both new and old, comfortable and safe during their stay. The assessment can often be a stressful event, and many dogs are nervous or anxious at first arrival. We do not fault dogs for this kind of behavior. Some dogs take a few daycare sessions to become comfortable. Overly fearful or aggressive tendencies when nervous, however, may indicate that our environment is a poor fit for your dog. In the event of a poor fit, we will offer other alternatives to our services as best as possible. We want all dogs to be happy and healthy, even if it means directing you and your pet to another care provider.
The highly social nature of our accommodations means that your pet may receive much more exercise and stimulation than he or she might at home. In turn, this means that often dogs return home very tired and sometimes thirsty. We provide plenty of blankets to sleep on and fresh water to drink, but many dogs are simply too excited to play with their friends than to take a nap! On the first night home, we recommend offering small portions of water and food over a longer period of time to avoid upset stomachs.
Despite requiring current vaccinations and our commitment to cleanliness, there is a small risk of your pet catching a communicable disease. Sending your pet to us is much like sending your child to school. We will do our best to inform all clients of any illnesses we see in the area or among our charges.
During the Day
Whether staying for just the day or for a few nights, all of our guests have access to our home and fenced-in yard. When the weather is nice, the dogs and their caretakers will almost exclusively be outside, lounging by the pond or running through the grass. During colder or rainier days, your pet will join the others in our large, completely screened-in porch overlooking the outdoor play area. Typically mornings are quite active, as all the dogs are very excited to meet each other and play. Most dogs settle down for a nice, self-imposed nap during the high afternoon, with play picking up again somewhat near the early evening.
We do our best to screen carefully for good social behavior and manners, but do keep in mind that dogs play primarily with their teeth and paws. For our active guests, this may sometimes mean that they go home with minor scratches and nicks. Should we find anything amiss with your pet, we will inform you promptly and provide some first aid if possible. We ask that you leave an emergency contact number in the event of a more serious incident that may require veterinary care.
Not all dogs like spending so much time with other dogs. This is normal, as every dog has a distinct personality and preferences. It also may take some time for a shy dog to adjust to new friends. We will inform you of your dog's progress over time and whether we feel he or she is truly enjoying our environment.