Search v3.1Created with Sketch.
Animated Section Toggle

All Dog Daycares Are Not Created Equal….Your Guide to Evaluating the Best Option for your Dog

Dog daycares have become increasingly popular over the past decade, and the options in the Peoria area have increased in the past five years.  Play All Day opened in 2011 and was one of three options.  Today, there are at least ten options.  Daycares are popping up like Starbucks.

 

On the one hand, this makes me very happy.  It means people are seeing the importance of socializing their dogs.  It means that people are considering their dogs’ well-being in terms of exercise, mental health, and happiness.  Overall, it validates my long-held belief that people love their dogs and want the best for them.  Yay dog people!  Well done.

 

On the other hand, it raises some concerns for me.  Our lives are so busy and an active dog can really add to the stress of life (jobs, kids, family, social life).  Getting the dog out of the house and wearing him out can become a high priority.  Having more daycare options available to a Pet Parent is great, but are they good options?  Just because a dog daycare has opened and is available doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a quality facility that will keep your dog safe and meet your dog’s mental and emotional needs.  People want to do well by their dogs, but how to make a good decision when there are so many options.  It is a challenge for the average dog person to tell the differences between one daycare and the other, especially in today’s world of heavy-handed marketing and social media.  Practically anything can be made to look positive in this environment.  So, how can you get to the truth and make good choices for your dog?  That is the point of this blog series.

 

I’m often asked by clients when they are moving to a new community; “How can I find a new daycare that I can trust?”.  At this point, I usually offer to do some searching for them.  You can learn a lot from searching a website and social media posts.  There are green flags and there are red flags if you know what to look for.  Once I narrow the search down, I provide a list of questions to the client and direct them to call the daycare prior to starting and to ask the questions then and throughout the enrollment process.  Asking the right questions can set you up for success when selecting a dog daycare.

 

Over the next several weeks, I will detail the traits that I consider to be important to a quality dog daycare program.  Some of the topics I will address are safety, staffing, and program details.  And to wrap it up, I will address how to assess the value you are receiving based on what you are paying.

 

You may be wondering what makes me qualified to write this and why my opinion matters.  Kudos to you.  We need more critical thinking in our world today.  Those who already know me and know Play All Day will understand that the opinions in this piece are legitimate and well-founded in research and experience.  For those who do not know me, I invite you to read through each piece and determine for yourself if the things I am saying make sense.  I ask you to question and consider.  I invite you to read my daycare biography so that you can see who I am, and how we came to where we are today.

 

Join me over the next several weeks and get an insider’s look into what makes a quality daycare.  Next week, we will jump right into what I consider to be the most important factor in choosing a dog daycare, Safety.

 

 

Canine Mystery Illness

Unless you have been hiding out from the world, you’ve probably heard about the sensational “Mystery Illness” affecting dogs.  In the past 48 hours, social media and news have put this front and center.  It’s not actually new….it’s been going around since early summer.  But for some reason, it is now the hot topic.  Currently 5 states have seen cases, Illinois being one of the five. 

I’m writing this post to give you Play All Day’s stance on the topic, as it stands today, with the knowledge that we have in hand.

Play All Day’s stance is that this appears to be another variation of Canine Cough.  It has not hit our area yet.  It may or may not.  When it does, we will handle it as we normally handle Canine Cough.  Dogs will not be permitted at daycare until their symptoms subside.  If more information does come to the surface that suggests we should vary from our policies, we will do so.  Our mission is to provide a fun, SAFE, and enriching environment for the dogs in our care and we will keep that mission at the forefront as we follow this and make decisions.

For now, it is business as usual at Play All Day.   

For more information, please continue to read.

What is it and what does it mean for you and your dog? 

  • Bottom line, it is an upper respiratory infection (URI). URI is a general term to describe any infection of the upper airways, caused by a bacteria or virus.  The “mystery” in this situation is that the testing has not shown the usual culprit of viruses and bacteria that have been the cause in the past.  We usually see Mycoplasma, a bacterium, as the cause of Canine Cough (URI’s) in the Peoria area. 
  • The other difference about this URI is that the cough seems to be more chronic, sometimes lasting weeks. And they have seen more dogs develop pneumonia than usual.  Pneumonia is always a risk with a URI and that is why we encourage you to go to your veterinarian when we have a Canine Cough outbreak.  Antibiotics not only treat the underlying cause but can help to prevent pneumonia from developing. 
  • Some dogs have developed severe pneumonia and ultimately died. But these are very rare and seem to only be affecting immunocompromised dogs.  Unfortunately, this is the thread that the news media has latched on to and they do not hesitate to sensationalize it to grab your attention.  The deaths are rare and that should be their headline.
  • The real news is that there is a new form of URI and at this time, the cause has not been identified.

 

What should you do?

  • First, my advice is not to panic. Read the social media posts and news stories entirely, not just the headlines.  If it feels sensational, move on to the next source that gives you facts, not drama.
  • This is not something that is going to go away in one week. If you are thinking about stopping socialization of your dog (walks, daycare, boarding, grooming, going to the Vet, play dates), it will be a long-term decision.  Cessation of dog/dog activities will have to occur for months for you to truly protect your dog.  Keeping them away from other dogs for one week will not help.  As I said earlier, this URI has been around for months….it did not just happen in the past 48 hours.  And stopping socialization is not a guarantee.  I can think of two households who were affected by Canine Cough this past summer.  The dogs do not go to daycare, boarding, grooming, dog parks, or have play dates and they still ended up with Canine Cough.
  • Talk to your veterinarian.  The Canine Influenza Virus vaccination may or may not help.  This is a conversation you should have with them.
  • If you do have an immunocompromised dog at home, dog/dog socialization outside of the home may not be the wisest choice at this time. Old age is not necessarily immunocompromised.  I’m talking about dogs with chronic illness or puppies that have not been fully vaccinated. 
  • If your dog starts coughing, keep them home, and let us know. We will be tracking this closely.  

As always, we appreciate the trust you place in us, in caring for your family member.   

Canine Cough FAQ

  • What is Canine Cough (CC) and why did my dog get it? 
    • CC is a general term for an upper respiratory infection that causes a cough.  The cough is often triggered by activity or excitement.  So your dog may seem perfectly normal one moment and then begins coughing during exercise, excitement, or anything else that causes the airway to be stimulated.  Some dogs will only cough once or twice a day and others cough frequently.
    •  CC can be caused by multiple different bacteria or viruses.  We have most often seen mycoplasma (a bacteria) as the culprit.  CC is transferred from one dog to another by saliva or air droplets when a dog exhales.  Social dogs are at a higher risk because they are in contact with other dogs and are often playing with their mouths, sharing water, and sniffing the ground where these droplets may reside. 
  • Are Kennel Cough and Canine Cough the same thing?
    • Yes, Kennel Cough is the old terminology, given because that is when dogs most often got it….when they were boarded.  Over the past few decades, dogs have become much more social.  Dog Parks, dog-friendly stores, and daycares are all available now and are likely places for dogs to get contagious illness.  So the term kennel cough doesn’t quite cover it anymore. 
  • My dog was vaccinated for Bordetella, with the “kennel cough” vaccine.  Why did they still get it?
    • Bordetella is just one of the multiple bacteria that can cause a cough.  And it’s a nasty one.  Thankfully there is a vaccination to help prevent it in dogs.  The cough that is associated with social dogs in daycare settings is rarely Bordetella.
  • How serious is CC and will my dog be seriously ill?
    • Any upper respiratory infection could be serious, dependent on what type it is, the health of the dog, and whether or not treatment is given.  Most cases that we see in our community do not cause any serious threat, even if untreated.  But it could lead to pneumonia and that is serious.  So we always recommend that you see your Veterinarian if your dog begins coughing. 
  • Will better cleaning practices at the daycare prevent CC?
    • While good cleaning and sanitizing is important in the daycare setting for a whole host of reasons, it unfortunately will not totally prevent the spread of CC.  The primary risk is playing with the other dogs who might be carriers.
  • Does Play All Day restrict affected dogs from attending daycare?
    • Yes.  But unfortunately, some dogs carry the bacteria/virus and do not have any symptoms.  Without a cough, we do not know that a dog is affected.  That is how it starts and spreads so quickly.  But once a dog starts coughing, we restrict daycare access.
  • How long will my dog be out of daycare if affected?
    • We encourage all our affected dogs to see the Veterinarian and begin treatment if recommended.  If treated with antibiotics, we ask that you keep your dog home for one week after the start of antibiotics (assuming your dog is healthy and not coughing).  If you decide not to treat your dog, we ask that you keep your dog home for 2 weeks from the start of the cough (assuming your dog is healthy and not coughing).
  • Will my dog get CC every time it comes through the daycare?
    • It has been our experience over the past 12 years that dogs do not repeatedly get the cough.  Our statistics at the daycare show that only a very small number will get CC a second time.  There seems to be some sort of immunity that is developed.  We cannot guarantee that, but that has been our experience over a long period of time with many dogs in our sample. 
  • If my dog is exposed to CC, how long will it take for them to have symptoms?
    • This is variable.  We’ve seen dogs get symptoms within a few days and others after a week.  That’s what makes it so darn hard to manage. 
  • I have other dogs in my home who do not attend daycare.  Will they be at risk?
    • Yes, they will.  And you should pay special attention to this if your dogs at home have risk factors of being older, ill, or very young puppies.  Talk to your Veterinarian about this as you consider the risks.
  • Can I just keep my dog home from daycare if there is a CC outbreak? 
    • Whether or not you bring your dog to daycare, for any reason, is always your choice.  Related to CC, you would have to keep your dog out for 4-6 weeks to fully protect them.  That is usually the amount of time it takes to clear out and move on.  While daycare increases the risk, holding daycare does not totally prevent the risk.  There are cases in which dogs who are not social at all, still end up with CC somehow.  And remember that if your dog has had it in the past, it is likely that they will not get it again. 
    • If you decide to pull your dog from daycare temporarily, we will discuss Membership issues with you at that time. 
  • Other thoughts:
    • CC is a pain in the butt for you, your dog, and the daycare.  It’s very much like children getting a “bug” at the daycare.  It causes disruption for the parents, for the daycare, and the child feels poorly.  But it is part of life and part of being social.  We like to think of CC in terms of risk vs. benefit.  Yes, CC is a risk of daycare, but the benefit is a well socialized, happy, tired dog.  In this case, we think the benefits outweigh the risk. 
    • This FAQ is informational and not intended as medical advice.  Each dog is an individual and that should be considered.  We strongly encourage conversations with your Veterinary team as you consider this issue.

Play All Day Is Moving To A Membership Model

Play All Day is moving to a Membership Model.  What does that mean for you?

  • PAD, in some ways, already operates as a membership since we require regular attendance and only offer boarding services to our existing daycare clients. This change will not affect that aspect of our daycare.
  • Memberships will be structured on a monthly basis. Currently, our clients have the option of paying weekly or purchasing discounted packages of 10 weeks (package size dependent on number of days your dog is attending).  Membership for all PAD clients will now be a monthly fee instead of packages or weekly payments. 
  • The monthly membership fee will be based on how many days a week your dog normally attends daycare.
  • Memberships are month-to-month. There are no contracts, and you can cancel your membership at any time. 
  • Membership fees are non-refundable. If you need to cancel a day of daycare, that day will not be refunded.  But with proper notice, we will work with you to reschedule that canceled day (within the same week) to a different day.
  • We will take emergencies, weather events, contagious illness, and other unusual situations into account, within reason. We will get you details on this after we implement the new model.
  • You will still be able to add additional days of daycare as needed, as long as space is available.
  • As promised during our last price increase in 2022 (no price increases until 2025), you will not see a price increase with this change to a Membership Model. The new monthly membership fee mirrors the existing weekly rate you are currently paying.  Multi-dog discounts are still in place. 
  • If you currently pay weekly and do not buy packages, you will see a discount in your weekly rate, but you will be required to pay for a month at a time, as opposed to weekly.

 

Why the Change?

  • As always, the PAD mission is our guide when we feel the need for a change. Our mission is to provide a fun, safe, and enriching environment for the dogs in our care.  
  • In the past year, we have had record attendance and a consistent waiting list for new dogs to enter our program.
  • We’ve also had a record year in canceled daycare days, the majority of which occur the morning of the scheduled day. These last-minute cancellations have become so prevalent that we have had to increase our capacity for each playgroup, under the assumption that we will have a good number of cancellations each day, in each playgroup.   But on occasion, the cancellations are not as high as anticipated, and our groups are over capacity.  Thankfully, due to the training that we do with our dogs and the skill of our staff, we have been able to achieve this safely.  But it is not our ideal and does not reflect our mission. 
  • Additionally, our playgroups are not as stable as we would like them to be due to overbooking for anticipated cancellations. We have to do quite a bit of shifting of dogs from one playgroup to another based on which dogs cancel in which playgroup.  We much prefer stable groups.  This leads to decreased arousal, greater dog experience, and a greater ability for our teachers to do enrichment such as training and games. 
  • We have been considering this change for over a year, but really wanted to keep the flexibility of cancellations available to our clients. “Life Happens” and sometimes you just can’t make it into daycare.  We still believe that and understand that.  But we must balance that understanding with the ability to accurately determine our capacity so that we can keep all of the dogs in our care safe and happy.  With this model, you may not always be getting your full money’s worth if you have to cancel, but your dog’s spot in our playgroups is secure and you can rest assured that we are not overbooking.

 

What Do I Need to Do Now?

  • If you have a package, when your current package runs out, we will convert you to the new 4-week Membership packages.
  • If you currently pay weekly, we will ask that you buy a 4-week Membership package, no later than March 13. You will be saving $2/visit with the new package. 
  • The new cancellation policy will go into effect on March 13.

 

4-Week Membership Rates:

  • 1 Day/Week:                                     $128
  • 1 Day/Week, 2nd Dog:                    $120
  • 2 Days/Week:                                  $248
  • 2 Days/Week, 2nd Dog:                 $232
  • 3 Days/Week:                                  $348
  • 3 Days/Week, 2nd Dog:                 $324

 

Play All Day App

We have finally done it. Play All Day has joined the rest of the world and now has its own App. Our growth this past year has really tested the limits of our lobby square footage. During COVID, we offered Curbside service and it was well received and missed when we stopped offering it. After some brainstorming, we realized that this popular feature would alleviate some of that pressure on the lobby. We also realized that many of our clients want different ways to communicate with us. Email and Facebook don’t reach as many people as they used to. The development of the App was the product of our decision to bring Curbside back and our decision to offer more communication tools. So here you go…

Download the Play All Day App for access to these great features:

  • Schedule services
  • Change or cancel reservations
  • Purchase Daycare, Boarding, Training, & Grooming
  • Share vaccination records
  • Stay up to date on important announcements
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • These services will be available beginning Monday, 12/11/22

Download now to your Apple or Android device using this QR code

Be sure to allow Push notifications when you set it up so that you get important announcements regarding our schedule (holiday closings, weather closings, etc)

Get it now so you will be ready to go when our App services begin on Monday, December 11, 2022

A few notes regarding Curbside Service:

  • Curbside service is available only for afternoon Daycare Pick-up, Monday – Friday.
  • Curbside service is not available for morning Drop-off.
  • If payment is due for services, please use the app to pay prior to pick-up or plan to come inside to pay.
  • Please use the “On My Way” feature to let us know when you will be arriving.  This will lessen your wait time and will decrease congestion in the parking lot.
  • When we bring your dog to the car, roll your window down to let us know where to put your dog.  We are happy to put a dog in your front or back seat or into a crate.  We will ask that you take care of more complicated confinement such as tethered harnesses.
  • Please do confirm that we have brought you the correct dog before you leave the parking lot. 
  • Curbside pick-up is not the time to make scheduling requests or leave messages for desk staff.  Please call or use the app for this.
  • If the parking spaces are full, please park across the street and put “Overflow” in the text for Parking Spot.    

How To Contact Play All Day

We love to hear from you.  This document will give you direction on how best to contact Play All Day.

Email and direct phone calls to the Play All Day phone are the best ways to reach us.  We ask that you do not use FB Messenger or texting as means of reaching out to us.  They can be unreliable and fall off our radar after initially read.

 

When you call or email, you can expect follow-up within 24 hours (usually much shorter).  If you do not hear from us within that time frame, please do follow up.  Note: only urgent communications will be answered over the weekends and holidays.  We will reply on the next business day.

 

Email – Email is the most reliable way of communicating scheduling changes and requests.  Please use the following addresses based on the subject of your email.

 

Phone Calls – 309-698-1200.  Phone calls are great for short notice requests or schedule changes.

  • Please do not use April’s mobile number from this point forward. It is not that she does not want to hear from you, it is that you will get a much quicker and appropriate response related to scheduling, canceling, etc, by calling 698-1200.
  • Please note: If you do want to speak with April, she would love to talk with you.  Simply send an email to april@playalldaydoggiedaycare.com with a short note about what you wish to discuss, and we’ll get a call scheduled.

 

Cancellations – We know “life happens” and there will be times that you need to cancel or reschedule your appointments.  Calls or email are the best way to do this.  We do ask that you try to let us know at least 24 hours prior.  If you are canceling or requesting a schedule change on the day of your appointment, please do call us rather than email.

 

Thanks for your consideration of these guidelines.

Amended Drop-Off and Pick-Up Guidelines

10/5/20: Please note that we are back to normal drop-off & pick-up policies. We do ask that you wear a mask when you enter the building, practice social distancing, and follow the directions located inside the door.

For the past month, we have been practicing social distancing at Play All Day, to the best of our abilities. After review and discussion of our current policies, we will be implementing a few minor changes. Some of these changes are based on our experiences and some are based on new guidelines from the state of Illinois.

Drop-Off

You will have two options at drop-off.
1. You can stay in your car and we will come to your car, open the door and take your dog out. If this is your choice, we ask that your dog have both collar and leash on.
2. You can get your dog out of the car and hand the leash over to us. In this case, we ask that you wear a face-covering to protect both you and our team members. Our team will be wearing face coverings at all times during drop-off and pick-up.

Pick-Up

We ask that you remain in your car and we will deliver your dog to the inside of your car. If you have a preference as to which door we put them in, please roll your window down and let us know. Our default will be to put your dog in the back seat. If you wish to secure your dog, you may do so after our team member walks away from the car.

Potty Time

If, at drop-off or pick-up, you need to potty your dog, feel free to do so. Please keep 6 feet of distance between you and other clients and/or employees.

Payment

We are asking that all payment is done prior to 3:30 pm by phone. We can keep your credit card on file (securely) and charge each week, or as package payments become due. This is the simplest solution, but do know that you are welcome to call in prior to 3:30 pm if you are not comfortable leaving your card information with us to keep on file. We are still taking phone/email orders for retail items. These will be delivered to your car when you arrive.

Thank you all so much for your continued support of Play All Day and for your patience at both drop-off and pick-up. It has been a learning experience for us all and we hope that you feel confident that we are doing everything in our power to protect you, your dog, and our team.

This is a link to the current guidelines regarding the use of face coverings in Illinois. http://dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/SIREN%20Memo%20-%20IDPH%20Guidance%20for%20the%20Use%20of%20Masks%20by%20the%20General%20Public%2004.06.2020.pdf#overlay-context=covid19/community-guidance/mask-use

Marijuana Toxicity in Dogs…A Growing Problem

Not long before COVID 19 hit the United States and changed our world so dramatically, one of our Play All Day families had a scary experience with their dog. Shortly after getting home from daycare, this dog began acting very strange. She was wobbly, her eyes looked strange, and she was making funny patterns with her neck and head. And in between these strange behaviors, she was passed out. Her family was obviously worried and took her to the Emergency Vet Clinic. They diagnosed her with THC toxicity. Yes, I said THC, as in marijuana…as in Pot. After a long and stressful night, they visited their family Veterinarian the next morning and the diagnosis was confirmed. It is a very classic presentation and there was very little doubt that this dog had been exposed to marijuana. It took 48 hours for this girl to start feeling better and back to her normal self.

But how did this happen? Her parents don’t use marijuana. And it happened shortly after she left daycare. When I asked my Veterinarian about the onset of symptoms (how long would it take after ingestion for a dog to show symptoms), she said it varies quite a bit, depending on the size of the dog, the amount ingested, strength of product ingested, etc. But it seems that it would have had to happen at some point during her daycare day. So we scoured the video footage of her playgroup, her transport to and from playgroup and her time in the lobby at checkout. We were looking for her with her head down and eating something off the ground. We did see her pull towards something on the floor in the lobby during checkout and appears to be very interested. Unfortunately, the camera view was partially blocked. But our best guess is that she might have picked up some THC product off of the floor of the lobby.

Regardless of where she ate it, she ate it. And she had a very bad experience for 48 hours and her parents suffered as well. The lesson to learn from this is that THC products are much more available now and the risk of them being available to our dogs is much higher. Dog parks, dog walks, Petsmart, PAD lobby, PAD parking lot, Vet parking lot or lobby….this could happen anywhere that someone drops a THC product. Think about it….all takes is someone pulling their hand out of their pocket and the THC product accidentally comes out along with their hand and falls on the ground. There it is, just waiting for your dog to come along and eat it up.

Now, the world is scary enough with COVID 19 lurking out there. But I know you want to remain informed on issues regarding your dog’s health. Until this incident happened, I was clueless that dogs were so sensitive to THC and I was clueless that the incident rate of THC toxicity in dogs has risen dramatically in the last few years. The good news is that it is not fatal toxicity. But it sure is scary and dogs suffer until it wears off. So now you know this can happen. Knowledge is power.

Here are a few links to more information. One is a Veterinary Clinic’s blog. The other is by Whole Dog Journal and just provides a little more information.
VCA Marijuana Toxicity
Whole Dog Journal Marijuana Toxicity

Shelter In Place….Is Dog Daycare “Essential”?

“Shelter In Place” has been declared in Illinois by Governor Pritzker. All non-essential businesses should close up shop until April 7. What does that mean for Play All Day? Is dog daycare “essential”? I’m sure we all have different opinions on that. To tell you the truth, I’ve had a difficult time figuring out my own opinion on this.

One moment, I am sure we are essential. Then I hear the Governor say that we need to protect lives rather than our livelihoods, and I question myself. But I pause to ask myself if I am really trying to protect my livelihood by staying open and the answer is a clear NO! Play All Day has been fiscally responsible and can weather a storm like this for a few months with no problems. I do worry about my employees’ livelihoods, but I know that they can get IL unemployment benefits. While not perfect, they will survive. In light of all this, I know that I need to keep my doors open, because we are essential. Perhaps we are not essential to all of our clients, but I know that we are essential to some of our clients. Some of you are working in the very clear-cut essential workforce and your hours are probably longer than usual. You need care for your dogs. And we are those caregivers.

For this reason, we will remain open. If we are told to close by officials, we will. I am not doing this out of defiance to the government. As I stated earlier, I agree with this policy. I’m just trying to define PAD as essential. And I think we are. I do not want to abandon those clients who need us.

I feel that we have put exceptional policies in place, regarding check-in and check-out, that fully respect social distancing and keep you safe. We can keep our doors open and offer safe and essential services to those who need us.

But here is what I need from you. This new policy has probably changed the minds of some of you who have been bringing your dogs to daycare. I absolutely, 100%, need to know who is planning to bring their dog to daycare each day. You all know what your scheduled day is. Please email me and let me know if you will or will not be keeping your regularly scheduled day. I’m not here to decide who is essential or non-essential….that is up to you. I will not judge. BUT, I do need to know how many staff members I will need each day. So if you could just email me to let me know what your plans are for now and between April 7, I would greatly appreciate it.

We are here for you now, whether you choose to keep attending or hold off until after this crisis. There are no penalties or judgment for missing. Please just let me know one way or the other. That is all I ask of you. And I ask your patience. If I don’t hear from you, I will be calling or texting to confirm.

You may email me at info@playalldaydoggiedaycare.com or april@playalldaydoggiedaycare.com. Or you can call 309-698-1200. If you have already notified us that you are not planning to attend, no need to contact us again. We’ve already taken you off the schedule.

DOG FOOD and supplies: We will continue to take phone orders and deliver to your car. Depending on how daycare goes, there may be limited hours for pick up. We’ll stay in touch on that. And so far, no mention of any shortages on supply, so I think it is OK to just order your normal supply.

We Are Open For Business….But With Some Changes For Your Safety

In light of the current COVID 19 pandemic, we are taking every measure we can to ensure that Play All Day is here to meet your needs and continues to operate safely and efficiently, while respecting the current need for social distancing. Our leadership team met and we’ve put the following plan in place.

First order of business, your dogs are safe. To date, there is no evidence to support that dogs can get this version of the Corona virus or pass it along to you. As a daycare and boarding facility, we already have very high cleaning standards. To further protect you and our team members, we are re-focusing some of our cleaning efforts towards COVID 19, by addressing areas of contact for human beings, as opposed to just protecting the dogs.

We fully support the concept of social distancing and want to do our part to make sure that, by being open for business, we are not contributing to the spread of this virus. As I considered this issue, the main factor in my decision to remain open is that we do have the ability to provide social distancing in our facility setup and operations. Our lobby is the only area where we get non-dog traffic, outside of our staff. So, this is where much of our effort is being focused.

What is our plan?
• During check-in, we will meet you at the front door and we will open the door and take your dog from you (please potty your dog prior to this, as usual). You will not need to touch our door or come inside. We ask that you schedule all appointments with us, by phone or email, during this time of social distancing.
• You will have two options during check-out.
1. Come in as usual. We will keep hand sanitizer at the door and the desk since you will be using our door. Or you can wash your hands in the bathroom and use your shoulder to push the door open on your way out. During this time, credit card payment is preferred. We will make the card reader available to you so that you can insert and remove your card. We’ll take care of the rest. If paying by cash, please have exact change if possible. We can always hold your invoice for a week or two if necessary. If you have children with you, please use Option 2 listed below. Children cannot resist touching everything. Please do not bring them inside the daycare during this time.
2. If you prefer, you may stay in your car and call us at 698-1200. We’ll bring your dog to your car. You can call us that day or the next day to make payment over the phone with your credit card. We ask that you do this during noon – 1:30pm or 2:30-3:30pm.
3. Again, during check-out, we do ask that you ask questions and schedule/change appointments via phone or email to reduce the amount of time you are in a common social area.
• If you are boarding with us, the same options are available to you as daycare. Bring your dog to the door at check-in and either come in or call us from your car for check-out. Please program our phone number into your cell phone. 698-1200 so that you can easily call us without coming in to read our sign with the phone number.
• If you need to buy retail items, you are welcome to use the same two options available for check-out. You can come in or call. If you want us to bring your retail to your car, email or phone your order to us. If you call your order in, please do so during the hours listed above. Then when you arrive, call us and we will bring it to your car.
• Staff Protection. So, all of this is well and good for your safety, but you might be wondering about the staff’s safety. In a normal day’s work, the majority of the staff already practice social distancing just by the nature of their job. To further increase their safety, we will be routinely disinfecting all door handles. Those staff members handling leashes and boarding belongings will be washing their hands after each encounter. And there will be hourly handwashing reminders for all staff members. Things like community food (takeout, chip bags, etc) will be removed. Any staff member exhibiting symptoms will be required to stay home.
• Our Request of You. Please do not bring your dog in if you have been exposed to someone who has symptoms. Please do not bring your dog if you are experiencing symptoms. And please be patient with us as we navigate this very odd time.

Please keep in mind that these new processes will be new for your dog. New things can sometimes make them behave differently. Don’t cluster at the door and give your dog and other dogs space. If you see quite a few waiting at the door, perhaps stay in your car or on the yard a bit longer to let the congestion ease. And DO KEEP YOUR DOG ON LEASH during this process.

Thank you for your continued business and your support during all of this. We want to be here for you, because life goes on for all of us in spite of the COVID 19’s impact. Things are going to be odd and stressful for your dogs as changes occur for you at home and work. Daycare is a loved and safe place for your dog. Hopefully you will feel that we are taking steps to make it safe for you to bring your dog to us during this time. If not, we will understand. As always, if you do not plan to attend on your regularly scheduled day, we ask that you call or email us in advance.

All the best,
April and the Play All Day Team

RECENT POSTS

Search