Chicago Dog Daycare Requirements

Dog Daycare Requirements

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The following requirements are in place for all dogs who come here for daycare. This helps ensure the safety of all of our customers, their dogs, and our staff.

Weekday Reservations

Reservations are required on weekdays, even if you have a prepaid package. Some dogs come one day per month, some come one per week. Most dogs do not come here more than two days per week, as they will be very tired afterwards, including the next day. Click here to request a reservation.

Reservations are not required for weekend daycare.

All dogs in play must have a proper collar.

  • Every dog in play must have a collar. This helps us separate them if necessary.
  • The collar must have a "quick release" feature, so it can be removed quickly if dogs get in a fight or one dog's jaw gets stuck on another collar
  • No prong collars are allowed in play, as they can injure another dog
  • No buckle-style collars are allowed, as they can take too long to remove
  • Every dog in play must have an ID tag on its collar, with at least its name, for every boarding stay. This is because many dogs look alike, and we cannot take the risk that a dog would, for example, receive the wrong food or medicine. We make ID tags here, and every dog will receive one free tag. After that, any future tags cost $5 plus tax.
  • We strongly dissuade any "designer" collars (leather, for example), as they can become easily damaged during play. We are not responsible for damage done to any collar.
  • Except in rare occasions, dogs cannot only wear a harness, as other dogs can get their jaws caught on harnesses. We remove all harnesses in play, unless the manager has made an exception.

We sell quick-release collars such as this, in various colors and sizes. They range from $8 to $13 depending on the size.

Buckle-style collars take too long to remove and are not allowed in play. These collars have a pin that fits through a hole, similar to a belt.

Dogs in play cannot be overly aggressive

Identifying "aggressiveness" can be a fine line. We know it's normal for most dogs to show some signs of aggression in a group environment from time to time. For example, your dog might growl at another dog to communicate that he doesn't want his space to be invaded at the moment, and certainly growling is better than fighting. However, our staff will be ultimate judge of whether the behavior goes over the line, to the detriment of the other dogs. Incidents such as fighting, snapping, and biting will simply not be tolerated. Normally we will try to use a "three-strikes" rule, but depending on the severity of the incident, your dog might not be allowed to continue coming to visit us. Otherwise, we recognize that minor cuts or abrasions may occur from time to time due to wrestling and playing, and we will take every matter into consideration with fairness.

Not aggressive towards humans

We cannot have dogs in our care who show a pattern of snapping at or trying to bite humans. This could cause a serious injury and we cannot put our staff in harm's way like this.

No females in heat

Lots of male dogs and one female in heat, all in a confined space. You get the picture.

Spayed or neutered after 6 months

Large play groups and "intact" dogs are not a good combination. In order to minimize aggressiveness, we do require spaying or neutering after six months. This is standard practice in the dog daycare industry across the country and is for the safety of your dog, our staff, and our customers' dogs. It is also recommended by most leading veterinarians.

No contagious conditions

For the safety of our other customers, your dog must not exhibit contagious ailments such as the following:
  • Fleas
  • Kennel cough
  • Stomach virus / vomiting
  • Giardia
  • CPV (mouth warts)

Dogs with ailments such as these will require a note from your vet and/or a screening evaluation from our staff before being allowed back to the play areas.

Proof of vaccinations, kept up-to-date

We must have documentation on file from your veterinarian showing that all required vaccinations are current. We'll remind you when they're due, and you can fax them to us at (312) 276-8588, e-mail them to us, or bring them in.

Puppies must have received all rounds of each required vaccination, and all vaccinations must be current, before being able to enter our facility. This is to help prevent illness with your puppy, as they have relatively weak immune systems for the first several months.

Required vaccinations:
  • Rabies if seven months or older
  • Distemper and Parvo (DHLPP, DLPP, or something similar that includes "D" and "P")
  • Bordatella (also known as "kennel cough" or "canine cough")
  • Canine Influenza (the strain called "H3N2" at a minimum, although we recommend combining the vaccination with the strain called "H3N8" for full protection).

    Please note: The first time your dog receives this vaccination, it comes in two rounds, typically three weeks apart. You can board with just the first round, as long as it was within the past three weeks. If your dog received the first round more than three weeks ago, and you haven't gotten the second round, you will need to start over with the first round before your dog can enter our facility. There is a walk-in clinic down the street from us that gives it for $15 per round, with no appointment needed and no additional fees.

    Click here to learn more about this vaccination and why we require it.

  • You may substitute proof of titers over vaccinations if your vet believes titers are sufficient.

If you are concerned that you are missing a vaccination and don't have time to get it done, there is a walk-in clinic a few blocks down the street from our facility that is open seven days per week, from early to late. We're not suggesting that you change your vet if you're happy with them, but this can be very helpful in a pinch.

We may be able to waive certain vaccinations if your veterinarian supplies a written letter stating the medical reasons.

At least two months old

It's really best that dogs under two months old stay with their mother, so they learn basic skills and behaviors that they will take with them through life. Once they reach two months, they'll also be big enough to stand their ground in a play group.

No poop-eaters

As disgusting as it sounds, some dogs eat poop while in play because they either think it's fun, tastes good, or it may give them nutrients that their body craves and that they're not getting in their diet. This can be a major problem in a daycare environment because it can lead to a contagious illness called giardia (think: dog eats poop, then drinks out of community water bowl). If you are unfamiliar with giardia, trust us, you don't want to go through it! We obviously try to pick up poop and pee as quickly as possible, but some dogs swoop in very quickly and it can be challenging to stop them. If the staff indicates to you that your dog is a culprit, we ask that you take this very seriously and act accordingly because that we can't have dogs in daycare who do this. Typically it can be corrected through proper training and using the "leave it" command consistently. It could also require a change in food, or it could be due to a medical disorder that requires a vet visit and dietary supplements.
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