Important - I build a close relationship with guest dogs and their humans. In order for all of us to have the great experience that we expect please take the time to read my profile in length!
Large vs. Small dogs: As my clientele continues to grow, the mix of small vs. large breeds dogs coming through during the same timeframe is getting a little overwhelming. 90% of the time when a small dog comes into our home, they are not very good with large dogs. You would be surprised at the amount of people who approach a DogVacay House Host stating that their dog is the perfect fit however their dog has not been properly socialized, is reactive, and has behavioral challenges. I have had small dogs come here who were 'a perfect angel' in their owners eyes but ended up biting me, biting other dogs, tearing up multiple sets of shoes, chewed a couch, ate a hole through a door, and provoked larger dogs to the point that I had to contact DogVacay customer support. Please be honest with us house hosts regarding you dogs potential and what challenges they may have. A house host's home is not always the best fit for them.
With that said, I am now primarily keeping medium to large dogs and am referring all small clients to a local DogVacay house host who keeps my personal dogs when I have to go out of town. Her name is Stephanie and she is fabulous! Her DogVacay booking link is: http://dogvacay.com/host/989087
Upfront - I do not upload photos of my home to my DogVacay profile. I have no interest in inviting an internet prowler to swindle my home. These things do happen. If you would like to see the environment that your loved one will be staying at please simply request a meet and greet.
Realistically - You know that old saying 'My dog is so stubborn he.... (fill ending sentence here).' Dogs are not stubborn. They either 1. have no idea what you are trying to communicate to them or 2. do not respect you. Dogs are certainly always super cute and while not always on their best behavior we help them learn to want to be! Dog boarding and day care can be a little difficult, exhausting, and messy at times but it's so very amusing, lively, and impelling. The fun doesn't end until my head hits the pillow.
Please consider finding another option for your fur baby if any of the below situations relate to you:
1. If you have a puppy that is not potty trained, doesn't sleep through the night, has not been socialized with other dogs, or has severe separation anxiety. Yes puppies are adorable and love to cuddle but it's not healthy if your dog needs to sit at my feet while I use the restroom or lay on the rug while I take a shower. This means that your dog spends way too much time with you and not enough time alone or with other humans and dogs. If this sounds like your dog, consider leaving it with a family member or a house host that may be able to accommodate your dogs special needs. Normal separation anxiety is ok and I have a Thunder Shirt in every size, am trained to work with SA in dogs, and can help a 'normal' case of SA be eased. However it's not a 'Vacay' for your dog or another guest dog if your dog cries, yelps, and can not be controlled. This is something you must work on at home before leaving your dog/puppy with us.
2. Your dog is not on a grain free diet. - Dogs who do not receive proper nutrition from their food often times seek out nutrition by eating other dogs stool which can cause diarrhea and vomiting. We don't want that! I do potty pick up numerous times a day however my yard is 300 feet long and I may miss a pile of dog poop somewhere. It may rain and dog poop may seep into the ground and not be detectable. If your dog is seeking nutrition from dog stool because it is not on a grain free dog food and eats stool, I will not be responsible for it having diarrhea or vomiting. If you tell me that when you walk your dog it sometimes eats 'dirt' and gets sick, it's probably eating another dogs stool. Check your food! Several dogs have stayed with us who have had this issue and each one was on Beneful. Google your dogs food to see if there have been any complains of sicknesses or death. This may help you work out some issues at home that you had no idea was related to your dogs food!
3. If your dog has not been properly socialized. - Your dogs stay should not be a full time training session with us. Dogs play and sometimes play rough. They get scratches on their nose and nearly ALL puppies tend to bite while they play. They have sharp tiny little teeth that sometimes hurt much worse and can do more damage than a full grown dog. If your dog is not properly socialized it may play too rough or not be able to pick up on common social queues from other dogs, as in when to stop playing rough. Dogs are always in my sight unless put away if I leave and I can not separate your dog 24/7 from having too much fun in fear that it's nose is going to be scratched. Things happen, they're dogs, but your dog must be socialized to stay here. We can not be your dogs first point of socialization because that would mean that I am now training your dog. That is not a boarding service.
4. If your dog is a puppy and you have not introduced it to a crate. - House hosts do leave their homes to run errands and other things. Heck, I've even tried to board my dogs with local house hosts here and was unable because they had full time jobs and could only let my dogs out on their lunch break. It didn't work out for us because my pups can't stay inside all day without mental stimulation. Puppies specifically need ongoing mental stimulation in order to not become bored and chew a hole through the door. If you have a puppy we have to be able to put it somewhere safe without traumatizing it. I do not leave any dogs unattended around other dogs and I will not shut your puppy in one of my rooms while I am gone exposing it will chewing or marking on our things, scratching a hole in the door, or leaving it exposed to potentially chewing on something that it could choke on. Older dogs I will absolutely allow them to stay in a room to nap on the bed and watch TV if I have to leave to run errands! Crates are a safe and comfortable place for you as well as us to put your dog/puppy while gone. However crate training is something you need to do, not me. If you have a stable dog that is able to be left unattended for a short time without crating we are happy to do so! Puppies not so much...
5. You plan to use my services as your only option. - Most of us house hosts have children, school, family outings, and take vacations just like you do! Plan to find a couple of house hosts to work with on here so that you have options if our schedules are conflicting.
6. My schedule is not planned or set in stone 6 months out. We can reevaluate dates closer to time. Often times I work around my clients schedule however I do run an international program for children with autism and travel at least 1 week out of every month from Spring through Fall. Hence my suggestion in #5 above!
As a dog trainer and dog service provider it's nice when guests take the above into consideration as a common courtesy. If you use the above guidelines no matter where you send your dog, you will build a great relationship with the provider.
A little about my dogs:
My 1 year old German Shepherd, Pepper, stays with her breeder/lead trainer and attends ACK meetings with him on most weekends. She trains in scent tracking, agility, and other intermediate skills. On weekends that he is not attending meetings or is out of town she of course stays at home. She will one day be a certified service dog.
My 3 year old German Shepherd/Husky mix, Duke, was an abused dog in a high kill shelter. I rescued him at 6 months old and started basic training with him. He trained in California with the lead trainer at DogWish and eventually became a certified service dog for my 12 year old son with autism and epilepsy. He is trained to bark a sequence of barks when he senses a seizure in my son. Because of this, his general 'dog' bark and welcoming is very loud and intense. He is not aggressive but likes to 'talk' when we have visitors.
Please call or text 15-20 minutes upon arrival so that all dogs, including guest dogs, may be put away so that your entry is not stressful on you or your dog. Dogs like to bark and I can not control guest dogs jumping on you to greet you other than my putting them in a room or out back. This will help your first visit be welcoming!
Services offered: (overnight stay)
Boarding - $25 per night per dog
** All major Holidays are $30/night for boarding - You must request a custom quote for Holiday rates **
Pepper's Place is a fun home environment where dogs can enjoy playing with other dogs during the day and sleep inside a familiar setting at night.
We have experience with disabled dogs and dogs on a raw diet.
Pepper's Place day care service offers your pet supervised playtime with other dogs. Playtime toys and a doggie pool are provided. Playtime is designed to enhance your dog’s social behavior with people and other dogs.
Pepper's Place overnight dog boarding offers playtime socialization during the day and the comfort of home at night. You are more than welcome to bring a bed, toy, treats, or food with your pets so that they may feel more at home! We offer medium to extra large crates with dogs beds and toys inside for overnight stays located in the downstairs den. If your dog does not sleep in a crate at night he will be able to sleep in a closed off room next to the owner of the home. Dog beds are available on the floor and a queen size bed is available for pups who are use to sleeping with their owners.
We do not use kennel runs but have a 100ft x 50ft fenced backyard for playtime and exercise.
Dog training is available upon request. Please speak with Crys Worley regarding your needs to receive a custom quote!
We understand that it may be new technology to use a website or phone app to book a boarding stay in someone's home that you have never met! It was new for us when we decided to use a service instead of the traditional word of mouth in our community method. We hope to see you and your fur baby soon!
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