We like the interviews to last at least three hours to give us time to get to know your dog and to give your dog time to realize that you have left and -- most importantly -- to be excited to see you when you come to pick them up. At Camp Bow Wow, the initial interview day is always free. The interview usually consists of us leading your dog into a separate play area or "interview area" where our Camp Counselors will spend a little time getting to know your dog and checking to see how your dog interacts with people. At this time, the Camp Counselor will also look your dog over for any possible issues such as fleas and ticks and for any existing injuries that may worsen when playing with other dogs.
Other dogs will be introduced into the interview area one at a time in order to see how your dog interacts with other dogs. After our counselors are comfortable with your dog, with your dog's reactions to other dogs, and are confident that your dog feels secure in the environment, your pup - along with their new friends - will be introduced into the appropriate play area based on their size, temperament, and activity level. Please be aware that if we do have issues with your dog during the interview process, we may need to contact you to come pick them up early.
Do dogs ever get hurt?
Although we do our best to minimize any injury to your dog, during normal play a dog may get small scratches, nicks, and lose small patches of fur. Although rare, it is possible for more serious injuries to occur.
What do you do in case of illness or injury?
We quickly assess the situation to determine what plan of action to take. Our concern is always what is best for our canine Camper. Depending on the situation, we will either rush the Camper to the closest vet or, in non-emergency situations, we will make the effort to take them to their own vet. We always try to contact the owner to get their permission for our chosen course of action.
Will my dog like this environment?
If your dog does not like other dogs, then no, your dog may not like this environment. Every dog is different, but part of our interview process is to asses whether your dog enjoys this environment. At the end of the interview day, we provide a report card and are definitely there to talk to you about how your dog interacted with the other dogs and if they seemed to enjoy the environment. We want your dog to be happy as much as you do and promise to be honest with you if we feel this isn't the best possible environment for your dog.
I have an old dog. Will they enjoy this environment?
This will depend on your dog. We have several older Campers that love the interaction with other dogs. Part of the way we separate dogs into our various play areas is dependent upon activity level, so a larger, older dog may be placed with other older, mellow dogs of his similar size. The interview process will also help us, and you, determine if our environment is right for your dog. Our Camp Counselors are constantly evaluating each Camper's behavior, and if they view your dog as overwhelmed or tired they will place your dog in one of our spacious cabins for a short nap.
My dog has health issues, can he/she still come?
This depends on the health issues. There are certain illnesses that don't mix well in a social environment. State law mandates that our Camp Counselors cannot give your dog injections; therefore we cannot accept diabetic dogs that require injections. We also cannot accept dogs with communicable diseases or parasites. There are other health issues such as ear infections, arthritis, glaucoma, and cancer, which we are usually able to accommodate. It is best to discuss any possible issues with a Camp Counselor.
I have a small dog and I see a bunch of big dogs on the web cams. Is this environment safe for small dogs?
Yes, we separate dogs into our play areas based on size, temperament, and activity level.
Why is my dog tired when he/she comes home?
This is one of the great benefits of Day Camp! Your dog gets to play all day so, naturally, they are tired at the end of the day. Often, when you take your Camper home, they will curl up and go to sleep. Rest assured if your dog becomes overly tired during the day, we will take them to a cabin for an hour nap. We will not force a dog to get up from a nap if they are still sleeping. Many of our Campers that stay for extended periods of time choose to take longer naps.
Are there nap times?
For our overnight Campers, we require a mid-day nap. Many of our day Campers enjoy a mid-day nap as well, but it is not required. Please work with your local Camp owner to make sure you discuss your Camper’s needs. We are not closed during nap time on weekdays.
Why is my dog thirsty when he/she comes home?
Water is available at all times in all of our play areas and cabins. Playing hard all day is just as strenuous as working out. Even though water is available, after a car ride home, it will probably be time for your Camper to drink some more water to help re-hydrate after a hard day of play.
It seems like a zoo when I drop my dog off, is it always like that?
No. When we have visitors such as a new dog, or new person, the dogs often get very excited and you can hear and see this excitement. There is always playing and some barking going on, but the dogs settle down quite a bit once the new dog is introduced into the play areas and our human visitors either leave or are very quiet for a few minutes. Our Camper’s become very accustomed to our Camp Counselors and settle right into playing after all their friends in the play yard after the new pups join in on the fun.
Does someone stay with the dogs overnight?
No. We do not have a person that spends the night with the dogs, but we do have monitored security, fire, and temperature control alarms in all of our locations. Studies show that the dogs sleep better at night without a human present. In our environment, where the dogs are active all day, getting a good night's rest is important. Also be aware that in traditional kennels that do have a human on site, that person is not interacting with the dogs and the dogs are not let out to use the bathroom. In kennels with indoor / outdoor dog runs, the outdoor section is closed off at night for security purposes. If your dog requires overnight monitoring, the best options to look at are in-home pet care or medical boarding (provided by most veterinary hospitals). Please check our website to verify if there is a Home Buddies franchise owner in your area, they can even set up a personal in-home web cam at your house while you are away!
Should I bring anything for my dog?
We strongly suggest bringing your dog’s food from home. We will happily feed your pup our food but it is best for them to not change foods rapidly. We will provide nighttime treats and Kongs, and plenty of blankets, bedding and a comfy cot. If you wish to bring toys, bedding, or anything else that will help make your dog feel more at home, we can certainly accommodate this.
Do I need to bring my own dog food if my dog is boarding?
We strongly suggest bringing your dog’s food from home. We will happily feed your pup our food but it is best for them to not change foods rapidly. If you would rather we feed your dog our house food, we can do so at no charge.
Do I need to make a reservation?
Yes. For overnight boarding, we definitely need a reservation. Depending on the time of year, we can often accommodate short notice or same day notice (if your dog has previously completed the interview process). Please be aware that Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas book several months in advance and other holidays book several weeks in advance. During the summer months, many of our locations fill up early for weekends. We require a credit card to hold a boarding reservation. You may also be asked to provide a deposit to reserve your pups cabin.
To help insure our staffing ratios, we request that a reservation be made in advance for dog daycare, although we can often accommodate same day notice.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please check with each location for their cancellation policy.
Should I feed my dog before going to Camp?
It is best to have your dog eat a minimum of 1.5 hours prior to coming to Camp to prevent bloat. Bloat can be caused from playing to soon after eating and can be harmful. If your dog ate less than 1.5 hours before coming to Camp, please let one of the Camp Counselors know for the safety and well being of your pet.
Is there a specific kind of collar my dog must wear to come to Camp?
Yes, Camp Bow Wow requires that all dogs wear a quick release collar with an ID tag including your name and phone number.
What happens if my dog gets sick or injured?
All of our Camp Counselors are certified in pet first aid and CPR. We will take excellent care of your dog if anything comes up. You will be contacted and in the event of an emergency your dog will be brought to a vet immediately.
My dog's paws are very sensitive after his stay with Camp Bow Wow, did something happen to my dog's feet?
No, it is very common that your dog's pads will be sore after playing at Camp. Most dogs are not used to playing all day. Rest assured it is only temporary and they will build stronger pads.