Expectations of a traditional boarding facility:
Boarding your dog at a traditional facility means that your dog will inevitably spend some of his/her time in a crate. If you don't want your dog to ever spend time in a properly sized and humane crate with a comfortable bed and access to fresh water, you should consider an alternative facility. We welcome you to consider our cage free boutique Dog BnB that you can read about here.
At our traditional facility we want the dogs to enjoy each other's company, enjoy human interaction, enjoy time outside and have ample opportunity to have fun being a dog. However, there are practical considerations in operating a facility that dictate the use of crates. These include:
-Cleaning the facility -- keeping the space free of disease and odor is very important to us and it's really practically difficult to clean when a dog is chasing and pulling on the mop. Some dogs really don't care for vacuum cleaners and are frightened by them.
-Feeding -- many dogs don't do portion control well and can become aggressive when defending their food from other dogs they don't know that well; while other dogs take specific and important medications that we wouldn't want another dog to consume by accident in an open feeding eniornment.
-Enjoyment of the experience of other dogs -- some folks are absolutely convinced that their dog is an absolute angel who has no behavioral issues whatsoever, they also don't believe their dog's behavior can change when exposed to a new enviornment with lots of dogs for the first time. This does happen. Dogs can get riled up. Pack mentality is a thing. And so is exhaustion. If your dog goes from sleeping on the couch 12 hours a day (a typical dog sleeps 12 hours a day) to being in a day care room running around for 18 straight hours, it can be too much. In some cases, even after a behvioral screening, based on the mix of personalities involved, a dog can be come over stimulated and defensive, or over stimulated and aggressive. Sometimes the most humane thing to do is to give that dog a safe, defined area (a den) to re-collect themselves, calm down and even take a nap on a nice soft bed.
-Safety while sleeping -- the staff member who monitors your dog overnight sleeps too. The only way we can guarantee that all dogs will be safe in the middle of the night is if they are kept in a crate. It takes a split second for a bite to happen, and if a staff person is asleep in the middle of the night when the first bite happens, it could take a few seconds to wake up and realize what is going on, meanwhile the situation has escalated. We aim to avoid that situation altogether with the use of a crate for all our overnight guests.
So, while everyone at Patrick's Pet Care loves animals, and while we want all the animals we care for to have the most joyous and safe experience possible while they are with us, we do not believe that spending time in a crate takes the joy out of the experience. Quite the contrary. So, customers should expect that their dog will be in an appropriately sized, humane crate with access to water and food (according to your instructions):
-Overnight from 9pm to 7am
-At least once during the day for up to an hour while the day care rooms are being cleaned
-When they are fed their meals and medication, according to your instructions
-Potentially at other times if the behavior of the dog warrants it and doing so creates the safest and most enjoyable experience for everyone involved, including that particular dog
Thank you so much for your interest in Patrick's Pet Care. Because of the number of animals that need care, we would ask that you get in touch with us directly to make sure that we can accommodate them.
You can our Manager on Duty directly at 202-630-7387, or fill out our Get In Touch form.
We do not send updates at our traditional boarding facility more frequenly than once per day by email on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Saturday, except in the unusual case of a medical need to do so.
If you think you'll need to "check in" on your dog or need to receive updates more often than noted above in order to enjoy your time away, please consider alternative arrangements at our Dog BnB or at another company.
Customers may of course call to "check on" their dog any time during business hours:
Sunday & Federal Holiday Mondays: 3:00pm-6:00pm
Customers who insist on repeatedly calling our emergency manager on duty line outside of these posted business hours for nothing more than a routine update, will be charged a $50 fee per call. Genuine emergency calls are welcome at any time.
As a preventitive and precautionary measure, we do require all boarding guests to be current on flea and tick control in addition to having up-to-date vaccines.
A key feature of our boarding program is that the dogs who stay with us go out into the neighborhood on walks several times a day to get fresh air and relieve themselves. This gets them some added stimulation and avoids the mixed message that it's acceptable to go to the bathroom inside when they come to board. Walks are typically done in groups of four well-suited and similarly-sized walk buddies. If your dog is not suited to group walks because of behavioral concerns, we do still welcome him or her to our facility, but for everyone's safety and the additional human labor required to ensure that safety we do charge a $20/night solo walk fee.