Browse FAQs for helpful information regarding Wags & Wiggles background, policies, daycare, boarding, and training programs.
- Your dog must complete our Meet & Greet process (by appointment only)
- Must be 12 weeks of age or older (see exception for puppy class)
- Dog must be able to sit on a verbal word or hand signal.
- Female dogs can remain intact and attend daycare or boarding for the life of the dog if the owner chooses not to spay. Male dogs can remain intact up until 18 months of age. We do not accept females in heat. Dogs in heat must wait 3 weeks after all symptoms have passed in order to return. As always, attendance in daycare is based on behavior. If any dog’s behavior becomes non-playful and unsafe, they will be switched to our no play area services.
- Must be current on all vaccinations (titers acceptable except for Rabies)
- Must have had a fecal test done within the past year showing a clean (negative) result
- Must be in good health and flea/tick free
- Must be non-aggressive and not toy protective
- Must never have bitten or injured another animal or person
- You must have owned the dog for at least 14-30 days depending on your situation to ensure good health
- If dog is recently adopted, your dog must be seen by your vet before coming to daycare
- We accept all breeds and sizes, except purebred Pit Bulls. We do accept Pit mixes (subject to interview like all other dogs). While we do not accept Pit Bulls in the daycare, we do LOVE the breed and they are acceptable in any of our training programs.
We have been in business since 1999. We are family owned and operated. We are NOT a chain. The owners are present at the facility every single day, except when on vacation which is rare due to our dedication! We have had years of experience working with dogs before we opened our doors. See ABOUT US for details on our background. We live and work in this community and have a high level of commitment to our facility and its employees.
The inherent risk associated with free dog play is a puncture that may or may not require stitches, a nick in the ear that will bleed, scrapes and scratches. All of these can occur from normal dog play. The dog who ends up with the nicked ear, pulled hair, or puncture is usually the aggressor. Many owners are surprised to hear that their dog's behavior is very different when they are not around. This is why we have the live wagger cam. We have nothing to hide and handle all dog conflicts to the best of our ability. Remember, dogs are not playing monopoly at the daycare. They are wrestling with teeth and claws like all normal dog play.
No, of course not, they are having a good game of wrestle but teeth and claws are involved in normal play. Dog fights are not a common occurrence at daycare but we will and do evict dogs for inappropriate behavior to prevent fights. If your dog injures another dog, you are financially responsible for that injury. If your dog is injured through normal dog play, you are financially responsible for your dog's injuries. How do you control unwanted behavior in daycare? First, we try to redirect the dog's focus to another activity such as playing with toys or responding to staff. If rough play, mounting, or excessive barking continue we will use a humane gentle leader to curb the unwanted behavior. The gentle leader causes no pain and is nearly a restrictive device. Dogs can still play with other dogs, carry toys, eat and drink with the gentle leader on. It does not close their mouth. For more information on gentle leaders, click here. We also use timeouts either by placing a dog in a kennel or leashing them at our side for a period of time. Any dog that needs a gentle leader or timeout is recorded on a board. We have firm time limits for gentle leader usage and timeouts which are usually around 15 minutes. Squirt bottles filled with water only are occasionally used to back a group of dogs off that are being too pushy with a new dog or crowding the gate. If a dog exhibits unwanted behavior once during the day and our redirection methods are successful we usually don't inform the owner. If the behavior repeats despite these efforts, we will notify the owner immediately. If any owner has a concern about the use of gentle leaders or timeouts, upon request we can certainly call you before these are implemented with your dog.
If any dog has a bite history (whether it be biting a person, dog or another animal) or history of aggressive outbursts, the client MUST do a private lesson with Laurie or Ranaye prior to coming to any group class environment. This applies to all obedience, agility, & specialty group classes. While W&W does its best to prevent and manage all dogs in class, accidental unwanted greetings may happen. A private lesson will ensure any dog with aggressive tendencies can stay under threshold at our facility.
We have an online report card system with photos and videos. However, we are very friendly and love the dogs we spend our days with. We would be happy to give you all the gossip at the front counter.
Daycare is structured playtime. Dogs are not allowed to run wild, jump on staff, or learn bad habits. Owner will be asked to demonstrate their dog's ability to sit in the interview. The dog must sit on verbal word or hand command. We strongly encourage owners to bring a couple dog treats to the interview to help their dogs to sit. Our staff is there to help you if needed. Leash corrections are not acceptable as dogs are not on leashes in daycare. Pushing their butt down is not acceptable. Staff is instructed not to push on butts due to the possibility of getting bit or dogs having bad hips. The dog's ability to sit is essential as sitting is the way we stop jumping, gate crashing, and pushiness in daycare. We have posted command words that we use to help dogs understand what we want from them. We are willing to work with the daycare dogs to help them learn but all dogs must come in knowing how to sit. Special exceptions are made for real young puppies or dogs who have just signed up for training. If you are concerned about your dog's knowledge of how to sit around other dogs or in a strange environment (i.e. not your kitchen), then check out our class schedule.
No, we separate by size and play style. We have a small dog room just for the little guys. They have special toys and equipment just for their own size. We also have puppy rooms to be able to introduce new dogs slowly. The main play area for medium/large dogs has the ability to be divided into three different sections if needed. However, we prefer to keep the main area open and will not take dogs that need to be separated because they can't get along.
The dogs are constantly supervised. Inappropriate play is stopped and good behavior is rewarded. The staff keeps the dogs safe, clean and well cared for. They are never left alone.
Anytime your dogs stay away from home, you will have to be vigilant about potty training for the first 24 hours back in your home. That means going to a friend's house, spends the day at the vet, spends the day at the groomers, or coming to daycare. If you have a successful potty training plan at home, nothing will affect that. If you are having accidents at home, most likely it is bad management, to begin with. You can get a personal in-home lesson to fix those problems.
This does happen, but it's not the end of the world. I built the daycare for my dogs. My oldest female was evicted from daycare due to being so cranky. She is a couch potato by nature and didn't enjoy all those pups in her face. We do what's best for all our dogs. If your dog fails the interview, it doesn't mean we don't love your dog. This unique environment may just be too overwhelming.
Wags & Wiggles also has a Private Care option for dogs who don't enjoy the hustle and bustle of daycare. There is an additional $25/night Private Care fee. This upgraded boarding service includes potty walks every two hours and two solo play periods with staff. Space is limited.
Some dogs just need a little training and socialization before coming to daycare, ask the trainer. Some dogs would also just prefer spending time with their owners doing something fun like K9 Nose Work, Sport Dog Classes, or Tricks.
Complete the Meet & Greet Process. If your dog doesn't pass the first time, we can suggest a Wags & Wiggles class to help teach more appropriate dog-to-dog interactions. If your dog is shy, don't worry. All first timers go through an orientation process so they can meet all the dogs in small groups. This helps them adjust. Try a half day to keep your dog's stress level low. Give your dog a couple really good treats on your way in the door. Don't act nervous, or your dog will become more nervous. If you are planning on boarding, do a couple daycare days first so they can get adjusted before their long stay.
If your dog boards overnight, you must check out by 10:00 am the next morning in order not to be charged for daycare that day. Your dog must be checked in no later than 4:00 pm Monday through Friday and 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. This allows us to properly prepare your dog for his or her slumber party!
Please see our drop-off and pick-up page for more information about our check in and check out hours.
If you wish for your dogs to have lunch, bring your own. Dogs are not given anything you don't bring. Most dogs do fine without lunch but it is your choice. There is no food allowed in the play area. All dogs are separated and hand-fed.
Do not bring toys. We have toys of every shape and size. All our toys must remain neutral to avoid possessiveness.
All dogs must be on a leash to enter the daycare lobby. We will remove all of your dog's collars in the lobby and take them back on one of our leashes. This prevents collars getting caught up during play. At pick up, you will bring your dog's collar/leash with you and one of our staff members will leash them up for you and bring them to the lobby.
Most dogs find a place to crash out when they are tired. We have beds in every play room. However many dogs need or prefer some time away from the pack. You can elect to enroll in our free Peaceful Pups Program that gives dogs a standard nap break and special care from the staff.
There is water available at all times to all dogs. We have several automatic water delivery bowls. The bowls are stainless steel. These supply a constant flow of FRESH clean water. These bowls are also removed and sanitized several times a day.
If this occurs, you will be notified immediately if the problem is severe. If the problem is minor, you will be notified in writing when you pickup. If there is an emergency and vet care is needed, we will transport your dog to your own vet. You will need to call your vet to give them permission to treat. All medical costs will be assumed BY YOU. Please refer to our waiver on the registration page for more details. Remember that even normal dog play may result in some type of injury. It is not a common occurrence but it can happen. Just like a child can fall and trip during recess and bust out a tooth. It just may happen. All injuries and illnesses are prevented to the BEST of our ability. We love all dogs and have dog-proofed our facility as well as any dog park can be.
Canine infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in dogs. Fortunately, the majority of cases are not serious resolving on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. The main cause of kennel cough is the airborne bacteria, Bordetella bronchiseptica. A dog with Kennel Cough will develop a coarse, dry, hacking cough about five to ten days after being infected. It sounds as if the dog needs to "clear its throat" and the cough will be triggered by any extra activity, drinking water, exposed to change of temperature or exercise. Many dogs that acquire Kennel Cough will cough every few minutes, all day long. They will wretch and sometimes vomit a white foamy looking matter. Their general state of health and alertness are usually not affected, they usually have no rise in temperature, and do not lose their appetite. Even in the most hygienic, well ventilated, spacious dog facilities, the possibility of a dog acquiring Kennel Cough exists. Kennel Cough can be acquired from your neighbor's dog, from a Champion show dog at a dog show, from the animal hospital where your dog just came in for treatment of a cut paw, from the sidewalk where an infected dog walked earlier... Try not to blame anyone or any place if your dog develops Kennel Cough. There may have been an infected dog, unknown to anyone, that acted as a source for other dogs. The signs of Canine Cough usually will last from 7 to 21 days and can be very annoying for the dog and the dog's owners. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, isolate your dog and visit your veterinarian for medical advice. First and foremost, isolate your dog. Do not take your dog to public places in order to prevent the spread of infection. If your dog has recently been to dog school, boarding or any other place where your dog was exposed to other dogs, notify the correct individuals to advise that your dog is coughing. You don't need to isolate your dog to prevent infection. The best recommendation is to discuss with your veterinarian what combination of vaccines and boosters they recommend. Many dogs that contract Kennel Cough will display only minor signs of coughing that may last seven to ten days and will not require any medication at all. Treatment is generally limited to symptomatic relief of the coughing with non-prescription, and occasionally prescription, cough suppressants. If the dog is running a fever or there seems to be a persistent and severe cough, antibiotics are occasionally utilized to assist the dog in recovering from Kennel Cough. It can happen that secondary bacterial invaders will complicate a case of Kennel Cough and prolong the recovery and severely affect the upper airway. Therefore the use of antibiotics is determined on an individual basis. Follow the advice and course of treatment that your veterinarian has prescribed. Don't allow your dog to exercise as this will trigger the cough.
REFERENCE: Merck Veterinary Manual - Eighth Edition Dr. Michele St. Pierre, Waterloo West Animal Hospital
At Wags & Wiggles, our knowledgeable staff is always looking for signs of illness in any of our dogs. Coughing dogs are immediately removed from the facility. When kennel coughs arrives in our community, we will notify owners by placing a notice out front. All facilities get kennel cough from time to time. Colds go around just like in child daycare. Thankfully due to our extensive cleaning protocol, our superior ventilation that exceeds all state regulations, and thorough vaccination checking program.....we are able to minimize the risk at our facility. Outbreaks are usually limited to once a year. Would you isolate your child to prevent a cold? No, socialization and schooling is just as important for our dogs as our children.