Frequently Asked Questions
Tell me about your facility.
Our facility, set on 1.14 acres two minutes from I-90, is the finest in western South Dakota. Air conditioning and radiant-floor heating. Active, filtered air transfer "changes" the air often. A natural gas backup generator. Three types of rooms from economy to penthouse. A state-of-the-art indoor yard with one of the finest play surfaces of any dog facility in the country featuring K9Grass turf which floats on a layer of air underneath which runs a system of pipes which spray the floor and wash any urine into the drains and out of the building. Our outdoor play yard is 2/3 of an acre. See our Facility Photos.
What vaccinations does my dog need to have for boarding or day care?
All animals entering the facility must be up to date on the following:
Must new dogs go through a trial process?
No, but he or she must get along well with multiple dogs in a group setting. With new dogs we take things slowly. We observe their body language, maybe introduce them to a dog or two or three, and then, when we feel comfortable, let them play with the pack. Any dog that shows aggression toward a person or dog is removed from group play and exercised individually. If the problem persists, we will politely decline to host him or her again unless the owner has us or someone else train him.
What is the minimum age?
Puppies are welcome as soon as they've finished BOTH rounds of vaccinations.
Do you accept dogs that have not been neutered or spayed?
Yes, if they get along great with other dogs. For obvious reasons, we cannot host dogs in heat. In-tact males must play very well with all dogs. If an intact males is aggressive at all, or if his presence stirs aggression in other males, we will politely decline to host him again.
What should I bring to daycare or boarding?
Food and medications. That’s it. We feed a dog’s own food because a food change can cause digestive issues. We have everything else he or she will want: comfy beds, fun toys, etc. Believe it or not, if given a choice between our beds, toys, and their own, most dogs dog don't pay much attention to their own. Keeping yours at home prevents their being damaged. Of course, if you must bring a blanket, toy, etc., you may, but we are not responsible for damage to them.
Do older, smaller, and younger dogs play in separate areas?
Most of the time but not always. We organize our play groups depending on the number and kind of dogs at our place. If we are close to capacity, large and small dogs generally play in separate areas. The vast majority loves the high-energy group environment and play well together without regard for size. However, if there is, say, an older dog that prefers a more relaxed environment, we will let him exercise apart from the main group. Sometimes we will create a low-key group. And a shy or anxious dog may prefer to spend most of his time in his room. Everything depends on the makeup of the group.
Does every dog like your Day Play program?
No. 90% love it, but some, say, anxious or very old dogs that prefer peace and quiet, may be more comfortable spending more time in their rooms. In extreme cases, those animals may prefer staying at home in the care of a pet sitter. One reason we suggest a day of Day Play before boarding is so that you and we are confident your animal will enjoy our place. If we believe a different situation would better suit him, we will discuss options with you.
What does your daily routine look like?
Our emphasis is on all-day group play both for Day Play and boarding (those who've opted for day play). We let the dogs out to relieve themselves about 6:30 a.m. while we clean their kennels. We then feed breakfast and let them digest in their rooms while we tend the drop-off rush. Then begins a series of large blocks of playtime interspersed with rest periods. About 8:45 - 9:00 a.m. Day Play begins, outside unless the weather is extreme, in which case we play in the indoor play yard. About every two hours, the dogs rest in their rooms. Late afternoon they take a break while we tend to pickups, and then early evening they play for a couple another hour or two. After dinner, the last potty break is about 9 or 10 p.m.
Is someone on site overnight?
Yes. Our building includes a studio apartment. Of course, in the evenings our employee might have to, say, go to the grocery store or grab something to eat, so may be away for periods of time, but is generally around in the evenings and especially overnight.
Can my dog come home with scratches, cuts, or bruises?
Yes. As you know, dogs love to roughhouse. Around here, epic bouts of wrestling and chase occur every day. Dogs nip at each other, run into each other, slide, fall down, etc. Though we actively manage the behavior of the pack, we let them play and have fun. That’s what Woofers is known for. But this means a dog may get a few scratches or minor bruises. This doesn’t mean open wounds or major bruising, which are rare.
What if an animal is sick or injured?
In each case we would try to communicate with the owner and ask for direction. During an emergency we would head straight to the first good vet available and communicate when first possible. Like children, dogs get sick fairly regularly. Most instances are very minor, but if we observe something that concerns us, we consult the owner and/or vet, depending on the situation. Costs associated with treating a sick or injured animal are the owners' responsibility.
Can my dog return home dirty?
What happens during bad weather?
When the weather turns bad, Day Play moves to our 1,100 square-foot indoor play yard. The building has a/c, heated floors, and a natural gas backup generator. An employee lives on the property 24/7, so no matter the weather someone is on site to care for our guests.
Health & Safety
What are your health requirements?
We are very careful about health. We will not allow any animal into our facility that is showing obvious signs of illness. Every animal stepping foot into our building must be current on
What are the risks associated with daycare and boarding?
This is covered in more detail in your boarding agreement, but here is some general information. We work very hard to limit any risk of exposure to disease, insects, and parasites. Your animal is much safer in our facility than at other public places like a dog park. However, no matter how careful we are, any place where animals congregate will periodically foster the transmission of sickness, insects, or parasites. When you bring your animal to daycare or boarding, at our facility or any other, you accept these risks.
Can a dog catch kennel cough at your facility?
Yes. Though every dog is vaccinated for kennel cough, the injection, much like the human flu shot, only protects against a few strains of “kennel cough,” which is a catch-all term covering a multitude of flu-like illnesses. We are not veterinarians and cannot give veterinary advice, but we have observed that except for old dogs or those with other underlying health problems, these illnesses are not serious and dogs recover quickly.
Are new customers really given a first day of day play and a first night of boarding free?
Yes. There are two reasons for this: 1. to let you and your pet, at no cost, give us a try, and 2. to let us determine if your pet is a good fit for our business. If he or she is not, we’ll do our best to suggest a better environment. See our Price Sheet for more information.
Do you offer discounts?
Yes. See the Price Sheet. Discounts for active military, veterans, seniors sixty-five or older, pet industry professionals. Also if your animal stays more than seven, fourteen, and thirty nights. Or if you buy a daycare package. Important: If you must board your animal because you are ill or must travel to attend to a sick family member or attend a funeral, your pet’s stay is free. (We could never, in good conscious, earn money from such a situation.)
When do I pay?
All customers must provide a valid credit card for us to keep on file when booking. You will be charged upon pickup for any services rendered. If you book in-person, you can provide your credit card then.
Why are your prices higher than other competing facilities?
Because our accommodations and service are on the high end of the quality spectrum and, as a result, our costs are much higher than low-frills boarding and daycare. We focus on value, which means our emphasis is on the quality of service compared to the price. Our customers consistently tell us we are a good value. To help new customers make this determination, we offer the first night of boarding and first day of daycare free.
Why is there a charge for day play when dogs are boarding?
We dislike places that nickel and dime us for everything, so we like to charge one price and including everything. However, because not everyone wants his or her dog to participate in day play, keeping the rates separate allows those folks to opt out and save money. 85% of our boarders, though, choose day play.
Are your prices higher during peak periods?
Yes. As with any hotel, our prices increase during peak periods. We charge 20% more during during the summer and some holidays. See our Price Sheet for specifics.
Why is your facility so quiet?
Glad you asked. Because most pet business owners go home after hours, no one knows what goes on at night. Why would it matter if the dogs are going bonkers? But Woofers is not only our guests' second home, it is our home, and who wants to feel stressed living in a loud, frantic place? We work very hard night and day so that our guests live quietly in a calm, relaxed environment. This requires a lot of experience and constant effort but leads to less stress and happier, healthier owners and guests.