Frequently Asked Questions
Almost Home has collected the most commonly asked questions we receive.
Please check here to see if your question is answered below.
Q: What exactly is dog daycare?
A: It is a unique and happy place that you can bring your canine best friend for socialization and exercise. Bringing your dog to daycare is an easy way for you to have a happy, healthy, and overall pleasant dog to be around. It has been proven that dogs that go to daycare are less likely to get into mischief at home because they have had time to romp, explore, and meet new friends. Just like human beings, dogs get restless when caged in a small area for too much time. We are here to help you make your dog a part of your family.
Q: Can any dog come to daycare?
A: Please keep in mind that the dog daycare environment is quite simply not for all dogs. Just like people, dogs all have distinct personalities, and some personalities and temperaments are better suited than others to the “pack” life in daycare. Staff at Almost Home will ask that you schedule an informal “meet and greet” interview to evaluate whether daycare would be a positive and fun experience for your dog, during which we will ask you some questions about your dog's temperament.
Q: What sort of temperament will we look for in your dog for daycare?
A: Your dog must get along well with other dogs. Aggressive dogs will not be accepted. It is very hard to predict how your dog will behave at our facility. Many owners are pleasantly surprised at how their dog “adjusts” at Almost Home (on neutral ground) versus at home (on territorial ground).
Q: What is the “meet & greet” interview?
A: In order to determine whether or not this program is right for your dog, we provide an initial “meet & greet” interview prior to your dog being scheduled for daycare. This requires an appointment during which we can spend 20-30 minutes with you and your dog. This interview will give us a chance to meet you and get a feel for your dog's unique personality and individual needs, which will help determine if dog daycare would be beneficial to your dog. During the interview, we will spend some time talking with you and interacting with your dog. We will also see how your dog reacts and responds to other dogs, and you will get a chance to see the facility layout.
Q: What happens if my dog doesn't play well with others and is turned down for daycare?
A: Sometimes dogs just don't get along...much like people. If we decide that your dog is not right for this program, or if we must withdraw your dog due to behavior or safety concerns, this IS NOT a negative comment on your dog, and does NOT mean your dog is “bad”. It simply means that the daycare environment is not the best environment for your dog, and other options should be explored. For dogs that do not do well in a “pack” style environment, your might consider a pet sitter or a dog walker who will come to your home during the day to provide beneficial physical and mental stimulation through one-on-one contact with your dog.
Q: What should I expect on the first day?
A: Plan to leave your dog in the care of Almost Home to begin the transition process. We ask that you bring your dog as early as possible on the first visit so that he/she is one of the first ones here and can “greet” the other dogs as they arrive. This makes the process much easier and less intimidating for them than being introduced to a group of dogs that are already established. We also have specific areas to help ease their introduction to the “pack” and will gradually increase their exposure to the group at a rate determined by the dog's individual temperament and comfort with the situation. This process can take several hours for some dogs, and it may take a few visits before your dog jumps right in. This process may seem overly involved, but safety is our number one concern. Proper, positive introductions will set the tone for a pleasant experience at Almost Home.
Q: What can I expect from my dog after she has been to daycare?
A: Your dog will be excited to see you! But once she gets home, she may act very tired or sleep more than usual. Don't worry! This is quite common. Remember, your dog spent the day here romping and playing with others – likely engaging in more activity than usual. Think of spending a week at the gym! And like us, she may be a little sore and in need of some rest. In addition, watch for soreness on her toe pads. Dogs who are used to only smooth or carpeted flooring may need to develop a “toughening” of the toe pads when new to playing on the cement floors and rocky outdoor areas. As many owners have told us, it only takes a day or two and their dog is back to normal. Allow your dog to rest up quietly and enjoy the time to cuddle up with your special friend!
Q: Is dog daycare affordable?
A: While that is a personal decision, we try to make it easy as possible for you to afford our services. You can use dog daycare at any frequency level that you choose. While some of our customers use the service daily, others use it weekly or several times per month. We also have half day rates. Our philosophy is that the costs are outweighed by the substantial improvement to the quality of life of your dog and for you!
Q: Can super tiny (or giant) dogs attend daycare?
A: Yes! As long as your dog is socialized, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, he may come to Almost Home. Your dog will be grouped with dogs of like size and temperament. We've hosted dogs from tiny teacup breeds to giant Newfoundlands and Great Danes.
Q: Can my young puppy attend daycare (or be boarded)?
A: If your puppy has received all of his shots, is 12 weeks of age or older, and has exhibited playful and sociable behavior around other dogs, they may come to Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding.
Q: Does my dog need to be spayed or neutered?
A: Yes. Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding reserves the right to refuse boarding to any pet for any reason and at any time. Due to the nature of our business, and to ensure the safety of the other dogs, all dogs must be spayed or neutered if over 6 months of age if they are to be included in daycare. No exceptions allowed. This is a state requirement.
Q: Who watches the pets at night?
A: The owners of Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding live on the premises to provide care and attention to your special friend during the hours we are closed to humans. Almost Home also has a state of the art security system that watches over your loved ones when they are here.
Q: Can I board both of my dogs together?
A: Yes! Our kennels are spacious enough to accommodate two medium sized dogs easily.
Q: Can my dog bring her toys and other belongings?
A: We must limit the belongings to just a few items. We provide bedding, but if you can bring your dog's own bed, your dog will be happier. A few toys are fine as well, although we do not allow rawhides or other consumable toys. A special t-shirt worn by you may help your dog adjust to staying here.
Q: How do you clean Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding? What if my dog makes a mess in his kennel?
A: Don't worry, accidents do happen. Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding cleans and sanitizes the play area EVERY DAY. We use the WYSIWASH system that eliminates algae, microorganisms, fungi, bacteria, and viruses that cause disease, odor, and putrefaction. WYSIWASH is also a biodegradable treatment that is gentle on our environment. Our kennels are disinfected, by hand, with Consume Ecolyzer, a nuetral quaternary based cleaner formulated to kill bacteria and remove soils. Our motto at Almost Home is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN and we take great pride in the cleanliness of our facility and grounds.
Q: Is it true my dog can get Kennel Cough (Bordatellosis) in a facility like yours?
A: While we have never had a case of Bordatella at our facility, you never know when it will happen. We take every precaution to prevent this virus at Almost Home. Although we adhere strictly to the requirement that each dog be properly vaccinated against Bordatella AND follow a stringent and ongoing cleaning process with a broad spectrum virucidal and bactericidal disinfectant cleaner, Kennel Cough may still occur.
Even in the most hygienic, well-ventilated, spacious kennels 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 received his shots or was treated for a cut paw... There may have been an infected dog, unknown to anyone, that acted as a source for other dogs. Infected dogs can spread the organisms for days to weeks even after seeming to have fully recovered!
Most at risk for Kennel Cough are young dogs (under 1 year), senior dogs, and dogs who are recovering from an injury or surgery or otherwise have a compromised immune system.
For more information on Kennel Cough, visit:
For more information about Canine Influenza (the 'dog flu'), visit:
Q: What if my dog gets sick during his stay or during his day at daycare?
A: Although it rarely occurs, some pets do become ill during their stay. We will use your own veterinarian if at all possible, but if that is not possible, we have two trusted veterinarians that we may take your pet to see if their illness is serious. We will contact you in any event your pet becomes ill enough to warrant a trip to the veterinary clinic.
Q: My pet often rejects food when left with someone else...what will you do?
A: Some pets become a little stressed when they are away from their owners and decide to stage a hunger strike. If a dog displays stress and won't eat, one of our companions will spend extra time with your pet to coax it to eat. We don't let pets go without ample food and water during their stay. Their food and water intake is monitored each day to ensure they remain happy and healthy.
Q: Can you give my dog his medications?
A: Yes, we are happy to give your pet his medications. Please be sure to bring us dosage instructions, veterinarian information, and an adequate supply for his stay.
Q: My pet receives holistic (natural) veterinary care, is that okay?
A: We understand that some pet owners believe the holistic path is best for their pets and we respect their decision. However, in order to protect all of our guests to the best of OUR ability, we require recent proof of titer results for the basic vaccinations, including Bordatella , from you veterinarian.
Q: What if I can't make it there to pick up my dog before you close?
A: In the event you are running a few minutes (< 15 minutes) late, give us a call, we will stay a little longer. If you will be more than 1/2 hour later than closing, we will board your dog overnight. Please read more on either the daycare or boarding packages.
Q: Can I purchase a Gift Certificate for Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding?
A: Sure! Please visit us during business hours or call us to purchase a gift certificate.
Q: How do I find out if a kennel is available for my upcoming vacation/trip?
A: Contact us by telephone at (319)385-2600.
If you still have questions about Almost Home Dog Daycare and Boarding, give us a call at (319) 385-2600.