What is a balanced trainer?

This nitrocanine.com article adeptly goes into detail about this training concept, and we'll go ahead and quote them here: "Simply put, a balanced trainer uses both rewards and corrections to train and rehabilitate dogs. A good balanced trainer uses positive reinforcement (just like the food folks) until the point that it doesn’t work anymore. You see, balanced trainers understand the fact that there will ALWAYS come a point at which the behavior you don’t want (chasing squirrels) is far more rewarding to the dog than the reward you’re offering (cookies)."

Vaccine Requirements

Vaccinations are required for all services at Dog Den Chicago and important to ensure a healthy pet. We require Distemper, Parvo, Bordetella and Rabies. Owners are responsible for keeping their pets vaccinations up to date and records on file with Dog Den Chicago. If we do not have up to date vaccines at the time of service, we will be unable to accommodate your pet.

Is my dog kenneled?

Yes, we use standard wire crates and Ruff Land Kennels.

Is it normal for dogs to be overly thirsty or hungry after a day of daycare?

Yes, dogs may be unusually hungry or thirsty on daycare days. They have an amplitude supply of water both inside and outside. We cannot force dogs to drink, but we do make sure there is plenty of clean, freshwater. Running and playing create a big appetite too! Your dog may need an extra snack on daycare days.

How far in advance should reservations be made?

For all of our services, we can make them as far in advance as you’d like but ask that you give at least 24-hour notice. We do not accept walk-in appointments and the 24-hour window does not guarantee a spot, if we are already at capacity.

What is the daily schedule for daycare & boarding?

7:00am - 8:30am – Breakfast
Dogs who stay with us overnight or who bring food with them for daycare will eat at this time - It is important for dogs to digest their meals before playing so we encourage them to relax during this time in their crate after eating.
8:00am - 12:00pm – Playgroup
All of our boarding, daycare, and board and train participants participate in playgroup. We abide by the “crate and rotate” method of group play to reduce the number of dog guests who may become over stimulated and grumpy. Anyone needing a break can have a rest in a quiet area until they are ready to rejoin the group.

*Group size and composition will vary day to day. Playgroup is a mixed group of dogs of all ages and sizes, with special considerations for very young, small, large, or elderly dogs. Greater number of dogs with similar characteristics may prompt several smaller groups.
12:00pm - 2:00pm – Naptime & Lunch
Dog Den is closed to the public during this time.
2:00pm - 6:30pm – Playgroup
6:00pm - 7:00pm – Dinner
*Dinner is fed to dogs who bring dinner at 5pm
After hours
Once our daycare dogs have gone home, the party isn’t over! Our dog guests will continue in the playgroup and have frequent potty breaks until bedtime. Once all our dog guests will go outside for one more potty break then off to their cozy beds for bedtime.

What to expect after a daycare or boarding stay?

  1. Your dog may come home unusually tired. It is not abnormal for them to be tired the entire next day too.
  2. Sometimes releasing energy, creates energy. Though dogs get the opportunity to rest, they may still be amped up when they get home. They may miss you and want you to play with them for a few minutes. This is not abnormal either. It should be short lived.
  3. Dogs may be unusually hungry or thirsty on daycare days. They have ample water both inside and outside. We cannot force dogs to drink, but we do make sure there is plenty of clean, fresh water. Running and playing creates a big appetite too! Your dog may need an extra snack on daycare days.
  4. Dogs play with their paws, which includes their nails. If you notice when your dog jumps up on you, they may leave scratches. That is the same concepts of what happens when dogs wrestle and play with each other during daycare. These are not deep cuts, but can be if you allow your dog’s nails to get too long. This is a risk of allowing dogs to interact. There is really no way to avoid this; all dogs have nails. If you are concerned about this, dog daycare may not be the right fit for your dog.
  5. Please note that daycare is indoor and outdoor. That means on rainy days your dog is likely to get dirty or muddy. We do not offer complimentary bathing services. Please be prepared to bring towels for your vehicle for the ride home, and bathe your dog when you get him/her home. If you are worried about your dog getting dirty, you should opt not to bring him/her on rainy days.
  6. We strive to provide a safe, fun environment for your dog to play in. If at any point in time your dog is deemed unsuitable for free play, cohabitant environment, you will be notified at pick up. Should your dog cause injuries to another dog, you are responsible for all vet bills incurred. We do our best to diligently warn you of issues as we become concerned about them, before anything arises, as it is your duty as a responsible pet parent to proactively work with a trainer and modify behavior. We see your dog much less frequently than you do and can only do so much during daycare. Although our staff is majority trainers, your dog will not be trained during daycare.
  7. Accidents can happen, and injuries can occur; that is the risk of dogs playing together. As it states in our intake paperwork, Dog Den Chicago and its staff are not responsible for any incidents that may occur during dog daycare. The risk is quite low, but it's the same concept as children going to daycare and playing on a playground or otherwise interacting.
  8. Sometimes anxiousness or more exercise than your dog is used to can cause diarrhea. It is not abnormal for your dog to have diarrhea after daycare or boarding, especially after their first day. Sometimes this shows up after they have left the facility.

Are you open 365 days a year?

We are not. Listed below are our holiday hours.
Memorial Day Monday, May 25, 2020 Daycare: Closed
Boarding: 10:00am – 12:00pm and 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Independence Day Saturday, July 4, 2020 Daycare: Closed
Boarding: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Labor Day Monday, September 7, 2020 Daycare: Closed
Boarding: 10:00am – 12:00pm and 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Veterans Day Weds, November 11, 2020 Daycare: Closed
Boarding: 10:00am – 12:00pm and 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Thanksgiving Thursday, November 28, 2020 CLOSED
Christmas Eve Thursday, December 24, 2020 CLOSED
Christmas Day Friday, December 25, 2020 CLOSED
New Years Eve Thursday, December 31, 2020 CLOSED
New Years Day Friday, January 1, 2021 CLOSED

Is playtime included in the cost of boarding?

Yes. We believe everyone deserves to play. After all, tired dogs are happy dogs! To participate in the group, your dog must first pass their evaluation.

Does my dog need an evaluation for daycare?

Yes! We require all of our daycare dogs to go through a one-day trail day. This acts as their first day of daycare and after their visit we will let you know if they are welcome to continue daycare. Dogs who do not pass their trial day are not allowed to participate in daycare. This ensures everyone's safety and allows us to make sure that daycare is the right fit for your pup!

Do you offer daycare packages?

Yes! We have several options for stocking up on your daycare days. We offer a 10 or 20 day package for one or two dogs Email us at dogdenchicago@gmail.com for pricing!

Do daycare dogs get breaks during the day?

We strongly believe that breaks are important for all of our daycare dogs. We offer each dog several breaks throughout the day to get in a quick nap and decompress.

Do you allow unneutered dogs for daycare or boarding?

We do! We are one of the few facilities that do except intact males, and females. Intact dogs must pass their trial day.

* Intact females are welcomed, however not during a heat cycle or for 2 weeks before or after. Male dogs, even unneutered, can become possessive over a female in heat. Before returning to daycare, females should receive a bath once their heat cycle has finished wash away anyway any lingering smells. If your dog goes into heat during daycare, you will be contacted and asked to pick up your female immediately. If your dog is not picked up then there will be an additional $100 per day charge.

What is Canine or Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough are two words that no doggy daycare or dog owner want to hear. Unfortunately, it is a common thing that we likely all will have to deal with at one point or another, so it's best that we are educated about this nuisance called Kennel Cough!
What is it?
Canine Cough (Kennel Cough), AKA, Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis; is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Kennel Cough is spread from one dog to another through airborne droplets, direct contact, and contaminated surfaces. The most common places that dogs can contract Kennel Cough are anywhere that multiple dogs gather, such as; veterinary offices, dog parks, training classes, pet stores, and yes, doggy daycare. As contagious as it is, Kennel Cough is very treatable and does not pose serious risks for most dogs. Kennel Cough can be more severe though in puppies under six months and elder or already sick dogs with poor immune systems.
What Are Kennel Cough Symptoms?
Some signs and symptoms to be on the lookout when it comes to Kennel Cough are the following:
  • Coughing or "Honking"
  • Lethargy
  • Sneezing and watery nasals
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
It is important to know when your dog isn't feeling well, keep track of abnormal behaviors as they may be clues to symptoms that can help you vet diagnose your pup. If you notice any of the above symptoms please notify your vet and keep your dog home as much as possible. These are symptoms of Canine Cough, but other diseases and viruses have similar symptoms as well. Given that Canine Cough is highly contagious Dog Den Chicago asks that you keep your dog at home if you notice any symptoms and that you notify us as well if your dog is not feeling well and is diagnosed with any sickness.
How Is Kennel Cough Treated?
Kennel Cough is often not a serious diagnosis and is treated by letting your dog rest and relax for about two weeks at home (away from other dogs to prevent spreading it) with good hydration, nutrition, and extra love. In some cases, your vet may prescribe cough medicine and antibiotics to ease the symptoms and prevent the disease from coming back.
Kennel Cough at Doggy Daycare
We pride ourselves on the safety and care we provide for your dogs. When we are notified by parents or vets of dogs with ill symptoms, we double up on our cleaning methods and sanitize our entire facility twice as much as we regularly do to help reduce the chances of it spreading. The surest way we can keep any contagious sickness from spreading though is for the ill pups to stay home and get better.