FAQs

Q?

What are your hours of Operation?

A.

Daycare hours are from 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Our Fitchburg location is also open on Saturdays from 9am-5pm. We are closed on all major holidays and will post signs at both locations, along with announce it on our website, to let you know the exact dates ahead of time. If UW Madison closes due to snow or icy conditions, we will also close. However, if they close due to cold temperatures, we will remain open.

Q?

What can my dog and I expect from the staff?

A.

You can expect that your dog will be supervised and cared for like he/she was our own. The staff spends all day playing with, cuddling, and keeping an eye out for your dog, making sure he/she is having fun and is not nervous or intimidated. We will reward them for good behavior and work on manners, both regarding how they interact with people and other dogs. Play will be monitored to make sure everyone is safe and using good social cues, and we will help your puppies learn how to read and give positive effective messages to others. We also use a variety of activities to keep your dog stimulated: from bubble machines and kiddie pools, to tunnels and other agility apparatuses. Also, just in case, each member of our staff is trained in canine first aid and to recognize aggressive behavior before it becomes an issue.

Q?

How will I know how my dog is doing?

A.

During your first few visits you will receive a report card that lets you know how your dog is acclimating to daycare, and even who they spent the most time with. Thereafter, we will always keep you informed about your dog's activities and make sure to share any behavior concerns we might have. You can also look in on them by checking out DoggieVision on this website, which runs from 10am-4pm daily.

Q?

Does my dog get fed while at Happy Dogz?

A.

We do not recommend having your dog fed at HappyDogz. We recommend that you feed them in the morning when they wake, and at night when they get home. If you feel it is necessary, please bring a labeled baggie or container with your dog's food, along with specifications if this is one serving or many. The dogs will always have plenty of water, and for an additional fee, we would be happy to give your dog a special treat during the day.

Q?

Do I need reservations?

A.

Yes! We fill up quite frequently, particularly in the colder months, so making reservations as early as possible is always a good idea. You are more than welcome to call in the morning (and we do try to keep some spots available for those of you who do not have easy schedules), but please understand that we might be full. You can also set up recurring reservations, if you have a regular day or days of the week in mind. If you do not show up for a reservation, you will be charged $10 (unless you cancel 24 hours in advance). Making sure to cancel allows us to know which spots are open for dogs who may be on the waiting list, which is greatly appreciated by all!

Q?

How large is Happy Dogz?

A.

We have a large fenced in area outside - mostly blacktop for easy sanitation along with some grass space - and our indoor play areas are over 4500 square feet!

Q?

What is the benefit of dog daycare?

A.

Dogs are very social animals, and giving them this kind of exposure to other dogs and people on a regular basis helps them to become a more socialized, more exercised, and more content pet. Some people bring their dogs to daycare purely for the dog's own enjoyment, while others feel it a necessity due to long work hours or issues with separation anxiety. Dog daycare is also a great place to leave your dog when the cleaning person, pest control person, etc. is visiting.

Q?

How does a dog qualify for daycare?

A.

To be admitted to Happy Dogz, your dog must:

  • be four months of age
  • be spayed or neutered by 7 months (unless a medical reason prevents it)
  • pass a short temperament test during pre-screening interview
  • have current vaccinations for rabies, DHLPP, and bordatella (kennel cough)**
  • not have a history of biting or aggressive behavior
  • be social with others and not be overly possessive of food or toys
  • not have any communicable diseases***
  • not have ever harmed or threatened any human or other animal
  • unfortunately, pit bull terriers are not allowed.

**You must specifically ask your vet for this shot. If your dog has been kenneled, or the vet knows you spend a lot of time around other dogs, it has likely been suggested or administered.
***Dogs that become ill with a communicable disease will not be admitted without veterinarian approval.

Q?

Do you offer any training or pet-sitting services?

A.

Dog's Best Friend Training does hold classes inside our facility. For more information on their scheduling and fees, please check out their website: www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com.

Happy Dogz Daycare does not offer any overnight pet-sitting services, but feel free to contact a staff member, as some do pet-sit on a regular basis, making it a simple way to care for your pet while on vacation.

Q?

I wish you offered something else, what should I do?

A.

Our mission is to make life with your dog easier. If there's something else we could do to help, please let us know. You can either tell us personally or send an email to joel@happyz.com.

Q?

My friend said her dog got sick at daycare. Will that happen to my dog?

A.

Like at a child daycare or even at your workplace, there's always the possibility that your dog can catch a cold or virus from socializing with other dogs. Not only can they catch it here or at any other daycare, but at a kennel, the dog park, their training class, the pet store, or even just meeting other dogs on their walks.

We do our best to spot any symptoms a dog may be having and will quarantine the dog until the owner is able to pick them up, but please understand that like many human viruses, most of the common dog illnesses are contagious before symptoms even begin to show. Other dogs may get infected before it is possible to even know there is a problem. If you notice your dog is showing symptoms, please contact us to let us know and keep your dog home until the symptoms subside. This will help us prevent the virus from spreading.

Also, please note that although your dog is vaccinated for kennel cough, they are technically only vaccinated for the bordetella vaccine. This means there is still a chance that they can catch a different variation of kennel cough. Like the human cold or flu, there are many different variations on a virus that causes the same types of symptoms.

Q?

How does the Happy Dogz staff discipline my dog?

A.

We always try to teach the dogs with positive reinforcement. If needed, we use a stern "no" or squirt bottles filled with water (which some enjoy!). If such discipline doesn't help to control the behavior, a time-out is then used.

In cases of habitual barkers, we use a citronella collar. We use these only if your dog is enjoying HappyDogz but also enjoys barking, or if your dog is distressing other dogs with its noise. If your dog is barking because he/she is not happy here, we do not use the citronella collar as a long-term solution. A citronella collar does not harm a dog in any way. When the dog barks, a spray of citronella is released towards their mouth and nose. This citronella smells like the citronella that you use to keep bugs away in the summer, and the dogs have an aversion to the smell. If you are uncomfortable with this or would like some more information about it, please feel free to ask!

On occasion, we will also use as gentle leader to calm a dog. The gentle leader was designed to use with dogs on leash so that they do not walk the owner, but rather the owner can successfully walk the dog. It is a more humane version of the chain or choke collar. The gentle leader is not a muzzle! They can open their mouth and even eat with it on. The theory behind the gentle leader is that when a mother wants to calm her over-exuberant puppy, she places pressure on the top of the pup's muzzle with her own muzzle. We use the gentle leader to tell some of our over-exuberant puppies that they need to take their level of play down a notch. If you are uncomfortable with this or would like some more information about the gentle leader, please feel free to ask!