Important Stuff You Need to Know

COLLARS, DISCIPLINE
We will NOT accept clients who use the following types of collars:

  • Pinch collars
  • Shock collars
  • Choke chains
    We are, however, happy to discuss alternatives and to help you achieve non-punishing training techniques.

VACCINES
As a holistic establishment, we may have different requirements than other boarding facilities. Please read the following very carefully:

  • Rabies- all dogs in the state of Georgia must have a valid rabies vaccination. Please vaccinate your dog at least seven days prior to her stay at the ranch.
  • Bordatella-  we do not require a Bordatella vaccine, but if your dog has already been treated with that vaccine, we require a waiting period of seven (7) days until the dog is allowed to stay.
  • DHLPP-  (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) If your dog has had all its puppy shots and had a booster at 1 year of age, it should be safe from these diseases for at least 3 years. Therefore, we do not necessarily require DHLPP. Please contact us to discuss.
  • We do not require a Canine Influenza vaccine.  Your vet may offer a canine influenza vaccine, but you should be aware that it does not address the most recent, most virulent strain of the virus. There is currently no vaccine for the most recent version of this flu.

SPAYING/NEUTERING

Not everyone wants to chop their dogs balls off at 6 months of age and we wholeheartedly agree with that! The ‘sex hormone’ testosterone is responsible for increased muscle and bone mass, so vital for your energetic puppy. Chopping off his balls too early stops all that in its tracks and weakens your dog for his entire life considerably.
At the DD Ranch however, we have a pack dynamic to think of, and so we take each case on an individual basis and work with you to ensure that your dog keeps his balls as long as possible while still enjoying as much healthy socialization as possible.
In a pack setting, fixed dogs can target the un-fixed male and that can be unpleasant for him, so we keep a close eye on behavior at all times and allow un-fixed males to play in a regular play group until such time as we feel it is no longer a good idea for them. After that time, your dog is still welcome to come and stay or play, but we would engineer a special group with dogs that aren’t put off or threatened by ‘low hanging fruit’ and who will be kind and wise play-friends for your dog. There is an extra cost to having a special play group created just for your dog as it requires an extra member of staff to exercise them separately, however, please don’t let this deter you from giving your dog that chance of the strongest body possible. Dogs that are neutered when fully grown are far less likely to develop joint issues and soft tissue injuries in later life, these issues can be horrifically painful and expensive, so it’s worth it. Basically, you’ll save the money on the back end…..
As for your female dog, well…..we don’t like to see females spayed too early either; there are way too many rescue dogs spayed at just weeks old, before their little bodies are even formed. It’s rather like giving a baby girl a hysterectomy. Ugh. As you can imagine, the damage goes way beyond the immediate womb area. So, we ask that you consider working closely with your vet to have your dog spayed when she is closer to, or has reached maturity and always keep an eye out for signs of her going into heat.
We always advise our clients with unspayed females to familiarize themselves with the signs of the dreadful womb infection Pyometra, which can kill a dog very quickly and requires an emergency vet visit.
Please always remind us that your dog is unfixed at drop off, so that we can always have the right group in place for your dogs health, safety and enjoyment.
It’s your dog, these are your choices to make, but we are always here if you wish to discuss your options.
 

CONTAGIOUS DISEASES / CANINE INFLUENZA
We must be advised if your dog has been to any of the following facilities within 10 days of your visit:

  • Any other boarding facility
  • Day care
  • Training facility
  • Vet’s office
  • Dog park – We reserve the right to contact such establishments to ask if there have been any instances of canine influenza. If the answer is yes, we will require a vet visit (yours or ours) for a health check.

Any dog that presents with a cough, sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, temperature, or runny eyes must be health checked before entering the premises. (We realize some dogs have allergies and will take that into consideration. )

BITE CASES
Please advise us if your dog has either:

  • Bitten another dog or person
  • Been involved in an altercation with another dog (either as aggressor or victim)

(These incidents may not necessarily prohibit your dog from coming here, but it does mean that we must evaluate your dog in greater depth.)

THUNDER PHOBIA, ETC.
Please notify us if your dog has any particular phobias, but especially thunder phobia, as this will dictate the conditions under which your dog’s visit will be handled. This may include special sleeping arrangements, stress-reduction diet, thunder jackets, etc.

NUISANCE BARKERS AND CHEWERS
Because we live on the premises, we cannot accept dogs that bark incessantly, so if your dog is a barker, a trial night before your vacation will be required.
Chewers will be housed in an area where they cannot injure themselves or damage their environment.

DIET
We firmly believe in a holistic lifestyle and one of the most important parts of that is nourishing food. We have a team of experienced doggy chefs that cook every day….succulent meats, fresh farm vegetables….it’s paradise for a dog! We always have a choice of ingredients in offer so please just let us know if your dog has any special dietary needs and we will accommodate. If your dog has a need to bring his own food for any particular reason- allergies or medical issues, perhaps – then let us know and we will work this out with you. Please note though, we get very sad when some poor dog is having to watch every other dog eat roast chicken breast while he just gets to eat some awful kibble (remember that song “The little kid that Santa Claus forgot?”) so be prepared for us to ask what we can do to ‘Jazz up’ your dogs eating experience while he or she vacations with us.

MEDICATIONS
We must have full, written, signed instructions from you regarding all medicines and dosages. Medications must be brought in a vet-dispensed container with corresponding dosage displayed. We are legally bound to stipulate that we are not veterinary professionals and can only do our best when administering meds to your dog. Rest assured that all precautions for the safety of your dog are taken, and all guests receiving medications are monitored very closely. Please advise us, when you make your booking, if your dog needs to be on medications while they’re here.

FLEA/TICK MEDICATIONS
We do not allow flea/tick collars, as these are embedded with neurotoxins which can be licked or ingested during play. We encourage you to look for natural alternatives such as cedar oil, rose geranium oil, or other natural flea and tick repellents.
Any pharmaceutical topicals (Frontline, for example) must be applied at least 4 days before your dog’s arrival. Again, dogs at close play can ingest these chemicals.

VET VISITS/EMERGENCIES
We reserve the right to take your dog to the vet if we feel it is warranted. You will be liable for any vet bills incurred. We will do our best to contact you beforehand; however, if you cannot be contacted, we will make decisions based on the needs of the dog.

A NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
We keep the Ranch as natural as possible. This means we do not use weed killer, fertilizer, noxious chemicals, or toxic pest control substances. There may be insects, spiders, snakes, and any number of critters in the vicinity.

DROP-OFF /PICK-UP /VISITING THE RANCH

  • Drop-off time is 9:30 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. (including Saturdays & Sundays)
  • Pick-up times:  9:30 a.m. 1.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. (including Saturdays & Sundays)  

There is no discount if you pick up your dog earlier than scheduled. All drop-off/pick-up times are precise!
Please be respectful of the fact that is both a business and our home: no unscheduled drop-ins or visits are allowed.

QUARTERLY VISIT RULE

We are a relationship based business; all of the dogs that come to DD become members of our family and we work very hard to build and maintain a close personal friendship with every dog. Trust is everything to a dog’s happiness and the only way to grab and maintain trust is through love, respect…..and familiarity.

Therefore, we require (it’s on your boarding contract) to see every dog in our DD program every three months without fail. For non-frequent travellers, this means one longer stay of five days or more once a year and then at the very minimum, a day-camp day every three months. This keeps your dog in a close regular relationship with us and means that he or she will always be happy to waltz through the gate to go play with his friends and see his favorite ‘aunties and uncles’ again.
 

 

CANCELLATION POLICY

Because we are a communal, off-leash facility, we carefully plan the pack that stays together at any one time. If you cancel your dog’s stay, we may have difficulties putting another dog with an appropriate personality to take your dog’s spot. If we cannot fill that spot, you will be liable for a cancellation fee.
Cancellation fees are charged at the lowest rate range if we cannot fill the spot. To avoid charging any cancellation fees, we require a full week’s notice to cancel a stay. For peak periods (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break), we need a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice of cancellation, as these periods can be more difficult to fill.