Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my dog need to be evaluated in person?
My dog has never boarded before. Will he be OK?
My dog is from a shelter. Will he think I'm abandoning him again?
How are playgroups structured?
What if my dog doesn't play with other dogs?
My dog is not neutered but loves other dogs. Why can't he play?
My little dog is terrified of big dogs. How will he be made comfortable?
How old does my puppy need to be to stay at Tails Up?
Will my dog lose her housetraining habits?
What type of training do you do at Tails Up?
My dog has special medical needs.
I am concerned about my pet's health.
How far in advance do I need reservations?
When can I check my pet in and when can I pick her up?
What should I bring for my pet's stay?
What vaccinations are required?
Can my son or daughter volunteer to pet the dogs?
Can I call to check on my pet?
I feed my dog a raw diet, can you accommodate that?
I have a pit bull, can he board at Tails Up?
- During the initial pre-boarding consultation, we learn about your dog's unique needs. We ask questions about social, medical and behavioral history, likes and dislikes, special handling needs, and care requirements. We also assess how they respond to the Tails Up environment. We use this information to place dogs appropriately in playgroups, and to better meet your dog's individual needs while they are staying with us. We also give you a full tour of the facility and answer any questions you have about any of our services.
This short trip to our facility also gives your dog a chance to "sniff us out." Having a positive experience during the initial consultation helps assure your dog that Tails Up is a safe and fun place to visit.
Tails Up offers a highly interactive boarding experience where your dog will socialize with many people and dogs on a daily basis. This is not a safe or appropriate environment for all dogs, and in some cases, we may refer you to a different service that better suits your dog's needs.
We encourage you to call us and schedule a consultation even if you do not currently have specific boarding dates. You can also stop by without your dog to see our facility, but our ability to offer walk-in tours is limited by staff availability.
- Many of our guests are first-time boarders. If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, the daily playgroups are a great outlet for the anxiety caused by being away from home. We offer cuddle and t-touch sessions for dogs that need some extra human TLC to help them feel comfortable. It is not unusual for dogs with separation anxiety to stop eating: we monitor all meals and will add tasty treats, hand feed, or sit with dogs during mealtimes to make sure they do not miss too many meals. If you are planning a longer stay, we also recommend (and sometimes require) a trial day care or overnight stay to help your dog acclimate to our environment and routine.
- Our environment is very different from most shelters. At Tails Up, dogs stay in a home-like environment and receive lots of individual attention and playtime outside with other dogs. A good percentage of our dogs are rescues or come from shelters, many from the Denver Dumb Friends League. These dogs adapt very quickly and love coming to "camp" to see their friends. If you are unsure about how your dog will feel, why not schedule an appointment for trial daycare so that your dog can meet the staff and learn the ropes?
- Dogs are put in playgroups of 7 to 10 other dogs of similar size, age, and play style. Young puppies and rowdy adolescents have their own groups where they won't pester the older dogs. Senior citizens also have their own group where they won't be bothered by more active dogs.
Playgroup duration is typically one hour but can vary depending on the size and canine make-up of each group, the weather and other circumstances. We monitor groups so that dogs get enough exercise without overdoing it. We also have a large space inside the building to make up for time lost to poor weather.
Tails Up does not support the play all day structure commonly found in daycares and boarding facilities in our area. We feel dogs need more opportunity to rest during the day (think about what your pooch is like at home- sleeps a lot, right?). We also keep our group size limited to 10 to ensure each dog has the chance for lots of human attention and the human can really keep their eye on what is happening with the dogs.
- Some dogs cannot play with other dogs for medical reasons, such as a joint or back injury, in which case they will go out for their daily outings with a human companion. Dogs that are not socialized to other dogs and exhibit fearful or aggressive behavior are evaluated on an individual basis, but in most cases are not appropriate guests.
- Intact male dogs over the age of 7 months must play alone at Tails Up for the safety of our staff and other guests. Even if these dogs are very friendly, they may be seen as a potential threat by other dogs, and are more likely to provoke aggression.
- We love little dogs! Our smallest guests stay in a separate area of our facility, away from the big dogs and closer to the flow of human traffic. They play in their own small dog groups, in their own, separate play yard, and they always have a great time!
- Puppies must receive all of their vaccinations prior to coming to board or attend daycare. This includes Distemper (usually three shots given three weeks apart), Bordetella (usually given after 10 weeks) and Rabies (usually given last around 14 weeks). Having all of these vaccinations helps ensure your puppy's safety and the safety of all our guests.
- No! Dogs staying at Tails Up quickly adapt to our routine and learn to use the outdoor play yards for their bathroom area. For adult dogs, four trips outside between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. are usually plenty to keep up their training. We bring puppies out more frequently, and reward them with praise and treats for appropriate potty events.
- We use positive reinforcement techniques to teach dogs what behaviors are appropriate. We reinforce the desirable behaviors (such as sitting politely) with praise and food rewards while we ignore and never reinforce behaviors we don't like (such as jumping up on people). We also use praise and treats to create positive associations with objects and experiences that dogs may otherwise find frightening or uncomfortable. We do not use adverse measures to punish behavior. Our training techniques are fun for both people and dogs, strengthen the human-animal bond, and create dogs that love to learn! We offer staff training sessions with boarding and day care dogs to complement the work they are doing at home.
Additionally, Laura Brody, of Good Family Dog offers group classes at our facility on a regular basis. Check out www.goodfamilydog.com for more information on upcoming classes. Laura can also be reached directly at (720) 289-7498.
- We can accommodate most special medical needs, including administration of pills, ointments and drops. We are familiar with the special needs of blind dogs, deaf dogs, dogs with spine, hip and knee problems, epileptic dogs and senior citizens. We cannot administer injections for diabetics. For the safety of all our guests, we cannot accept any dogs with contagious illnesses. Please bring any medications in separate, clearly marked containers (do not pre-mix medications into your dog's food).
Also, please be aware that there are inherent risks in boarding a senior dog. Underlying health problems can be exacerbated by stress, and illnesses or infections, which would be minor in a younger dog, can become serious and even life threatening in an elderly or frail dog. Owners of senior dogs should give us clear instructions about their preferences for medical care and intervention.
- Our service is designed to maintain optimum health of our guests. We require each pet to be fully vaccinated before boarding. We also keep the environment as low stress as possible and follow a regular schedule. A low-stress environment and regular schedule help support the immune system and keep pets healthy. Each area of the building is also individually ventilated which helps prevent the spreading of disease.
If a health concern should arise, we have relationships with several local veterinary clinics and emergency hospitals. Depending on the situation, pets will be brought to their own veterinarian for treatment. We will always contact the owner in the case of a medical problem requiring veterinary care.
We require that all pets that come for boarding or daycare be free from any pests or parasites. Even though the indoor surfaces and cleaning methods at Tails Up are not conducive to flea development, our canine guests do play in an outdoor space and interact with other dogs. If you are concerned about flea and tick infestation, we suggest you treat your dog with Advantage or Frontline prior to your dog's stay at Tails Up.
Please keep in mind that canine cough is an inherent risk to any dog socializing with other dogs, whether it is at a boarding kennel, dog park or in your backyard. We do everything possible to limit a guest's chances of contracting canine cough by keeping our facility clean and requiring all guests be vaccinated. Even with our stringent protocols, it is still possible your dog may get ill with canine cough.
- Our busiest times of year are holidays and the summer months, where we fill up weeks in advance. We recommend you make your reservations well in advance. We do request 72 hours notice for cancellation of reserved stays.
- Tails Up is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We prefer that you check in anytime between 7 am and 7 pm on the day your reservation begins. Pets can check-out between 7 am and 10 am (no charge for that day), between 10 am and 7 pm (late check-out charge for that day), or between 7 pm and 7 am (after hours charge applies). Guests can also check-in between 7 pm and 7 am but the after hour fee applies also.
- We recommend you bring your pet's own food and any medications. Your dog must also be wearing a flat or martingale collar for safety. You are also welcome to bring any comforting items like blankets or toys but please be aware that any toys or bedding from home may be lost or destroyed. Don't bring any of your pet's personal items that you would be upset to lose.
- Dogs: Please provide us with proof of vaccination or titer tests for DHLPP (distemper combo) every 3 years, a current Rabies vaccination, and proof of Bordetella vaccination within the past year. Bordetella is an intranasal vaccine against canine coughs and colds, and should be given at least 7 days prior to the start of your dog's stay.
Cats: Feline guests must have current FVRCP vaccinations. Outdoor cats must also be vaccinated for rabies. We recommend discussing immunizing against feline leukemia with your veterinarian.
Owners are responsible for providing us with updated vaccination records - if you don't have records you can call your veterinarian and ask them to fax us directly.
- We are sorry but our insurance does not cover volunteers. However, the Denver Dumb Friends League (both in Denver and in Castle Rock) has excellent volunteer programs for adults and kids.
- Of course! We welcome your calls during regular business hours, and we are always happy to give you a report on how your pet is doing with meals and playgroups. We also check our e-mail frequently and are happy to respond to your questions via e-mail.
Finally, you can always check out guests playing in the outdoor play yards via our webcams between 9 am and 4 pm.
- Absolutely! Raw diets can be great for dogs and Tails Up wants to ensure that your dog feels right at home. That means familiar food too! Our guests have their own refrigerator and freezer for any foods (or medications) that require cold temperatures. Just bring what they need and instructions on how you prepare their meal and we will do the same.
- We certainly wish he could! However, the Town of Castle Rock has prohibited the breed per Municipal Code 6.02.120 within town limits and that includes boarding them. Tails Up does not discriminate based upon breed but in order to stay in business we must abide by the law.
Tails Up does not support breed specific legislation. We encourage people to research breeds and find the breed most appropriate for their family. Find responsible breeders or even better, adopt a pet from a shelter. Socialize and train your dog. And if laws are needed, make them about dangerous dogs that include punishing the owner too, not just about banning a breed altogether.