group of dogs playing at dingos dogsitting in beverly ma

The Top 10 Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing Doggie Daycares

1.  Does the daycare carry liability insurance?

Answer: Yes! 

2. Is there an outdoor area for the dogs to play and relieve themselves?

 Answer: Yes.  We have 2500 square feet of outdoor area that is divided in half so that we can separate dogs based on temperament and size (among other things). In the summer we dust off our hoses and fill up kiddie pools.  In the winter, the dogs enjoy frolicking in the snow.   Fresh air is good for everyone (staff and dogs alike).

3. What is the staff to dog ratio?

Answer: We normally have 30 to 55 dogs in attendance for daycare.  During peak daycare hours we typically have four to eight staff members on site depending on dog volume!

4. Is the daycare licensed and inspected?

Answer: Yes, all licensed doggy daycares in Beverly are inspected annually by Beverly Animal Control.  See below for our most recent proof of inspection.

5. Do you offer pickup and/or drop-off services and if so, do you run background checks on the staff members who will have access to my home?

Answer: Yes, we offer both pickup and drop-off services.  Dingo’s is registered with iCori and all drivers are background checked.

6. Do you use electronic collars?

Answer: Not unless the owner brings their own.

7. What vaccinations do you require? How do you ensure client vaccinations remain up-to-date?

Answer: All dogs attending daycare or boarding with us must be current on what is known as the “four core canine vaccines” which are:

  1. canine parvovirus,
  2. canine adenovirus
  3. canine distemper
  4. rabies

In addition to the four core vaccines, we also require dogs to be vaccinated against kennel cough (this is called the Bordetella vaccination) and Canine Influenza.

Upon enrollment, your dogs’ vaccination history will be logged in his/her pet profile within our daycare management software.  You will receive an automatically generated email shortly before your dog’s vaccinations are set to expire.  We receive the same email as well as three color-coded flags — going from green to yello to red — as the vaccination expiration date approaches.  Dogs with lapses in their vaccinations will be unable to attend daycare until their vaccination status has been brought back into the “green”.

8.  Do you do a temperament test prior to enrollment?

Answer: While we do ask that dogs new to the daycare arrive between 7am and 7:30 so that they are one of the first dogs to arrive, we do not do a “temperament test” per say as our “temperament testing” is ongoing beginning from the moment a dog starts with us.  Because of the specific way we introduce new dogs to the pack, most puppies or dogs that have been previously socialized are successful with us initially.  If we notice any cause for concern during preliminary introductions, we will separate the dog and contact the owners.   This has happened a handful of times.  More often though we will see issues manifest over time, once a dog is more comfortable and/or familiar with the routine of daycare (which I will go into for the next question).  My point being: a thirty-minute temperament test does not constitute a final decision in terms of a dog’s long-term eligibility status in our pack environment.

9. Do you ever expel dogs?

Answer: We are continually monitoring and analyzing the behavior of the dogs in our care in order to maintain a copacetic pack; there have been instances wherein dogs who have been clients for some time – weeks, months, or even years – must be removed from the pack. We see this most commonly in adolescent dogs who, after weeks of attending daycare as puppies, hit adolescence and start displaying dominant or aggressive behaviors.  Maladaptive behavior is communicated promptly to the owner.  If it becomes severe, we suggest outside training before attempting to re-introduce the dog.   In addition to issues with adolescent dogs, we also occasionally see senior dogs who age out of daycare – this occurs when an older dog who formerly enjoyed daycare makes it clear through signs of anxiety or aggression (or both) that the aspects of the daycare that he used to enjoy – the high energy, the chance for lots of social interaction and engagement, the break in the regular routine – no longer provides a sense of comfort or joy.  Humans aren’t so different when you think about how we choose to spend our free time in the various stages of our lives, from childhood to our 70’s and beyond.   For the benefit of the older dog and the pack as a whole, in instances such as this we suggest an alternative outlet for the dog – usually a solo walk or potentially a smaller (often home-based) daycare.  We’ve also seen dogs whose personalities change after adding a baby or a new dog to their home – some become hyper vigilant and aggressive and others extremely anxious bordering on neurotic.

From my experience, dogs’ personalities are nuanced, varied, and ever evolving.   We are tasked with ensuring the safety of all the dogs in our care in a very dynamic environment.  Because we take that seriously, yes, we do occasionally have to remove dogs from the pack.  It should be acknowledged that daycare is not for every dog.  And if a dog does not thrive in daycare, it does not make him a bad dog!

10. How do you clean and disinfect the daycare?

Answer: The outdoor area is treated with a Wysiwash Sanitizing System that attaches to our hose.  You can read more about this patented cleaner that has been a favorite of pet care professionals for the past fifteen years here:

 The indoor area is swept and dusted daily and vacuumed and mopped nightly using Odoban, a virucide commonly used in many daycares.  All surface areas are treated with Lysol and dog bowls are handwashed with soap and water.

If you have any additional questions about our daycare that were note addressed herein, please feel free to email us at:  We are always happy to answer any questions you may have!

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