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We are a kennel free facility where dogs spend their time in off leash play groups. We believe that our off leash environment offers a great opportunity for dogs to socialize, burn off excess energy, and overall enjoy being dogs - using their noses, paws, and instincts in ways they often can’t at home, Not all dogs love a social environment, but for those who do, getting to romp and relax with other dogs helps prevent loneliness, boredom, and frustration - all of which can take it’s toll on your dog’s physical and mental well-being, not to mention your home and your sanity.

Off-leash play, though, does have some inherent risks. Dogs play with their mouths, trying to grab each other to wrestle or stir up a round of chase. They play with their paws, slapping and patting each other. For the most part they are enjoying themselves, either playing or trying to get a friend to join them. This can lead to scratches, nicks, cuts and bumps, just like we used to get when we were young and played with such abandon. There is also the risk of dogs passing on germs, which is why we want to talk about our 14 day rule.

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Our 14 Day Rule

We always ask our clients whose dogs have been to another daycare, groomer, training or lodging facility, or dog park to wait at least 14 days before bringing their dogs back. This rule is so important because it protects the health of all our dogs, therefore we remind everyone when they confirm their reservation and in our newsletters.

Dogs playing together can pass on germs as well as good times. That is why we have such thorough vaccination requirements. All of the dogs in our care have current vaccinations, which protect them from the majority of communicable diseases. The ones we are mainly concerned with are respiratory conditions like canine cough (canine infectious tracheobronchitis) and canine influenza, as well as gut-related issues like diarrhea, which could be caused by various parasites and worms.

We have protocols and requirements designed to reduce those internal risks and the staff has been trained to recognize the symptoms and take the appropriate actions. All dogs that come to play with us (or come for training class or grooming) must be up to date on all required vaccines, and have a current negative fecal test result. On our end, we adhere to a strict cleaning and sanitation regimen. We use veterinary grade sanitizers throughout our facility to make sure the dogs in our care are staying in a safe environment.

However, in spite of these measures it is still possible for the dogs to pass germs to each other. No vaccines offer 100% protection and it is possible for dogs to pass on a condition when they themselves are asymptomatic. The greatest chance for disease to pass from one dog to another is when dogs are in close contact, like in a daycare setting, at a dog park, or a training class. Dogs can also be exposed to germs through objects (called fomites) like brushes or grooming tables. There is a window between when a dog was exposed to germs or bacteria and when he might be starting symptoms ( because he can be asymptomatic.) That is why we ask that everyone wait at least 14 days after visiting a groomer, another dog daycare, lodging or training facility, or a dog park before bringing your dog back to the ranch. If a dog was exposed, we will know within 14 days if he will get sick. If dogs show any symptoms of illness, they will need to stay home to rest and recover before coming back.

Even fun has a cost, both energetically and biologically - the best place for your dog to recover is at home. We ask that you don’t bring your dog if he has been sick in the last 30 days.

Please take our 14 day rule seriously. We are a member of the International Boarding and Pet Service Association and we hear from members that something respiratory is going around in other parts of the country. It is only a matter of time before it shows up here, and we can keep our dogs safe if we take precautions. It can be tempting to book your dog when he is not at his best or shortly after visiting the groomer so that you can keep your plans. Time - and money - that could have been spent on getting away may well end up being spent caring for a sick pup. We understand, truly, but by not following these guidelines you put all the dogs in our care at risk, And not just the dogs here, but the older dog - or young pup sibling at home, dogs whose immune systems need such TLC their owners don’t risk exposing them by coming to daycare. We put our trust in you to help us take the best care possible of all dogs in our AWITP family.

Please make sure you have an up to date emergency contact entered in your Gingr profile. In the unfortunate event that your dog does get sick, we will call them to pick up your dog. Dogs that have an infectious condition need to be isolated and taken to the vet.

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Reminders

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, we will continue our curbside drop off and the lobby remains closed for now. Our primary concern is keeping our staff healthy and being able to continue to operate because the dogs need us.

Like about every other business nationwide, we are having trouble finding more staff. We are able to operate and keep dogs safe, with a few modifications. We ask that everyone contact us through our reservations mailbox, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or leave a voicemail at our business number, 419-475-4101. Unless you are dropping off or picking up, please leave a voicemail. We are often outside in the yards, taking care of the dogs and not near a computer. We carve out time in the afternoon to go over all the messages. Please be aware that our responses will be through email, because we don’t have the time to make phone calls. If you contact us after 4PM, we might not get back to you till the next day, unless you are requesting a daycare or lodging reservation. If you contact us through other channels, it might take us much longer to get back to you.

If you request a reservation, and everything is up to date, look for the confirmation email from Gingr. Some of you might have to go into your Gingr account to turn the notifications on. Please make sure you get this confirmation email, if you don’t, there might not be a reservation for you. Please be aware that all dogs have to arrive by 2PM at the latest, whether it is for daycare or lodging.

When dropping of your dog or picking him up, make sure you plan enough time. There might be a number of cars in front of you. We have to make sure that all the dogs are brought into the building safely, checked in correctly and handed over to their handlers. We bring dogs out in the order of the calls that we receive. Therefore, please only call when you are in front of the building and there is no one in front of you. If you call ahead, we get the dogs out in the wrong order and it takes longer for everyone to receive their dog.

Please remove leashes and collars before we come to your car. We will put our leads on the dogs when we take them into the building. also, let us put the dogs in the car and remove our leads before you leash up your dog. Under no circumstances should dogs be unleashed in the parking lot, as this can create a dangerous situation.

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We are in the middle of the summer season now. We wish everyone a safe and happy rest of their summer!

Dirk Broersma
https://awalkintheparkoftoledo.com