frequently asked questions


what is boarding

Dog boarding is a service used for overnight stays; quite simply, your dog stays with us during the day & overnight as well. Think of it as a vacation or sleepover for your dog(s)!

why would I need to board my dog?

It’s a high-quality option to choose, rather than leaving them home alone unattended or if friends & family aren’t an option. Of course, we would first need to make sure it’s a good fit for both owners & dogs alike. Some dogs find boarding far too stressful being away from their owners in a new environment, so ensuring a proper fit is essential for both dogs & owners.

is the trial boarding night free?

 No – the trial boarding day/night is at the owners expense (see ‘rates’ page for details). All pricing/reservation details will be provided to owner prior to stay to confirm details to ensure there are no surprises!

what is a suite, & what are they used for?

Ready for a lengthy explanation? Here were go! A suite is a 6×4 room with a full-sized door. They are on the upper level of our building, which is the more “home-style” portion of our facility. This is of course a fully heated/air-conditioned space. Each suite is equipped with a camera so that we are able to see them or check on them if we want. These cameras are used as yet another tool for us to make sure our guests are happy, but they are not monitored 24/7.

We use our suites for feeding, resting & sleeping purposes. Each dog (siblings most often share suites) has their own individual suite which is set up as their very own little room. We will place whatever items the owner wants in their suite that they can safely enjoy (i.e. enrichment items, bed, blanket, comfort items, etc.). Suites are used for meals (breakfast, lunch, supper) & overnight sleeping. Meal times & bedtimes may vary day-to-day depending on scheduling, dogs, etc. — but the general routine of the day is always the same.

After eating especially, we place importance on allowing enough time for food to settle on their bellies & to avoid potential issues with bloat (particularly for larger breeds, & for dogs who are especially active). Not sure what dog bloat is? Google it. You’ll understand why we want to avoid it & why the suite-time/downtime is extra important.

Above all, we value dogs being able to enjoy spending their days having the choice to more or less do as they please & having all their needs met physically, mentally, & emotionally!  The suites are one piece of the puzzle that adds structure to our days & provide a safe, happy resting place for our guests.

With this in mind, not all dogs enjoy being in a confined space, & we would never force a dog to be in a space where they feel an unreasonable amount of stress or are scared. This is not what the suites are for. We are not a “one-size-fits-all” & we have no problem informing owners if it’s not a good fit.

for boarding, what time am I able to drop my dog off, & pick them up?

See our ‘boarding’ page for full details under the ‘hours’ tab. Both drop-off’s & pick-up’s are by reservation only, & exact dates/times are required upon booking & depend upon availability.

We try our best to stagger drop-off’s/pick-up’s of our boarding guests for many reasons; one of the main reasons is to ensure each owner has sufficient time to go over any questions or concerns they may have, time for payment, gather up their dog(s) belongings, etc. With this in mind, available times may vary depending upon availability. Please arrive at your scheduled appointment time, otherwise we may need to reschedule for a different time, or possibly another date if there’s space.

do I need to pre-book or make reservations for boarding?

Yes, it is necessary to make reservations & pre-book all boarding stays. We do not accept drop-in’s. It is best to go through our screening process with enough time before boarding, so that there is plenty of time to complete our forms, provide vet records, have us review/see if it might be a good fit — & then if so — arrange for a trial night. It’s also important to ensure there is space for your dog to stay with us for the potential date(s) you’re looking to book (availability is based on a first come, first served basis). 

how far in advance do I need to book for boarding?

We keep our numbers low (that’s what makes us extra great!), so by nature spaces can be limited & we often book to capacity (especially during peak times such as holidays, weekends, etc.). All our spaces are first-come, first-served, so unfortunately the annoying answer is “it depends!”. It’s like booking in with a hotel & we can’t “tentatively” hold spaces; we require dates with times, which is what the deposit to hold a space is based on.

Please ask/refer to our booking instructions once you’ve gone through our screening process if you’d like to book. The more time you give yourself, the better! If you’re a current client, never hesitate to check in with us to check availability at any given time — that’s what we’re here for. If you’re a potential new client, feel free to ask about dates, but again, it all depends on if we’re a good fit & if your pooch passes our screening process. As a general rule of thumb, we tend not to accept bookings any more than a year in advance to cut-down in unforeseen variables.

do you offer boarding over holidays?

Yes, we do currently offer boarding over holidays (always check with us first to be safe)!

While we have boarding guests with us on holidays, we do not offer drop-off’s or pick-up’s on holidays (please inquire if you have questions about which days!). We suggest that owners either schedule to drop-off/pick-up their pooch the day before or after a holiday, or have a trusted family member do so.

how do I book for boarding?

Once you go through our screening process, you’ll most likely have been provided with our “Booking Instructions” if/when it came/comes time for you to book a trial stay. These instructions apply to all stays & provide the full set of details you need to book with us.

To put it simply, we just need the dates & times you’d potentially like to book. We check availability for space & appointment times for drop-off & pick-up’s. Once all is decided upon, we send off our “pricing/reservation details” which outlines the non-refundable 50% deposit required to confirm your dog(s) stay, which is to be paid within 48 hours after receipt.

why do you rely so much on appointment times?

 Although we love what we do (truly we do – otherwise we wouldn’t be doing this), we do this 24/7, 365 days a year. No days off. We are are husband & wife team, which makes for a really lovely, personal experience for everyone. With this in mind, it means we have to be extra efficient, organized, & we rely each day on scheduling. We don’t have designated reception staff, so when you come & we’re ready/waiting for you — it’s because we knew you were coming & have planned our day accordingly around each schedule appointment (with our guest dogs & their meal times, exercise, playtime, trial stays, etc.).

We have our service structured in a way that works for us & our guest dogs, & we appreciate your understanding & respect for our hours, our personal property, & the extreme time commitment we provide to our guest dogs. We have a very clear view of how we want to provide our service – low numbers, proper introductions, avoiding trigger-stacking as much as possible, having time to go over questions/concerns, etc.

When we schedule things – it makes our lives much easier, yours & your dog’s. Arriving on time allows us to structure our days accordingly, ensure the safety of all our dogs, & overall have things run smoothly & efficiently as possible. Bottom-line: It works. Period. If you consistently find it a challenge to be on time – we may not be the best option for you, & a larger facility with designated reception staff may work better for you & your schedule.

will I receive updates on my dog while I'm away?

Of course. We think open & honest communication with owners is extremely important. It’s reassuring to know how your pooch is doing while away right?! We will email you updates (for longer stays, we send an update every other day, unless of course something pops up that needs your attention) so that you feel comfortable knowing how your dog is doing while you’re away. We also post pictures of our guest dogs on Facebook page ( every day, so you can always hop on to see your pooch(es). Not all owners want their dog to be posted on Facebook, so if this is something you would like to opt out of, please be sure to mention this to us.

do you offer late pick-up's/drop-off's? what about early pick-up's or drop-off's

No. We do not offer the option of either dropping-off/picking-up your dog early, or dropping-off/picking them up late for boarding outside of our hours. We suggest having a trusted friend or family member pick-up/drop-off your dog as an option if you’d prefer to have that extra time with your pooch (:

Although we truly appreciate (trust us, we’ve been there) how precious the time can be when leaving your dog, & how eager you are to see them upon your return, we do not offer extended hours for a couple important reasons. First of all, all dogs at Pooched! are our top priority. End of story. We place a lot of value on their “down-time” & the mornings/evenings are theirs, & theirs alone. It shouldn’t involve chaos, doors slamming, interruptions at mealtime, anxiety from people coming & going, or any unnecessary “stress”. Secondly, we run our business from our personal property, which means we operate this business 24/7.  We need to keep things running efficiently & adhere to certain daily routines for the dogs (& ourselves!).

if I'm late for my scheduled drop-off time, how will I be charged?

Owners are asked to arrive on time; however, being late happens due to unforeseen circumstances (flat tires, medical emergencies, etc.) If arrival occurs after a scheduled drop-off time, charges will remain based on time of reserved drop-off; unscheduled, early drop-off’s are not permitted. As you can appreciate, we have reserved specific dates & times for you & your dog(s). Our limited spaces are reserved accordingly which is why it’s important for us to have this information at time of booking.

We do not offer drop-off’s (or pick-up’s) occurring outside of our boarding hours. We will definitely try our best to accommodate for changes of times *if* we have the appointment times available within our hours, but it’s not always an option.

Please plan ahead & consider factors such as travel time to get here, time it takes to get vehicle packed, etc. If you’re an early person & find yourself with some time to spare, that’s great! While we do have a parking lot, we would prefer owners hold off to arrive here until their schedule appointment time. We know, it sounds strange. Why you ask? Because we rely on times so much, we have the dogs outside leading up to arrivals/departures for playtime, bathroom breaks, etc. to optimize our days. As you can appreciate, if we have any cars in the driveway/in our parking lot, the dogs will see/hear you & it can make them anxious, overexcited, & overall uneasy. Ever have or meet a dog that goes bonkers when they hear a doorbell or the front door close? Bottom-line: It can amp the dogs up too much, & we like to avoid the unnecessary over-arousal.


what is dog daycare?

It’s as simple as it sounds – it’s daycare, but rather than for a child, it’s for your dog-child 🙂 You drop your dog off in the morning, & pick them up in the evening.

why would I use a dog daycare?

Because it’s a great option for people who have busy lives, & still want to maintain a good, quality of life for their dog. Whether it’s to keep them company during the day, to maintain their social skills, to ensure they get plenty of activity, or for other reasons…it’s something to consider! Although it’s not well-suited for all types of personalities or energy levels, our daycare service focuses on quality over quantity. It’s about setting each dog up for success & ensuring that they have choice as to how they interact with other dogs in a comfortable & safe environment.

is the trial daycare day free?

 No – the trial daycare day is at the owners expense (see ‘rates’ page for details). 

do you offer late pick-up's/drop-off's outside of your hours? what about early pick-up's or drop-off's

No. We do not offer the option of either dropping-off/picking-up your dog early, or dropping-off/picking them up late for dog daycare outside of our current hours. We suggest having a trusted friend or family member pick-up/drop-off your dog as an option if these hours don’t coincide with your schedule. If you are unable to pick up your dog at your scheduled time& are going to be late (within our hours) – we as that you let us know & we will see what appointment times we have available. If you are going to be outside of our hours for pick-up, we will have them stay with us overnight at the owners expense.

We appreciate whole-hardheartedly how difficult it can be to work full-time & have a dog (especially for those shift-workers out there!); however, we currently are unable to not offer extended hours for a couple important reasons. First of all, all dogs at Pooched! are our top priority. End of story. We place a lot of value on their “down-time” & the mornings/evenings are theirs, & theirs alone. It shouldn’t involve chaos, doorbells, interruptions at mealtime, anxiety from people coming & going, or any unnecessary “stress”. Secondly, we run our business from our personal property, which means we operate this business 24/7. We need to keep things running efficiently & adhere to certain daily routines for the dogs (& ourselves!).

will my dog have a rest period during the day?

Yes. most definitely. Daycare shouldn’t be the only time they get exercise or stimulation, & it should simply add to enriching their lives (not be their sole source of mental or physical stimulation). The idea shouldn’t be to have a day where the goal is to have them go-go-go all day long. That’s far too much. With this in mind, a designated lunch rest period happens mid-day (the time depends on different variables with schedules, dogs, etc.) to provide them with an opportunity to rest, recharge, get some food on their belly (if provided) & to relax in a calm environment. Each dog will have their own individual crate (if crate-trained), suite or enclosure.

We use this time for feeding & resting purposes, but value dogs being able to enjoy spending their days doing as they more or less please & having their physical, mental, & emotional needs met!

do I need to pre-book or make appointments for daycare?

Yes, it is necessary to pre-book all daycare, which included both the drop-off & pick-up appointment times. We do not offer a walk-in/drop-in option.

do you need to know drop-off & pick-up times, or can I just come & go whenever?

Yes, we do require you to book drop-off & pick-up appointment times — we plan our days around comings/goings, & it works great!

are there any restrictions on the 10-day passes?

The 10-day passes expire 1 year from date of purchase, & are for daycare use only. They are non-refundable.

screening process

are the trial stays free?

 No – the trial stays are charged at our regular rates (see “rates” page for details). Because our trial daycare day(s) & trial boarding stay(s) take the same amount of time, effort, observation, etc. (actually more!) as any other stay, these are indeed done at the owners expense. 

do I need to go through your screening process before my dog can come for daycare &/or boarding?

 Yes! All dogs must undergo our screening process. This is not only for your dog, but for you as well. It allows us to review your completed forms, ask any questions we may have, address any points of concerns, & more. On the flip-side, we like you to be able to see first-hand the type of service we offer, & to address any questions or concerns you may have! It’s all about finding the perfect fit for you & your dog for daycare &/or boarding — which is why the screening process is so important & provides you the perfect opportunity to learn more! 

am I able to just pop-in at anytime to check things out?

The short answer, no. While we can very much appreciate the strategy behind surprise visits, if you have ever had even one dog in your home who gets excited when someone arrives at the door, imagine that in a multi-dog daycare/boarding environment! We like to reduce chaos as much as possible, as safety is a top priority.

There are just two of us at Pooched! running the show, & with multiple dogs to supervise & care for, drop-in’s aren’t possible for us to accommodate. Also, this is also our personal property – & we would prefer not to have unfamiliar people here without our knowledge. While we have happily mixed together our “business & personal” lives together, we also very much value our personal downtime which is always planned.

We schedule everything, because it works (very well); when we know people are coming, we adjust things accordingly to make sure all dogs are safe & happy. If you would like to learn more about us, please don’t hesitate to email or call.

when am I able to schedule a trial stay?

All trial spaces are scheduled based on availability – so please allow yourself plenty of time to go through our process. Spaces are limited & must be pre-booked. Please contact us to get started on finding a date & time that works for you!

I need to reschedule my trial stay - what do I do?

 If for some reason you are unable to attend your scheduled trial stay, we ask that you provide us with a minimum of 24 hours notice. Please email or call 902.252.3877 (if we don’t answer, please leave a voicemail) to cancel/reschedule.

how long will the screening process take?

 Although it varies, we typically require 3-5 business days (sometimes more, sometimes less) to allow us enough time to review the completed forms, vet records, & get back to you with the next step/if we think we an proceed to a trial. There’s no set amount of time — the more time you give yourself, the better. All our spaces are first-come, first-served…so by nature, it varies how much time you need to get things started, as it all depends on if we have the space & if there’s enough time beforehand to get things done. We are not a “last minute” kind of place, & booking for a trial stay can be a bit of a wait.


I see you have a brand-new facility -- did you just start this business?

No, we actually operated our dog daycare & boarding service from in our personal home starting in 2013 for 2 years, before transitioning into our new facility in June, 2015. The overwhelming success of our little business, meant we quickly outgrew our in-home service & needed more space! Long story short, after going through a lengthy process with HRM, we got permission to build a brand new facility on our personal property. We took our time & designed the building ourselves so that we could best accommodate our canine friends. We weren’t comfortable with the idea of offering our service off-site (for many different reasons), so we went big, & stayed at home! 

what is the difference between boarding & dog daycare?

Boarding is used for both day & overnight care, whereas daycare is just during regular, daytime business hours where you drop-off your dog off in the morning & pick them up same-day.

are there any health or behavioural requirements for my dog to attend Pooched!?

Yes, there are. We require that your dog has been spayed or neutered by 6 months of age, be up-to-date on all required vaccinations, be friendly with all dogs/humans, & also be on a current parasite control program. Please refer to our Boarding page &/or Welcome Package for further details.

my dog is reactive with other dogs, can I bring them to Pooched!?

The short answer – no. We truly appreciate that not all dogs do well around other dogs &/or people for various reasons; however, we are simply a dog daycare & boarding facility, & we need to ensure the safety of all our clients & their dogs. Therefore, we are unable to accept new dogs who exhibit inappropriate or aggressive behaviours, unless otherwise discussed. If your dog exhibits any aggressive or inappropriate behaviours while at Pooched!, your dog will be separated from the others, & you will be informed so that we can discuss options. Please ask, & we would be happy to suggest some local, force-free trainers who may be able to help you in this area.

my dog doesn't get along with some dogs, but does with others, can I bring them to Pooched!?

No, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way with our service. Your dog needs to be safe, non-reactive, & comfortable around all other dog(s) while at Pooched!. We focus on providing a comfortable & safe environment for both dogs & humans at all times. Simple as that. Not all dogs need to be best friends, but they all need to be able to interact without stress, tension, or reactivity issues. If your dog is unable to do that, Pooched! may not be the best fit. Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask.

will my dog get dirty playing in your outdoor area

Yes & no. Because we can’t control the weather & how it impacts our grounds outside, your dog may get dirty. Why? Because we have a “natural” space. No artificial turf here & we pride ourselves on that. Also, the more your dog loves to roll on the ground, & enjoy all that nature has to offer (i.e. grass, dirt, water)…the more they’ll smell like it! Lots of dogs love to run in water, play with other drooly dogs, roll in the mud, dig in the dirt, & lay in the grass. We believe in fresh air & outdoor play, & we don’t shy away from gloomy or mucky days outside. We do our best to send your dog home clean/dry as possible (we really do) before pick-up (yet another reason we schedule things) — but sometimes, your dog has other plans.

what do the dogs do all day?

Play. Socialize. Rest. Explore. Get belly rubs. Exercise. Sound good? It’s amazing how when dogs get together, they like entertain each other & play. As with everything, balance is key, & the occasional “recharge” or rest, is necessary before the next round of playtime.

does Pooched! accept all breeds & sizes?

Yes, we do. As long as they are friendly with all other well-rounded dogs/people, are friendly, & well-behaved, all are welcome!

my dog tends to bark a lot, will that be an issue?

Potentially, yes. For many reasons, barking -particularly unnecessary/incessant barking – is obviously irritating not only to our neighbours, but it can create anxiety amongst the other dogs as well. If it is, or becomes a concern, we will let you know & assess the situation accordingly.

do you accept puppies?

 Yes! Please ask us about when an appropriate age to bring your pup would be, as it can depend on many variables.

are the dogs separated by size?

 It depends. Often times the different play-styles & personalities matter more than the actual size of the dog, but logistically sometimes it’s necessary to separate the smaller dogs from the larger ones for safety reasons. Because of our smaller numbers, the overall experience is less overwhelming than some other facilities, & it’s not as much of an issue; however, we do occasionally separate dogs depending on the dynamics for that particular day/time if we think that it’s more beneficial or safer for the dogs (i.e. seniors & boisterous young pups).

I have a nice collar I don't want to get dirty, can you keep it clean?

 Short answer, no. If you are concerned about your dog’s collar getting dirty, we would suggest having a designated collar for the purposes of their stay at Pooched!, as dirt happens with outdoor play! Please also remove tags for the safest play.

my dog requires their fur & teeth to be brushed - can you do that?

 While we offer a very personal service here with low numbers, our days are extremely busy & there don’t seem to be enough hours in the day. We do meal prep, ongoing cleaning/sanitizing, play supervision, mealtimes, emails, phone calls, drop-off’s/pick-up’s & so much more 7 days a week. So please keep your expectations realistic for us & the time-frame that your dog is with us – if you do require very low-level grooming, please inquire, as additional charges may apply.