Who qualifies for DogWood services?

It would be lovely to be all things for all dogs, but DogWood Kennel was not created that way. Our halls are open and our yards share fences. We are designed to be a facility where healthy socialized dogs can safely interact. Dogs must be well, fully vaccinated, and socialized in order to come to DogWood. We are not qualified to deliver invasive or critical medicines such as chemotherapy drugs or insulin. We are committed to doing our best at what we are designed to do without exceeding the scope and capacity of our staff or our building.

May we tour DogWood?

Absolutely! One of our major tenets is transparency. We are proud of our building and the protocols we have developed, and we love to show off. We want you to be comfortable when you place your pet in our care. There are, however, times when we are busy with lobby activities, meal preparation, baths, or exercise and potty outings. Also, DogWood dogs know us and our regular routines, and when a stranger walks their halls, everyone gets overly excited. (We’ve learned that barking is a community event). Therefore, we are selective about times we take clients beyond our lobby, and we offer tours by appointment in order to avoid unnecessary disruptions.

May my dog tour with me?

We certainly encourage a short “Happy Visit” so that your pup can visit our building, meet some of our staff, and leave again with her family. It’s a quick way for the dog to understand that DogWood is a family-approved place. We have come to believe that this initial brief trip to our lobby and outer grounds with family can help alleviate some of the stress of being left to board in a new place. We do not allow “Happy Visit” pups to mix with our general population of pups in our boarding halls.

What vaccinations are required for any activity at DogWood?

We REQUIRE the following for all services (including “Happy Visits”:
  • Rabies
  • Distemper Combination, including Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza
  • Leptospirosis (or vet note for exception)
  • Bordetella
  • Regular Heartworm prevention
  • Regular Flea and Tick prevention
  • Canine Influenza vaccination
  • Lyme Disease vaccination Vaccinations must be administered at a licensed veterinary clinic. We do not accept breeder or home-administered vaccinations. We do accept titers in lieu of vaccinations.

At what age may my dog participate in DogWood services?

Puppies may participate in DogWood activities once they are vaccinated for Rabies (about 16 weeks of age). We do not offer night-time potty breaks, so young dogs who have not yet acquired bladder control may have potty pads placed in their rooms at night. Elderly dogs who are nearing the end of their lifespan and who are unable to walk without assistance, etc., are best cared for privately or in veterinary boarding.

What are the risks in dog communities?

Social dog interaction is not without risk, which owners acknowledge when they sign our Owner Agreement (required for all DogWood services). Communicable diseases, like Canine Cough, are always around, and can be brought into our groups by an a-symptomatic carrier. If an illness becomes apparent in our community, we will post on our Facebook pages to keep clients informed. We also typically call any owners whose pups may have been exposed to a contagious illness at DogWood.

In addition to exposure to pathogens, dogs can play roughly and accidentally injure themselves or a playmate, or it happens sometimes that a normally social and happy player is having a really bad day and may turn on a dog who didn’t understand his message to “back off.” We do our best to prevent all these things, but we cannot guarantee 100% safety. Dogs are dogs. They communicate with teeth and nails and body slams. We believe the advantages of social interaction far outweigh the risks, but that’s a decision each client must make for their pet.

How do I make a reservation?

Please call the kennel at (765) 429-4050 or email us at info@dwkennel.com to inquire about any type of reservation. We’ll ask a lot of questions and give you the same opportunity. We offer lots of options and can best find the best solution for the type of reservation you want by having a conversation with you. Once your pet is established at DogWood, a quick phone call or email can secure the next reservation.

What if your lobby hours are not convenient for me?

Our lobby hours are limited because we prefer to give our attention to the pets in our care. We have a unique way of giving dogs liberty throughout our building at various times during the day, so we limit arrivals and departures at those times. Our lobby hours also allow staff to focus on care, cleaning, laundry, dishes, food prep, etc. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. We are glad to make the occasional exception during the week and can arrange drop-off or pick-up by individual request with an appointment.

Weekends are set up differently. We don’t have Drop-off DayPlay on Saturday or Sunday because our building is full of boarding dogs for the weekend. We close our lobby at 9am on Saturday, and we don’t open it again until 4:30pm on Sunday. Our weekend staff between those hours are trained in animal care but not necessarily front reception. We can arrange (by appointment made in advance) to bring reception staff in after-hours on Saturday or before-hours on Sunday, but we let the individual requesting the exception cover the extra convenience staffing.

What is DayPlay at DogWood?

DayPlay is a phrase we coined to describe our special type of social opportunities for dogs who qualify. We require an assessment of each dog for appropriate temperament, acceptable playstyle, interest, ability, and interest. All dogs are great! Not all dogs are cut out for group play. And some like it until they reach middle age, when they start to become a bit dog-selective. And others eventually outgrow any desire for group play. So our assessment is actually ongoing as opposed to a one-time event. For approved dogs, we may have about 30 dogs a day, between those who are dropped off in the morning for one day and those who are boarding with DayPlay activities added into their stay. We limit participation to our DayPlay program because we are unwilling to over-reach the capacity of our building or our staff.

May I stay and watch my dog’s assessment?

So sorry, but… Our DayPlay assessment is not only fun, it’s fascinating! It wonderful to have introduced a new dog to 3 or 4 potential new friends, and see them light up in joy when they finally are introduced the new friend of their dreams. When it doesn’t work, it’s disappointing for us and the dog parents. But it’s not a judgement against the dog itself, it’s simply an honest assessment of what interests and pleases an individual dog. We have learned when parents stay on campus, the assessment seldom works as it should because the dog is much more focused on where mom and dad are than on an opportunity to have new experiences. So we ask parents to drop their dog off with us for a couple of hours, or for the day if that’s what they want to try, and then run some errands or go home and do some yardwork for a while.

What is DogWood’s holiday reservation policy?

During holidays and busy summer weekends, we are often booked to capacity for several weeks in advance. We limit winter holiday reservations to stays of at least a week until December 1st, when we accept shorter reservations. Likewise, we limit spring break reservations made before March 1st to stays of at least a week, and we accept shorter term requests beginning March 1st. We send confirmation emails with each service reservation. Simple inquiries about availability do not imply a space held. Each reservation must be confirmed with the owner of the pet.

What is DogWood’s cancellation policy?

DogWood has not imposed a general cancellation penalty. We understand that plans change, and we ask that clients give us as much advance notice as possible if they need to cancel a reservation. We are also sure our clients understand that we don’t overbook. We will have declined other reservations once we have reached capacity. A last-minute cancellation that cannot be filled is a loss of income we depend on to keep DogWood’s stellar staff whom you trust. If we have a client who seems to take advantage of our lack of a cancellation policy, we will simply require that individual to pay the full non-refundable rate for a next reservation stay. That’s the most equitable way we can think of to reward the clients who don’t take advantage of our generous cancellation policy.

What are DogWood’s rates?

We offer several services and options at DogWood, and you will find a sheet listing our rates on the Reservations and Forms page of this website. They are subject to change without notice. We always try to keep you informed about the rates of any arrangements you make with us, and we certainly encourage you to ask if we haven’t made that clear. We do not discount frequent or long-term stays. We believe our rates reflect our exceptional staff, our investment in our facility, and our continuing education to provide the best possible care for dogs. We value quality over quantity.

Why does DogWood require a trial stay?

DogWood requires a successful overnight trial stay for new pups well in advance of a requested longer stay. Not every dog is a great candidate for sleepovers in a social setting. Some are too anxious; others may become destructive. Some are boundary frustrated and challenge other dogs from behind their glass door. A boarder may decline to eat or refuse to take his medicines from our staff. Those concerns often don’t appear until after the first night of a sleepover. DogWood is not necessarily the right solution for long-term care for every dog. We may need to suggest other arrangements such as a less social type of boarding kennel, veterinary clinic boarding, or an arranged in-home pet-sitter.

Can I purchase a package in order to have discounted rates for DayPlay?

We offer 10 day packages to be used within the year. These are not available until we feel confident the dogs will continue to be a good fit for our community. As mentioned above, an assessment is a snapshot and not a long term guarantee, so we want to get to know a new dog before we set up long term discounted DayPlay. Our packages are not refundable or transferable if a family chooses to withdraw, so we want the family to be sure they want to continue at DogWood. The exception would be if we dismissed a dog from our program, in which case we would refund the remainder of the package.

How does DogWood handle intact males and unspayed females?

We fully understand and support the current breeder and veterinary recommendations that neutering and spaying should wait until a dog has matured. But because of the design of our building and the way we encourage dogs to be social, intact males and unspayed females in season don’t fit the way we operate. The intact adolescent male is fine and innocent, but as he matures, other neutered males respond to him and change their behaviors. When other males begin acknowledging an adolescent intact male differently, we know it’s time to discontinue services. Sometimes a subsequent neuter helps alleviate the problem. But in other instances, habits developed as an adult intact male, such as excessive marking or urinating on other dogs, don’t fully subside.

A female in season may be wanting company, but other dogs respond to her scent and hormones and change their behaviors. An unspayed female will be fertile and enticing for a couple of weeks following estrus, so with her family’s help, we are cautious about timing her opportunities to be in our building. Through the years, we’ve found these dogs can be too disruptive to our daily operations. They can cause our entire building to feel unsettled, an environment we work hard to avoid. Therefore, we are not able to accommodate adult intact males or unspayed females in or post estrus.

Do dogs become too old for DayPlay?

Dogs whose activity levels need to be curtailed because of arthritis or other physical impediments may need more rest periods, and we are certainly glad to accommodate that situation. But a dog who is restricted from running or turning sharply, etc., should not be put in a situation where those events are likely. Additionally, a dog’s sociability and tolerance changes over time, and they sometimes very naturally become less interested in joining in group play. DOG SOCIAL pups and adolescents generally love everyone and are enthusiastic about joining playgroups. DOG TOLERANT dogs enjoy being with most dogs, communicate well, and put up with younger dogs activity levels.

These calm and relaxed players often help us show the younger ones which behaviors are acceptable and which are considered rude in the dog world. DOG SELECTIVE dogs have a few favorite friends but start to get choosy about new or unfamiliar dogs. Some of our favorite long-term players age into this category. We love them and continue to welcome them to DogWood, but they are dismissed from our general groups and placed in restrictive playgroups with their friends. Sometimes we recommend specific DayPlay days so that these selective friends can continue to be in one another’s company at DogWood. A fourth category are DOG AGGRESSIVE dogs, whom we referout to for training since they are not allowed to participate in DogWood programs.

What does DogWood need in advance of my dog’s boarding stay?

We want to have complete client and dog records in our system, including address, phone, email, and emergency contact information. We ask new clients to read our Owner Agreement and our Medical Release before arrival. Those available in our lobby and on our website–www.dwkennel. Those signatures are required for all services, and we want you to know what you agree to. We also ask to have veterinary documentation of current vaccinations in advance of your arrival, a practice that keeps us from turning someone away at the last minute because vaccinations are out of date or missing.

What should I bring when my dog has a sleepover at DogWood??

We ask that families provide their pup’s regular food for a stay. Sudden changes in diet cause stomach and intestinal distress. We don’t want that, and neither do you at the end of your visit. We encourage you to bring an unlaundered t-shirt or small blanket that smells like home. You might also bring a toy or two that are safe to leave in the room without supervision. (We don’t allow rawhides, ropes, sharp items, or choking hazards.) You are also welcome to bring favorite treats from home. Labels are appreciated. We don’t guarantee to return everything in pristine condition, so be selective. When you check in, we will ask a series of questions that help us provide optimal care. We will provide food and water bowls and bedding.

How can we stay in contact?

You are welcome to call daily to check in to see how your pet is doing at DogWood. We often text updates and pictures as we have staff time, and we can stay in touch with overseas travelers by email. We want you to feel confident that your pup is enjoying her stay with us, and we want to be able to connect with you if we have any concerns. In keeping with our policy of transparency, we’ve adopted the mantra “No surprises in the lobby.” We believe in strong communication and understand you value that highly.

May we or our friends visit our dog while it is boarding at DogWood?

Because of other staff duties and priorities, we are not able to accommodate visitors during boarding stays. Our staff are busy caring for pets. Furthermore, pets become accustomed to our routines and our staff, and a visit from someone they know from their home environment can be confusing or upsetting. We believe the same about face-timing or camera connections. When a dog hears family voices but cannot locate its people, its focus becomes finding its people rather than enjoying the activities at DogWood, and we think that can be unfairly confusing.

What is meant by DogWood’s “Care, Custody, and Control”?

When pets are placed in our care, we assume responsibility, which we take very seriously. We reserve the right to make decisions about the care we offer. For instance, we might determine a pup is happier in a Glass Flat where he can watch what’s going on in our halls than he is in the more isolated suite, so we would move him. Or we might see that sibling pets are growing tired of one another, and decide to separate them. We may see an older dog growing tired of its DayPlay time and give it an extra rest. We may notice that a boarder is chewing on his blanket and pull it from his room for his safety. Those are decisions we will make in your dog’s best interest.

What if my pet needs medications?

We are glad to give simple daily meds or supplements to pets who are receptive. We don’t “pill” dogs, so they need to be willing to take their meds in pill pockets or treats you provide. We typically use cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter. Occasionally we have a guest who has a complex medical regimen. Depending on staff time involved, we may charge a medicine delivery fee in some unusual situations. We do require all prescription meds be brought to the kennel in their veterinary prescription bottle.

What if my pet needs medical attention while at DogWood?

Dogs seldom get sick or injured, but it can happen. DogWood is not a medical clinic, nor do our staff have medical training beyond some with Pet CPR and First Aid. We reserve the right to obtain medical attention for your pet if we feel it is necessary. Of course, we will reach out to you or your emergency contact, but the Medical Release you sign gives us permission to obtain professional care at from a veterinary clinic or from Purdue University, the designated emergency care hospital in Tippecanoe County. When possible, we ask that you appoint a representative such as your emergency contact to transport your pet for medical care. In an urgent situation, our staff will transport your pet.

Lobby Hours

Sleepover Tips

We will do what we can to make your pet’s stay as enjoyable as possible. You can help, too. Your pet will “read” your emotions, so it’s important you feel comfortable, even excited about your pet’s visit to DWK! To help you with this, come visit our facility and meet our staff without your pet. They will show you around and tell you about the homey environment we offer. Let us know what will make you feel better about your pet’s sleepover with us, because when you feel better, so will your pet.

Bring food and treats, or maybe a piece of clothing that smells like you and home, so that your pet isn’t dealing with more changes than necessary and has a familiar and comforting object.

  • Download registration materials from dwkennel.com or stop in and complete the paperwork prior to bringing your pet so your pet isn’t anxiously waiting in the lobby while you register.
  • Provide us with as many details as possible about your pet’s personality, likes and dislikes.
  • Bring a copy of your pet’s medical records, making sure your pet has all of the necessary doses of required immunizations, tick and flea prevention, and heart-worm prevention.
  • Make sure we know about your pet’s allergies, special needs, and bring any prescribed medication in the original prescription bottle with your pet’s name and dose on the label.
  • Take a tour with your pet prior to leaving him or her, so the DWK association has your stamp of approval.
  • Use Day Play or Day Board prior to a Sleepover so your pet knows you will be returning to pick him or her up at the end of the Sleepover.
  • Every time you are getting into your vehicle and heading to DWK, give your pet a treat and associate the trip to DWK with a yummy experience.
  • Let us know the moment you are less than thrilled with your experience at DWK.
  • And for your reassurance, let us know if you want texts and pictures of your pet while you are away.