The vast majority of dogs are traumatized by being placed in cages when away from home. A cage is equal to solitary confinement. Some kennels will call a cage a “cabin”, a “room”, a “suite”, a “stall”, or a “run”. In that scenario, dogs are kept separate from other dogs. At Dog Meadow, your dog is never confined in a solitary way, except briefly, for eating meals, since some dogs can be protective of their food.
Your dog will play with other dogs inside or outside or rest and nap in our dog living room or in a shady spot. Dogs have access to both our outdoor area and indoor dog living room all day.
The dog living room is a large living area in our house that is completely dog-proofed. It has dog beds, sofas, cozy chairs, and a play area for indoor play on rainy days. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it opens directly to the fenced meadow for play, exploration, and potty breaks. All furniture is leather for easy regular cleaning and sanitation and is wiped down multiple times per day. There is a big-screen TV and stereo system for TV and music, including surround sound to distract the dogs from thunderstorms. Music and/or TV plays during the day and helps to make the dogs feel at home. Sometimes they actually watch the shows!
In the dog living room, of course! Dogs find cozy sleeping spots on the sofas and dog beds. Often, they choose a regular favorite spot. They have each other’s company so they do not feel alone and listen to special, soft sleeping music. Dogs adjust to their surroundings and are happiest sleeping in the same area where they have had access to during the day. Dogs do not have access to the outdoors overnight, though, for safety reasons. If your dog prefers to sleep in a crate, that is an option.
Safety is a priority at Dog Meadow. Our dog living room is secured from the rest of our home, so you do not have to worry about your dog getting into or chewing things that could be a danger, which can happen when a dog stays in an unsecured home. Our meadow is securely fenced and contains safe play equipment. We have strict medical requirements for our dog guests, and we actually personally check with veterinarians that dogs are medically up-to-date. We are recommended by several veterinarians, and I have training in dog first aid. There is an animal hospital at the end of our road that knows us well and will see dogs in emergency situations.
We carefully screen all dogs that board with us to make sure that they are non-aggressive and non-alpha personalities. We carefully supervise them when they interact and play to make sure that their relationships are good.
We do not take dogs that are expert fence climbers/jumpers, that are aggressive with other dogs, nor do we take alpha dogs. Those dogs do better either in a traditional kennel environment or staying as the only dog at a pet sitter’s home. If your dog is not a good fit for our setup, we are happy to give boarding advice and refer you to other boarding situations.
Unfortunately, no. This is a social boarding environment. This would not be the best place for a dog in that case.
When dogs are not spayed or neutered, they can give off certain scents and behavior that agitates some of the other dogs, even if they too have been altered. Since peaceful coexistence is our goal, it is essential to insist on this with no exceptions.
Yes. Since the group stays together, we avoid situations where the dogs would become soiled by stepping in another's accident. We define housebroken as the ability to hold overnight from 10PM to 6AM and the ability to hold for at least 3 hours during the day.
There are a few reasons for this: Many dogs at that age are not spayed or neutered yet. Those that are may often not yet be housebroken solidly and still have frequent accidents. More importantly, young dogs may not yet understand the rules of play and can sometimes stress the other dogs by being "in their face" which can lead to conflict and negative experiences in turn for those young dogs. We recommend socializing your puppy through supervised puppy playgroups or at a daycare center that is set up to accommodate such an experience.
Every dog requires a trial day and/or a trial night. We consider your dog's social experience, breed, and age. We observe your dog in action with the group as well as their responsiveness to us and ability to adapt to the open environment. Some issues may not be immediately noticeable and can become apparent as time passes.
No worries! We will continue to accommodate your dog until the end of your visit or possibly transport your dog to another facility or person,
and may or may not recommend a future visit.
You can come and visit the outside area by appointment in addition to bringing your dog for a meet-and-greet. We cannot have indoor visits, since we do not cage our dog guests, and they may jump on visitors and cause liability issues. However, we have many photos on our website and social media of the indoors.
In order to keep a peaceful environment for our guests, we bring all the dogs inside to wait to avoid situations where there is group barking, which can happen when dogs see the arrival of a car dropping off or picking up a dog. When you visit with a pickup or drop-off, you are putting playtime on hold, which we can minimize by knowing the exact time of your arrival and plan accordingly.
Absolutely! Our small dogs blend in just fine. We have had dogs as small as 10 pounds and dogs as large as 100 pounds, and they all get along together and form a temporary “pack” while they are here. We find that the small dogs enjoy hanging out with the big dogs and do not want to be separated. Sometimes we have guests that don’t like to play too much, and they enjoy finding a cozy spot to lie down and watch the action. Other dogs sense this and respect it.
We only take a small number of dogs per day, so yes, your dog will get a lot of scratches, pats, and rubs!
Absolutely! We’ve done it all! You will be asked to provide the necessary meals and medications if needed along with written instructions.
Absolutely not! Ticks are a fact of life in the Hudson Valley region, and we advise that your dog be on a tick preventative. However, spraying our grounds for ticks would expose our guests and the environment to carcinogens and otherwise harmful chemicals, and we don’t do it. The dogs can safely nibble on our grass—no worries!
If your dog plays hard while here, yes, he may get dirty! If your dog gets very messy, we will give him a bath, free of charge, as needed. We have a convenient dog bathing sink adjacent to our dog living room. If your dog stays for a week, he gets a free bath before going home, as well. You can request a bath anytime for a fee.
You can view photos of your dog at Dog Meadow all day on our social media feeds. We find that a picture is worth a thousand words. Furthermore, we will let you know right away if there are issues or questions that we have.
If your dog knows a command and is working on it, we will use the command throughout the day and practice it. Sometimes, your dog may learn a new command that another dog is practicing. They enjoy practicing commands together. However, we are not a training facility. For this, we recommend that you sign up your dog at a separate location.
No, not really. It is helpful if your dog will come when called and also knows the command wait or stay, but this is not necessary. Most dogs that stay with us, happily come in together at bedtime or feeding time when we call them, but if your dog does not come when called within reason, he may have to have a light line that he trails on the ground when in the meadow so we can bring him in until he learns to follow suit with the others. We have learned that a 2 -acre sprint around the meadow at bedtime or feeding time to catch a dog that doesn't want to come in is very inconvenient—especially in bad weather or when it is getting dark, and heaven forbid, in an emergency.
There’s a lot of fun that goes on at Dog Meadow, but safety is our number one concern. Every dog may dig a little bit now and then, but some dogs are passionate diggers and have not been discouraged from the habit. When this happens, large holes appear in a matter of seconds and create a danger for running dogs and our staff.
Photography Policy - Upon entering Dog Meadow or attending any of our special events, you grant Dog Meadow at Millbrook and its employees, agents, and assigns the right to photograph your dependent(s) and pets for use in Dog Meadow print, electronic, and digital media and publications.
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