Big Benefits of Small-dog Day Care

by Jennifer Viegas
View Biography

For small dogs like these and their discriminating owners, only the most specialized care will do.

To meet their needs, a number of day care and boarding facilities exclusive to tiny dogs have emerged in recent years. They've proven to be a triple-win for the owners of these businesses, their clients and small dogs everywhere.

Small-dog Specialists
Carolyn Vinci had to board her 9-pound Maltese/Yorkie mix, Cleo. Although she conducted research before placing Cleo in a local kennel, Vinci was horrified when the little dog came home thin and scared. "I could not find an appropriate place to board her, so I decided to create my own business," said Vinci, who now runs Tiny Dog Daycare and Overnight Boarding out of her home in Bohemia, N.Y.

Lori Davis of Tiny Dog Boarding in New York City started her business several years ago after a similar problem. "I called a commercial boarding place in the city that supposedly has luxury suites for dogs and asked them if they could provide appropriate care for my three dogs: Taylee, Teangee and Teaka," says Davis. "I mentioned their eyes must be cleaned, one needs allergy shots, another will lick her feet all of the time if she doesn't have her booties and so on. I was fully expecting the facility to say, 'Yes, we can do that, but it will cost you extra money.' Instead, they told me I should board my dogs with a veterinarian." It wasn't long afterward that Davis created her business.

Big Benefits for Small Dogs

Specialized care at small-dog boarding places may include:

  • Cage-Free Surroundings: "Nobody is caged here," Vinci says. "Our dogs lounge on comfy beds and couches in our home. They can play in our fenced in yard."
  • Controlled Feedings and Medication: Most small-dog experts ask that owners bring the pet's regular food and medication. Consistency is key to comfort.
  • Extra Security: Tiny dogs can squeeze through chain-link fences and other barriers that can hold back larger dogs. Small-dog boarders take precautions to ensure their charges stay safe and secure.
  • Luxury Additions: Julie Clemen, who runs Little Paws Boarding in Olympia, Wash., has heated floors in her facility. "Chihuahuas often get cold feet," she explains.

Questions to Ask
Before you take your dog to any day care or boarding facility, do your research. Word-of-mouth recommendations are always best, but consider asking these questions:

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