Safe, calm and quiet overnight care. Caretakers live on site. Outdoor play and access throughout the day....
Is this a fit for my dog?
We are a rather unconventional boarding facility in that we allow dogs to play together, and when appropriate, swim and hike off leash on our trails. They enjoy contact with our children and visitors. This is an ideal scenario for some dogs and not at all safe or well suited for others. The dogs that do best here are, generally, dogs that are social with other dogs, are reliable off leash (once they know us!), can rest quietly during down time and are trustworthy with both adults and children. If you think your dog might benefit from The Grinning Dog culture consider a visit and a familiarization program. Come visit.... We begin each new relationship by inviting you up for a visit with your dog so that you can get a sense of the place. We can decide together if The Grinning Dog is a good, safe fit. Most people then leave their dogs for half an hour or so (some opt to pay for an afternoon of Daycare) while they run errands or go have a cup of coffee. This allows the dog to have a short snippet of time here, not enough to fret, and to see that - Lo and Behold - their owners DO come back for them. Dogs specialize in attachment. The hardest part about being boarded is being away from their families with no other attachments in place. A program of gradual familiarization can help prepare them for an enjoyable boarding experience.
Familiarize.... We believe that raising and training any dog should consist of teaching life skills beyond the usual Sit, Lie Down and Heel. Self-confidence while separated from owners is one such essential skill. Many dogs have no practice at this until, suddenly, one day they must be left and are sometimes quite traumatized. We specialize in giving puppies a solid foundation in this area. New clients, in anticipation of a longer trip away, will often bring their dogs for a few days of Daycare or an Overnight. This helps to ensure that the dog already has some attachments in place and feels a part of the group when the big separation comes. Please take advantage of the opportunity to familiarize your dog with our kennel well before there’s a need to be gone for a longer stretch. Your dog will thank you for it.
Bring anything that you think will add to your dog's sense of comfort and security, but nothing valuable or irreplaceable.
It's best to stick with tried and true foods and snacks to minimize gastric upset.
Write out anything you think we should know about your dog. Too much information is better than too little!
Kibble: should arrive in a large Zip-Loc type bag. Label the bag with a permanent marker to include your dog's name, feeding amount and frequency. Please pack enough for several extra feedings in case your return is delayed.
Cans: should arrive labeled and unopened. We do have refrigeration available for cans we open here.
Raw food: While we appreciate the potential health benefits of feeding homemade diets and raw bones, we prefer to limit our staff's handling of raw meat and bones. Therefore, unless absolutely necessary, please save raw foods and bones for home. If raw feeding is necessary, it must arrive packed in individual, labelled, leak proof, meal sized portions. We are able to freeze and refrigerate as required.
Treats, cookies, chewies: bring along any treats that your dog is used to (this isn't the time to introduce novelty to their diets!). Some dogs won't spend much time on their normal chew toys because they are so distracted by their playmates.
Please label medication with the dog's name, name of medication and dosing instructions. Include several extra doses in case of pick up delay.
Dog beds, blankets and "loveys": While we have plenty of clean bedding here, most dogs take great comfort from curling up at night with something that smells like home. This could include a worn t-shirt, an old pillowcase you've slept on, or even their own bed/blanket. Please don't bring anything of value. Sometimes a dog that never chews a bed a bed will when in a new environment and we aren't able to replace bedding brought from home.
Vaccines Current Rabies, Distemper, Parvovirus and Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines required. Fecal exams Required for each new client and then every six months thereafter. Please make sure we have updated veterinary information emailed from your vet before the first stay with us.
Please note: Some vaccines (Bordetella in particular) are not always effective against all varieties of the virus. We are vigilant about both the health of our clients and the cleanliness of our facility, but much like children in a school setting, your dogs' risk of exposure to whatever is "going around" is increased in any "high density" social environment.We are not liable for vaccine failure.
RATES Overnight: $55 per dog/per night (check out by 9:30 am) . Includes daycare each day. Additional Daycare: $40 (if needed to extend checkout until evening hours)
PICK-UP/DROP-OFF HOURS Regular hours keep the dogs calmer Mo - Sat: 8-9:30 and 4:30-6:00 pm Sunday : 5-6 pm ONLY
HOLIDAY CLOSURES We are here caring for the dogs, but closed to humans! Christmas Day New Years Day July 4th Thanksgiving Day
Reservations may be canceled prior to 24 hours before the scheduled stay. Cancellations made inside this 24 hour window will result in an additional 1 day per dog being charged to the owner on the next stay. Cancellations made during this window on stays that are over a holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.) will incur a 2 day additional charge.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Alison and her staff provided exceptional care to not only my dog but also to me..." A. B.
"The best. Alison and her staff are terrific. My dog, Rem, hadn't spent any time boarded before we got here and he loved it there. I don't know how the dogs are all so calm, but they are. I'm lucky this is near by me. " Betsy N.
"We miss him, but we never worry about him when he's there. Wonderfully competent crew. Beautiful surroundings." Bruce K.
250 Southampton Rd. Westhampton, Ma. 01027 USA 413 527-3652