In order to do our part to help prevent the transmission of Covid-19/Corona Virus in our community, we are implementing the following safety protocols, effective immediately. These protocols are meant to address the very real risk of human-human (even asymptomatic) transmission. It is important to note that, at this time, there is no evidence that dogs are in danger of transmitting this virus to each other. If we implement good safety practices with each other, there is no reason our dogs can not continue to enjoy the company of their playmates at daycare or while boarding.
SOCIAL DISTANCING OUTDOORS We will be doing the majority of our human client interactions outdoors in the fenced area just inside our front gate. Because our foyer is fairly narrow, we will be better able to practice recommended social distancing guidelines outdoors. Please remember to give each other plenty of room and time to transition the dogs. We don’t want the dogs (or our clients!) to feel a sense of urgency at any time while at The Grinning Dog. We will cease (and miss!) the ritual of shaking hands in greeting.
SANITATION Disinfection of our facility, doors, latches, gates and tools will increase in frequency and always occur before and after pickup/drop off times. In addition to hand washing throughout the day, our staff will wash their hands upon arrival for work and in preparation for pickup and drop off. Staff are practicing proper respiratory etiquette (i.e. elbow/tissue sneezing and coughing), not only around each other and our clients, but also with your dogs. Much as it pains us, we will avoid kissing and hugging your dogs, substituting instead, fun and activities that keep us connected and smiling.
AT DROP OFF We are using a two gate system. We will greet you at the front gate and open it for you. We will invite you and your dog to step into one of our secure, fenced enclosures. We will then step back and give you the opportunity to remove your dogs’ collars, harnesses, slip leads and take them with you when you step back out. Please allow us to handle all the gates and latches whenever possible. Your dog can then enter into the kennel to join his/her friends through the dog doors at the other end of the enclosure. All with no need for you to touch any part of our facility and the ability to adhere to safe social distances.
During this period, it may be easiest to craft a smooth transition for your dogs if you remove harnesses, flea collars, and halters in the car (or even at home) and bring your dog in wearing just its collar and leash. Using a slip lead of your own would be even more ideal. We are happy to provide you one to keep and teach you how to use it if you aren’t already familiar with them.
It is important that you leave your dog’s normal ID collar in your car so it is available for safe transport after pick up. If pickup and drop off will be by different family members and you don't have two sets of collars and leads, we are happy to have you clip your lead to our fence for retrieval at pickup.
DAYCARE - LUNCHES/SNACKS If your dog eats a midday meal, please avoid bringing a single serving each day and please do provide us with one month’s worth in a plastic ZipLock which we will label and store here. We will alert you when it begins to run low.
BOARDING DOGS - BELONGINGS/FOOD/MEDS Boarding dog belongings, food and medications should be limited to essentials and be well labeled. During this period we will not be accepting bedding and toys from home. We have plenty of (clean!) toys on hand. We have just purchased 30 comfy (and bleach-able) dog beds for your dog’s comfort. We do believe that a first-timer often appreciates a “lovey” comfort object that smells like home, but we ask that you limit it to a t-shirt or pillow case labeled and arriving in a plastic zip loc. We will place it on the cozy beds we provide.
AT PICKUP We are using a two gate system at pickup as well. We will greet you, again, at the front gate. Please allow us to handle all the gates and latches whenever possible. You will greet your dog in one of the securely, fenced enclosures. We will stay outside the enclosure. Have your leash/collar or slip lead ready and feel free to take your time, enjoy some happy kisses and get your pup “dressed”. If your dog has been boarding we will also bring out their belongings. We will provide you the time and space to “dress” your dog, but, given their likely reunion excitement, you may find it easiest to walk them out with a Slip lead and then put on collars, harnesses, etc in the car where they are often calmer. Additional safety tip - avoid pulling out of our driveway until your dog is wearing its normal ID collar again.
PAYMENT via OWNER PORTAL In order to further reduce potential disease transmission, it has been recommended that we conduct as many of our financial transactions virtually via the Owner Portal. Most of you already have a credit card securely stored on your accounts - we will check you out and chargeyour card as usual. If you prefer not to add your Credit card to your account, you can do a one time payment/prepayment with your card as well on the owner Portal. Clients who would rather not use the Owner Portal and prefer using cash/checks might consider front loading their accounts in advance with a prepayment for several sessions of daycare. We are happy to help with a solution that fits your needs and still protects staff from repeated exposure. If you have not yet accessed your account via the Owner Portal and need your sign in credentials, please shoot us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get those right out to you.
IN CASE OF ILLNESS Staff: If one of our staff becomes ill, we will self quarantine the entire staff for a minimum of two weeks, during which we will close to all. Dogs that are already here being boarded will be cared for as usual, with the most current cautionary measures in place for pickup. Daycare clients will be notified immediately. Regular employees will continue be paid their normal wages if quarantine or illness forces them to stay out of work.
Clients: If you or a member of your household becomes ill, please include your dog in your quarantine. In an abundance of caution, we will not accept dogs who live in household with active COVID-19 illness. They are welcome to join us as soon as all the humans are in the clear. We subscribe to the maxim “prepare for the worst and hope for the best”. We remain optimistic that, with robust community involvement, we will weather this storm together and come out the other side safely and ready for a summer of fun for dogs. Let us know if you have any further suggestions or questions about these protocols.
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.