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Madison Dog Blog

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By Doghaus University, Mar 27 2017 07:34PM

How to Spot and Avoid Illegal Dog Daycare Facilities

Dog daycare facilities run the gamut between specialized businesses that watch individual dogs in their own home to massive businesses that watch over 200 dogs at a time to service a whole city. While the fact the dog daycare businesses run such a huge spectrum of service is great for the customer, but because the business comes in so many different forms, it can be easy to overlook a dog daycare business that isn’t actually a business.

When it comes to starting up a dog daycare business, the barrier for entry is extremely low and enforcement even lower. This means that as long as you get a business license, anyone can open up shop, even people who have no more business around dogs than in an operating room performing surgery. While not all small level dog daycare facilities are bad, typically even people who love the pups left in their care lack training in dog handling, canine behavior, and off-leash play, which are all important when you care for dogs as a business.

However, if you are weary of both big dog daycare businesses, but still want to avoid illegal ones, there are a few red flags that you can look out for. By asking these three questions, you can quickly sort out if a business is both legit and cares about dogs more than money.

Is the Business Properly Zoned?

There is nothing wrong with choosing a residential dog daycare if it is a small operation. However, there is no municipality that would allow a dog kennel to run in a purely residential zone. So if you find a large number of dogs, or worse a large number of cages, that is a huge red flag that there is something not quite above-board about that business. However, as a customer, you also have the right to ask what permits they have secured, how their property is zoned, and how often it is inspected. A proper business will be able to present all business licenses and inspection reports when they are doing something as questionable as running a business out of their home.

Do They Have Proper Care Licenses?

Not only should a dog daycare facility have a business license that is prominently displayed, but most areas require dog daycare facilities to have some sort of permit with local Animal Control organizations. These operational licenses require the business to have an application improved, the location inspected, and they will have to pay a regular fee to maintain the license. It is very rare that a city will not require such a license, so failure to present them is an indication of poor quality.

Is the Individual Properly Trained?

This is where it is up to you to ask the important questions and demonstrate your knowledge. Ask it they know how to manage dog play time as a group, ask if the animals are separated by size and/or energy level. If they have breed restrictions, what are they and why do they have them? Ask them how they handle dog altercations. These are the people who you are handing over care of your dog to. Even if you wouldn’t know how to answer those questions, they definitely should if they have had any kind of training.

Finding a trustworthy dog daycare can be absolutely exhausting in some cities, but it you are lucky enough to live in Madison, WI, then you don’t have to worry about it, because Dog Haus University is the city’s most trusted dog daycare and pet sitting facility. With a wide variety of dog sitting and daycare plans available, contact us today to learn more about we can cater service to your needs.

By Doghaus University, Mar 14 2017 09:53PM

Why NAPPS Certification Is A Crucial Aspect To Look For In Pet Sitters

Choosing a doggy daycare center can often seem like a crap shoot. While most are filled with very friendly dog-loving individuals, a few won't be so great. That's why it is important to find a way to gauge the quality of a doggy daycare center quickly and easily.

The best way to do this is to find out whether a center has a NAAPS certification and hires NAAPS-certified employees. This gives you a quick understanding of the training they've gone through and lets you know that they are serious about dog safety and health and are true dog lovers.

What Is This Certification?

NAPPS is a group that helps train and certify pet sitters and daycare specialists to ensure that only the best, most loving, and skilled are working. They offer a certification program that utilizes a broad and in-depth training method that immerses potential pet sitters in a unique and heavy-hitting environment.

For example, certified pet sitters will learn how to:

Feed dogs healthy food at their centers

Promote exercise and healthy behavior in dogs

Manage bad behaviors in a constructive way

Show dogs love in a friendly and happy way

Keep pups safe in a sitting center

Perform first aid on a sick or injured dog

Balance the business side of daycare center

Most of all, NAAPS certification shows that your doggy daycare specialist is very serious about their business and their love of dogs. It indicates a professional who has learned how to best take care of a dog and who is willing to go the extra step to ensure your puppy is safe and happy at their center.

Other Benefits NAPPA-Certified Daycare Centers Offer Dog Owners

A NAAPS certification offers dog owners the peace of mind knowing that their dog is taken care of by people who have been trained. Doggy daycare requires very little training and many centers open up without doing proper certification.

Some cynical center owners without certification may think that doggy daycare is simply an easy way to make money. However, even if they are well-meaning in their intentions and truly want to offer a great doggy daycare experience, non-certified care center owners and their workers will lack certain skills that keeps a puppy safe.

Working with a NAAPS-certified doggy daycare center ensures that the care experts will fully understand your dog and how to care for them. They will know how to perform proper first aid, will know how to gently correct bad behaviors, and can feed them only the healthiest and most beneficial food.

Gauging The Certification of a Sitter

When visiting a doggy daycare or pet sitting center, talk to the manager or whoever else is in charge and ask them about their NAAPS certification. A good center won't hesitate to show you their certification right away, as they know how important it is to many dog owners.

If they stall or refuse to show you their certification credentials, there's a good chance that they never received it. The reasons for this are complex, but are usually based on money, as certification classes are not cheap. Thankfully, it is possible that many centers even have their certification hanging up on the wall.

Make sure to look for these certificates in the center and check their expiration date. They should be up-to-date to ensure the highest quality care. While an expired certification isn't a huge deal, it does indicate a carelessness that could translate to poorer doggy care.

If you are interested in a NAAPS-certified doggy daycare experience, please don't hesitate to contact us today. We offer your pup a wide range of benefits, including certification, healthy living tips, a comfortable place to stay while you're at work, and much more.

By Doghaus University, Mar 14 2017 09:50PM

Helping Your Dog Sitter Earn Your Pup's Respect

Dog sitters are a great way to create a friendly and comfortable environment for your dog when you leave town. However dog sitters often run into problems with some dogs, mostly because the dogs don't respect them.

Helping your dog sitter earn your pup's respect requires walking them through these steps and helping your dog understand the importance of their new pack mate.

The Important Of Earning A Dog's Respect When Dog Sitting

Your dog may love their pet sitter and look at them as an important and valued member of their pack. However, if they don't respect them it will be very hard for your sitter to get them to behave.

Dogs are pack animals and they need an alpha leader who they respect and who tells them what to do and how to behave. This respect isn't given out lightly and it must be earned.

As a result, it is important for your dog sitter to be established early as an alpha or controlling member of the pack. They don't necessarily have to be the major alpha or the primary alpha, but just hire on the social ladder than your dog.

Respect Is Earned By Being Firm

Many homeowners and even dog sitters mistake “respect” with fear. Your dog may be afraid of a very strict and demanding pet sitter, but they won't respect them. This means they won't enjoy their time with the sitter and will instead dread being around them.

Unfortunately this also means that they aren't behaving out of respect for the sitter, but because they're afraid of what might seem like unpredictable behaviors from the sitter. Dogs respect a leader who is firm, but fair, someone who treats them with respect and affection.

Alphas in a wolf pack don't treat their pack horribly. They work hard to provide direction for their pack in order to create a stable environment in which they have food, protection, and affection. Creating this situation with your dog sitter is crucial.

Praise Is So Important

Good dog sitters constantly praise the dogs in their care to show them affection and to build a trusting relationship. All dogs must be touched, hugged, petted, and embraced with enthusiasm in order to show respect to them.

This is because an alpha dog is energetic and will show this kind of affection in a pack environment. As a result, it is important for a pet sitter and you to constantly show praise to the dog when they're good and to know how to punish them (and show affection after) when they are not good.

Punishments Must Be Fair And Quickly Given

Dogs are smart and they like to test the limits of their leader's authority. Introducing a dog sitter to this environment will be a challenge and may cause the pup to work hard to see what bad behaviors they can get away with. As a result, bad behavior must be quickly punished, but in a fair way.

Dogs should never be hit, as this creates fear. Instead they can be verbally reprimanded and confronted with their bad behavior (such as chewed furniture). Hands-on punishment could be as simple as a collar shake or an enforced sit down. This will grab the dog's attention without hurting them and force them to pay attention to the dog sitter.

After they are reprimanded and punished, affection must be shown to let them know they are still a respected member of the pack. Grudges are not held in the dog world, so moving on immediately is important.

By following these steps with your misbehaving canine, you can help them learn to not only respect their dog sitter, but love them. This will streamline the process and make everything easier for everyone involved. Please contact us if you need help finding a good dog sitter near you.

By Doghaus University, Feb 27 2017 10:05PM

6 Tips to Help You Pick The Perfect Pet Day Care

Just as no parent would feel comfortable leaving their kids with a complete stranger or a baby-sitter that they hardly knew, pet parents wouldn't want to leave their adorable cat, dog, or other animal without knowing some important information first. If you are in need of a pet sitter and want to make sure that you are making the right choice, there are certain things you can do to rest assured knowing that you made the best decision. In this post, we will uncover six tips that will help you pick the perfect pet day care.

Check Out Their Online Presence: Provided that the pet day care center has an online presence (as they should), do a little internet research. Don't just check out their website, look at their Facebook page and Google their business name. You can usually find anything that you want to know about a business simply by looking them up online. If their online presence seems reputable, then you can make plans to get in touch with them.

Get References: Every good business, including animal day care centers, should have positive reviews readily available for potential clients to view. Before leaving your furry friend with anyone, check out what others have to say by reading testimonials on their website, looking on Yelp, and reading reviews on Facebook. If there isn't anything available online, don't be afraid to ask for some references in-person.

Check Out The Facilities: Visit the animal day care center in-person to tour the facilities before ultimately deciding whether or not you will leave your pet there. Make observations during your time at the center. Is the place clean and well-organized? Or is it dirty and chaotic? Do the other animals there seem to be happy and well-off? What's the staff to animal ratio? Do the staff members seem trained, knowledgeable, friendly, and professional? Make a mental checklist and determine whether or not the facility meets your expectations.

Ask Questions: Obviously you want to get answers to your questions, but you also want to see how staff members or managers handle your questions. Any reputable animal day care center will have no qualms about the questions you ask and will happily supply you with the answers. If any day care center doesn't provide you with the information you are seeking, it's a red flag. Some questions you should ask before leaving your pet with anyone include, "how long have you been operating?", "what are your qualifications and the qualifications of the staff?", "how do you handle emergencies?", and "what's the daily routine like for the staff members and the animals?"

Observe Body Language: How the animals at the facility behave will say a lot about the facility itself. Do the majority of the animals seem content and relaxed? Or do they look skittish and nervous? If the animals that are currently staying at the day care center don't seem happy, there is a good chance that your pet won't be happy there either. You'll also want to pay attention to the way staff members interact with the pets. Are they confident, but kind with them? Or does the relationship seem off? Pay attention to the little details to get important answers.

Want more advice on picking the best pet day care for your lovable, furry friend? Just contact us today! Our team is dedicated to helping you find the perfect location for your pet whether you are in need of dog grooming, pet sitting, day care, or any other pet services. Don't hesitate to inquire about more information or ask any questions that come to mind.

By Doghaus University, Feb 27 2017 10:03PM

How to Tell if Your Dog Needs Professional Pet Grooming

You may be too busy with everyday chores and work, or you might feel a bit frazzled at the thought of grooming your pet. The brushes, nail clips, and bathing scenarios can seem a bit daunting. Do you continue to make an effort on occasion, or do you opt for professional pet grooming services? Pet grooming can save you from some stress and save some time.

Here's how to tell if your dog needs to see the professionals:

Don't have time or energy

Grooming a pet takes time and some focused effort. Do you find yourself exhausted by the idea of showering off your dog while he squirms and tries to run away? Or, do you find yourself getting frustrated when trying to clip your dog's nails? While practice and positive attention can help, it might be time to go to the experts. That way, you don't have to dry off the entire bathroom after Fido shakes off a ton of water all over the walls.

Too difficult

Sometimes dogs develop phobias to dog grooming routines. This may happen because your dog had a bad experience (did his nail bleed one time when you clipped them?). It's common for dogs to be hesitant to get their teeth brushed or their fur brushed if it felt unpleasant at one time. While you may make the effort to make the dog grooming experience more enjoyable, inviting a neutral third-party to intervene and groom your dog could be a good idea.

Special occasions

If you enjoy showing off your pooch at dog shows, or you have guests coming over, you may want to have your dog professionally groomed. That way, your pet's fur coat can gleam and look fresh when greeting friends or family. Don't be surprised by all the complements your pet gets after a professional grooming session!

Photo ops

For holiday cards and professional photo opportunities, a professionally groomed dog can look extra clean and well-trimmed. You'll be surprised by how handsome or gorgeous your dog looks after a high-quality grooming session. You'll be eager to share photos on social media and send professionally printed photos to friends of your freshly manicured and trimmed pet.

Regular maintenance

Some dogs are easier to groom than others. If your dog is constantly getting fur over the eyes or has nails that are especially difficult to clip, professional grooming can help. Some dogs have so much fur it would be a daunting task to try to groom it on one's own. Getting professional grooming for your dog helps make the process safe and enjoyable, especially when trimming fur around difficult areas.


Keeping your dog's fur well-trimmed and/or brushed can help keep the fur from ending up all over the house. If you or a family member suffers from allergies, a routinely groomed dog may help alleviate these symptoms. Talk to your local groomers about how to reduce shedding and potential allergens from getting everywhere.


If your dog loves to take a dip in the river and roll around at the dog park, professional dog cleaning can get your dog back to squeaky clean condition. Allow professional groomers to bathe your dog and give your dog top-notch treatment to get the mud and grime off. This helps keep the dirt from getting all over your home, and ensures that your pet smells much more pleasant.

Habits and lifestyle

If you regularly take your pet on outdoor adventures, or you simply prefer your pet to be well-maintained on a regular basis, professional grooming is a great option. Just drop off your pet at a grooming center and let the professionals do the dirty work. You can enjoy having a clean pet at home as often as you want without the stress of dealing with the details. You'll also want to walk your pup around the neighborhood with pride and show off the meticulous grooming.

If you would like more information about pet grooming services, contact us.

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