Our FAQs is a good place to start when you are comparing dog-care facilities. Whether you are interested in day care or overnight, the questions and answers below should help you decide on the things that are important to you (and your dog). If you don't have time to read all of the FAQs, then jump down to Camp Canine Snapshot for a quick overview of Camp Canine. You can use the bullet points to form a list of questions to ask other facilities when trying to decide on a best place for your best friend.
What is Camp Canine?
Camp Canine is a unique, totally interactive day camp and overnight camp facility. Where interactive does not just apply to dogs socializing with one another, but also to the staff's interaction with and knowledge of each camper.
Are there dog-care standards that Camp Canine follows?
Camp Canine follows best practices for dog-care facilities and voluntarily subscribes to the standards set by the North Carolina Agriculture department. In addition, we set standards for personnel qualifications and training and monitor all of our policies very closely.
What does a Camp Counselor do at Camp Canine?
Our Camp Counselors primary responsibility is care and management of our guests. This includes full interaction, monitoring, and maintenance of every dog on the premises. Our staff members are all cross-trained so that we can provide the best care for our guests at all times. No one at Camp Canine is ever assigned a duty that they are not qualified or trained to perform.
How does Camp Canine compare to other similar facilities?
It is not fair to compare other facilities to Camp Canine because Camp Canine sets and performs to a higher set of standards. Our customers are the canine guests, and we have tailored our programs to foster a healthy environment for the guests. Our full-time staff, large outdoor play areas, indoor (at-will) play and rest areas, and the qualifications of our staff members set us apart from other places. For more information, read our Apples to Oranges article.
Does Camp Canine have a web cam so I can watch my dog during the day?
No. We thought about it, but decided that web cams are for dog lovers and not for dogs. This would be counter to our goal of working for our customer-the dog. In addition, logistically it would be a fruitless venture since the dogs have free run of the large outdoor play areas and visit the indoor play and rest areas as their mood dictates. For you to see your dog over the internet, truthfully, the dog would have to wear a web cam! But, you are more than welcome to stop by the lobby and watch your dog interact on our 16 cameras that are broadcast in the front area.
What's the difference between a customer and a member?
Camp Canine only has members. In short, if accepted you become a member. Extended programs are optional to all members. To read how to become a member, visit our Registration Requirements page.
If I become a member, can I drop my dog off without a reservation?
No. Unreserved drop off is not a benefit of membership. Because we carefully assign dogs and counselors to groups each day to maximize the doggie fun and minimize the doggie stress, we do not accept drop offs for daycare. Similarly, we prepare for each overnight guest in advance to ensure the proper environment. So, we do not accept unreserved overnight guests either.
What type of crates are used for overnight?
For a variety of reasons, Camp Canine does not use crates. In general, when a large number of dogs are crated in an area, the stress level of the dogs rises. Dogs can see and 'feel' the energy of each other and as one dog 'ramps up' the other dogs tend to follow. Before long, you have a room filled with stressed canines. Camp Canine houses all overnight guests in private rooms or suites. The exception is when a parent brings a crate and requests it to be put in the room they are assigned.
Can you accommodate 'special needs' dogs?
In general, the answer is 'yes' for both daycare and overnight stays. More specifically, however, we evaluate each case individually. If you have a special needs pup, we invite you to contact us directly to discuss the particulars. If we are unable to accommodate your camper, we may be able to recommend an alternative. Special needs dogs are not automatically denied we need to evaluate to help. We have many special needs members currently and are proud of having been able to successfully include dogs who are blind, deaf, geriatric and physically challenged in our daycare population. They too enjoy camp and the social atmosphere.
My dog does not like other dogs; can I still bring him for daycare exercise?
Camp Canine was established to foster dog-dog relationships. Unlike other doggie daycare facilities, (1) we are not a dog sitting business and (2) the foundation of Camp Canine is based on interaction. If your dog is totally antisocial, then we would recommend a daycare facility whose common practice is to keep dogs separate. For exercise, however, you might want to join a program that allows you and your dog to participate in structured activities designed for owner-dog interaction and exercise.
Do you provide services other than day care and overnight?
At the request of our customers, we offer baths and nail trims for dogs who are staying with us for the day or overnight. We can provide this if they are not staying with an appointment, please call to schedule this. Visit our Extra Services area for additional information.
Do you have outdoor play areas?
Yes. We have over 1.5 acres of outdoor area, divided into grass, rock, covered pavilion, open area, and concrete. Our outdoor space has something to appeal to every dog
At what time and for how long do the daycare dogs come inside for naps or breaks?
Our routine does not include rounding up the dogs and crating them for a forced break. Dogs are free to play when they want, rest when they want, and nap when they want--all under the supervision of camp counselors. The environment at Camp Canine mirrors that of a home environment where dogs play and then rest as they see fit. It is the healthiest environment and one that is familiar to the dogs. This helps to maintain pack balance, and it is not uncommon to see a group of dogs napping in a puppy pile near midday.
How do you prevent dog fights from occurring?
Intervention is the key to preventing a would-be dog fight. Our counselors and staff are all trained to understand dog behavior and to read body language. Often, a fight is 'telecast' before it is a real fight. In those instances, our counselors see the subtle change in behavior and intervene before it becomes a fight. In those instances where a fight does occur, our counselors are trained to intervene, once again, and break up the fight while protecting the campers. Again, training and Camp Canine policies minimize fights and fight intensity.
What happens if my dog gets injured while in your care?
True injuries are rare and serious injuries are even rarer. But because Camp Canine is interactive, it is not uncommon for our campers to get scratches or nicks while at play. Any injury that requires first aid (foot pad bleeding, bumps or scratches from rough play, etc.) is tended to here on the premises. If a camper gets a serious injury, we have him seen by a veterinarian.
My dog's collar is pretty expensive. Will it get damaged during play?
When dogs are received for daycare, we remove the leash and collar and hang them together in a designated area. For overnight we prefer you take collars and leashes with you. If someone else is picking up for you then we can check the items in with your luggage. Our campers prefer it being a nudist camp!
Are there requirements that must be met before becoming a customer?
Yes. The first requirement is to be recommended by an existing Camp Canine customer. The remaining requirements surround making sure your dog is healthy enough and socialized enough to enjoy the camp canine experience. Visit our Registration Requirements page for detailed information.
Can I send someone to pick up my dog from daycare or boarding?
When you complete the registration process, you indicate who is allowed to pick up your camper. We will only release your precious pup to authorized 'picker-uppers' as indicated in the paperwork or communicated to us directly. We will ask for identification.
Are there some dog breeds you do not accept?
Here again is a 'Camp Canine Difference' policy. Camp Canine does not ban dogs of a specific breed. We evaluate every dog and make an assessment based on that particular dog. Since our staff is well trained in dog behavior, we are well equipped to deal with all dog breeds based on fact and behavior and not on assumed reputation. If we decline a dog, it's not because of its breed, but in spite of its breed.
Do boarded dogs socialize during the day?
Yes. Overnight campers have an opportunity to enjoy the same fun and interactivity that our day campers enjoy. This is part of the standard overnight camper service--no extra fees are incurred for daycare play.
Why do the pictures of the indoor areas on your website look so stark?
To the 'human' eye, the indoor play areas look stark; to the canine eye, the indoor play areas are safe, clean, and well suited for doggie play and shenanigans! Our facility meets (and in some cases exceed) the standards of the North Carolina Agriculture Department.
Can you train my dog while he's visiting for daycare or boarding?
Camp Canine is not a training facility. While your camper is here, we do insist on playing nicely with others (humans and dogs) but we do not train. Our methods for correcting unacceptable behavior (where 'unacceptable is defined as behavior that provokes other dogs or endangers dogs or humans) is through love, determination, and timeouts. We do not hit, punish, or otherwise manhandle our campers. For a list of training programs that we do, however, recommend, visit our Training Resources section.
I have a small/old/shy/etc. dog. Will he be OK in this environment?
If your registration application is approved, it is because we agree that our environment is suitable for your camper. If we evaluate your dog and conclude that this is not the right environment, we will share our concerns and deny your application. We do this to ensure that your pup finds a place that he can thrive and grow in.
Why is Camp Canine considered a 'totally interactive' facility?
Daycare dogs socialize with one another for the entire time they are with us. Overnight guests socialize with one another and with the daycare dogs. Our staff interacts with all dogs all the time. The dogs interact with our staff. Our dog-staff interaction includes supervision, monitoring, and observations. Beyond that, we share our observations with the campers' parents. Our campers are part of the Camp Canine family so we all interact on various levels throughout the day. Each camper, while being a member of the pack, is treated as an individual.
What does the 'physiological is as important as the physical' mean?
Most people look for daycare facilities so that their dog will be able to play and exercise during the day. This is much needed physical activity. But not all activity is good activity. Think about the dog who races through the house, running up and down the stairs barking and jumping. While this is exercise, it does nothing for the psychological. In fact, it is quite possible that an unhealthy physiological environment is what is causing the dog to race around. Camp Canine's environment and experienced counselors and staff help the dogs to achieve a good psychological balance and, therefore, the physical exercise is healthier as well.
Do you offer discounts for multiple-dog households?
Yes. Please visit our Camp Rates page for a detailed breakdown of fees and discounts. The prices for members are even further discounted.
Can I take a tour during normal business hours?
Sure. Drop in any time during business hours to for a visit! We'd love to meet you. We cannot allow dogs on tours but if you are bringing your camper one of the staff members can love on them in the lobby while you tour. We cannot allow unregistered dogs to roam the facility--either on or off leash and we hope you understand.
What do the dogs do all day?
The dogs do dog things all day! It's really amazing to watch. Dogs form social groups, create games to play, rest when they get tired, invite new dogs to join in, play with the counselors, and just have a dog-gone great time!
What makes Camp Canine different from a traditional kennel?
By design, there is nothing traditional about Camp Canine. From the qualifications and training of our team members, to our crate-less environment, we are unique. Our policies of accepting only registered customers and our huge outdoor area, large built in pool staffed with lifeguards when in use, and the freedom dogs enjoy to set their own schedule all set us apart from other dog-care facilities.
What is the dog-to-counselor ratio at Camp Canine?
Many dog-care facilities will cite something like '1 staff member for every 15 dogs' as a ratio. At Camp Canine our ratio is '1 counselor for just the right number of dogs' every day. Why do we stay away from a 1 to a number ratio? Because all dogs are different. A pack of 15 strong-willed large dogs is not the same as 15 laid-back 4-year old dogs. If we had a policy of 1 counselor for a specific number of dogs, we would be doing a disservice to our campers. We evaluate the complement of dogs due to arrive on a particular day and group the dogs by type, size, and/or temperament and assign an appropriate counselor. What may be a comfortable number of dogs for a senior counselor may be overwhelming to a junior counselor. So, our ratio -- the right number and type of dogs for the appropriate level team member!
Why does my dog's feet seem so tender after camp?
Because he's had a full play day! Tender feet are common when dogs go from being sedentary to playing all day. Or if they are only accustom to grass areas. Walks in your neighborhood are not the same as pouncing, and running on the NCDA approved surfaces we have. The pads toughen up. If we notice a camper has irritated pads in any way, we treat him and sit him out for a bit. Then he's ready to jump back into the doggie mix!
What is a Community Room?
We have designed an innovative program for separation anxiety dogs that was introduced to our inspector with the NCAD in 2008 as an in place program. We tested for 10 years the community overnight rooms. With many of our current customer’s permission we provided community overnight environments for certain campers. Many campers that had severe separation anxiety were so stressed once the social time was over they could not settle down in their individual rooms. This stress was concerning to us as we know that stress can bring on physical problems due to the emotional upset. So we set up an environment that was free of personal items and large enough to accommodate a few campers together. Over time 96% of the campers we put there calmed down and were able to get a good night’s sleep free from the stress of being alone. The few campers that this did not work for were never aggressive or destructive and we discussed other options with their parents. This program is not in any way open to all campers however we have helped many campers alleviate severe separation anxiety with this. The only way community rooms are available is after we have observed the behavior of each camper enough times to feel comfortable with them being together overnight. It is also discussed with parents and permission is given first. This is not offered anywhere else and the reason is the expertise that is involved.
We make a difference. Our 'NOs' are often other dog-care facility 'YESs' and our 'YESs' are frequently other dog-care facility 'NOs'. That's the Camp Canine difference. A difference that your dog can feel.
NO.We do not have crates. All overnight guests spend the night in a private room or suite. If the guest has anxiety issues as a result of being alone, we may discuss the community room with you. Only certain campers are even considered for the community room. A parent/counselor conference is scheduled and only then if everything is addressed are campers considered for a community reservation.
NO. We do not force nap or rest times. With very few exceptions, dogs know when they are tired and will find a quiet place to relax or nap. Our campers have access to indoor and outdoor areas at will and settle down when the mood strikes.
NO. Our facility has no sheet rock or plaster walls that provide chewing surface and a surface for bacterial growth. Our concrete walls and floors are hosed down and sanitized regularly.
NO. We do not leave toys or typically coveted items that could cause a dog fight. Dogs at Camp Canine enjoy the same type of environment that they would in a normal pack environment--dogs to challenge and play with; no balls to fight over or guard.
NO. We do not board cats or provide veterinary services. We are exclusively a doggie daycare and overnight facility. Unique, but focused.
YES. We have 24-hour trained and qualified caretakers for overnight guests everyday of the year.
YES. Daytime socialization for overnight guests is included with the overnight fee.
YES. We have multiple outdoor play areas, including a covered outdoor play area.
YES. Dogs are separated by size and/or temperament. Not all big dogs have BIG dog personalities and not all small dogs have SMALL dog personalities. We take this into consideration every day when we organize the play groups and assign our counselors to a group.
YES. Dogs are supervised at all times by a handler fully capable of managing the pack.
YES. We maintain a staff of trained, qualified team members, able to perform first aid and CPR if needed.
YES. We are compliant with the North Carolina Agriculture Department's standards for dog-care facilities.
YES. Full built in above ground pool and several stand-alone pools are available to the campers. The large pool is fully monitored by staff in wet suits swimming (or doggie paddling) alongside your dog.
YES. We have a full open area available for the adventurous doggies.
YES. We evaluate dogs before approving registration or membership and we perform 'perpetual screening' to ensure that as dogs grow and evolve that we still have the right mix. Each day is a new day for screening and evaluation of our current and our new customers.