1. Desexed – Hormones and a ‘pack’ environment do not mix. All guests must be desexed at least four weeks prior to staying with us. Unfortunately males that have only had a vasectomy are not considered desexed and are ineligible to stay with us. A desexing certificate must be produced for the first visit. Exceptions for puppies (under 6 months of age) can be made in most circumstances.
2. Social – The ability to co-habitate in a pack environment requires a variety of social skills only gained by regular visits to off-lead dog parks and other areas where play and interaction with other dogs off-lead can occur. Unfortunately, dogs that have been trained as guard dogs (as distinct from service dogs such as police, guide dogs, and assistance dogs) are ineligible to stay with us.
3. Basic obedience and control – In order to ensure continued peace and harmony, guests must have a basic level of obedience and control. Knowing their name and the command ‘No’ is usually sufficient to ensure those who exude confidence do not intimidate or harass those that are still settling in.
We require guests to arrive (or be collected) with a collar and lead only. Please ensure your pet is not wearing a harness or halter. For first time guests we recommend a blanket, t-shirt or some other item from home that can be placed on their bed to assist them with settling in for the first night.
Yes, if your pet is on a special or prescription diet, that will need to be packed for them.
Yes of course. We do not charge extra to administer medication for our guests – we do not see this as some form of luxury service.
If your pet is staying with us for 30 days or less, you are welcome to supply the required treatments and we will administer them on the day required. If your pet is staying with us for 31 days or more, we will provide the treatment and administer it free of charge.
We have access to specialist veterinary care a short drive away and vets capable of attending our facility 24hrs per day. The welfare of our guests comes first and foremost.
The Hawkesbury Council imposes very strict bushfire prevention guidelines and our facility meets those standards. While we may be surrounded by natural bushland, we have adequate clearance and bushfire prevention systems in place to ensure the safety of us and all our guests.
In the middle of winter the temperature outside can dip below zero degrees. The sleeping accomodation for our guests is considerably warmer but we also fit jackets to those guests that need them to ensure they remain comfortable and warm.
Our bigger guests sleep in pairs, and the smaller guests in groups of three or four. Our guests are fed separately so they can eat at their leisure but sleep with at least one other ‘bunk buddie’. Guests are not alone or isolated during their entire stay with us (unless undesireable behaviours have been identified preventing group housing). Safety always comes first.
Although demand for our service grows continually, the vast majority of guests that are with us at any time are regulars who we know very well. For new guests we complete an assessment (first by phone or email and then on site) to ensure suitability to board with us. In the rare event we have concerns we will discuss with (or contact you) about available options. We have the provision to board dogs separately from the remainder of the guests should circumstances require that, although we do not agree to board dogs we know are not suitable to stay with us.
It is dangerous to feed dogs and then let them run around – it makes them susceptible to bloat. For this reason, we feed only once per day (at night) after they have completed their running around, are very tired and relaxed, only to enjoy their dinner and go straight to sleep. If your pet has a medical condition requiring twice-daily feeding, we can separate them for that purpose and only allow them to rejoin the pack after a period of time nominated by the pet owner.
The vet is where sick animals go to get treated. Leaving your dog at the vet leaves them exposed to any number of unpleasant communicable diseases that are not welcome at Dogwoods. We do not pick up guests from vet surgeries.
No we can’t. Any of our guests can smuggle a virus into our facility (usually unknown to the pet owner) which can spread through a small number of the other guests. Each year we will see a light strain of kennel cough, conjuctivitis, and gastrointestinal virus, exactly like what occurs at your local dog park. The mere fact that our guests are free-range means that opportunity for viruses to spread to those who have not yet been exposed to them is high. Our prevention strategies include high levels of hygiene and cleanliness and this proves quite effective.
We have 180cm wire-mesh fences keeping our guests safe. If your pet is capable of climbing or scaling these fences, it is unlikely they are suitable to board with us although you are welcome to contact us and discuss the particular circumstances.