You have questions. wE have answers.

Below are answers to some of the most common daycare, overnight boarding, and other dog related questions we get asked. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here, feel free to contact us.

What do I have to do to get started?

First thing we have you do is fill out a membership application and provide us with a copy of all their up-to-date vaccines and a fecal check from the past year. After that we will give you a call to schedule an assessment. Once your dog passes the assessment, you will be able to bring them in for daycare and overnight boarding.

Why do I have to bring my dog in so early for an assessment?

The reason we ask that you bring in your dog at 6:30 AM is so that your dog can be one of the first ones in the daycare and get used the environment, the staff, and then greet every dog as it comes in slowly, rather than coming into a new place full of new dogs. We really want to set your dog up for success and make sure not to overwhelm them so their first experience at Fort Fido is a positive one.

How old does my dog have to be to start attending Fort Fido?

Puppies can start attending after they’ve had their Bordetella and second DHPP vaccine, usually around 10 weeks. Rabies is not required until they are 6 months old.

Which vaccines does my dog need?

We require puppies to have their Bordetella vaccine and second round of Distemper before they can attend, and adult dogs must also have their rabies and a fecal check from the past year.

What are DHPP and DAPP?

They are combination vaccines:

  • DHPP = Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus
  • DAPP = Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus
Do you have breed restrictions?

Here at Fort Fido we do not accept certain breeds. Although there are no bad dogs, not all are suited for membership here. Restricted breeds include Cane Corso, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and American Pitbull Terrier. Mixed breeds may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

When does my dog have to be spayed/neutered?

Male puppies must be neutered by 6 months of age. Female puppies can attend up until their first heat, they will have to be spayed before coming back.

Why does your spay/neuter policy differ from my vet/breeder’s advice? They want me to wait until he is a year old.

Breeders and veterinarians only deal with the physical aspects of fixing your pet, but here at Fort Fido we must consider the psychological and behavioral implications as well (e.g., mounting, marking, unwanted pregnancy, etc.). When to spay/neuter is a personal choice that every pet owner must make. This policy is for the safety of the dogs attending Fort Fido.

My dog is not fixed, but they have never had a problem with other dogs. Why can’t they come?

Your dog may not have a problem with other dogs, however the hormones they produce can often make other dogs react negatively.

After my dog gets spayed/neutered, how long do I have to wait to bring them back for daycare/boarding?

As soon as your vet clears them for playing again. Usually around the week mark.

Daycare & Boarding
What does my dog do in daycare?

Daycare is just another outlet. At home you can take the dog for a walk or play fetch, and here the dogs can play with each other and socialize while burning off energy.

What do I need to bring in for boarding?

The only thing required is their food and medications (if they take any). If your dog eats Fromm we can also provide that for them at no additional cost. Beds and toys are allowed. We have a refrigerator and freezer for food items that need to be kept cool.

What is a peak period?

A peak period refers to the days around a holiday in which we will see a larger number of boarding dogs while people go out of town. To accommodate all the boarders, we raise the prices by $10 per night for the extra time and staff needed. 

Do I need a to bring a bed for boarding?

You do not need to bring a bed, we will provide one for dogs that don’t bring their own. However, you can certainly bring one if you want to. A bed or a blanket with smells from home can also help relieve any separation anxiety if you know that to be a problem.

Can you give my dogs medication?

We can administer any basic form of medication, which is to say anything topical, oral, or eye/ear drops. We cannot do injections. Administering medications for boarding dogs have no extra cost, but daycare dogs do have a $5 fee per dose.

Will you feed my daycare dog?

We can certainly feed your dog while they are here for daycare. Keep in mind that puppies under 6 months of age can be fed free of charge, but after that it is $5 per meal, even if you bring food from home (feeding is included in the boarding cost). 

Do I have to schedule in advance for daycare/boarding?

We typically prefer a heads up, but we understand that life happens and there are emergencies sometimes. We will do our best to be there for you when that happens. You don’t have to preschedule, but when it comes to daycare you will save a few bucks if you do. Half-day daycare and the boarding are the same price either way. We have limited boarding space, so it’s best to pre-schedule. Especially around the holidays.

When can I pick up my dog?

You can pick up your dog any time during lobby hours from 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM Monday through Friday, and 9:00AM to 6:00pm on Saturday. We are closed on Sundays and most holidays.

Do the dogs get naps?

Yes, we set aside a few hours for designated “nap time” every day. It’s important and helps give your dog a more balanced day. Daycare takes a lot of physical and mental energy, so we like to give them a chance to recharge so they aren’t overly tired. The dogs typically know when nap time is close because they’ll start to slow down, and many self-rest. We usually kennel the puppies and high energy dogs to encourage them to rest.

Do you crate the dogs?

Yes, we do crate them throughout the day for feeding, naptime, and cleaning purposes. Some dogs will self-rest and won’t need to be crated.

What if my dog doesn’t like being in a kennel?

We can see how it goes, sometimes we can work around it. It may not be necessary to crate your dog. But if it becomes necessary and we feel like we need to, we will crate your dog. If we can’t when we need to, then it may not work out. We must be able to handle your dog in ways that are safe for them, us, and other attendees.

Do the dogs get left alone?

A staff member is not here all night. During the night the dogs are retired to individual Fort Fido Comfort Lodges, where they can privately relax until morning. They can be monitored on our cameras by staff.

Do you allow barking?

We are a low bark facility and try to keep barking to a minimum. Excessive barking can create a hectic environment for the staff and the dogs.

What do you do if a fight happens?

The dog wranglers are always on hand to monitor the dogs, so if two dogs do start fighting, they break it up as soon as possible and check the dogs over for any injury. The owners are informed, and if there are injuries, then it’s likely that they won’t be able to attend.

Do you separate your boarding and daycare dogs?

No, boarding dogs are integrated into our daycare program throughout the days they stay as well so they can burn off energy and socialize with the other dogs.

Where do the boarding dogs sleep?

During the day, all boarding dogs are incorporated into the daycare where they socialize and play. In the evening they are retired to one of our Fort Fido Comfort Lodges, where they can privately relax until morning.

Facilities & General Questions
Do you have AC?

Yes. Both of our facilities are climate controlled and stay cool in the summer and warm in winter.

Where do the dogs go to the bathroom?

The dogs go to the bathroom in the play areas. Someone is always back with them to monitor them and spot clean. We deep clean the play areas every evening as well.

Will going potty in daycare affect potty training?

No. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and they can tell the difference between home and daycare. It will not affect your house training whether it’s a current process or a finished one.

Do you have outside areas?

We are an indoor only facility by design. With Washington weather it’s more rainy than not, and we don’t want to be sending wet and muddy dogs home. On top of that, we can’t control an outside environment and clean it as properly as it needs to be.

Can I pick up my dog after hours?

There is a $1 per minute late fee. If you know your are going to be late you might want to consider boarding, because the late fee can get a little pricey.

Do you have a vet recommendation?

Choosing a vet facility and doctor is a personal choice and depends on your preferences and lifestyle.

Can I look at the play areas?

You will get a walk through of the facility when you come in for your assessment.

Is there a live feed available for me to watch my dog during the day?

We don’t have a live feed, but we do try to post on our Facebook and Instagram daily.

Food, Supplements, Other Services
What food do you recommend? Why?

That’s a tricky one, because every dog is different, and what works for one may not work for the other. Here at Fort Fido, we do sell two quality foods that we like. And if you are going to switch your foods, we do recommend trying one of them. However, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. If your dog is doing well on their current food, don’t switch your food for the fun of it.

What supplements do you recommend?

Nuvet. It boosts immune system and helps digest kibble. It’s a good all-around nutritional support for your dog. Which is important when they are attending daycare, boarding, and just general dog socializing.

Do you do training/what trainer do you recommend?

We do not do training, but we recommend Garrett Stevens of Alpha & Omega Dog Training.

Do you do grooming?

We don’t do full grooming haircuts, but we do paw trimming and sanitary cuts (cleaning up around the potty area). For members in good standing who are in for boarding or daycare we do offer baths (University Place only), blow dry, brush out, ear cleaning, tooth brushing, and clipping and dremeling nails.