Frequently Asked Questions
FREE Greet & Treat - Why does your dog boarding, grooming and daycare center in Wixom?
We want every dog that utilizes any of our services to love coming here.
We pride ourselves in cultivating a stimulating environment for every dog that visits our facility. From the moment your dog walks in, we monitor their experience in our suites and our outdoor yards. Apart from passing the temperament test in our play yard, we want to make sure that your dog loves everything about us. We personally work with each dog to ensure that they receive the proper amount of stimuli they need in order to achieve the right amount of physical exercise, mental exercise, rest and water/feeding intake.
How this works:
- Complete our application for both the dog(s) and yourself. NOTE: We do not require you to have a credit card of account, this is an option for your personal preference.
- Upload or email current vaccination records from their Veterinary showing they are current on Bordetella - Distemper - Rabies
- When completed, call us at (248)960-0800 to review your application and to schedule their Free Greet & Treat. Please have approximately 15 minutes of time when calling, so we may make sure we have all the information.
- Free Greet & Treats are held Monday through Friday ONLY.
- On the day of the Free Greet & Treat, dog must be here BY 8:00 am. We unfortunately, will not be able to take your dog if they do not arrive by 8am.
- We ask for a minimum of 5 hours for this evaluation. IF the dog has passed, you are free to leave them all day (we close at 7pm).
- A manager will call you between 12pm - 1pm to provide an update on how your dog is doing.
Are there vaccination requirements?
Yes, for our Wixom dog grooming services, puppy training, and daycare center we require documentation or vaccination records from your veterinarian showing current Bordetella, Distemper and Rabies.
It is the parents responsibility to keep their dogs vaccination records up to date with us.
We cannot ever accept a dog in our Wixom dog boarding - daycare - grooming training facility that is not current on these vaccinations.
Do we require a dog to be Spayed or Neutered?
Our breeders and vets are finding that certain breeds or specific size dogs are needing to be spay / neutered later in their life. With that our Policy for intact pets:
- Dogs 1 year or under are allowed to visit us *
- Females cannot visit, nor be in our facility during up to 10 days after being in heat.
- If a Female goes into heat while visiting, it will be the responsibility of their parents to pick the pet up within 1-2 hours of being notified. Unfortunately, females in heat scent is very disruptive to our other pets.
- If a Male or Female reach 1 year and have shown no disruptive signs, upon the discretion of our management, the dog may be allowed to continue to come visit. Our decisions are solely based on the pet and their demeanor while in our facility.
Why should I choose Enrichment Daycare?
Our Wixom daycare center is an alternative to leaving your dog at home alone while you are at work or play. It is an organized, controlled and supervised environment in which a group of dogs, from multiple families can interact and play throughout the day in an enclosed building or our outdoor play yards. At It's A Dog's Life your dogs will never be left unattended while in the play yards. We have 1 coach for every 10 - 15 dogs in yards. The demeanor of the dogs in group will determine the number of dogs or coaches required.
Dog Enrichment Daycare trains dogs to play and interact appropriately with other dogs using toys for them to gain more confidence. Also, dog daycare offers your four-legged companion an opportunity to run and play, which is a fantastic approach to keep your pet in excellent physical condition. It's A Dog's Life is committed to excel in this area and provide something that most won't or can't provide simply because they don't have the manpower.
Our team members are qualified to host play yards that not only afford dogs interactive play with our coaches but also using toys. We train our coaches to properly interact while utilizing toys because doing so provides our dog guests the physical and mental stimuli that they need. We don't just put a bunch of dogs in a room and call it play all day, instead we rotate groups of dogs in and out of our yards to be able to engage with each one of them. Our dogs don't just lay around the yards, they also engage because we make our yards interactive - and they love it.
A healthy dog is a well behaved and happy dog! As important as physical well-being, mental health is something many dogs lack because of an unfulfilled home lifestyle.
Honestly speaking, many of us have busy households and do not have enough time to pamper our pets. Consequently, our furry companions become bored, disheartened, anxious, and experience the same emotions we do. In some scenarios our best friend may lose trust in our ability to care for them and lash out.
Dog Enrichment Daycare can correct behavior problems that occur when dogs are left alone. These behavior problems include barking, whining and howling, and destruction. This happens due to the dog's increased stress level when isolated. Daycare for your dog is one of the best ways to teach your dog good socialization skills and eliminate owner absent behavior problems. Dogs who attend daycare in most cases are transformed into a calmer and more obedient pet.
Giving dogs free time to interact with other dogs and humans of all ages is one of the most important things responsible dog owners can do to help their dog develop into a calm, confident dog that is unlikely to bark, bite or become fearful or aggressive. Allowing dogs the opportunity to socialize with other dogs is probably one of the most important gifts dog owners can give themselves and their dog.
We always remind our clients that their dogs should never be in an all day playgroup all the time - for rest is just as important as play. Our blend of play/rest has been the key to our success and the happiness of our dogs.
Our dog daycare program was designed by a canine behaviorist to ensure the safety and playfulness of all our guests. All our team members are well-trained in terms of dog behavior and body language. The dogs that participate in our daycare have been temperament tested, are fully vaccinated (Bordatella, DHLPP and Rabies) and are put into compatible playgroups based on size, temperament and play style. After their respective playtimes, we give the dogs a chance to rest before heading back to their playgroup with their friends. After playing all day, your dog is ready to go home and relax with your family.
How do we run Enrichment Playgroups?
It's A Dog's Life prides itself on ensuring that every dog's safety and well-being is always our priority. With that, we transitioned to off leash while using a toys program that is highly recommended in our industry. It introduces structure and attention to our dogs. Do this type of play, guarantees to offer all dogs:
- access as they need to both indoor and outdoor play yards and shading. Fresh air is always a positive benefit for our dogs.
- Pools are available to all our dogs as well as fan misters to keep all cool when outside.
- Gym equipment for them to climb and romp around on
- West Paw Toys (suitable sizes for yards) are available for their play time.
- Provides Mental / Physical stimulation and exercise
- Improves separation anxiety as well as boredom.
- Utilizing toys and gym equipment provides both mental and physical stimulation, which requires more rest of our dogs, hence why dogs are rotated in and out of our play yards.
- Our coaches are trained to understand dogs body languages and know when a dog needs a break. This is a huge reason we do not have dog fights in our play yards, we mitigate this by how our play yards are run and by the knowledge of our Coaches.
What does this mean? We all want our dogs to have manners as our human children do. Many times, your dog loses those manners at daycare, because commands and behaviors are not a focus in dog daycare programs. We have conferred with our peers in the industry and unanimously this program has proven to have a positive impact on all dogs. We are not a training center, we want dogs to be themselves, for our methodology is to obtain a harmonic and fun environment for every dog that visits. We are not doing this to address your dog’s bad behaviors but to keep our environment safe.
Our coaches are trained to create playgroups where dogs can properly interact together with our coaches using toys. Using toys in our play yards is the ideal mental and physical stimulation a dog can receive. It also trains dogs how to properly engage and share their toys with one another and with our coaches.
Our trained coaches use spray bottles to correct dogs while in playgroups. This form of correction is found to be the most humane way to correct unwanted behaviors and regain a dog's attention in an enclosed daycare setting. The team is trained on how to effectively utilize this tool when correcting behaviors.
OFF LEASH COMMANDS:
We work with dogs as a group to teach the following commands that we use in the facility. We also highly encourage that the following commands be used at home:
To come when called. We say - "Dogs Name - COME”
- LEAVE IT
A general term for any circumstance where a dog needs to ignore something. (i.e. another dog, toy, human, dog waste on ground). We say - "Dogs Name - Leave It”
- LET'S GO
For the dog to walk towards your direction or direction you are heading. We say -"Dogs Name - Lets Go"
- SIT & DOWN
These two commands are used when there is a momentary time out for a dog while remaining in the play yard. We use these as well when taking them out of their suites into our play yards, without the use of leashes. The term sit means that we want the dog to sit down. We want them to stay in place, until released ("Free"). We use down, when we want a dog to lay down for a period of time or until released ("Free"). We say - "Dogs Name - Sit" or "Dogs Name - Down".
We use this when a dog is jumping on things and should not be. This is used frequently in our boarding room with our suites - dogs tend to jump on their door to chat with dogs passing by. It is very important for their safety that they understand this. We say - "Dogs Name - Off"
We use this command when we want the dog to release from the sit down command.
These are the words we use at our facility. We want to share them with you so you would know how to talk to your dogs.
Do dogs play together? What do they do all day?
Yes, most dogs play together and often find a friend or two that has the same play style or energy they have. Your dog will be placed in a play yard that best suits their size and temperament making it easier to find just the right dog play friend. The yards are equipped with specially designed dog play equipment, pools, and West Paw toys that stimulate your dog's mind and body through enrichment / interactive play with our coaches.
Are dogs in doggy day care supervised?
Dogs in our playgroups are always supervised so that the play never gets out-of-hand, one-sided or becomes stressful for anyone. Dogs who are acting inappropriately or unsafe towards another dog are removed for a short time-out and can re-join the group after they have calmed down and remember to play nicely with the other dogs.
Depending on the group in play, we require 1 team member for every 10 - 15 dogs in play. For ALL large dog play groups, there will always be a minimum of 2 team members in every group size, no matter the number of dogs.
Will my small dog be in the same play yard as large dogs
We have numerous play yards and we will place your dog in the appropriate hall for their size and temperament. We have:
• Big Dawg Play Yards for our larger and more rambunctious dogs
• Pee Wee's Play Yards for our smaller and more timid dogs
• Preppy Pup Play Yards for our youngest pups
• Geriatric space for our more mellow, elder dogs
• Private Play for our dogs that do not play great with other dogs. These types of dogs still must pass our Free Greet & Treat and will never be a danger to other dogs or people.
What are your operational hours/dropoff/pickup schedules?
Our facilities are open to clients on the following days:
Monday - Friday: 6:30 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday: Closed (Deep cleaning/sanitizing/caring for boarding dogs day) *Boarding Drop Off /Pickup Only: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Boarding Pick-Up & Drop-Off Times:
Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 6:30pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 3:30pm
Sunday: 8:00 am - 3:30pm Pick-Up and Drop- Off of boarding dogs ONLY
What questions should you ask when looking for a facility for your dog to visit?
We want all pet parents to find "THE" right place for their dogs. Don't just settle, be sure they are all they look to be.... Ask questions and look for the correct answers.
- Are they licensed by their appropriate county / city municipality? Yes, we are inspected by Oakland County animal control several times during a year. They come in unannounced and investigate our facility for any violations . We have received exemplary results every time.
- How many dogs are they licensed to have in their facility at one time? We are licensed to accept 110 dogs into our facility daily.
- How many team members are staffed per dog? We typically will have a minimum of 11 or more team members scheduled daily.
- Is there staff at the facility overnight? If yes, ask why? If no, ask why. We do not have staff overnight. Our peers in the industry told us never to and their reasons why, but that wasn't good enough for us, so we did try it and what we found was that if a dog heard us at night, they would rustle and howl restlessly which then caused the other dogs not to sleep. The next day, there were elevated incidents with dogs due to lack of sleep and being grumpy. We eliminated those positions and invested in an enhanced camera system that monitors every dog in every suite nightly.
- Do you give tours? We do not give tours, believe it or not, dogs know when there are persons foreign to their pack within their environment - this can elevate certain dogs which in turn could have negative implications to the dogs and to our team members. We have nothing to hide, to a point that we have sample suites in our lobby, TV's in our lobby that show areas of our facility.
- Do you have outdoor yards? Yes, we do provide our dogs 3 outdoor play yards to enjoy their time in.
- Where do dogs go potty? We do provide our dogs 3 outdoor play yards where they are encouraged to potty. All our outdoor yards have customized AstroTurf yards that underneath have a limestone layer with French drains, so dogs are never walking over urine or fecal. Never allow a facility to tell you that Behavioralist say its ok for dogs to potty indoors, it's not and this behavior could transfer back to their home setting. This is why we invested into the turf systems that we have.
- What is their temperament testing like? see our Free Greet & Treat FAQs.
- Tell me about the room my dog will be staying in. Is it a crate? Is it a private room? Can I see it? We actually have sample suites in our lobby, so there is never a question about where a dog resides when visiting us. We offer varying sizes, so depending on the number of household pets or sizes, we have a suite for all.
- Explain your daycare?
Did you know that we now have a mobile app for our pet parents?
It’s A Dog’s Life Resort & Spa’s Client Portal
2022 is the year that we began to enhance our paw parents' experience, providing you with a new portal app that you can now download on your phone or tablet. You will be amazed by all its features.
Not only do we want your dogs to have the greatest experience with us, we also want your experience to be just as wonderful.
Highlights of what the new portal offers:
- Appointment or Reservation Requests: Made easier for you.
- Notifications: Located on your home page, you can receive important reminders or information about your dog. It reminds you about vaccinations that are about to expire, needed deposits, reservations and upcoming appointments. All in a single area!
- Navigation bar: At the far left side of your screen with the following:
- Home: Where you can shop, view your account information, your daily report cards, photos and more.
- Book: Where you can review all your prior and upcoming reservations/ appointments as well as book new requests.
- Shop: If you want a package or want to add store credit to your account, look no further.
- Account: Where it’s all about you and your dog – where you can manage profiles, upload vaccination records/pictures and review invoices/estimates. You can also manage your agreements and your communication preferences, all at your fingertips.
- View: Where all report cards, photos and videos can be found.
- And more…
This portal makes interacting with It’s A Dog’s Life simpler because everything you’ll ever need is at your fingertips and within your reach.
Try Our New Customer Portal!
Use our online customer portal to manage your account, request bookings, and more.
Use the website below to log in with your primary email address or mobile phone number on file.
You can also download the Gingr for Pet Parents app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store. Find us by using our invite code: 496331
Let our team know if you have any questions: email at Info@ItsADogsLifeMI.com
What do puppies need in order to enjoy our services?
Since we are a licensed facility under Oakland County, Michigan, we are required to maintain the following:
- Puppies must have their second set of vaccinations in order to come to our facility - we will only accept this information on a letterhead from the vet.
- Dogs 7 weeks of age or older must be vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus.
- All vaccinations except for rabies must be given at least seven days in Michigan.
- Dogs 12 weeks of age or older must also be currently vaccinated against rabies.
All dogs are required to have a licensed Veterinarian letterhead on the following vaccinations:
It's A Dog's Life is not a veterinary clinic. Any medical issues or concerns should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Does my dog need any vaccinations?
Pet owners are responsible for keeping the vaccination records of their pets updated. Our system sends notifications to pet owners should the vaccination records of their pets have expired or about to expire. We cannot allow any dog to visit for any services until we have received proof that their dog has received the latest vaccinations in the form of a letterhead from their licensed veterinarian or breeder. Other than that, we are not authorized to accept any other form of proof of vaccinations.
If your dog is not vaccinated for any reason we will accept a Titer test report from your veterinarian.
For any other vaccination or tests, we will rely on the professional opinion of your veterinarian to determine what is best for your dog.
If your dog comes to our facility and we find fleas or ticks, then we will immediately treat your dog and charge your account accordingly. All dogs should always be on flea and tick medicines.
As a courtesy to our pet parents - As our yards and dogs are both safe, Our Yard Coaches will photograph our dogs to be able to send basic report cards to pet owners to inform them of how their pet did on a given day along with pictures and/or videos. We promise, you will LOVE them.
As much as our yard coaches love to take pictures and videos during their yard sessions, our first priority is the safety and security of every dog in our yard. Thus, if there are days where their safety and security is at risk, you might not be able to receive report cards from us. This is most especially true during peak times of the business - holidays, spring breaks, etc. Rest assured, should there be issues or concerns regarding your pet, we will let you know. If you want an update during the day, always feel free to give us a call or email us.
NOTE: We do NOT use our Report Cards to communicate difficult conversations with, those we do via phone calls or in person conversations. Report cards are really a fun tool to send pictures specifically of your dog enjoying themselves with us.
How often should a dog come for daycare?
At It's A Dog's Life, we truly have the safety and well being of our dogs in our forefront. With that, we tell pet parents that most dogs need 2 - 3 days of daycare to truly thrive.
We understand there are pet parents that opt to have their dogs with us 4 - 5 days per week and that's ok as well, however, we are transparent with parents that these dogs may be limited to play in our play yards. We do this for their safety, a dog can eventually become territorial over the environment, other dogs or our coaches. This minimizes that from occurring.
If you question specifically for your dog, don't hesitate to ask us, what we see for your dog is best!!
Can any dog come to It's A Dog's Life?
We do not accept dog aggressive or human aggressive dogs. We also do not accept dogs that have toy aggressions that cannot be modified.
This decision to uphold our mission and core values meant ensuring the safety and quality of care for all our furry friends as well as our team members. We know that these dogs act out because they don't feel comfortable at our facility for whatever reason.
We promise transparency to all our clients which is why we evaluate our pet guests everyday. Our pets have good and bad days, just like you and me. That is why it is critical for us to check their temperament daily.
Please understand that we do not discriminate in any way, shape or form. For the safety and security of our other guests, we will turn away dogs that show any signs of aggression.
Should my Senior dog go to daycare?
Daycare is a terrific idea older dogs who need socialization and exercise. It keeps their joints and muscles moving which helps prevent stiffness. Besides, the older dogs are great teachers to the younger dogs – when the younger pups come by, the older dog has the confidence to tell the young whipper snapper – “calm down” in only the way a senior dog can do. Also, because our Coaches are trained in behaviors and body languages, they monitor our seniors time limits in our yards.... At this age, it is fact they need more rest than play and we have mastered that balance between their rest and play.
What does Private Dog mean?
We use the term Private Dog for our dogs that for whatever reason is not going into any play group - this may be temporary, or a permanent decision made by our management. There are many factors that attribute to this decision, but the primary is that the dog is telling us, they are not enjoying time with other dogs. They like everything else here, just has times where other dogs are not for them.
By our discretion, we have allowed some of our dogs that turned into private, continue to come to our facility.
There may be additional charges for dogs that are deemed as private, especially those that utilize our boarding services.
Please call us to discuss if you believe your dog qualifies as a Private Dog or if you know we have already classified your dog as Private.
Boarding your dog - Your checklist of To-Do's
Preparing for your dogs boarding is as important as your packing for your children. Let us make sure you have a checklist.
- Have you provided us with your dogs most recent vaccination records from their Veterinary? We require that your dog is current on Bordetella - Distemper - Rabies.
- Making Reservations, don't forget:
- Grooming - Bath or Full Groom, Nail Trims, Early Cleanings, Teeth brushing
- One.on.One time / Personal walks on leashes outside of the building, book readings
- Be sure that you have a confirmed reservation email from us, if not, please be sure to call us at 248.960.0800 to verify your reservation.
- Go to your app / account and validate that:
- Dog Veterinary Information is current.
- Dog illnesses / injuries / behavioral or any limitations / changes are updated.
- Dog Food: brand and flavor, be sure that this is always current.
- Dog Medications and dosage times and amounts are updated.
- Dogs Feeding times and amounts are correct. If you want treats dispensed as well, tell us how much and when. Remember, when making their zip loc baggies of food - your dog will be 3 to 7 times more active than they are at home, so its always a great idea to provide a bit more than normally fed at home.
- Parent(s) Information - please be sure that your information is up to date, no lies, emergencies happen and we may need to reach you or your emergency contact.
- Primary Contact - Mobile and email are current.
- Home address is current.
- Secondary Contact - mobile and email are current.
- Emergency Contact - Name and Phone numbers are current. This should NEVER be the primary or secondary account holder. These must be persons outside of your family and not traveling or with you.
- On Day of drop off:- Remember, today's daycare is included in your boarding rate. Your dog can enjoy Enrichment Daycare prior to be putting into their suite for the night. If parents want their dogs socialized or to have activity prior to be putting into the suite, be sure then to have them come in early for enrichment daycare. Once enrichment daycare is over and boarding dogs are put into their suites they are only again taken out for potty breaks.
- Before leaving your home - Check your dog, if they are showing any signs of illness - runny nose or eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, pale gums - please do not bring them to our facility. We will ultimately need to contact the emergency contact to come and pick the dog up. We will not be able to keep the dog at our facility. If your emergency contact is non-responsive, the dog will go to a vet that may board the dog. All fees and expenses incurred will be the dogs parents responsibility.
- Things to bring: Dog - leash - collar - food (in zip loc baggies) - medication (if needed), treats (if needed). If needed, clothing is allowed and we can allow pet to wear as needed.
- Items NOT to bring: bowls - puzzles - toys - beds - blankets. We pride ourselves on having all of these items for each of our guests.
Cameras in our facility
We have invested in state of art cameras that allow us to monitor every area inside and outside of our 11,000 sq ft facility. Not only to we have 24/7 - 365 days a year viewing, so does our security company.
We share our cameras on our 55" TVs in our lobby for our parents to enjoy!! Yes, they are a huge hit - maybe better than Sunday Football?
Does our Boarding Rates include All Day Enrichment Daycare?
Yes! Our Boarding rates do include our All Day Enrichment Daycare ($32 of your boarding rate). Many of other facilities consider daycare fees outside of their boarding rate, be sure and clarify your charges prior to boarding.
Struggling to get to us to pickup your dog before we close?
Call us as soon as you realize, there is no way you will be there in time to pickup your dog before we close. We are typically available after hours for that late pickup, but we need you to call and verify for how long team members will be.
If it becomes a norm that a client requires a late pickup, a latchkey fee will be applied.
Why do we require for dogs to be Spay or Neutered
Any dog over the age of 12 months must be spayed or neutered to utilize any of our services. It is for their safety. The main reason is that intact dogs are at greater risk of injury from other dogs in the play yards. In an open social environment such as ours, intact males are often viewed as a threat by other dogs. Intact females may be picked on by other females and male dogs will treat her as an intact female.
What happens when my dog is positive for heartworm or Papilloma virus?
We do not accept dogs who are positive for heartworm, Papilloma or any other highly infectious diseases.
Should you wish for your dog to return and enjoy our services, you must provide a letter (using veterinarian letterhead) that the dog is clear of such.
Should you have any questions, please email: info@ItsADogsLifeMI.com or call 248.960.0800 and ask for our management.
Feeding & Medication for Boarding - Daycare - Grooming Guests
Our guests parents are to provide the food, treats and medications they would like us to prepare and administer for our dogs.
If you don't provide enough food for your dogs stay, we will go to a store and purchase the brand / flavor your dog is eating. We will charge a trip fee and the invoiced amount from the store, These charges will occur on your final invoice under "Miscellaneous Charges".We will never feed a dog kibble that is not their brand or flavor that they are normally fed. We do this, because it will upset your dogs stomach. We require that parents always keep us updated on what they feed their dog.
Boarding Guests: We provide Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner food and medication preparation and administering services to all our boarding guests based on how their parents asked them to be fed or medications be dispensed. Note, your dog does burn more calories here than at home, it may be advantageous to add more to their normal dosage to ensure adequate feedings.
All Day Enrichment Daycare Guests: We will prepare and administer Lunch or medication for our dogs that are here for 5 hours or more.
Half Day Enrichment Daycare or Grooming Services: We do not offer any feeding or medication dispensing services for dogs coming in for 5 hours or less.
Services Charge for Feeding or Medication Dispensing: We will gladly prepare and administer any meal or medication for our guests for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner for a basic fee for each feeding. Please ask our client service representative for further information.
Refrigeration / Freezers / Microwaves / Convection Oven
We want to prepare their meals the way they like it... Just tell us and we will prepare it just like they get it at home!
When Boarding - Should I bring my dogs Bowls, Blankets, Beds or Toys?
We prefer that you do not bring your dog’s bedding - blankets - toys or bowls. Let us provide our guests with these items. We make sure that all these items are properly washed and sanitized daily.
We provide them clean / fresh bedding, blankets and bowls daily (maybe more), for their comfort and relaxation. We have lots of fresh bedding available. We have raised beds (aka orthopedic beds), bowls and lots of toys on the play yards we provide at no extra charge. If you would like your dog to have his toys for his dormitory room or loft at night, please feel free to bring them. We will not put his toys in playgroup with him.
Payment is due in full at pickup
Our policy is that all invoices are paid in full at the time of picking up your dog. We accept Cash - Check - Credit Card as our form of payment. We will not be able to release your dog until payment in full is made. If you fail to pay your outstanding balance at pickup, you will incur a daily fee of $35 for each day your payment is outstanding.
No Show / No Call
If you are expected to pick up your dog from our facility and you fail to call or show up for them, you will incur a minimum of a $50 fee. This charge will be added to your invoice under "Miscellaneous Charges".