Policies and Procedures

What To Bring When Your Dog Visits Ruff Housing

Leash: For the safety of everyone, all dogs are required to enter and exit the facility on-leash. Remember, your dog may be friendly, but we may have other dogs in the lobby that have not been assessed yet.

Vaccines: All dogs that attend Ruff Housing must be at least 16 weeks old and remain current on Rabies, Distemper/Parvo and Bordetalla vaccines. The Rabies vaccine is required on all dogs by law and dogs will not be admitted to Ruff Housing if their Rabies vaccine is expired even by just one day. While the law does not require the Distemper/Parvo and Bordetella vaccines, Ruff Housing strongly recommends that any dog attending our facility is current on these vaccines and we reserve the right to deny admission to any dog if these vaccines are not current. Please be aware that the Bordetella vaccine takes several days to be effective, so we recommend that dogs receive their vaccines at least 7 days before attending Ruff Housing. Also note that some dogs can exhibit symptoms of Canine Cough or Bordetella from receiving the vaccine.

It is your responsibility to bring your dog’s vaccination records from a licensed veterinarian at enrollment and each time your dog’s vaccines are renewed. Vaccines that are not administered by a veterinarian can not be accepted because we can not confirm the proper dosage, storage, and administration of those vaccines. For privacy reasons, most veterinarians in the area will not provide vaccines directly to Ruff Housing unless the client is making the request. Therefore, you will need to be responsible for ensuring that we receive current vaccine records for your dog. If you are unsure if we have your dog’s current vaccine records on file, you can either check your on-line account or call us.

Medications: If your dog is taking any medications, be sure to bring them in the original bottle.  This is a state requirement and it ensures that we can provide accurate information to a veterinarian in the event of an emergency.  It is helpful if you can provide clear written instructions for administering your dog’s medications.  Ruff Housing does not charge an additional fee for administering medications unless your dog is taking five or more medications.

Optional Items To Bring

Ruff Housing does our best to keep close track of everyone’s belongings, but mix ups and other accidents can occur. So, if you do decide to bring belongings for your dog, make sure that it is not something valuable and be aware that you are bringing them at your own risk. Ruff Housing will not replace lost or damaged bedding, toys, or other belongings.

Food: We recommend that you bring your dog’s own food when boarding, but this is not required. Continuing on their own food helps them avoid digestion issues that can result from switching food. If you do bring your dog’s food, please be sure to bring it in a resealable container such as ziplock bags or plastic containers with lids. It is helpful to our staff if the food is premeasured into small bags, but this is not required. We recommend bringing some extra food just in case your travel plans change. You may also want to consider increasing the amount of food that your dog typically eats due to the increased activity level.

If you do not bring your dog’s own food, we provide a dry “house” food that your dog can eat at no extra charge. Our house food is Purina ONE Smart Blend Sensitive Stomach. This is a high quality, easily digestible food. If your dog runs out of food, we will feed them our house food unless other arrangements are made.

Bedding: We provide cots for the dogs that are boarding with us so it is not necessary to bring bedding. However, you may bring bedding for your dog if you are confident that it will not pose a choking hazard for your dog. Remember, your dog may act differently when away from home and may chew their bedding while away from home. If your dog is participating in the Slumber Party option, be aware that other dogs may want to share your dog’s bed.

Toys:  Feel free to bring two or three toys if you think it will make your dog more comfortable.

Items You Do Not Need To Bring

Bowls: We have plenty of bowls, so it is not necessary to bring a bowl for your dog.

Breakable Items: Please do not bring glass or breakable items.

Rawhide Chews: We do not allow the dogs to keep rawhide chews because of the potential choking hazard.


Dogs that are with us just for daycare are not fed unless you direct us to feed them, in which case you should bring your dog’s lunch in a ziplock bag or other sealed container labeled with their name. We’ll remove your dog from the playgroup for about 1½ hours around lunchtime in order to give them some time to eat and digest before going back to play.


While we strive to achieve a safe environment for all dogs at Ruff Housing, we cannot prevent accidents, injuries, illnesses or changes in behavior. By bringing your dog to Ruff Housing, you accept these risks and you release Ruff Housing and its staff from all liability arising from the occurrence of such events.

Just as when you send a child to school, dogs can get colds, coughs, stomach bugs and other contagious diseases such as Canine Cough and Puppy Warts. Just as your child’s school does not pay for doctor’s visits when your child is injured or becomes sick, Ruff Housing does not pay for vet bills if your dog becomes sick or is injured while with us.

Canine Cough

Canine Cough, or Bordetella is the name for many different strains of upper respiratory diseases that cause a dog to cough or make a hacking or choking sound. It is usually not very serious and will pass in a few days. However, if your dog does begin coughing, we do recommend that they see a veterinarian to ensure that they receive proper treatment because the coughing can lead to more serious issues if left untreated. (Most veterinarians prefer if you call ahead so they can give you instructions on how to enter their building in order to avoid spreading the cough.)

If your dog is coughing, do not bring them to Ruff Housing until your vet has cleared them to be around other dogs (typically a week or so after their symptoms have subsided.) If a dog is boarding with us and begins to cough, we have isolated areas where they can stay that are vented to the outside until they are picked up. We will also notify you and contact a veterinarian on your behalf.

Ruff Housing does require the Bordetella vaccine for all dogs that visit us. But, the vaccine, like a flu vaccine for people, does not prevent all strains of potential upper respiratory issues.

Puppy Warts

These cauliflower shaped “warts” caused by the Canine Papilloma Virus typically appear in a dog’s mouth but can also appear on their paws or elsewhere. They most commonly appear in dogs with weaker immune systems like puppies. Like Chicken Pox for children, once a dog has had them, they have boosted their immune system against them and they typically do not get them again. So, it is often considered just a “right of passage” for puppies. They are not pretty, but they typically do not pose a health risk for your dog and they will usually just fall off in a week or two. However, if your dog does contract Puppy Warts, you may want to contact your veterinarian just to ensure that there are no health concerns you need to consider. Although Puppy Warts are contagious, very few dogs will contract them if they are around another dog with the warts since most dogs’ immune systems are strong enough to ward against them. Even so, Ruff Housing does not allow dogs that have Puppy Warts to participate in group play until the warts are gone.

Accidents & Injuries

Just as a school or sports team cannot prevent injuries for children who attend school or play sports, Ruff Housing cannot prevent injuries and accidents 100%. While accidents and injuries can occur at any time, there is a greater risk of an accident or injury if a dog participates in group play. Our group play is well staffed and our playroom supervisors receive training beyond industry standards, but they are working with live animals that can be unpredictable. Dogs can sometimes receive puncture wounds or cuts, scratches, broken nails, sore paw pads, sprains or other injuries in group play. You need to be sure that you are comfortable with this prior to choosing group play for your dog.

Also, it is important to check over your dog after they have participated in group play, grooming or otherwise attended Ruff Housing. While our staff checks over all dogs at least daily, punctures and cuts can sometimes be missed and can sometimes happen without our staff’s awareness. Even a small cut or puncture can become infected or cause more serious issues if not cleaned and properly cared for. So it is your responsibility to closely check your dog for any injuries and to ensure that they receive the proper care.


Canine Bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus) is the rapid swelling of a dog’s stomach, which becomes filled with excess gas, fluid or food and enlarges and twists the esophagus and intestines shut. Bloat is an unpredictable, life-threatening emergency that has no known cause and the symptoms can be very hard to recognize. While bloat is most common in larger breeds, it can occur in any dog at any time and without warning. It is possible for a dog to die from bloat in a short amount of time, sometimes even before any symptoms are noticed.

If our staff is concerned that your dog has bloat, we will take them for emergency treatment immediately. We will contact you or your emergency contact if possible, but a decision may need to be made quickly. Surgeries relating to bloat can be expensive and may not be successful. If you would prefer for your dog not to have surgery in the event they are affected by bloat, you may document that in writing with a signature for your dog’s file. Otherwise, Ruff Housing will seek all available treatment possible in consultation with the veterinarian and you will be responsible for any expenses.

Behavioral Issues

Ruff Housing is not responsible for any behavior issues or perceived behavioral issues that may result from your dog socializing with other dogs or otherwise attending Ruff Housing. Remember, if you are not comfortable with the increased risks associated with group play, you may always elect our Individual Care option for your dog.


If your dog has allergies of any type, it is your responsibility to ensure that the staff at Ruff Housing is aware of these allergies and the protocols to follow in the event of a reaction.  If your dog has any food allergies, it is important to bring your dog’s own food in the event we switch our house brand of food.

Health Conditions

All dogs attending Ruff Housing must be in overall good health and dogs in group play must be fit to play in an active environment. Dogs that have casts, stitches or medical devices are typically not good candidates for group play as the other dogs will be drawn to and chew on these items. Dogs that have hearing conditions can often be successful in group play, but dogs with vision impairments are generally not comfortable in a group of dogs. If your dog has hip or joint conditions, or other physical conditions, please discuss them with your veterinarian before your dog participates in group play or otherwise attends Ruff Housing.

Please let us know if your dog has any health issues. We are able to care for many dogs with special health needs, such as special feeding, more frequent bathroom breaks, or mobility issues. There may be an additional fee required. So, if your dog needs special care, be sure to discuss this with one of our managers prior to your dog’s arrival so that we can determine if we will be able to provide the care your dog needs.

Other Requirements To Attend Ruff Housing

Dogs must have been owned by their owners for at least ten days and may not have had any communicable disease within the thirty days prior to attending Ruff Housing unless cleared by a veterinarian. Please keep the safety of others in mind. If your dog has had or been exposed to a communicable disease, do not bring them to Ruff Housing until cleared by your veterinarian. Ruff Housing may require a written release from your veterinarian prior to your dog attending one of our facilities. We typically recommend that you have owned your dog for at least 30 days before they participate in group play. This allows them time to settle in to their new environment before introducing them to a group play environment.


If any injury or medical problem develops while your dog is in the care of Ruff Housing, Ruff Housing is authorized to do whatever is deemed necessary for the safety, health and well-being of your dog and you agree to be responsible for any expense incurred. If our staff is concerned that your dog has become seriously injured or ill, we will contact you or your emergency contact, if possible. However, you acknowledge that a decision may need to be made quickly, and you authorize Ruff Housing to take your dog for emergency treatment if and when Ruff Housing, in its sole discretion, deems necessary. Veterinary care can be expensive and surgeries to correct emergency medical conditions are not always successful. If you would prefer that Ruff Housing not seek emergency care for your dog, or if you would like a dollar limit on any emergency care, you must document that desire in writing with your signature for your dog’s file. Otherwise, Ruff Housing will seek all available treatment possible in consultation with the veterinarian and you will be responsible for the payment or reimbursement of any expenses.


Payment is due in full at the time services are provided. Our prices are listed and explained on our website as well as in brochures that are placed in the lobby of each of our locations.  It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand our charges prior to boarding your dog. Ruff Housing does not allow clients to defer payment beyond the time you pick up your dog. Boarding stays longer than one week will require payment in advance or a valid credit card to be on file for purposes of charging payment in full at the end of each week. If someone else will be picking up your dog, you may leave a card on file, pay via phone or pay in advance. If special arrangements must be made for your dog, for whatever reason, additional charges may be incurred.

Ruff Housing does not accept checks for payment. Account balances not collected for whatever reason may be sent to a third party for collection. For purposes of collecting outstanding balances, you give your consent to receive phone calls (automated or otherwise) made to any phone numbers provided. Your further acknowledge that you are liable for any court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees or other fees associated with the collection of payment.


You may receive a discount for purchasing daytime care in bulk. Our bulk packages are designed to give greater discounts for more frequent customers and they expire six months from the date of purchase. These packages are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Packages must be paid in full at the time of purchase and they may not be used to cover any past-due balances.

Hours of Operation

Regular hours of operation are 7 am to 6 pm every day including holidays. Dogs may be dropped off or picked up from 5 am to 7 am or 6 pm to 9 pm for additional fees. For safety reasons, our staff is not allowed to open the doors after 9 pm. Therefore, dogs that are not picked up by 9 pm will board with us until the next day and the owner will be responsible for the boarding fees.

Please note that check in time for the Penthouse Suites is 3 pm and check out time is 12 pm. Your dog may arrive before the check in time or leave after the check out time, but they may be placed in a different area.


When your dog is at Ruff Housing you will be given a password to access our webcams that allow you to view your dog while in group play or a penthouse suite. Viewing on our webcams is provided at no additional charge, so no refunds will be provided should our webcams not be operational.


Ruff Housing will accept walk-ins for any service if we have an opening. However, we do strongly recommend that you make a reservation in order to ensure that we have availability. When you make a reservation, you will receive a confirmation via email. If you do not have a reservation with an email confirmation, we may not be able to admit your dog if we do not have availability.

If you need to cancel a reservation, it is as simple as cancelling online or just giving us a phone call. Cancellations may result in forfeiting your deposit (see below).


Boarding reservations during peak periods require a $50 deposit per family. The peak periods for 2019 are:

  • April 12 – April 21
  • May 25 – September 3 (Deposit for weekends only.)
  • June 28 – July 7
  • November 27 – December 1
  • December 19 – January 1, 2020
  • The peak periods for 2020 are:
  • April 3 – April 19
  • May 23 – September 7 (Deposit for weekends only.)
  • June 26 – July 5
  • November 25 – November 29
  • December 18 – January 3, 2021

Deposits are due at the time the reservation is made and will be applied to the cost of the boarding stay. If you cancel or change your reservation at least seven days before your scheduled arrival date, your deposit will be refunded or left as a credit on your account. Deposits will be forfeited if cancellations or changes are made less than seven days prior to the scheduled arrival date. (Changes extending reservations will not incur a loss of deposit, but will be subject to availability.)


Most collars can cause safety hazards in a group play environment. Therefore, Ruff Housing may remove your dog’s collar when they arrive and replace it with a Ruff Housing collar that has been designed for safety in group play.


Photos, videos and webcam footage of the dogs, staff or clients at Ruff Housing may be used on the Ruff Housing website, social media, lobby displays or in other marketing material. You consent to our use of your or your dog’s image, likeness and name in such marketing materials. All photos, video and webcam images are the property of Ruff Housing and may not be used by you without prior written consent.

Dog Orientations

All dogs that attend Ruff Housing complete an orientation day where we get to know your dog. At Ruff Housing, all dogs are leashed and walked outside for bathroom breaks. We do not keep dogs in indoor/outdoor runs. Therefore, all dogs that attend Ruff Housing need to be friendly with people and willing to allow our staff to handle them and safely move them throughout the facility.

We recommend that you call ahead and make an appointment for the initial evaluation and a tour. The initial consultation and tour typically take about 10 to 20 minutes. We then ask that you leave your dog with us for at least 3 hours. During this time, we will spend time with your dog, learning their personality and introducing them to a range of activities to see what they enjoy. The orientation fee is $30.

If at any time your dog develops any medical conditions, personality concerns, or other conditions or behaviors that may affect his or her ability to participate in group play, it is your responsibility to notify the staff that your dog should not participate in group play if you or your veterinarian feels that your dog should not participate. Remember, the Enrichment Program may be a good alternative.  Our staff will continually assess your dog and determine which area we feel will be the best fit for your dog. This may change over time or daily and may depend on many different factors. It is up to our staff’s discretion to determine whether or not a particular option is a good fit for your dog.

Rest Periods

All dogs in group play receive a rest break in the middle of the day. However, our Counselors will continue to monitor your dog's body language and activity level and may provide your dog with additional breaks throughout the day.


All dogs attending Ruff Housing are required to be free of fleas and ticks and be on a monthly flea treatment. If a dog is found to have fleas and/or ticks, we will attempt to contact you regarding options. If we can not contact you., we will then give your dog a flea bath and/or a Capstar caplet. Capstar is a common flea treatment recommended and sold over the counter by veterinarians. If you prefer that your dog not receive a Capstar caplet in the event we discover fleas and are not able to contact you, please just let us know in writing and your dog can remain in our isolation area until you are able to pick him or her up.

Abandoned Dogs

Ruff Housing is not a dog rescue group nor do we find homes for homeless dogs. However, we do support and partner with many groups that serve this purpose and can give you their contact information if you need it. No dog may be abandoned at Ruff Housing.

If your dog is lodging with us, you may extend your dog’s stay by calling the front desk and making payment in full if the stay is extended beyond one week. Any dog that is left at Ruff Housing without extending the stay and appropriate payment, will be considered abandoned. If your dog is deemed abandoned under local, state or federal laws or regulations, you understand that Ruff Housing will, by default, become the legal owner and guardian of the dog.

Ruff Housing will then, in its sole discretion, determine whether to find another home for the dog or to relinquish the dog to a local shelter of its choice. You understand and agree that if you abandon your dog at Ruff Housing, you may be unable to retrieve possession of your dog and will have no recourse against Ruff Housing. You release Ruff Housing from all further liability and responsibility for your dog.

It is important for you to leave an emergency contact number other than someone that usually travels with you so that in the event you are unable to contact us, we have someone to contact about your dog’s stay. If you abandon your dog, you will still be responsible for the full boarding stay and any expenses incurred, including but not limited to any applicable attorney’s fees or court costs.