Daycare & Boarding FAQs
What vaccinations does my dog need to have for daycare or boarding?
In addition to being free of communicable diseases, we require that dogs playing or staying at Downtown Dogs are current on and provide documentation of DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, Parainfluenza), Rabies and Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccinations.
You can either ask your veterinarian to fax (612-374-3650) or email email@example.com vaccination records to us or bring them to your evaluation.
All dogs over seven months of age must also be spayed or neutered for Free Play Daycare or Free Play Boarding. Intact dogs are welcome to take advantage of our Individual Daycare or Individual Boarding option.
Why is an evaluation required before the first full day of daycare or boarding?
We want all our dogs to be happy and comfortable. The evaluation helps ensure that your dog is a good fit for the daycare environment and that the daycare environment is a good fit for your dog. We ask for a minimum of four hours to complete the evaluation.
There is no extra charge for the evaluation, just our standard daycare rates for the evaluation period.
Please also allow yourself about 15 minutes at evaluation drop off to review registration paperwork and additional information with one of the staff.
Can I drop in any time for an evaluation?
To make sure there’s both time and space to dedicate to your dog, please call to schedule your evaluation.
My dog is always great with other dogs. Do I still need to bring him in for an evaluation?
Yes. We evaluate every dog prior to his or her first daycare or boarding visit to Downtown Dogs, whether she’s a senior Great Dane or a Chihuahua puppy.
My dog does not like other dogs. Can he still go to Downtown Dogs?
Absolutely. Our Individual Daycare option is designed for those dogs who don’t really care for the company of other dogs. Your dog will relax in a large, private suite furnished with a comfortable bed, cozy blankets and plenty of fresh water. She’ll get plenty of attention from our staff, along with a minimum of five individual potty breaks in one of our three outdoor yards.
How old does my dog have to be to go to daycare?
If your dog is old enough to be at home with you then they are old enough to hang out with us. However, all dogs over seven months of age must be spayed or neutered for Free Play Daycare or Free Play Boarding. Intact dogs are welcome to take advantage of our Individual Daycare and Individual Boarding options.
I have a Pitbull. Can she still play or stay at Downtown Dogs?
When we say we love all dogs, we mean it. Fluffy or flat coat, mixed or purebred, misunderstood or misjudged, we don’t discriminate. All breeds are welcome at Downtown Dogs.
My dog is small—will he be separated from the big dogs?
Maybe. One of the many amazing—and often funny—things about dogs is that they’re not very aware of their size. We get to know every dog and then group them by temperament (e.g., energy level, play style) – not necessarily by size – to make sure the runners and jumpers have plenty of fun while the slower set get their peace and quiet.
What room will my dog be in?
Downtown Dogs has 18,000 square feet and four huge playrooms that allow us to separate dogs by temperament, activity level and play style, rather than just by size.
Florida: Often a respite for seniors, small dogs or shy dogs, Florida is the place for pups who might find a highly active playgroup overwhelming. This is the place to go for a day of hanging on the couch with friends.
Las Vegas: This is where the action happens. Vegas is home to lots of young ‘uns that love to wrestle, run and romp the day away.
New York: Does your pup like to party…to a point? New York is home to dogs who still want to play hard but with the joint-soothing comfort of a rubberized floor.
Iowa: When Florida overflows, this is where the rest of the chill crowd goes to stretch out and relax.
What if the dogs just don’t get along?
Honestly, furry friction is pretty rare. The dogs are constantly supervised by staff, extensively trained to understand dogs’ body language so fights can be stopped before they start.
Because we evaluate all dogs prior to joining the play pack and their behavior is carefully managed while they’re here, things generally run smoothly. While there is never a guarantee, Downtown Dogs takes every precaution to ensure there are no fights. Your dog’s safety is our top priority!
What time can I drop off or pick up my dog?
Monday through Friday, we open our doors promptly at 6:45 am. On Saturdays and Sundays, play time starts at 10:00 am. To ensure everyone gets enough rest, and our staff has time to focus on the work that needs to be done, our doors lock promptly at 8:00 pm, Mon – Fri and at 6:00 pm Sat – Sun. In the event your dog is still at Downtown Dogs after 8:00 pm, Mon – Fri or after 6:00 pm Sat – Sun, their play date becomes a sleepover. Boarding rates apply.
For dogs who are boarding with us, check out time is 10:00am. Daycare fees will apply for boarding pick ups after 10:00am.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require a credit card to hold all boarding reservations. For Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, we require reservations to be cancelled two weeks prior to arrival date or the credit card on file may be charged if we are unable to fill the cancelled nights. For all other dates, boarding reservations may be cancelled with no charge up to the day of arrival.
Do you provide outdoor play areas?
Yes! We have three city-approved outdoor play yards accessible for pups to both potty and play.
My dog has medication he’ll need to receive while he’s at Downtown Dogs. Can you administer his medication?
We are happy to administer any medications* that your dog requires while they are with us, all at no additional charge, of course. All you have to do is provide the medication and let us know how much and when to give it. Our staff are well-trained in how to medicate even the most reluctant “patient.” We provide pill pockets and peanut butter for dogs who prefer a little “treat” with their medication. Our staff are also trained in how to administer Insulin and other subcutaneous medications. Please be sure to bring enough medicine for your dog’s entire stay. We will go over any medication requirements at time of check-in. *Note: We cannot administer any intravenous medications.
What happens if my dog gets hurt while she’s at Downtown Dogs?
Since dogs do bite and claw as they rough house and play, minor cuts and scratches are not uncommon. But you can rest assured that every precaution is taken to avoid a serious altercation.
Should an injury occur that we feel needs a veterinarian’s attention, we will first attempt to get in contact with you (or your emergency contact if we cannot reach you) and your primary veterinarian. If we cannot reach your veterinarian, or they are not available to see your dog, we will have your dog seen by one of the local veterinarians we work with or by one of the emergency veterinary practices in town (Blue Pearl or University of Minnesota).
Do I need to make a reservation for daycare? Can I just drop in?
Once your dog has had their initial evaluation, we do not require reservations for daycare. Just bring them in anytime they want a play day. Reservations are required for overnight boarding.
How do I make a boarding reservation?
For boarding reservations, call 612-374-DOGS (3647).
Is there any staff on-site at night after you close?
Over the many years that we have been in business we’ve discovered that it takes the dogs longer to settle down at night when they know that people are still in the building. Our staff is on site from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., 365 days a year. After 10:00 p.m., all boarding dogs are safely tucked into their beds and settled in for the night and staff goes home for some well-earned rest. The boarding room is monitored electronically 24 hours a day.
Can I have a tour to see where my dog will play or stay?
Of course! We’re proud to show off the sights, sounds (and yes, smells) of Downtown Dogs. But if you’re just dropping by to get a feel for the place, we ask that you leave your furry friend at home.
My dog will be boarding at Downtown Dogs. What should I bring?
When your dog stays with us, we’re happy to provide her with a comfy bed, blankets, bowls and plenty of fresh water. To avoid any tummy troubles that can come with an abrupt change in diet, we ask that you provide enough food for their entire stay. Items from home, such as beds, toys, rawhides, etc. can sometimes be too tempting for your dog’s neighbors in our boarding room. To avoid any misunderstandings, we ask that you leave these items at home.
Where are you located?
We’re conveniently situated on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, one block south of International Market Square, near the Farmers Market and the Minneapolis Impound Lot. We have ample parking and easy access to downtown, Interstate 394 and both East and West 94.
Ralph and the management team are happy to answer your questions. Feel free to reach out ; we’re committed to meeting every dog where they are at and to delighting every dog and dog owner who comes through our door!