I’ve checked out many dog care places in the area, both for day and night stays. I know that many dog owners choose to have a pet sitter stay at their house, but because Kora is not able to be left unattended for any length of time, this is not an option for me right now. Here is my experience of local dog care places.
Happy Hikedog Pet Sitting, San Ramon, CA (House)
Bill and Sue run Happy Hikedog out of their house. Their rates are extremely reasonable at $20 for day care (for up to 12 hours) and $30 for overnight. They even have free pick up and delivery for dogs who stay at least two nights. They also do dog walking and pet sitting if you want them to come to your home. I am thrilled to find out about them and I already have Kora lined up for regular day care visits. Kora loves her time with Bill and Sue. I went to pick her up today and she didn’t want to leave. Now, that’s a good sign! They take dogs for walks daily. Today, they took Kora to the dog park. Kora comes home from day care pooped, which is quite desirable (and impressive!) for a dog mom of a high energy pup. Bill takes great photos and sends them to dog parents every day. Sometimes he posts a video of your pup’s play on YouTube. Their yard is completely fenced in and they host large and small dogs. They have a 2 year old Golden Doodle, Shasta, who is a built-in playmate for your dog. They have a max of 4 to 5 dogs at any given time. Dogs can come in and out of the house as they please. There is 24/7 supervision which is a plus for Kora since she doesn’t like to be left alone. There are no crates (unless your dog likes one and you bring it) which is a must for me since Kora does not like to be crated. I recommend Happy Hikedog Pet Sitting for both small and big, as well as active and inactive dogs.
Cynthia’s Canine Inn, Alamo, CA (House)
Cynthia’s Canine Inn is great. Kora has stayed here many times for both day and night care. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor space for the dogs to play. The dogs are not crated, unless your dog likes to sleep in the crate. Sometimes Cynthia and Gene take the dogs for a hike in nearby open space. Dogs staying for boarding get a welcome sign on the door and a treat bag when leaving. Gene and Cynthia are great with the dogs. Even though Kora is high-energy, they always welcome Kora with open arms, which I appreciate. Pricing is fair and reasonable in comparison with the other dog care places listed here, though not as reasonable as Happy HikeDog Pet Sitting. They charge $25 for day care up to 5 hours and $35 for day care up to 10 hours. They charge $45 for overnight (once you hit VIP status which happens after 3 visits). They allow up to 10 dogs at a time, so it can be a little hectic, but they have plenty of space. I recommend Cynthia’s Canine Inn for high energy pups who like to play with other dogs.
Pampering Paws, Danville, CA (House)
Kora stayed here a few times during the day. Kris is great with the dogs. She has a wonderful back yard. The problem is that Kris leaves the house 1 to 2 times every day for up to 1.5 hours. When she does, she puts some dogs in x-pens and some in crates. Kora, being a larger dog that could jump the pens, was crated. Kora does not like to be crated. Kris was kind enough to video Kora while crated. We thought maybe being tired from dog play would make the crating different than when Kora was crated at home. Nope. Kora cried the entire time, chewing violently on the metal bars. If your dog doesn’t mind being crated a few hours during the day and overnight, this is a good choice.
The Fairy Dog Mother Inn & Day Spaw, Concord, CA (House)
I only visited The Fairy Dog Mother. Kora never stayed here. This place was pretty pricey and I did have concerns about Kora wandering off in the open space adjacent to the property. If your dog is not a jumper, it’s not a concern. It is also kind of far from my house. The dogs seem well-cared for here and are not crated.
DogMah Doggie Care & Spa, San Ramon, CA (House)
DogMah is by far the most convenient place. It is out my back gate and to the right three houses down. Unfortunately, I’m not sure Rachel at DogMah could handle Kora. Kora stayed with Rachel one time in October for a few hours. Rachel had one other dog there that day. When I picked up Kora, I asked Rachel if Kora was welcome back. She said only if the other dog was not there. It seems the two dogs together had been a handful. Dog watching is not a full time job for Rachel, so I think she does best with mellower dogs that don’t need such constant supervision. Kora was put in a room for a few minutes while Rachel was feeding the other dog. Kora got into a bag of treats and came home with diarrhea. I called Rachel one more time to see if Kora could come over and she said she could not accommodate. I got the feeling that Rachel was not interested in my business, so we haven’t been back. Dogs are not crated.
WOOF San Ramon, CA (Commercial)
Nope, I’m not leaving Kora here under any circumstances. It is in an industrial park, so it’s not very inviting. There is separate housing for day care and boarding dogs, with an automotive shop in between. The “outside” area is not very big or pleasant. For that matter, neither is the inside. Sure, it’s economical, but it’s not for me. Dogs are crated at night which doesn’t work for Kora.
Doggy Day Care and Stayovers, Danville CA (House)
This place came recommended by a friend. It is conveniently located for me and reasonably priced. Linda does not crate the dogs which is good for me because Kora does not like to be crated. I had a less than positive experience here. I dropped Kora off and 10 minutes later found myself climbing over their fence to rescue her. Unfortunately Linda is not home often (she works most days at Shampooches washing dogs), so the dogs are left with her father. Her father is a very sweet man, but can’t hear very well (he is 85 years old). When I rang the bell to get Kora (because I just didn’t have a great feeling about leaving her with the dad), he couldn’t hear the bell. The dogs barked because they could hear the bell and he would yell at the dogs for barking (because he could not hear the bell, he had no idea why they were barking). I do not trust him completely to be able to handle 10 dogs. The dogs have a small area in the house. The backyard is entirely concrete. It is okay in size, but not huge and not interesting since it is all concrete. I did not give it another try with Linda there. I had purposely set up a time when Linda would be there only to find she had been called to a dog washing appointment and would be home “shortly” which is why I found myself in the predicament of leaving Kora with the father. Personally, I would not recommend this place.
Two other popular options that I did not visit because they crate dogs are Dogtopia and Kamp K9. If your dog does not mind being crated, these could be options for you:
Dogtopia, Pleasanton, CA (Commercial)
Dogtopia crates for two hours during the day for nap time and at night for sleeping. This doesn’t work for Kora who does not like to be crated so I never visited Dogtopia.
Kamp K9, Castro Valley (Commercial)
Kamp K9 crates at nights and crates during the day for dogs who are staying overnight. They said that they might crate day care dogs as needed when it is raining. Because of the crating, I did not visit Kamp K9.
If you live in the area, please share your dog care experiences! And if you don’t live in the area, feel free to share any crazy dog care tales you might have.