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Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together this list to help answer any questions you might have about Happy Hound and our policies. Don’t see your answer here? Give us a call at (510) 547-3647 and we’ll be happy to help.


Eligibility & Getting Started
Barks & Recreation Center


Eligibility & Getting Started

Is there an interview to get started?
Yes. At Happy Hound, all dogs are interviewed and assessed to make sure they are friendly and will work well in our social environment.

Register in our client portal to request an assessment »
Or call (510) 547-3647 to get scheduled.

How old does my dog need to be to stay and play at Happy Hound?
All dogs enrolled in basic daycare must be at least four months of age or older. Puppies in the Puppy Park Program must be at least 8 weeks old.

Do you have a spay/neuter policy?
We will work with dogs who are unaltered. Their temperament in group will be assessed and then monitored. If they become unable to remain in group due to their spay/neuter status, then we will work with them in our Enhanced Care program.

What vaccinations are required?
Owners will be required to provide proof of current vaccinations prior to all services at Happy Hound. Vaccinations include:

  • Influenza
  • Rabies
  • Bordetella

Flea and heartworm preventatives are also required to use our services.

This should be discussed with your veterinarian. We also support and encourage Titers blood test for all dogs as an alternative to proof of vaccinations.

How do I update vaccines?
The current vaccine status may be uploaded to the Client Portal or emailed to happyhound@shots.pet.

What if my dog is sick?
All dogs must be in good health. Owners must certify that their dog(s) are in good health and have not been ill with a communicable disease within the last 30 days.

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Visit our Daycare page »

Do I need to make a reservation for daycare?
No reservation is required for daycare once your dog has been assessed.

Can my dog be fed while in daycare?
Yes, please bring the food you would like us to feed your dog. Enter complete meal instructions in your Client Portal and we will be happy to feed your dog breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three. For dogs over 4 months there is a $6 meal fee per day. For puppies under 4 months, there is no meal charge.

How can I access the Webcams?
The webcams are on from 10:00am – 4:00pm every day. You can view them on the Webcams page, then clicking on the name of the Town your dog is in.

Should I bring food for my puppy?
Yes, for puppies under 4 months we will feed them at no additional charge if your puppy requires lunch. As an option, you may purchase food at the front desk. After 4 months of age, there is a $6.00 per day meal charge.

Why type of collar is required for playgroups?
The Happy Hound uniform is a quick release collar and a tag with your dog’s name.

What reasons would my dog be taken out of playgroup?
We will remove dogs from playgroup for various reasons for the safety of the group. Dogs that are in heat, excessive humping, over-excitement, or in need of a nap will be removed from group.

Can I book online?
Yes, you can request reservations and services online. All requests are pending until confirmed by our staff.

What’s the difference between Puppy Social and Puppy Park
Our Puppy Socials are 45 minute sessions for you and your puppy to interact with others under the careful supervision of our highly-trained staff. Puppy Park is daycare for puppies 2 – 4 months where they work on crate training and engage in supervised playtime every 2 hours.

What is Enhanced Care?
Our Enhanced Care program is for dogs who don’t qualify for playgroup. Enhanced Care dogs enjoy their own rooms and go out for individual potty walks with our staff throughout the day. Enhanced Care is also an option for dogs who have had recent surgeries, injuries or warts.

Is there a half day rate for daycare?
We do not offer a half day rate for daycare. Daycare is a flat fee and drop off and pick up can be anytime within our open hours. We have many packages available for daycare.

What if I’m late to pick up my dog from daycare?
We understand! Sometimes unexpected situations arise and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. Daycare pickup is available until 7pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends. Running a bit behind? Late pickup is until 7:30 on weekdays and incur an additional $35 fee. Premium late pickup is available till 9pm, 7 days a week, and you will be charged a $80 fee.

If for some reason you are unable to pick up your dog before 9pm, they will be registered for a night of boarding. Boarding checkout time is 2 hours after we open, but your happy hound is welcome to stay for daycare, standard rate applies. Unscheduled boarding guests will incur an additional charge of $75 plus applicable boarding fees.

Is there any special protocol for daycare early drop off or late pick up?

There sure is! Ring the bell on the Peralta side of the building to let us know you are here to drop off or pick up your dog and we will meet you at the door.

  • Early drop off: 6am weekdays, 8am weekends
  • Late pick up: 7 – 9pm weekdays, 5 – 9pm weekends

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Barks & Recreation Center

Visit our Barks & Recreation Center page »

What are Sniff & Splash sessions?
Sniff & Splash sessions are a supervised Barks & Recreation Center playtime available for happy hounds in daycare or boarding with us. Group and 1 on 1 sessions are available.

When is the Barks & Recreation Center open?
Barks & Rec is open for sessions 7 days a week.

To participate in a Sniff & Splash session, dogs must be checked in at Happy Hound before 10am and picked up after 3pm.

Is Barks & Rec open to the public?
The park is currently only available to happy hounds that are in daycare or boarding with us. We plan to offer events for the larger community in the future.

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What are your playgroups?
All dogs are assessed into a group and may be moved based on temperament of the dogs or the group. We have dogs that are dual citizens who may go in more than one group depending on the group.

What is Little Hound Town?
This is for small dogs and puppies over 4 months.

What is Middle Hound Town?
This is for our elite athletes. No matter how hard we try, it’s always a challenge to wear out this crowd. But, we are up to challenge and pride ourselves on sending home tired happy hounds!

What is Big Hound Town?
This is for our big dogs who do what big dogs like to do. Sometimes they play, sometimes they sunbathe, and sometimes they roam around town.

What is Lounge Around Town?
This is our Senior Center. Bingo!

Dogs that are less playful and enjoy their relaxation can go to Lounge Around Town if there is enough space. We have a capacity limit to allow for maximum lounging!

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Visit our Boarding page »

My dog hasn’t boarded at HH before, what are our first steps?
To ensure a good fit and a comfortable stay after the assessment, we require that all of our boarders have a minimum of two days of daycare prior to overnight boarding. Depending on the assessment outcome, we may require more than the minimum two days. This will be discussed during the initial interview.

What should I bring for my dog while boarding?
Food and any medications are all that is needed, we take care of the rest. We have bowls (including slow feeders), blankets and beds for the dogs staying with us. Blankets and toys from home may get lost or damaged, so we request that these stay at home.

What if my dog has special instructions for feeding and medications?
Our staff is trained for these instances. Please include all special instructions in your Client Portal.

Can my dogs sleep in the same room while boarding?

What is enrichment?
Enrichment is focused fun included in our Standard Plus and Enhanced Care Boarding. Enrichment may include fetch, tuggies, splash play, walks, or 1 on 1 time with a staff member.

Can I use Daycare passes towards boarding stays?
Daycare passes can only be used for Daycare.

What is your boarding Cancellation Policy?
Non-holidays: During most of the year, you may cancel your reservation with no penalty up to one day prior to arrival. Cancellations that occur within one day prior to check-in will result in a one night charge per guest to the credit card on file.

Additional holiday information and policies available here »

What if I need last minute boarding?

If we are at our scheduled capacity, same day boarding requests will be subject to a $75/night fee. These boarding requests cannot be guaranteed.

Is a credit card required to guarantee reservations?
Yes, reservations must be guaranteed with a credit card.

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Visit our Grooming Services page »

What are your grooming policies?
A 75% deposit on all grooming services is due at booking. 24 hour minimum is required for appointment cancellations. In the event of a late cancellation the monies are forfeited and cannot be held as a credit on file.

How often should my dog’s nails get trimmed?
Every four weeks to three months depending on how fast they grow.

What is the difference between a Basic Bath and a Deluxe Bath?
A Deluxe Bath is a Basic Bath plus a nail trim and ear cleaning.

Which bath should I schedule for my long-haired dog?
Our Basic Bath Plus and Deluxe Bath Plus are for dogs whose coats require a brush out.

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View the Holiday Boarding Calendar »

Are you open during holidays?
Yes. Happy Hound is open 365 days a year for you and your dog’s convenience.

What are your holiday boarding policies?
During peak holiday dates (Thanksgiving and Christmas) our policy is a 50% non-refundable and non-transferable holiday deposit. This allows us to ensure that our staffing to dog ratio is above expectation.

In the event of a cancellation the monies are forfeited and cannot be held as a credit on file.

There is a $30 holiday surcharge for each night of boarding that falls on peak holiday dates. A holiday minimum may apply.

What are peak holiday dates?
View the Holiday Boarding Calendar »

Is there a boarding minimum during peak holiday dates?
There is a 2 night minimum required for dogs checking in on the following dates:

  • Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

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Visit our Training Programs page »

What type of training do you offer?
We offer a variety of training programs, first step is to check out our options here »

How old does a dog have to be to start training?
We provide training for dogs 8 weeks and older.

What will my dog learn in training?
All of our training is customizable to your needs.

Does my dog have to stay overnight for training?
We have day training options as well as boarding and training options. We are happy to discuss what’s best for you and your happy hound when you give us a call.

What is daycare training?
While your dog is in daycare, the trainers will spend up to one hour throughout the day working on the goals you identify within the training session. Check out our package options here »

How soon can my dog start training?
Call us at (510) 547-3647 or email suzanne@happyhound.com to discuss details and availability.

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