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Camp Lisa Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of cage free dog boarding?                                                                          
Cage free pet boarding will make you dog feel right at home! They can run and romp and make themselves right at home instead of being stressed out and left in a cage feeling lonely and bored. They’ll be able to roam around and make plenty of two-legged and four-legged friends because there are no bars holding them back.

I’m nervous about how my dog will do away from home.
Dogs thrive in a social pack environment, that’s why they make such great pets, because they adopt you as their pack. At Camp Lisa, they are allowed to be in a pack environment with other dogs. This reduces their stress of leaving home and encourages them to socialize with other dogs in a safe secure place.

How much time do the dogs spend outside?
Dogs go in and out throughout the day.  To a certain extent, we let the dogs choose how much time they would like to spend outdoors.  Dogs that are enjoying the outdoors and would rather not come inside are usually allowed to stay outside, (the door to their room is mostly open) provided they are playing well and are not barking excessively.

What do you do when it rains?
In the center of our new facility we will have a 20’ x 40’ indoor play area. This way the dogs have the opportunity to group play no matter what kind of foul weather is outside. We also have patios with a 10’ overhang off all our dog suites so they can still be outside without getting wet. Although there are dogs who just love to play in the rain.

What about dogs that are on special diets, or require medication?                                     
Not a problem. We have many years of experience working with dogs requiring medication, and that have special dietary needs.

What should I bring when I board my dog at Camp Lisa?                                                              
We only require you to bring your dog’s food and any medication he/she is currently taking.  There’s no need to bring bedding, as we have plenty of it, and there’s always the possibility that personal bedding could be damaged. We don’t allow bones or treats in the group. We have plenty of food bowls as well, so no need to bring your own. We recommend a correctly fitting break-away flat collar with a name tag attached to it.

If you don’t have kennels or crates, where do the dogs sleep?                                                      
The dogs sleep on oversized dog beds, blankets, … and even the floor if that’s what they prefer. We use radiant heat throughout the building in the winter so the floor inside is always a comfortable temperature to be on. We have plenty of bedding available, though most of the dogs prefer to pile up together on a couple of the dog beds.

I am considering your services for my dog, but I’m not sure if he/she will do well at your facility– how can we find out if my dog(s) will be a good fit?
We are a good fit for many dogs, but not all dogs.  We will first start with a phone conversation where one of our staff members can learn more about your dog and get a better understanding of what type of care you are seeking.  If appropriate, we will schedule a “meet & greet” where you would bring your dog out for a visit so that, among other reasons, we can evaluate your dog’s compatibility with our services.

What if my dog REALLY doesn’t like other dogs? is there a separate area for dogs that don’t get along with others?
While we do have areas that we can use to separate dogs if absolutely necessary, ours is not a suitable situation for dogs that require their own space. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options in and around the Sacramento Area for dogs that are not socialized, or that require more restricted/selective socialization.

My dog is not neutered.  Do you take dogs that are not neutered or spayed?                                         
We generally do not take intact females over 9 months, and do not take intact males over 9 months for our boarding services.  Intact female dogs will be considered if the owner knows the timing of their dog's heat cycle. While we understand that many owners elect to keep their dogs intact for health or other reasons, it can be a dangerous environment for an intact dog.

What about fights and bites?                                         
Fights and bites are rare, but they do happen. Our number one goal is to provide an environment in which dogs are happy and comfortable.  To us, this means allowing dogs the necessary space and freedom to interact and play with other dogs, and to rest where they are comfortable. But this relative freedom comes with some risk, including injury from a bite by another dog. However, happy, anxiety-free dogs tend not to bite, and we take many steps to ensure happy, anxiety-free dogs. These steps include:

  • Prohibiting dogs that are overly-anxious/fearful around other dogs, or are otherwise aggressive towards dogs.
  • Providing an awesome facility where dogs can really run and play outdoors.
  • Providing attention, friendship, and love, and of course fresh water and food (and medications).
  • Proactively managing group play to ensure safe and fun interactions.
  • Reducing situations where “resource guarding” can happen (e.g., carrying around and feeding treats)
  • Actively interpreting body language to ensure dogs are happy and/or relaxed. 

That being said, just like human friends can quarrel, dogs can quarrel too. But, dogs can quarrel with their teeth, and sometimes a bite can happen before we can intervene. There are many reasons for fights and bites, and they can happen independent of each other- a bite doesn't have to involve a fight, and a fight often doesn't result in a bite.  We strive to eliminate and mitigate most of those reasons, and we are proud of how seldom we have any bites.
In addition, dogs will occasionally come home with scratches or minor scrapes/cuts.  This is completely normal and not a sign that your dog was "in a fight".  dogs do play with their teeth and nails…                                                                                                                                         
Once you visit, you will better understand how dogs can live in relative harmony with each other given the right setting.

Do you take aggressive dogs?                                                                                            
This is a difficult question to answer in a paragraph, but the short answer is…we do not accept "aggressive dogs". Any dogs showing clear signs of aggressive (reactive) behavior during an evaluation will not be accepted into Camp Lisa. However, there are many levels and types of aggression and very specific circumstances in which aggression can present itself. A dog can be very friendly with 99% of other dogs, 99% of the time and neither we nor the dog’s owner’s may ever see that 1% situation that brings out aggression. An initial evaluation with a dog may not turn up any aggressive/reactive tendencies.  But, subsequent day-boarding and overnight boarding stays may foster a level of comfort that will allow latent reactivity/aggression to present itself.  Additionally, maturing dogs can also develop “aggressive” reactions that were not present during puppyhood.  Our goal at Camp Lisa is to offer an environment that allows dogs to be comfortable and happy. However, just like in human relationships, where individuals can be on their best behavior during the “honeymoon” phase, bad habits (instincts) can emerge when a certain level of comfort is reached.  Conversely, dogs that are initially fearful or shy due to inexperience/bad experiences with other dogs, and therefore might have a tendency to warn approaching dogs through a growl, snap or bark, might shed these “aggressive” behaviors through measured, positive experiences with other dogs.  We do our best to try and understand innate and learned behaviors in each of the dogs, and work with them if possible.  If at any time we feel like a dog is a danger to other dogs, we will separate that dog and we will not allow that dog to return.

What happens if there is an emergency?                                                                                            
We take every precaution possible to keep our guests safe, however, should an emergency occur we will: stabilize the situation, contact family members, and transport to a Veterinary facility (if needed)

Can I come in for a tour?
We encourage it!  We are passionately committed to a safe, happy, and active boarding experience. Because dogs play and socialize in groups here and because safety and real fun are our primary goals, we need your dog to come in for a behavioral assessment and during that time we can give you a tour. This assessment is done by appointment.  

How do I make reservations?
Please register as a new client in "Admission Process" to make a reservation. All reservations must be confirmed by Camp Lisa. Holiday and summer reservations should be made well in advance.

What should I bring with my dog when I drop him off?   

  1. Current Vaccination Record from Vet.
  2. Food in bulk, please no individual meal bags.

All dogs come and go on leash, and you keep the leash. Vaccination records showing current DHPP (Distemper/Parvo), Rabies, Bordetella, and Canine Influenza should be presented at the time of check in. Please make sure your Bordetella is current prior to boarding.

What is kennel cough and is my dog at risk of contracting it?
Canine tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) is one of the most prevalent infectious illnesses in dogs given its highly contagious nature. Fortunately, most cases are mild and cure themselves within a few weeks; however, some cases may require antibiotics and/or a cough suppressant. Symptoms generally include a harsh, dry cough that most describe as sounding like the dog has something caught in its throat. Both viral and bacterial causes of kennel cough are spread through the air by infected dogs sneezing and coughing. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and through direct contact. It is commonly referred to as 'kennel cough' because exposure generally occurs in environments where there are other dogs in close proximity, such as kennels, dogs shows, groomers, dog parks and veterinary offices. The illness does not spread to humans.
Camp Lisa has several policies in place to protect our guest dogs and combat the spread of kennel cough including the fact that Camp Lisa’s outdoor environment severely limits the transmission of viruses and bacteria. All guest dogs are required to be current on vaccinations, including Bordetella, which is commonly linked to kennel cough. The facility is cleaned numerous times throughout the day, including the floors, beds, toys and fresh water containers. In addition, any dog exhibiting possible symptoms of kennel cough is immediately removed from the play area and the dog owner is phoned for pick-up. The dog will not be allowed to return until a visit to the veterinarian deems the dog is over the illness and is no longer contagious. Camp Lisa management also remains in constant contact with local veterinary offices to gain awareness of a local outbreak.

What is your cancellation policy?
Please give at least 48 hours’ notice before canceling especially during busy times like holiday weeks and summertime. We do fill up fast and last minute cancellations prevent us from filling your dog’s spot.

What happens when a dog needs to go to the Vet?
Because of our focus on safety, it doesn’t happen much. But, if your dog needs Veterinary care while visiting with us, we will try to contact you first, then we will also contact your local Veterinarian. If your Veterinarian is not local, we will contact our Vet in our area who can usually get us in immediately and they will contact your Vet for consultation if needed. 

Are there any dogs you won’t take?
Yes, but we do love them all!! We just recognize that our facility was designed with Sporting, Working and Companion dogs in mind. These dogs were bred to work and get along in a group even in heightened states of arousal (ball chasing and sharing of toys).  Not all dogs can do this and it’s not fair to expect them to. We are sorry to say that this system doesn’t work well for all breeds and our facility is not appropriate for all dogs.

What if I want my dog to be crated at night?                                                                                      
We have crates available if that’s your preference, but people rarely choose that as an option.

How do you keep your facility clean?                                                                                                  
One of the benefits of our unique setup, is that our staff doesn’t have to spend hours cleaning out kennels and dog runs. Basically; we immediately clean up any messes that are made, while we’re supervising the groups of dogs. The fact that the “messes” aren’t sitting for hours before being removed, helps to keep our space more sanitary and odor free. We also do frequent, thorough cleanings of the facility, using safe, environmentally friendly cleaning products.

I work from home; why would I bring my dog for day-boarding?                                            
People often utilize this service for the benefits of socializing their dog with other dogs and people.  Ideally, our day-boarding is a safer environment for this type of socialization than dog parks, because all of the dogs have been evaluated, and are supervised by experienced staff members. Some people just want their dogs worn out from play so they’re a little easier to manage. Socialization and exercise are crucial for a healthy, well-adjusted dog.

Why is it called Camp Lisa?                                                                                                                    
Our very first customer used to brag about when his dog came to visit. He would say it was like taking his dog to camp, she comes back happy, tired, and dirty.

Will My Dog Come Home with Different Urination habits?
They may improve! They absolutely will not under any circumstances deteriorate! We guarantee it! The dogs here relieve themselves outside on grass, dirt or gravel, not cement or tile. All dogs have every opportunity to urinate and defecate outside here so we will be helping you maintain good habits. 

Is there someone watching the dogs at night?                                                                                  
The Owner of the Facility Lives On Site. Having an owner on site gives a heightened level of security, oversight, and an unmatched level of care and protection.