Vol. LXII, No. 11
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
CANINE COMPANIONS: “We really feel we provide the best service. There is always someone here with the dogs. This is so important. We offer quality care for the dogs and peace of mind for their owners, who know their pet is in a safe, happy, and supervised environment.” Carole Lini (left), owner of All Good Dogs Daycare, is shown with Rocky, a chihuahua-terrier mix. Dog counselor Christine Kramer holds Jake, a Cavalier spaniel-papillion mix.
Is your pet a “pooch potato”? If your dog is becoming a bit too sedentary, inactive, and lonely while you are away, the answer may be “a home away from home.”
All Good Dogs Daycare, with three locations — South Brunswick, Cherry Hill, and Lawrence — offers a safe, friendly, and spacious environment for dogs to socialize with other dogs under the supervision of trained counselors.
“We are available for people who are not comfortable with the typical kennel situation, where the animals are in a more confined area,” explains owner Carole Lini. “Our newest location in Lawrence at 160 Basin Road, is our largest facility, with 5000 square feet, and we can accommodate 55 dogs. We have lots of room so the dogs have plenty of exercise, stimulation, and socialization. Typically, there will be 30 or more dogs here each day.
“We are very easy to get to on Basin Road, just off Baker’s Basin Road. Look for the big yellow house with the red roof, and the big red star. We like to think we are a ‘5-star’ facility! Customers come from all over the Prince-ton area and beyond.”
All three locations provide the same service, including daycare, overnight boarding, and grooming and training by appointment. The Lawrence site offers an especially happy setting for the dogs, who are all ages, sizes, and breeds. In addition to four outdoor yards, there are indoor play areas, and feeding, sleeping, and grooming areas, all of which are kept spotlessly clean.
“We pride ourselves on giving the dogs the best environment and experience,” says Ms. Lini. “We are very passionate about our work. We love what we do. Everyone who works here loves animals.
“In addition,” she notes, “we are a 24-hour facility. We offer cage-free overnights, and there is always someone here with the dogs all night long. We are the only daycare facility in the area that provides 24-hour service.”
When owners consider sending their dogs to All Good Dogs Daycare, they first fill out a questionnaire, reports Ms. Lini. “Then, we’ll do a four-hour evaluation of the dog. We want to see how it interacts and mingles with the other dogs, and how the dog acts without its owner. We want to see if the dog will be a good match here, and we always look for signs of aggression. We don’t take aggressive dogs.
“Also,” she continues, “the animals must be spayed or neutered, with all vaccinations up to date. It is especially important that they have Bordatella for kennel cough.”
Four months to 14 or 15 years is the age range, with the upper limit depending on the dog’s health. Chihuahuas to Great Danes have been clients, with all sizes and breeds in between, reports Ms. Lini. “We group dogs according to age, size, temperament, and activity level. We put dogs who are a little more mellow together, and we find that the dogs often form friendships with each other. They are usually very well-behaved.”
Some dogs prefer to stay outside a good part of the day; others enjoy a well-deserved nap inside. “We usually rotate them in and out, so they have the opportunity to play outside and inside,” explains Ms. Lini.
Generally, clients bring their dogs’ own food, and the staff will also give medications, if needed.
Many dogs come five days a week; others three times or once a week. Prices are $35 for 12 hours of care, and $55 for overnights (which also includes day). A special pre-paid club card is available for $33 per day, and if a dog comes five times a week, the cost is $25 per day.
Typical overnights are five to seven days, but many dogs often stay longer. Sleeping accommodations are on the second floor, with bunk beds and floor beds available.
“If they’re here for a longer period, we’ll give them some extra TLC,” says Ms. Lini. “We are the next best thing to home.”
Pictures of the canine clients are featured on the walls of the reception area, and the staff will email photos of their dogs to owners, if the visit is lengthy. Some owners miss their dogs so much, they will even call and ask to speak to the dog, notes Ms. Lini. “One owner called us on 9/11. He was very upset because he was looking for his wife, and now, he just wanted to make sure his dog was safe. Pets are such an important part of the family.”
They certainly are to Ms. Lini, who grew up with animals, and as she says, “I was always the kid bringing home the strays. I always knew working with animals was the only career I wanted. My first job was as a vet tech, and when I was 19, I started Whisker Watchers, a pet-sitting and dog-walking business, which continues to serve the area.
“I really love doing the daycare now, and I feel we provide the best service. When I first started, people said, ‘You can’t have dogs together. There will be problems.’ That isn’t true. Dogs are pack animals. They like to be together. They need to exercise to get rid of their extra energy. It’s important for dogs to be socialized. It’s better for the dog, and the younger, the better.”
In addition to daycare and overnights, All Good Dogs Daycare offers grooming by appointment, including bath, clipping, ear-cleaning, and nail-trimming. After the bath, dogs are dried in an open pen by an air dryer.
Obedience and general command training is also available, as is transportation, if clients need their dogs to be picked up and taken home.
Ms. Lini is proud that All Good Dogs Daycare has filled an important need, which continues to increase. “We look forward to providing the very best service we can for every dog. Knowing that we offer such a valuable service and that the dogs love to come here is very rewarding. We work very hard. We have a dedicated, experienced staff who first and foremost love dogs. The right people make it work.”
Hours are Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 to 6. 609-587-3535. Website: www.allgooddogsdaycare.com.
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