Boarding & Daycare FAQs

What does the boarding/daycare fee include?

Camp Wignall Fees are all-inclusive for food, bedding, bowls, toys, treats and outdoor and indoor play times.  There is no additional fee for playtimes or playgroups which total approximately 4 hours per day; or for ongoing training which is incorporated into all of our play activities. 

Play groups are orchestrated based on each pet’s level of comfort with other pets, socialization skills, temperment, the pet’s age and size, as well as owner recommendations and staff recommendations. They provide the optimal opportunity for play, staff interaction, the company of other pets and stress relief.

If your pet is on medication, there is a medication administration fee of $9.00 per day per pet.

What is the medication administration fee for?

We take administering your pet’s medications seriously and have our medical staff supervise it.

By having Wignall Animal Hospital administer your pet’s medication, our medical staff oversees all medication dispensing and monitors side effects during your pet’s stay.  In the event that your pet experiences any complications from his/her medications, our veterinarians will do an assessment and contact you to assist you with an appropriate medical action plan.

How do I enroll my pet in boarding or daycare?

Boarding:  You can register your pet for boarding in 3 ways:

#1 Phone: 978-454-8272. We will mail you a registration form to complete, sign, date and return to us either in person, via mail or via fax (978-458-4646). A reservation is confirmed once we receive the form back completed by you. 

#2 Website: you can print a Boarding Registration Form from our website. Then complete, sign, date and return to us either in person, via mail or via fax (978-458-4646). Once received, we will verify that we availability for the dates you requested. If we are unable to accommodate your request, we will call you to discuss it with you and we can place your name on a Boarding Waiting List for your desired dates.

#3 In Person: you can make a boarding reservation and submit a Borading Reservation Form in person at the hospital. We will be able to confirm availability at that time.

Daycare: You can register your pet in 3 ways: phone, website, in person as noted above for Boarding.

Daycare registration requires that 2 forms are completed, dated, signed and submitted to Wignall Animal Hospital: Daycare Enrollment Form and Daycare Participation Agreement Form. The submitted forms will be reviewed by our Kennel Supervisor who will contact you to discuss Daycare for your pet before you bring your pet the first time.

Can my pet board/come to daycare if he/she is sick?

Because we must protect the health of all our “campers”, you should make alternate arrangements for a sick pet.  Just like with children at school, contagious illnesses can spread to other pets.  It is for this reason that up to date vaccinations and fecal testing are required for our campers. We ask that your boarding/daycare pet be illness/symptom-free for at least 2 weeks before boarding with us.

 If you would like us to provide “Medical Boarding” for a sick pet, the pet is hospitalized in our medical facility, under the care of our medical team. The fee for Medical Boarding is $54 per day for a dog; $41 per day for a cat. (Additional fees apply for examinations,medications, treatments and any other applicable services required.)

What if my pet shows symptoms after boarding has begun?

If your pet is identified as sick within the first 24 hours of a boarding/daycare stay, we consider your pet to have arrived sick and may need to place your pet in medical isolation.  A medical  examination ($54) will be done to  diagnose your pet’s illness. A veterinarian will contact you to discuss an appropriate medical plan. If hospital isolation is required, we provide this service for a special fee of $35 per day per pet, because we understand that you did not realize your pet was sick when you dropped him/her off for boarding. Medical isolation enables us to protect the health of our other boarders/daycare pets; and to treat your pet in the medical environment where he/she can be closely monitored while you are away. If medically appropriate, we will move your pet into regular boarding in our Kennel as soon as possible, at which time standard boarding rates will apply.

If my pet has never stayed for boarding or daycare, do you help him/her to adjust?

Our campers are spoiled with attention and lots of tender loving care!  Our staff take every new camper under their wings and focus on helping him/her feel at ease, safe, comfortable and happy to be here.  It is normal for your pet to need some time adjusting to your absence, home routines and smells, familiar faces and sounds.  While there is no replacement for you, thanks to our staff, our campers learn to love camp as their “second home”!

What is “kennel cough”?

Kennel cough is an old fashioned term for a cough.  A cough is not an illness but rather a symptom of some kind of upper respiratory infection. Previously, a cough in a dog was only associated with groups of dogs in contact with each other, such as in a boarding kennel because most dogs stayed at home their entire lives and very few people boarded their dogs..

Times have changed!  Today, dogs live in close contact with humans who often take their dogs everywhere, including to dog parks, back and forth to the vet, for rides in the car, for visits with friends, etc. Dogs are no longer home bodies!  AND, viruses and bacteria that can cause a cough are easily transmitted by people on shoes and clothing as well as by dogs themselves via their saliva and breath/cough.

Canine Cough can be a symptom of a simple cold, allergies, a foreign body lodged in the throat, canine influenza (dog flu), pneumonia or bronchitis.  An infection can be a simple cold causing a cough which lasts 1 or 2 days or it can take 2 weeks to resolve completely

Why does my dog seem fine and then suddenly start coughing?

A cough usually is evident several days after the pet has been exposed to the source of irritant, therefore your dog could arrive at Camp Wignall appearing completely normal and without a cough, already exposed to the irritant. If your dog begins coughing while boarding, he/she most likely carried the infection in his/her body

unknowingly into camp. If your dog begins coughing while in boarding, we will immediately isolate him/her in our medical facility and care for him/her there until departure or he/she is symptom-free.  Medical fees apply.

How can Wignall Animal Hospital prevent the spread of coughing?

We do everything humanly possible to maintain a clean, safe facility. Our Kennel Staff have strict requirements for disinfection of kennel runs/cages; use anti-bacterial sanitizer; wear gloves when appropriate; do a quick medical screening of every boarding pet upon arrival; monitor all boarding pets for obvious symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, runny eyes, lack of appetite and lethargy; sanitize food/water bowls daily; sanitize cleaning equipment daily; sanitize our outdoor turf daily; clean up any pet waste promptly and properly dispose of it. They report all significant symptoms immediately to our medical staff for evaluation on a case-by-case basis. Of course we require that all boarding dogs must have the Bordatella vaccination, the only vaccination available  for the most common source of bacterial infections that can cause a cough.

If my dog is vaccinated with the Bordatella vaccination, how can my dog catch an illness from another dog’s cough?

The Bordatella vaccination does not provide 100% protection!  Similar to human flu shots, the vaccination may protect a dog completely or reduce the severity of the illness, but it can not guarantee that a dog will never get a cough.

How can I know if my dog has been exposed to a virus or bacteria that will cause one of these illnesses?

The only way you would know is if you see your dog with a dog who has these symptoms!  We often see coughing cases in a dog who has been at home, has not had contact with other dogs; or has been with other dogs, but none of them had any symptoms seen by the dog owners. Similar to children in school, this is  why it is so challenging to prevent the spread. You often do not know a dog is contagious until he/she is coughing, has a runny nose or runny eyes.

My pet’s vaccinations are coming due, but are not yet expired. Can I have his/her annual physical examination, vaccinations, fecal test and other routine tests done during boarding?

Yes! If vaccinations are expired, boarding pets should have their updated vaccinations 2 weeks before beginning a boarding or daycare stay.  If the vaccinations are not yet expired,  simply tell us you would like them done during a boarding stay. Because you will be absent during your pet’s physical exam during boarding and your input on your pet’s health, current habits and behaviors is very important to our understanding of his/her overall health, please complete a Patient Information Form available at the hospital. The form enables you to give your veterinarian this important information about your pet to enable her to have the complete picture of your pet.  You can obtain the form in advance or at drop off for boarding, whichever is most convenient for you. It takes approximately 2 minutes to complete the checklist/form. Once completed, it will be provided to your veterinarian.

Can I have a medical re-check done during a boarding stay?

Yes!  If your pet is not contagious, he/she can board in the Kennel and we will perform the medical recheck examination during the boarding stay. Because you will be absent during your pet’s physical exam during boarding and your input on your pet’s health, current habits and behaviors is very important to our understanding of his/her overall health, please complete a Patient Information Form available at the hospital. The form enables you to give your veterinarian this important information about your pet to enable her to have the complete picture of your pet.  You can obtain the form in advance or at drop off for boarding, whichever is most convenient for you. It takes approximately 2 minutes to complete the checklist/form. Once completed, it will be provided to your veterinarian.

Can I have a sick appointment for my pet while he/she is boarding?

If you arrive with a sick pet to board, your pet would be hospitalized and boarded in our medical facility. Medical Boarding fees plus any applicable treatment, examination or medication fees will be due upon pick up of your pet. We are happy to provide you written estimate at any time. Please discuss your pet’s situation with your veterinarian  in advance and she will discuss costs and services with you before such a boarding stay; and whether  we can accomodate your pet’s medical condition in your absence.

What if my pet needs only an updated fecal test in order to board and I don’t realize it until I arrive for drop off?

We will perform the fecal test in the hospital at drop off. If the test is negative, nothing further need be done. If the test is positive, your pet can not be in the Kennel unless treated, therefore we will immediately begin treatment. You will be responsible for the cost of the fecal test and any medication or other treatment required enabling your pet to board in the Kennel.

Can I have my pet groomed during a boarding stay?

Yes!  Simply choose “Grooming” on the Boarding Registration Form and we will arrange an appointment with one of our Groomers during your pet’s stay. The Grooming Fee is due upon check out from boarding.

I am very particular about how I want my cat/dog groomed. How will the Groomer know what my preferences are?

We highly recommend you speak with one of our Groomers before the boarding stay. You will also indicate any specific instructions on your Boarding Registration Form. You can feel free to call our grooming facility, Wignall Day Spa, at 978-454-4216/4217 to discuss your instructions. One of our Groomers would be happy to hear from you.

What will my pets be fed during boarding? My pets are very finicky eaters.

We use Hills® Diets for all our boarding pets. These are the same foods we recommend to our clients and also used by our staff for their own pets.  Normally, we feed our boarding dogs and cats Hills “Sensitive Stomach” which is light, easily digestible food we find most of our boarders enjoy and adjust to easily. If you prefer to bring your own food from home, you are welcome to do so. There is no extra charge for this.

Exotic pets such as snakes, turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, hedgehogs, birds, rats and mice, bring their species-specific food to boarding, along with their “habitat” from home.

I know dogs can get rough during play. Can my dog get hurt?

We take every recommended precaution to keep all our boarding pets safe while they have a great time with us!  Dogs will be dogs as the saying goes, however all play groups are supervised by our staff who have been trained in managing dog behavior. It is very unlikely that your dog will get hurt because of the close supervision and our intervention when play is heading towards being rough or inappropriate. Just as with a group of children, there are occasional cuts and scrapes which are unavoidable-dogs do use their teeth and bodies to play after all!  Because we ease new boarders into a play group, trying to match them in size, activity level, temperament, etc, we carefully monitor their ability to socialize with their “new friends” and will change the “play plan” any time necessary.

The soft, dog-friendly outdoor turf eliminates wounds and injuries caused by hard surface play areas; and our entire outdoor play space is fenced, including double gating for entry and exit for additional safety against escape.

What standard does Camp Wignall use for how boarding and daycare are run?

Wignall Animal Hospital/Camp Wignall is a member of the Pet Care Services Association (P.C.S.A), formerly the American Boarding and Kennel Association (A.B.K.A.) and we follow their guidelines for professional pet boarding and daycare facilities. We have recently applied for PCSA Gold Accreditation as a Boarding and Daycare Facility/Program. Accredited programs/facilities must meet rigorous standards in 15 different categories, including pet safety, facility operations and cleanliness, staffing, staff training  and pet evaluations for group play.

What training or credentials do Camp Wignall Kennel Staff have?

All of our Kennel Staff undergo extensive training under the mentoring of a senior staff person. The training covers all aspects of kennel operations, pet care, pet safety, sanitation, pet first aid and medical issues as well as  cleanliness, behavior management and customer service. Staff training is an ongoing process that includes monthly in house training sessions for all Kennel Staff.

Our Senior Kennel Staff have years of experience handling, treating, training and managing pets in group settings.

Jolene Landry, Kennel Supervisor and Daycare Group Leader, has 10+ years of experience and training that includes dog training, Veterinary Technician, kennel management, dog behavior, customer service, pet rescue and adoption and general pet care. She earned a PCSA certificate as a Pet Care Technician.  Her training includes in house training at Wignall Animal Hospital, as well as from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), PCSA and other organizations.

Kcy Horton, Kennel Technician and Daycare Group Leader, has 5 years of experience and training that includes dog training, behavior management, general pet care, customer service and group play. She holds an A.S. Degree in Applied Animal Science, Small Animal Care from the University of New Hampshire.