Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re new to The Dog Social Club Cooperative, you might find some of these answers helpful!

Jump to: New Client, Daycare, Boarding

Is your question not answered here? Please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to address whatever curiosity you may have!

New Client Information


Bordetella (once per year), Distemper/Parvo, Rabies, and Canine Influenza

All dogs 7 months of age and older must be spayed/neutered.

Your dog should be comfortable resting in a crate for 90 minutes (rest time is shorter for puppies).

If your dog is under 4 months of age, please refer to the Puppies section for vaccination timelines.

We’ll make sure all of the human questions are answered, then we’ll take your dog in to introduce them to some of our human and dog friends. We want to get an understanding of your dog’s personality and energy level to see which dog group they’ll fit best in. We can also talk more in depth about any of your dog’s individual needs or care concerns, if relevant. We can usually also take you on a tour of the interior of our facility, though this may not be possible during certain busy periods. If your dog’s meet & greet goes well, you can begin scheduling daycare visits. There is no cost for the meet & greet.

We are happy to find a time to take you on a tour, whether you are a new or existing client! Please contact us. Tours are often available on a drop-in basis between 10am and 2pm – feel free to swing by or give us a call to ask if you’d like to pop by. We do not offer tours during dog meal times or arrival/departure rush periods, as they can be disruptive.

Please see our rates page for details.

Every dog’s ideal schedule is different, depending on their needs, personality, and your own schedule. We do want to see your dog on a regular basis – about 2 visits per month – so that they remain familiar with our routine. Regular visits help dogs enjoy their time at daycare and have successful boarding visits. It also helps us know your dog well, making it easier for us to understand their care needs.

The Dog Social Club Cooperative is a little different than a typical modern dog daycare, and a LOT different from boarding kennels of the past. We want to build an ongoing relationship with you and your dog. We want to be a trusted place for your dog to spend their day if they cannot be with you, and a happy place for them to spend the weekend if you’re away. True high-quality care means knowing your dog and their individual needs! We have cared for many dogs over the years, and this policy was born out of that experience.

No worries at all! We’ll be excited to welcome your dog back. If your break has been for 3 months or longer, we’ll likely need to go through a reactivation process. This involves verifying immunizations, contact information, and scheduling a specific return day. Sometimes after a significant break, especially if there has been a health or life stage change, we’ll need to do another meet & greet appointment.

Daycare & Routine

We are open from 6:30am-7:30pm, 7 days a week. Your dog is welcome to arrive any time before 12pm (noon), and may depart any time before we close. We do not offer half day rates; however, your dog can stay for any length during our open hours.

Yes! We have 12 different yards for dogs to enjoy, and each day we typically have about 7 yards open for different playgroups. We group dogs together based on size, energy level, age, and personality. Many of our groups go through multiple yards during the day.

Our active playgroups have up to 15 dogs together in a group – our busiest and youngest groups often have 10 or fewer dogs together. Our sleepy senior groups may have more dogs together – but there’s still plenty of bed space for everyone to lounge around.

Most groups follow a 1:1 play/rest ratio, like 90 minutes play/90 minutes rest. Younger groups will have shorter schedules, and true puppies have slightly more rest than play so they don’t get overtired. Our oldest senior groups do not have any scheduled rest because, well, they’re already pretty snoozy!

All of our yards are outdoor-focused. The flooring is covered with specialty K9 Grass astroturf, designed to be well draining and able to be disinfected throughout the day. We have built-in features like sundecks and steps made of splinter-free plastic composite wood, slides, ramps, and splash pools. We also have mobile modular “play furniture” in the yards to keep things new and novel. Our pools are deep enough for a good splash time, but there are no lifejackets or swim lessons required – they are size-appropriate and dogs can stand in them. Above the yards, our retractable roof changes with the seasons. It provides cover from the rain, shade from the sun, and opens fully when the beautiful Oakland weather is just right.

Yes! Our groups are supervised by at least one handler at all times. We do not leave groups of dogs together unsupervised.

While we are happy to know about your dog’s besties and will often match them together, we cannot accommodate specific group placement requests.

For daycare: Nope! If your dog is just here for daycare, they should have breakfast before they come in, and dinner after they depart. If your pup does want to pack a lunch (or dinner, or breakfast), meal service for daycare dogs can be arranged for an additional cost. (See rates.) Puppies receive complimentary lunch service until their 6 month birthday.

For boarding: You may! Please see the Boarding section for more detail.

We request that your dog come in proper club attire, which means a plain, flat collar with identification. You are welcome (in fact, encouraged!) to walk your dog in using whatever tools or tack they are used to wearing on walks, in addition to a flat collar. The lobby can be VERY exciting, so it’s a good idea to have them under control using the set up they are used to on walks. We’ll remove whatever harness/training collar/head halter they’re wearing when they get to their play yard, and send them out with only their identification collar.

Some dogs have a “daycare collar” to make things easy! We know your dog might prefer a harness on walks or be collar-free at home, but it’s important they have a collar on at daycare for quick and easy identification.

A plain, flat collar can be any type of collar that does not have tightening loops or chains. We love a quick release pinch clasp, but a buckle closure works, too! Any kind of material is okay, but if your dog is very active and playful, they might lose some rhinestones or beads during playtime. Make sure the decorations on the collar are not a safety hazard for their playmates. Please do not use a breakaway collar.

The identification can be anything that clearly displays their name. A traditional hanging name tag, a name plate on the collar, or an embroidered name on the collar itself are the three most common ways a dog can wear their name. We’ll give you an extra cookie if you include their last initial if they have a more common name!


High Tail Hikes Sport Biothane Collar

High Tail Hikes Sport BioThane Collar paired with a name tag, or High Tail Hikes Brass BioThane ID Tag Collar, are both great options!



Your nightly boarding rate includes daycare for the duration of your dog’s stay (including full daycare on their day of arrival & day of departure), room service meals morning and evening (from dinner on arrival date through breakfast on departure date), and a lovely indoor overnight bedroom for them at night. Sibling dogs may share a bedroom or enjoy separate spaces per your preference; there is no cost difference.

We appreciate you bringing in just the essentials – we do not have space to store excess items. Pack only your dog’s food and any medications or supplements. (Oh, and your dog.)

Please do not bring in bowls, bedding, toys, measuring cups, brushes, or anything breakable. We have everything your pup needs for a comfy cozy stay! We don’t want to accidentally misplace your things.

We are happy to feed their typical diet no matter what type (kibble, wet, raw, frozen, dehydrated) and include any usual toppers or extras (treats, raw topper, broth, coleslaw, matzo, cheese, whatever they like!) they are used to having. We do not permit indigestible chews like rawhide, but consumable dental chews like greenies, whimzees, or dentastix are fine. Boarding is not a great time to introduce new food or treats – please only provide food they’ve had before.

If you’d prefer, your dog is welcome to enjoy our house kibble for their meals at no additional cost. Let us know the amount of kibble they should be served for each meal. Members of our cooperative also get treat toppers for their pups!

Any type of non-breakable container. Pre-measured portions for each meal are fine, or tell us the measured amounts. (EX. “1 cup kibble with 1 tablespoon of pumpkin and a few treats”.) Leave your scoops and measuring cups at home, please. We have plenty of fridge & freezer space for frozen and chilled food. We are happy to feed raw, but prefer volume measures to weighted measures.

We feed breakfast and dinner each day, from dinner on the day of arrival through breakfast on the day of departure. Each pup gets their meal individually prepared, and room service is included in their overnight cost. Everyone dines in their own private room!

Lunch services is optionally included for puppies until their 6 month birthday. If your dog is over 6 months of age, we charge for mid-day meal service. ($10 per feeding.) If your dog has special medical needs, please get in touch with us to discuss.

During daycare hours, your dog will be participating in our daycare playgroups! They’ll get plenty of time up and active with their pals during the day.

Dogs enjoy their meals in their private bedrooms, and sleep in their private bedrooms.

Dogs receive an evening potty break around 10pm. Overnight, your dog is taken out if they need, at 1am and 4am. If they’re sleeping soundly, we’ll respect their “do not disturb” sign!

Absolutely. We are happy to administer any regular medications and supplements at no additional cost. We’ll go over administration instructions with you at check in.

We request medications to arrive in their original bottle/packaging. If you prefer, you can use a pill organizer for medications. If you use a pill organizer, please include a list of medications and their dosage instructions or the original bottles. Please do not slip medications into bags of food – this can lead to missed doses if your dog’s appetite is off while boarding. We’ll be happy to use your regular treat or method for hiding tablets if you bring it in, or we have a few options available in our supplies like pill pockets or cheese.

We are happy to accept “as needed/if needed” medications, along with clear instructions of when they are to be given, such as for allergies.

If your dog’s medication is an injectable or other specialty medication, please contact us in advance.

Extras & Other Stuff

Dogs aged 8 weeks through 16 weeks spend their day in Puppy Playland, a yard separate from high traffic dog spaces. In this area, puppies work on developing a wide range of social skills through positive exposure of LOTS of different things. Skateboards, funny hats, nice adult dogs, many humans, things that make different noises, bags, slides, tiny jump rails, puppy-size pools, all kinds of toys, brooms, brushes, paw rubs, fun adolescent dogs, and all sorts of new and novel things fill their days.


Puppies follow their own play/rest schedule according to their age. It’s important for puppies to have lots of fun but not get over tired! Puppies play with appropriate playmates of their own age and older. Between 3-4 months, puppies will begin to have “field trips” to adolescent playgroups, with the goal of “graduating” to regular daycare around 4 months. We always let the puppies guide us about what they are ready for!


All puppies need Bordetella and an initial distemper/parvo shot before their first visit. Distemper/parvo boosters should be given regularly according to the vet schedule. Rabies must be administered by 4 months of age. Influenza must be given by 6 months of age. All dogs must be spayed/neutered by 7 months of age, or can take a break from the club and return after their surgery. We encourage you to discuss spay/neuter times with your vet to determine the best age for surgery.


Puppies have special daycare & boarding rates.

Our facility is very secure! In addition to being staffed 24/7/365, we have externally monitored security cameras. Our facility perimeter has continuous 20′ fencing. Internally, we employ a gate system between dog yards and all exits to ensure your dog remains where they are supposed to be.

Our facility does not have cameras for the general public. Our yards are dispersed over almost an acre (yes, really!) and are a majority outdoors, creating a lot of technical (and expensive) hurdles for camera streaming.

Instead, we have sneak-a-peek windows where you can see into our two main play yards (one for bigs, one for smalls) and watch the pups play IRL! (Aquarium rules apply – no tapping in the windows, please.)

Yes, we accept titers for Rabies and Distemper/Parvo. The titer results should include your dog’s name and the date the titer test was performed.

We offer a few things you can add to your dog’s daycare and boarding visit, like frozen Pup Cups, private (dog) parties, and photo postcards. We try not to get caught up in too many extras – we want every single dog to have a great day during every visit!

We partner with Vesta Veterinary for twice monthly in house veterinary care. We can also arrange for on-call visits here at DSC with Vesta clients, which comes in handy for more urgent concerns like foxtails or hot spots, or for dogs who’d prefer not to have the vet visit their home.