STOUGHTON, MA — Worried about what your dog is doing while you’re at work? Who suffers more from separation anxiety: You or your dog? It turns out owners seem to suffer worse.
Now, there’s a solution. In a first for dog daycare in Greater Boston, owners can keep tabs on Scruffy and gain peace of mind thanks to a first-of-its-kind live webcam at Dogtopia in Stoughton, MA, a modern 3,000 square-foot center dedicated to quality day care, boarding and grooming.
According to Bill Polk, who opened Dogtopia last January, “Pet parents love watching their dogs in a safe, clean environment where they have canine and human companionship, develop positive behavior, and enjoy socialization and exercise. At drop-off, dogs seem to know they’re about to have an exciting day. And enabling owners to remotely look in at any time highlights our complete transparency.”
Some owners use Dogtopia daily because it’s conveniently located near home or work. Many owners – who live as far away as Cape Cod, the South Shore, in MetroWest, Rhode Island or longer distances — bring their dogs for boarding as they head to Logan Airport or area train stations. The Stoughton location on Rte. 138 is convenient to Rtes. 24, 1, 95/128, 139. Partial-day arrangements are also available. It’s about 20 miles to downtown Boston or Logan.
Polk says separation anxiety is rare among his canine charges: On arrival, dogs immediately join other dogs, losing any fear of isolation. In contrast, some dogs left alone at home can experience anxiety — one of the most common causes of behavioral problems. He says, “It’s impossible to measure your canine’s degree of happiness or abandonment, but we make dogs as comfortable as possible. Simply put, we love your dog the way you love your dog.” Weekday hours are 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.
He says all breeds are welcome for daycare or overnight boarding, but all must meet certain criteria: initial screening with Dogtopia team; over 3 months old; spayed/neutered if over 7 months old; current on required vaccines — rabies, DHPP, bordetella; free of communicable diseases for 30 days; no fleas/ticks. The Canine Flu vaccine will also be a requirement starting next month, with a deadline of November 7th to have both rounds of the vaccine.
As an added bonus, Dogtopia’s professional, credentialed corporate team includes an environmental biologist and a canine behaviorist who ‘visit’ via webcam and promptly address any health, sanitation and temperament/behavior issues. In addition to his trained, dog-loving staff, Polk points to several of his facility’s unique amenities and features: All activities are indoors so dogs are cleaner and less apt to pick up ticks and other bugs; climate-controlled HVAC system constantly cycles fresh air, removes odors; and specially padded floors which are easier on dogs’ joints. Constant cleaning throughout the day and deeper cleaning midday and at the end of every day help ensure a healthy and sanitary environment. As Polk says “We don’t look, feel or smell like a kennel.”
“With school back in session and busy fall schedules, many families can’t give their dogs the same level of summertime exercise and attention,” says Polk. “And when people go on vacation, they love having a safe place to board their dog.”