Frequently Asked Questions
All guests must be vaccinated for
- Distemper/Parvovirus (DHPP)
- Canine Influenza H3N8
Rabies is required every 3 years by law. Puppies must have a minimum of 2 rounds of DHPP vaccinations prior to staying with us. Distemper/Parvovirus boosters or titers are required every 3 years, or according to your veterinarian’s recommendation. For upper respiratory disease, we require Bordetella and the Canine Influenza vaccination. Bordetella is an intranasal vaccine for canines. We require Bordetella vaccines be updated annually, but many veterinarians recommend vaccinating every 6 months if your dog is in regular social contact with other dogs. Similar to a flu shot, this vaccine covers only a few strains of canine cough and is not a guarantee of immunity.
Citizen Canine is staffed 24 hours a day.
Drop off and pick up hours are 7am – 7pm. We offer Doggie Valet for drop off and pickup. Playgroups start at 9am. It is best for your dog to arrive prior to 9am so they can maximize their playtime.
For dogs boarding with us check-out time is 12:00 noon. Dogs are welcome to stay after noon; however, they will incur a daycare charge for that day. After hours pick up to 9pm can be arranged just ask our customer service team.
Our busiest times of year are holidays and the summer months, where we fill up 3 - 6 weeks in advance. We recommend you make your reservations well in advance. We require 72 hours-notice for your cancelation of reserved stays.
We would love to show you are facility! We are currently offering tours by appointment only. A face mask is required during the tour. Or we are happy to email you pictures along with information about our daily routine.
At Citizen Canine we pride ourselves on offering the best pet care services in the bay area. We have a high staff to dog ratio. Our highly trained and certified staff are on the premises 24 hours a day to care for our canine friends. The loving professional staff work hard to make sure each canine guest feel as though they are on vacation filled with friends and fun.
Many of our guests are first-time boarders. If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, the daily playgroups are a great outlet for the anxiety caused by being away from home. We offer love and t-touch sessions for dogs that need some extra human TLC to help them feel comfortable. It is not unusual for dogs with separation anxiety to stop eating -we monitor all meals and will add tasty treats, hand feed, or sit with dogs during mealtimes to make sure they do not miss too many meals.
If you are planning a longer vacation, we also recommend (and sometimes require) a trial day care or overnight stay to help your dog acclimate to our environment and routine prior to an extended stay.
Yes, we offer large suites for multi-pet families to stay together. Call our reservation specialist at 510-562-1750 x 5 to set up your family stay.
We can accommodate most special medical needs, including administration of medications, pills, and eye and ear medications. We are familiar with the special needs of blind dogs, deaf dogs, dogs with spine, hip and knee problems, epileptic dogs and senior citizens. We cannot administer injections for diabetics. We cannot accept any dogs with contagious illnesses for the health and safety of our other canine guests. Please bring any medications in separate, clearly marked containers (do not pre-mix medications into your dog’s food!!).
Also, please be aware that there are inherent risks in boarding a senior dog. Underlying health problems can be exacerbated by stress, and illnesses or infections, which would be minor in a younger dog, can become serious and even life threatening in an elderly or frail dog. Owners of senior dogs should give us clear instructions about their preferences for medical care and intervention.
Staff is trained to administer medication; pills, eye and ear medications. We cannot administer injections for diabetics. We will ask you for clear instructions about medications at their check in.
Please bring any medications in their original containers and please do not pre-mix medications into your dog’s food!!
Of course! Dry kibble can be in pre-measured bags or one large baggie with the measurement to feed. We suggest packing an extra day’s worth of food in case there are any delays in your journey.
In the event that your food from home runs out, we offer Canadae brand dry food in chicken or lamb flavors. The brand we use is all-stages and grain free.
Definitely! It’s important for your pet to feel at home here, so you are more than welcome to bring his favorite toy.
We offer pre boarding and day care consultations over the phone. During the initial consultation, we learn about your dog‘s unique needs. We ask questions about their social, medical and behavioral history, their likes and dislikes, special handling needs, and care requirements. We use this information to place dogs appropriately in playgroups, and to better meet your dog‘s individual needs while they are staying with us.
If your dog has never boarded before, or has a history of separation anxiety, we may require a trial daycare or overnight in advance of a long stay. This allows us to assess how they respond to the Citizen Canine environment. This short trip to our facility also gives your dog a chance to “sniff us out.” Having a positive experience during the trial day helps assure your dog that Citizen Canine is a safe and fun place to visit.
Citizen Canine offers a highly interactive boarding experience where your dog will socialize with many people and dogs on a daily basis. This is not a safe or appropriate environment for all dogs, and in some cases, we may refer you to a different service that better suits your dog‘s needs.
At Citizen Canine, our popular dog daycare program in Oakland, CA is designed to help with teaching your dog proper play when interacting with other dogs as well as socialization with people, various objects, and environments. All while being supervised by our highly trained dog handlers to create the ultimate play-care experience!
Benefits of Citizen Canine's Dog Daycare program:
- Important social, mental and physical stimulation for your dog while you are busy at work.
- Over 5,000 square feet of play yards at our Oakland, CA dog daycare facility equipped with toys, slides, tunnels, K9grass, and pools.
- Highest staff-to-dog ratios of any day care in the Bay Area.
- Small, social groupings tailored by size, temperament, and play style for an enriching social experience.
- Vet and behaviorist recommended program that encourages a balanced day of alternating play and rest.
Your dog will enjoy playing in a small play group tailored to their needs. All play takes place in our door play yards. The play area is equipped with toys, slides, tunnels, K9 grass, pools and shade. When your dog is not in playgroup, they will have their own private suite to rest.
Dogs are assigned to playgroups with 6 to 10 other dogs of similar size, age, and play style. Young puppies and rowdy adolescents have their own groups where they won’t pester the older dogs. Senior citizens also have their own group where they won’t be jostled by the more active dogs. Small dogs always play separately from the big kids.
Each play group is carefully monitored by a staff member trained in reading dog body language and using dog-friendly methods to encourage appropriate play behavior. Play sessions last about 30 minutes each. We monitor groups so that dogs get adequate exercise without overdoing it.
Some dogs cannot play with other dogs for medical reasons, such as a joint or back injury, in which case they may go out for their daily outings with a human companion on our Private Play program. Due to the additional time and attention involved, Private Play program is an additional $20/night and $10 / daycare. However, dogs that are not well-socialized to other dogs and exhibit fearful or aggressive behavior towards other dogs are usually not appropriate guests for our facility. Our staff trainer will determine a dog's suitability for our Private Play program during the initial pre-boarding consultation.
Intact pups up to the age of 7 months may stay with us and play in our puppy playgroups. However, once pups reach the age of 7 months, they must be spayed or neutered in order to continue to board, and attend. Both intact males and females begin a surge in hormones around 7 months changing their interactions with other dogs. Intact dogs become more interested in territory marking, mating, and ranking behaviors that raise the potential for conflict in a playgroup situation. Even if these dogs are very friendly and social, they can be seen as a potential threat by other dogs, and thus have a higher potential to provoke aggression in a play group simply due to their intact status. Intact females can enter a heat cycle at any time while staying at Citizen Canine and provoke unwanted and potentially unsafe behavior from other dogs who are keenly aware of the presence of an intact female in the facility.
We love little dogs! Our smallest guests stay in double-bunk rooms in a separate area of our facility, away from the big dogs and closer to the flow of human traffic. They play in their own small dog groups and they always have a great time!
For safety reasons, your dog should be wearing only a flat or limited slip collar, not a metal collar or chain.
All our guests are provided with raised beds and blankets as part of their stay. You do not need to pack any bedding for your dog, but if you choose to do so, please make sure it is machine washable and labeled with your dog’s name. We discourage you from bringing toys that are not safe for unsupervised chewing. Sometimes personal items go missing in our laundry, so please do not pack anything you can’t bear to part with.
It is helpful to us if you can bring pack dry dog food in individual baggies for each meal (2x/day). You are welcome to bring special treats for your dog which we will serve at lunch time. Our staff offers dogs various types of food rewards during the day. If your dog has food allergies or sensitivities, please pack a supply of whatever non-perishable training treats you use at home. For every trip, we will ask you for updated emergency contact information at check-in.
We use positive reinforcement techniques to teach dogs what behaviors are appropriate. We reinforce the desirable behaviors (such as sitting politely) with praise and food rewards and we ignore behaviors we don’t like (such as jumping up on people). We also use praise and treats to create positive associations with objects and experiences that dogs may otherwise find frightening or uncomfortable. We do not use adverse measures to punish behavior. Our training techniques are fun for both people and dogs, strengthen the human-animal bond, and create dogs that love to learn! We can recommend classes and workshops that can teach you how to work with your own dog, and we offer staff training sessions with boarding and day care dogs to complement the work they are doing at home.
Puppies must be at least 16 weeks old and have received at least two puppy (DHPP) shots a Bordetella, and Canine Influenza vaccination (rabies vaccinations are not required for young puppies until 6 months old).
No! Dogs staying at Citizen Canine quickly adapt to our routine and learn to use the K9 Grass potty areas in the yard as their bathroom area. For adult dogs, 4 trips outside between 6 am and 9 pm are usually plenty to keep up their training.
Our environment is very different from most shelters. At Citizen Canine, dogs stay in a home-like environment and receive lots of individual attention and playtime outside with other dogs. A good percentage of our dogs are rescues or come from shelters, or local rescue organizations. These dogs adapt very quickly and love coming to “camp” to see their friends. If you are unsure about how your dog will feel, why not schedule an appointment for trial daycare so that your dog can meet the staff and learn the ropes?
Of course! We welcome your calls during regular business hours, and we are always happy to give you a report on how your dog is doing with meals and playgroups. We also check our e-mail frequently and are happy to respond to your questions via e-mail.