Frequently Asked Questions
and South Paw Acres Policies & Procedures
What Is Required for an Interview
All dogs must pass a pre-entry evaluation (interview) before being admitted to South Paw Acres. In addition, all dogs must be spayed or neutered to participate in this program. (Some exceptions are made for puppies between 4 months and 1 year of age).
Please be sure to send us these things before your interview:
a copy of verification from your vet stating your dog is up to date on all vaccinations, including Rabies, DHLPP, Bordetella vaccines, and proof negative fecal float test results within the last year. You will also need to complete the online registration form found on our Registration page and bring the completed Boarding and Day Care Agreement.
There is a one-time fee of $15 for the interview. A trial day of day care will be used to evaluate your dog’s behavior among other dogs without you present, and will be scheduled separately at the time of the interview. Once approved for the program, all dogs must have a reservation for day care and boarding services.
What Can My Dog Expect at SPA?
The dogs at South Paw Acres will be active and probably play hard with some of the other dogs. Even with staff supervision, it is not uncommon for the dogs to get a little dirty, wet, or perhaps get a scrape or scratch from all the activity. This is the nature of the fun! Even though they nap during their play day, dogs are often very tired after a busy day at SPA and may go home and sleep for an extended period of time. This is normal! Just enjoy the extra quiet time you get that evening.
Some dogs may act very differently in high energy play group situations than they do when in their normal environment. Dogs that tend to be nervous or anxious in routine situations are not usually suitable for this kind of interactive play. Should it become evident that your dog is exhibiting any aggressive behaviors, barking excessively, or showing signs of extreme anxiety, we may suggest that you seek alternative care for your dog. This is for the safety and harmonious interaction of all the dogs, as well as your own dog’s happiness.
How Does Day Care Operate?
Day Care services are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Dogs may be dropped off between 8-10 a.m., and then be picked up later between 4-6 p.m. Half day dogs may be picked up between 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. All dogs play throughout the day, with a 2 hour nap from 12-2 p.m. Dog biscuits are given out 2-3 times a day as snacks. Any dog that is interested in swimming or otherwise frolicking around the pond is allowed to do so, provided the weather is cooperating. Day care dogs will interact with 1-2 different staff members each day, giving them the chance to become more comfortable around a variety of people. Interactive toys are provided by SPA and all play is supervised. Money-saving pre-paid packages are available and are outlined for you on the Services page. Half days are not offered at SPA; we want dogs to have a full day of fun!
What About Food & Snacks?
SPA provides dog biscuit treats 2-3 times each day for all dogs. If you’d like your dog to be fed a meal during day care, please plan to bring the food with you. Dogs with food allergies will need to have their own snacks brought with them, as well as all dogs boarding overnight. Food must be clearly labeled with the owner and dog’s name, and feeding instructions. In the event food is forgotten from home or we run out during your dog’s stay, SPA can provide a high quality dry food for your dog, at $1.50 per meal. Please do not bring feeding bowls with you. We have plenty!
Does SPA Administer Medications?
Prescribed medications are administered at no charge. All meds need to be labeled with owner’s and dog’s name, and prescribed dosages. SPA occasionally uses over-the-counter medicines for anxiety, extreme itching, or diarrhea, should symptoms present while in our care. Owners are always notified of these occurrences.
When Are You Open For Business?
SPA is open by appointment only. Drop Off and Pick Up hours are Monday through Friday, 8-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. Please let staff know your estimated time of arrival, whether dropping off or picking up your dog.
Why Are Office Hours Limited?
South Paw Acres is located within a larger parcel of private residential property. The business is set up to accommodate only 10 or so dogs at any one time. The way the buildings are arranged makes it such that the dogs see and hear anyone who comes up the driveway. Because of this, we limit the office hours so the dogs can relax and play without too much interruption.
Are You Open Over Holidays?
SPA boarding is open over holidays; however, SPA Day Care is closed on major holidays which include: Spring Break • Memorial Day • July 4th • Labor Day • Thanksgiving Break • Christmas Day & New Year’s Day. This allows us to better care for our overnight guests. Depending on numbers, day care may also be closed some days prior to or following major holidays.
What About Inclement Weather?
In the event of Columbia Public School closing announcements, SPA will likely also be closed for the day. If you cannot pick up your dog due to dangerous weather, no late fee will be charged. Likewise, if staff feel the weather poses too great a threat to daily activities, you will be notified of cancellation of services for that day. Any pre-paid time or reservations at SPA can be rescheduled at no cost.
Do You Offer Grooming Services?
Baths are offered and charged according to size of dog. This includes a basic coat-conditioning shampoo and brushing. Nail trims are also offered, provided the dog will allow it to be done.
What About Parasites?
It is expected that your pet arrives at SPA basically clean and free of all parasites (fleas, ticks, worms, etc.). Should your dog exhibit signs of any parasites, you will be notified and a treatment plan may be implemented at your expense. All dogs must have a negative fecal float report on file with SPA. These need to be done/updated every year by your veterinarian.
What Happens If My Dog Becomes Sick or Hurt?
In the event your dog becomes ill or injured, you will be notified immediately. If you cannot be reached, your preferred vet will be contacted. You are responsible for charges of any reasonable medical treatment administered to your dog. A local vet is on call for SPA and may be contacted.
What About Payments?
All payments are due at or before the time you drop off your pet at South Paw Acres. (We often send out invoices prior to a boarding visit, so that billing is settled by the time the dog arrives.)
Major credit cards are the preferred payment method and can be processed online; however, local checks and cash are also accepted. There is a $8 fee for any returned checks. Changes or cancellations must be made at least 24 hours ahead to avoid a penalty of full payment.
Holiday reservations are not confirmed until SPA has received this deposit and you have been notified of such. A 50% deposit of estimated charges is required to schedule boarding that includes recognized holidays. Cancellations made within 3 weeks of initial boarding date receive a 100% refund; cancellations within 2 weeks of initial boarding date receive a 50% refund; cancellations within 1 week of initial boarding date receive a 25% refund. Cancellations within 7 days of initial boarding date are not eligible for deposit refunds.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Confused?! Don't worry! Click here for some example boarding pricing