Dear Valued Customer,
We are being challenged almost daily by dogs arriving for daycare without a confirmed reservation. The most prevalent comment we are hearing is that the customer thought one of our employees verbally confirmed the date. We need to remind all our customers that boarding and daycare at our facility are provided exclusively by reservation. Boarding reservations are confirmed automatically by email. Daycare reservations are not confirmed automatically by our online system We are now operating at our full capacity and expect this to continue. To provide the quality service we expect we can not over book our facility and to ensure that we do not we have to strengthen our daycare reservation policy and process. The following changes take place immediately;
- All daycare reservations will be confirmed by email. The most effective way to request a daycare reservation is by email. Requests may be left by phone or in person, but the visit is not confirmed unless and until you receive a confirmation email.
- Daycare reservations need to be made 2 days or more prior to the day of the visit.
- Each weekend we will email customers with daycare reservations for the following week to confirm their visits. If you think you have booked a reservation and have not had it confirmed by Sunday night please call.
Our daycare program is fully booked until after the 4th of July. If you have a daycare reservation and no longer need it please let us know, another customer will use the space. We are hopeful that our online provider will work with us to enhance and automate our daycare system. Even so, we have limited space for daycare and we can not over fill our kennel. We regret any inconvenience caused by these changes and will work with you to meet your dogs needs. Sincerely, Janie Hodges
Dear Valued Customer,
Your response to our new business has been overwhelming. In the eight months since our opening almost 350 customers with over 500 dogs have registered with our kennel. We are truly grateful so many have entrusted us with the care of your dogs.
We are now experiencing full occupancy on a regular basis. Our forward reservation book and new customers suggest that this will continue
Our online reservation systems have proven to be convenient for our customers and us. However, as we reach peak capacity we realize that our operating system will allow over booking. Changes to our reservation policy are described below which are intended to avoid over booking.
We are pursuing both short and long-term solutions to provide the capacity for more dogs.
Our commitment is to provide every dog that comes through our door with a quality away from home experience.
Our kennel was designed for boarding of dogs. We welcome new boarding customers and encourage online boarding reservations. If you get a full night notice when trying to make an online reservation please call the kennel to check availability. We do not allow online reservations to book 100% of our capacity because we have to consider the size of dogs in the boarding population relative to the sizes of our kennels.
We have reached full daycare capacity on weekdays on a regular basis. To continue to provide our existing customers with quality daycare service we have to take the following steps:
- Online daycare reservations are no longer available. We are working with our online vendor to see if there is a way to restore online reservations consistent with our capacity on any given day. In the meantime, the best way to make daycare reservations is to email or phone your request and we will confirm promptly.
- We have suspended the sale of Daycare Packages to new customers. All existing package holders may renew their package for as long as desired. Many of our daycare package customers book regular schedules and we will continue to do this for you by email or phone.
- We have created a Daycare Package waitlist. As existing daycare packages expire and if not renewed, a new package will be available to the next wait list customer.
Our dog care philosophy does not allow dogs to stay outside all day, during any season. We believe all our dogs, whether boarding or daycare, need periodic indoor stays in their private kennel to rest at room temperature.
As a reminder, we offer three levels of dog grooming service;
Level 1: Do–It-Yourself dog wash. For less than $20 you can wash/dry/groom your dog using our bathing equipment, dryers and grooming tables. Get your dog clean and leave the mess with us. Hours for the DIY wash are 10AM-7PM Weekdays, 9AM-7PM Saturday and 12PM-7PM Sunday.
Level 2: Kennel Wash and Dry. Our staff will bathe and dry your dog and can provide nail trims, ear cleaning, face cleaning, brushing, de-shedding and de-matting. Appointments can be made online, by email or phone, for service during business hours. Kennel Wash typically takes an hour and dogs can stay for full or partial daycare at a discounted rate
Level 3: Full Grooming with a Haircut. Our groomer, Charmaine Wilson is now scheduling regular appointments on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. An easy way to schedule a full grooming with Charmaine is to schedule online from our website – www.laureloakfarm.net. Under the Services tab select Grooming and scroll to the page bottom. You will see a calendar with highlighted grooming dates available. When you click on the date you will see the times available. If there is a time that works for you click on the time then Continue and you will be able to complete the reservation form online. If this is too much, call or email and we will schedule your grooming appointment.
A haircut grooming can take from 2-6 hours, depending on the size, hair and temperament of the dog and the procedure. Certain dogs need a break during grooming and they are introduced to the daycare program while not in the tub or on the table. Daycare fees do not apply unless the dog is dropped off for a full daycare visit with full grooming.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to handle the increased occupancy we are experiencing. We have been able to add additional play space for dogs and we have brought on several new employees. We are planning improvements to our Facebook page including better photo and video coverage of your dogs.
We are committed to providing your dog with quality and caring service.
Dear Valued Customer,
2017 was an incredible first year in business for our new dog kennel. The positive response from our customers and their dogs is rewarding and has exceeded all expectations.
Our goal is to provide a safe, healthy and fun place for dogs at a fair and competitive price.
We established our initial (and current) prices in 2016 prior to opening. We intentionally set our prices 5-10% below comparable facilities to encourage business. Since then, all of our competitors have raised their prices and some more than once. In addition, virtually all of our vendors have raised prices and maintaining our quality staff in an increasingly competitive and tight employment market is a challenge.
For these reasons we are compelled to institute our first price increase which will approximate 5% across our product suite and become effective on February 1, 2018. The new price schedule is attached.
The following subjects are intended to inform our customers of important aspects of our operation.
Our kennel was designed for the primary mission of providing overnight boarding. Our online system for reservation management has proven effective and the great majority of our customers are using this system. In addition to saving us time the system reduces human error potential.
During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays the kennel was full and we had large wait lists. We were gratified to be able accommodate the majority of wait list customers and we thank customers who did not need their reservations for cancelling timely.
It is helpful when customers are able to estimate the arrival and departure times for boarding. It is particularly important for dogs with a 3 night or longer stay since we time their free bath based on the pick up time in the system. The best way to update us if your pick up time will change is by email.
The daycare program is an important part of our kennel operation. Our daycare program is a little unique in that we provide a private indoor kennel for each dog. Boarding and daycare dogs mingle and experience the same attended outdoor rotation throughout the day.
Because we have limited indoor kennel capacity, our daycare program fills up with 20 dogs or so, depending on the boarding roster.
As a reminder, Daycare is provided by confirmed reservation only, even for customers with a daycare package. We try to accommodate walk in daycare, but often we can not, particularly for large dogs.
The best way to request a daycare visit is by email as this provides an accurate record of the request and a good method for us to reply with a confirmation. We are happy to book multiple future daycare visits for our regular daycare customers.
We are working with our online vendor to try to provide online reservation capability, but for the foreseeable future we will handle daycare reservations the old fashioned way.
We offer 3 levels of grooming service;
Level 1 – Do it yourself bath using our bathing system or your own. Call to schedule.
Level 2 – Kennel wash services are provided by our staff , not including hair cutting. This includes wash, dry, nail trim, ear cleaning, face cleaning and de-shedding. Requests for Kennel grooming services can be made online from the customer portal and will be confirmed by email.
Level 3 – Full service grooming with a haircut is provided by our groomer Charmaine Wilson.
Due to strong customer response Charmaine will be expanding her calendar in 2018 from 3 days a week to 4 days or more a week.
We do have an effective, online reservation system for haircut grooming appointments. To make a haircut grooming reservation go to our website and select SERVICES > GROOMING > SCHEDULE HAIRCUT APPOINTMENT. Available appointment days are highlighted on the calendar. Click on the day you want to see the times available and click on the time you want, then click Continue and fill out the reservation form.
Level 2 and 3 grooming services require a confirmed appointment. Given the increased use of our bathing center we strongly encourage appointments for the DIY wash.
Following is the holiday schedule for 2018. During holiday periods boarding prices are increased by $6.00 per day and the daycare program is closed.
Spring Break March 30 – April 8
Memorial Day May 25 – May 28
Independence Day June 29 – July 5
Labor Day August 31 – September 3
Thanksgiving November 21 – November 25
Christmas December 21 – January 2
Current vaccinations are the first line of defense in our effort to provide a healthy environment for all the dogs that visit our kennel. All dogs visiting the kennel are required to have current vaccinations for Rabies, Distemper, Parvo Virus and Bordetella. We are required by NC law to maintain records demonstrating that the dogs visiting the kennel are current on these vaccinations.
Our online system will send you an email notice of expiring vaccinations 30 days prior to the expiration date.
There are several ways you can provide the vaccination record to us; owner file upload on the online portal, email with a scan or photo of the reminders section of the record, ask your vet to email it to us or bring in a copy.
Feeding and Medications
The best way for customers to make sure we have the desired feeding and medication instructions is to periodically review and update this information in your dogs profile in your online customer portal. If you give us written or verbal instructions we have to enter this into the system because the system provides our daily guidance for feeding and meds.
For prescription medications we are required by NC law to have evidence of the prescription. The best way to accomplish this is to provide the medication to us in the original container with the prescription label. As an alternative, customers may provide a photo of the prescription label, provided that it shows, the date and medication prescribed, the veterinarian and instructions for administration.
When customers register on our system they have the option to select not to receive any system generated email notifications from us. We understand that this is a popular preference choice given the junk mail we all receive daily.
We encourage customers to review their email preferences on the customer portal and enable notifications for boarding confirmations and expiring vaccinations.
You can view all future reservations for boarding and daycare on the customer online portal under the MY CALENDAR tab. You can make and modify boarding reservations and delete a daycare reservation on your portal.
We try to provide daily photos and videos of all the dogs in attendance on our Facebook page which you can access from our website.
We do not monitor our Facebook page for messages. If you want to send us a message please use our email and you will receive a much better response.
Lost and Found
Over the past 16 months we have accumulated a substantial amount of lost or left items, principally leashes, toys and blankets. The one common characteristic of these items is no marking to identify the owner. If you are missing an item you think you brought, please ask to search through our lost and found box.
Please make sure all items you leave with your dog at the kennel has some sort of marking to identify the owner or dog.
We look forward to taking care of your dogs in 2018 and we will work hard to meet your expectations.
Laurel Oak Farm Dog Kennel