Pet Camp Passes PetMD Test

PetMD, a web site that claims to be Vet Authored and Vet Approved, recently posted a blog entitled “8 Signs of a Bad Boarding Kennel.”  The blog has caused some consternation in the doggie day care and dog boarding industry because, as always, not everyone agrees with what makes or doesn’t make a good doggie day care or dog boarding care facility.  Both the International Boarding and Pet Services Association (IPBSA) (of which Pet Camp is a member) and Laura Laaman from Outstanding Pet Care referenced in the blog also wrinkled some folks’ whiskers as both of them have some baggage in the industry.  Frankly, the PetMD Test could be improved, perhaps made “harder”, and certainly made more of a short answer and less of a true or false test, but we wanted to pass on the test criteria and how Pet Camp stacks up.

1. Reluctant Tours
Carmen Rustenbeck of IPBSA says that you should show up unannounced and ask for tour.  At Pet Camp we are happy to show you around, you can meet the counselors and see the campgrounds (both our Main Campground and Cat Safari).  And sure, you can just show up unannounced, but we’d rather we knew you were coming in advance.  Why do we want to know?  It’s pretty simply: we want to make sure that we have someone available to show you around, someone who has the time and the knowledge to answer all your questions.   We’re not reluctant to give you a tour, we just want to make sure that we give you a good tour and that your time spent visiting with us is well spent.

2. Unpleasant Smells
We agree that no facility should smell, and between our air exchanges (15 times an hour in our dog campsites), our negative pressure cat condos, our UV Germicidal light air scrubbers, and our general cleaning protocols, we don’t think there are any unpleasant smells here.  Well, at least there shouldn’t be. Every now and again there is an accident in our lobby or in a cat carrier, and if you happen to walk in right after that there will be an unpleasant smell.  Give us a moment or two and that will be rectified.

3. No Vaccination Paperwork
We couldn’t agree more that requiring proof of vaccines is critical.  We will honor a titer test or a letter from your veterinarian, but as much as we trust you and wish we could just take your word for it, we need something from your veterinarian to show proof of vaccines.

4. Lax Emergency Plans
Both Pet Camp locations (our Main Campground and Cat Safari) have emergency plans in place that explain both how to evacuate the building as well as how to shelter in place. Of course, in earthquake country, we have 10 person three-day kits at both locations.  Both buildings are fully alarmed and sprinkled; we couldn’t image it any other way.  At our Main Campground, which is more isolated, a camp counselor sleeps on premises every night.

5. Untrained Staff
We believe in training all of our counselors and that training never ends.  From “on boarding” training (which includes both Pet Camp developed training materials and outside training courses), to attending industry conferences and continuing education offered both on-line and in person, we think pet care education is an ever continuing process.  In fact, this is one of the reasons Pet Camp offers a scholarship to all counselors to use on anything that makes them a better Pet Camp counselor.

6. One-Size-Fits-All Playgroups
The “mosh pit” playgroup has never had a place at Pet Camp.  We offer playgroups for small dogs, puppies, active adults, gentler adults, and seniors every day.  We think it is our job to create a playgroup that works for your dog, not to force your dog to play in a playgroup that is not a good fit for them.

7. Inadequate Outdoor Areas
Pet Camp has 20,000 square feet of outdoor play space.  Try finding that anywhere else in a dense urban area like San Francisco!

8. No Report Card
We don’t give out glossy report cards at the end of each stay at Pet Camp.  Maybe we’re just concerned about grade inflation, but we’re not sure of the value such a written report provides.  We think it’s more important for you to speak with the counselors who actually spent time with your dog or cat.  Think of this more of a parent-teacher conference than a formal report card, but we think you get more out of a conversation than boxes checked on a form.
So how does Pet Camp do?  Are we perfect? Probably not. But we think on this test we still scored 100% and think that the systems we have in place match up to and exceed the “test” established by PetMd.  If you’re not a Pet Camp camper, we encourage you to ask your current doggie day care or boarding facility these questions.  Their answers might not match those given by PetMD, but make sure their answers meet your needs.  If they don’t, give us a call or stop by for a visit.

Thanks for reading.