Frequently Asked Questions
Before enrolling, check to make sure your dog meets our requirements. (See the Requirements section on the home page by clicking our logo on the top left, then scroll down to Requirements and click on it)
Then click on the Login/Sign Up bone on the top of the website.
Create an account with your information by filling out the forms. Then create a profile for your dog. If you have more than one dog, make a profile for each one.
Upload photos of your dog’s vaccinations to their profile. Make sure the expiration dates for each vaccine are listed. Alternatively, you can have your vet fax the records to us. Remind them to include the “1” at the beginning of the number or it won’t go through. Fax: 1-319-343-1104
We will review your dog’s information and send you an email back letting you know if your dog is approved. Be sure to check your Spam or Promotional folder in your email in case it was filtered out.
Next, we will schedule a time to do a Temperament Interview, where you will bring your dog/s to our facility for an evaluation of their personality to see if they’re a fit for daycare. For more information about how the Temperament Interview is conducted, see the Temperament Interview section of the FAQ
Temperament Interviews are what we use to gauge if a dog is compatible with the daycare environment.
After completing the sign up process, we will schedule you for a time to do the interview.
Temperament Interview Process: When you arrive, there will be some brief paperwork to sign, and then we will take your dog by leash to the interview room. You can remain in the lobby and watch the interaction on the live video feed. This way, we can see how your pup behaves when they are by themselves. Dogs behave differently when they’re with their owner and on a leash than they do when they’re alone and off leash.
For the first part of the assessment, we will remove the leash and be sure your dog responds well to basic handling by staff. Your dog can sniff around the room and get comfortable with the new environment. We check for parasites in the fur, and if all goes well, then it will be time to introduce some dogs.
The first dog we will introduce will be a calm dog. We watch the interaction closely and can step in to help guide it if we see any behavioral indications that either dog needs space. Your dog will be given enough time to get comfortable. Once their body language softens to show they are used to the first dog, then we introduce a dog with medium energy. The calm energy dog will remain in the room as well.
Once your dog shows body language that he or she is comfortable with both the low and medium energy dog, then for the last part we introduce a high energy dog. If your dog tolerates all 3 energy levels well enough, then the interview is complete and they have passed. After that, your dog can now join in any of our services!
Joining Daycare: Some dogs may be shy at first, and may take a day or more to observe the daycare environment and get comfortable with the group environment. Staff will help ease the introduction by ensuring your dog can be given space to observe others and settle in while they are new to daycare.
Ongoing Behavioral Assessment: Dog behavior is continuously reassessed with each visit as they are in the group. If at any time a dog is displaying behavior or body language that is not suitable in a group commingling environment, then the owner will be notified and the dog will be moved to a separate area until their owner can come get them. Dogs who are not a fit for commingling with other dogs in daycare will not be able to attend future services so we can maintain a safe and happy environment for dogs to play.
Your Dog! Be sure they do not have any sensitive injuries, communicable diseases, or parasite symptoms (Example: hacking cough, fleas, worms, etc). If you are unsure about a symptom, research it on Google to see what it could be, and check with a vet to verify.
Their collar and leash (leash must be 4ft or shorter so you’ll be able to keep distance from other guests). Leashes can be kept at Puppy Love so whoever picks them up will have a leash ready for them. It helps to have your dog’s name on the leash so everyone knows it’s yours.
Medication if your dog takes any during the day. Meds must be in their original container with your dog’s name and dosage instructions listed
A meal for lunch if your dog normally eats lunch. Bring the food in a sealed container with their first and last name written on it. Remember, we can’t serve food unless it has a name, just to be sure each dog gets the correct food. This prevents allergic reactions or upset stomachs
A Dog Coat if it’s cold outside and your dog needs one. However, we also have dog coats and sweaters available here, and if your dog looks cold we can provide one for them. We recommend dog clothing that has velcro closures. Note that since dogs play with their mouths, it’s likely any dog coat worn to daycare may become damaged during play. Be sure to bring one that is okay to become damaged, just in case!
Puppy Love provides the rest!
Prior to a Slumber Party, go over your dog’s profile and make sure their feeding information, your phone number, emergency contact, etc. are all still correct. This will ensure that things go smoothly in case there is any need to reference this information.
Your Dog: Be sure they do not have any sensitive injuries, communicable diseases, or parasite symptoms (Example: hacking cough, fleas, worms, etc). If you are unsure about a symptom, research it on Google to see what it could be, and check with a vet to verify.
Their collar and leash: Leash must be 4ft or shorter so you’ll be able to keep distance from other guests! Leashes can be kept at Puppy Love so whoever picks them up will have a leash ready for them. It helps to have your dog’s name on the leash so everyone knows it’s yours.
Medication: Include medicine if your dog will need any during their stay. Meds must be in their original container with your dog’s name and dosage instructions listed.
- Bring their food in a sealed container that is spill-proof and bug-proof, and write their first and last name on it. Remember, we can’t serve food unless it has a name, just to be sure each dog gets the correct food. This prevents allergic reactions or upset stomachs.
- For shorter stays, food can be portioned for each meal with the day/time listed on it (Example: Saturday AM, Saturday Lunch, Saturday PM, etc.). For longer stays you can bring the food in a sealed large container and include either a portion scoop or list how much your dog eats for each portion. (Example: 1 cup AM, 1 cup PM)
- Let us know what are options are to entice your dog to eat if they do not have an appetite, which can happen sometimes when dogs are boarding.
A Dog Coat if it’s cold outside you can include a coat or two for your dog. It can help to have more than one, as snow can make them wet, and we’ll have a spare to use if we need to wash it. We also have dog coats and sweaters available here, and if your dog looks cold we can provide one for them. We recommend dog clothing that has velcro closures. Note that since dogs play with their mouths, it’s likely any dog coat worn to daycare may become damaged during play. Be sure to bring one that is okay to become damaged, just in case!
Puppy Love provides the rest! We have comfortable bedding, bowls, reverse osmosis water, and toys for your dog
The schedule may vary day-to-day depending on the weather or scheduled appointments, but here is our typical schedule:
What a Typical Day Looks Like at Puppy Love
- Around 5:30am the Slumber Party dogs wake up, stretch, and have a potty break in the rubber yards. Waste is immediately picked up and the area is sprayed clean with a hose, soap, and disinfectant. The play yard continues to be cleaned and sprayed for the rest of the day after each dog “does their business”.
- Around 6:00am, doggie guests are fed their breakfast one at a time in the lobby, then they rest for 30 minutes to digest.
- The lobby opens and dogs begin arriving for daycare and boarding from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Dogs have free access to go outside or inside via a dog door or by a caretaker letting them in the “human door”, except when a new dog arrives. When a new dog arrives, the dog group is brought outside. Then each dog is let inside gradually, one at a time, to meet the new dog who has arrived. Calmer dogs meet the new dog first, then the more energetic dogs meet them last. Once the whole group is familiar with them, then free access to the outdoors and indoors resumes. If there is a storm, dogs are brought indoors for safety. Once all dogs have arrived, then the grass yards can be open to dogs if it’s not muddy. Some of the most active exercise happens at this time, with chasing and wrestling games between dogs who have befriended each other.
- The lobby closes at 10:00 am, play begins to settle down around 11:00 and dogs begin their pre-lunch rest indoors for 45 minutes. Relaxing music or audio of people talking calmly is played to inspire rest throughout the lunch period.
- Around 11:45am dogs who eat lunch will be fed one at a time in the lobby. When all dogs who eat lunch are done eating, then a 45 minute rest period begins. Most dogs choose to have a nap at this time. Resting before and after meals can prevent a serious medical condition known as “bloat and torsion”
- After the post-lunch rest is done, the dog doors open up and dogs can have a potty break in the rubber areas where waste is easily cleaned. Then if it’s not raining or muddy, the grass yards will be opened up. This time is often the 2nd most active time of day, when dogs are inspired to play chase and wrestle games. Many like to smell the grass and explore with their noses.
- At 3:00pm the lobby reopens and dogs may begin getting picked up by their parents and going home. Though, usually most dogs start going home around 4:00pm to 5:30pm. As time goes on, most dogs start getting tired and may come inside to nap or rest. More energetic dogs will continue to play outdoors.
- At 6:30pm the lobby closes down and is locked up for the evening. The grass yard gates are closed to keep dogs close to the building. The daycare rooms are cleaned, and then Slumber Party bedding is brought out. Though, dogs are still allowed to play outdoors if they want to.
- Around 7:00pm all of the dogs go inside, where relaxing audio is played so the dogs can start a pre-dinner rest. Then dinner is fed one dog at a time in the lobby. After all dogs have eaten their dinners, then there’s a post-dinner resting period.
- Lower energy dogs tend to get drowsy and sleep early, while some higher energy dogs may still enjoy partying outdoors. If it gets dark, lights can be turned on to illuminate the play areas.
- Around 9:00pm to 10:00pm the dogs are let outside for a potty break. Then they return to the inside and the lights are dimmed to encourage sleep. Light music may be played to distract from outside noises. During days with fireworks, white noise or bass-heavy music may be played to camouflage the sound.
- The dogs go to sleep on the airbeds and have in-room supervision by staff throughout the night. Most nights the dogs sleep through the night, but if a dog wants to have an overnight potty break or two, then the caretaker can let them outside to go potty as needed. Any indoor accidents from puppies are immediately cleaned and disinfected.
All visits are appointment only. We cannot accept walk-ins, as we have a maximum capacity rule that we have to follow. Our property is also our private residence, so we like to know who will be coming to our home business for security purposes.
Please be mindful of our business hours so we can provide uninterrupted service to our guests. Dogs do best with a structured and predictable schedule, so we like to minimize disturbances.
We do not change hours for any holidays at this time!
We are also open on “snow days” and other severe weather days, since we live on-site.
Drop off remains from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM, then Pick Up hours are from 3:00PM to 6:30 PM.
The lobby is closed mid-day for lunch and outdoor activities.
While Puppy Love cares for dogs 24/7, the lobby closes mid-day between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM for the following reasons:
- We have a structured rest period prior to feeding dog lunches, as well as a rest period after the dogs who eat lunch are finished. This not only allows them to digest their food better, but it also can help prevent a fatal condition known as Bloat and Torsion that can be triggered by too much excitement and exercise around meal time. By preventing activity at this time, we’re able to better control the environment so it is quiet and conducive to rest.
- Dogs are fed their meals individually in the lobby or introduction room. Since this is the path that arriving or departing dogs take to get into or out of daycare, we have to stop arrivals and departures at this time so dogs can have time to eat their meals.
- When dogs are arriving or departing, staff has to stay close to the building to be sure we are ready to assist in that process. However, some of the funnest areas of the facility are the grass fields that are far from the building. Closing mid-day allows us to take the dogs to the grass fields after lunch rest is over without having to worry about customer traffic.
On the checkout date of the reservation, if you check out before the early checkout time, that day is not charged.
The early checkout time on weekdays is 8:00 am.
The early checkout time on weekends is 10:00 am.
If you’re experiencing problems using the website, here are some common solutions:
- Try updating your browser or switching to a different browser (Example: Instead of Internet Explorer, try Chrome)
- Restart your browser
- Restart your computer or device
- Clear your browser cache
If none of these solutions works:
- Send a screenshot of the error or problem to us. If you can’t get a screenshot write down the error code if there is one, or what the problem is, and email it to us at email@example.com …be sure to note what the browser and operating system you are using is. If all else fails, call us! 319-535-3861
We require morning arrivals for several reasons, including:
- Quiet Overnights: Traditional kennels allow drop-offs in the evenings because they will be caging the dogs overnight, staff won’t be present, and they do not mind if dogs are awake all night barking. However, at Puppy Love, we prefer to provide an environment for your dog that is conducive to sleeping. In order to create such an environment, we need to provide structure, exercise, and plenty of opportunity for relaxation and familiarity. Arriving in the morning gives dogs time to accomplish all of these things before it’s time for bed. Making sure dogs get proper rest ensures they can stay healthy and in good spirits. If we did not do this, then having energetic or nervous dogs show up before bed time would mean those dogs would be walking around, making noise, having potty accidents on the bedding, and otherwise disturbing the peace of the rest of the group. Arriving in the morning is not only a much better idea for each dog individually, but it also benefits all of the other dogs in the group.
- Relaxed and Confident Dogs: Since dogs can’t understand our language or our plans, a change in their schedule (such as a boarding stay or starting daycare for the first time at a new place) can cause most dogs to have anxiety due to uncertainty. Arriving in the morning gives dogs enough time to gain their confidence and relax in the group so their stay is much more enjoyable. Each time a new dog is added to the group, the group dynamics will change and each dog will have to readjust their behavior before they trust the new dog enough that they can be fully comfortable to play again. By limiting the times when new dogs can enter the group, it allows dogs the entire afternoon to feel comfortable since they have already met and become comfortable with the other dogs.
- Familiarity: Due to our schedule consistency, dogs who attend daycare regularly know what to expect from each day. They know to expect new dogs to be added to the group in the mornings, the group calms down and relaxes together mid-day, then the group of dogs who all know each other play in the afternoons. Then dogs will go home one at a time. However, if we were to have new dogs arriving it would b
- Keeps dogs on the same schedule. Keeping all arrivals in the morning makes sure that dogs are active and resting at the same times. The morning is the most energetic time when dogs play, then they
- Provides more value. all
Due to the laws of the State of Iowa, all dogs must be spayed or neutered if over the age of 6 months old in order to commingle.
Such restrictions are in place to prevent unplanned dog pregnancies, and because female dogs in heat can change the dog group social dynamics negatively, as their scent can impact other dogs.
Since Puppy Love only offers cage-free services, this means we can not accept dogs over 6 months who are not altered. Sorry, it’s the law so we can’t make exceptions. Only facilities who cage dogs are allowed to accept unaltered dogs over 6 months, and they are not permitted to commingle in daycare groups in any other facility, either. For unaltered dogs over 6 months, we recommend finding a pet sitter who can come to your home to provide care, as caged boarding can be extremely stressful for dogs.
Many pet parents go along with veterinarian recommendations to wait to spay or neuter until the dog is done growing. We think this is a wise decision to put health first. Many of our clients bring their puppies here, and then take a break from daycare until they’re of a healthy age to be altered. Once your dog gets spayed or neutered, then you can upload their proof of spay/neuter to your dogs’ profile and resume services.
For the safety of our staff and doggie guests, all dogs who attend must be friendly with people and other dogs.
Staff will need to be able to safely handle your dog in order to bring them into daycare, to feedings, and to return them to you.
There is also potential for dogs and people to cross paths in the parking lots, and we want to ensure our facility is safe for our guests, both inside and out.
You may want to speak with a professional dog trainer to help assess what the issue is and help your dog work through it. In some cases, the right training can help a dog overcome the issue. However, some dogs just don’t enjoy socializing. For such dogs, look into at-home care and enrichment opportunities that don’t involve other dogs.
At Puppy Love, our services are 100% cage-free, so we cannot offer physical tours like traditional caged kennels do. Instead we offer our tours via live video. Video tours not only keep the dogs and guests safe, but it also gives you a more realistic view of what daycare is like when the dogs are behaving normally.
Dog groups can become overly excited by unexpected new people entering their spaces. Seeing new people often can result in the dogs jumping on the person, which could potentially cause injuries. Intense excitement can also make dog behavior get out of hand, especially if untrained people behave in ways that increase excitement (squealing, touching dogs before the dog is comfortable with them, etc.). For everyone’s safety, only professionally trained dog handlers and State inspectors can be in the areas where there are loose dog groups. This also gives you the peace of mind of knowing exactly who will have access to your dog.
The laws of the State of Iowa require that all dogs have to have their profile completed and approved, along with vaccination records and a temperament interview in order to attend.
Also, appointments cannot be made without having a profile, as there is no way to put your dog on the schedule if they’re not in the system. Once the legal requirements are met, you are free to try out our services and see if your dog enjoys them. There is no obligation to keep attending once you are enrolled, since we do not do schedule contracts. Customers can use daycare and boarding services whenever they wish!
We’re happy to help accommodate you! Simply email or call us and let us know how we can assist you.
How many dogs there are will vary day to day. Our maximum is 30 dogs, with 15 daycare slots for big dogs and 15 daycare slots for small dogs.
We also have our own resident dog pack who lives here. Currently we have 12 dogs!
For safety purposes, we remove all collars, flea collars, bandanas, and other items prior to introducing a dog into the dog group. This is to prevent the item from becoming a hazard during play.
For heat waves, we have the air conditioning running indoors, along with fans. Cold drinking water is provided. Outdoors, we have the dogs mostly in the grass areas, which are coolest. Overhead we have canopies to provide shade, as well as trees and bushes. Also cold water misting systems are in place to bring down air temperature and we wet down the rubber areas. Doggie pools with cool water are made available. We monitor dogs for signs of being hot, and make sure they get indoors to cool off as needed. Doggie doors are available to allow the dogs to come and go as they please to regulate their temperatures.
For extreme cold weather, we have indoor heat on, as well as radiant floor heating. Soft bedding and blankets are made available along with room temperature water. We monitor dogs for signs of being cold, and bring them indoors to warm up. They’re also able to come and go through the doggie doors so they can regulate their temperature, though we can assist if the dog appears cold. Dog coats are provided to dogs who show signs of being cold. We remove snow and ice from the rubber yards, as ice can be tapped until it breaks off of the rubber ground. We use hot water hoses to clean the yards so they remain sanitary regardless of the weather.
We designed our yards to maximize both fun and cleanliness! For rainy days, dogs play in the rubber yards so they can stay cleaner. Our grass yards are closed until conditions are no longer wet.
Real grass yards are amazing in dry conditions! They’re the coolest surface on the paws during hot summer days. But when it’s raining or snow is melting, a beautiful grass yard can make dogs muddy. And the foot traffic while the soil is wet can also damage the grass and prevent new growth…which results in more mud! That’s why rubber yards are our clever solution for being able to offer dogs the glory of real grass yards, but without having muddy dogs at the end of the day.
During times when there are thunderstorms or fireworks, we bring the dogs indoors and block any windows that may show lightning or fireworks outdoors. Music with heavy bass is played at a volume that can camouflage the sounds. If a dog who is scared of fireworks needs to have a potty break at night and there are no active fireworks, they are taken on a leash into the gated yard as an added safety precaution while they do their business. Dogs who are scared of thunder will also be assisted outdoors only as the dog tolerates it, and we remain under the cover of awnings to stay out of rain and lightning range. However, we try to stay indoors during storms unless a dog needs an urgent potty break.
Staff are on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the dogs. If there is ever an emergency, staff will be there to respond and move dogs into a safe area.
Tornadoes: If a tornado is in the area, we will use our own emergency evacuation leashes to collect all dogs and they will be escorted by staff to a storm shelter. Big dogs will remain in a separate area from small dogs for safety reasons. When the tornado threat is over, we will bring dogs back into their designated areas. If a tornado watch or warning prevents you from being able to pick your dog up before close, call Puppy Love to let us know and we can schedule an alternate time.
Fire: In the event of a fire, all dogs will be escorted outdoors into the gated yards and we will use our emergency evacuation leashes to escort them to the farthest possible gated yard for their group. If the building can no longer be occupied, pet parents will be called to pick up their dogs early. If there is hot or cold weather during such an emergency, we may drive vehicles with heating and air conditioning to the field and bring the dogs in to warm up or cool down. Big dog and small dog groups will remain apart for safety reasons.
Flood: Puppy Love is located on elevated land and is not in a flood zone. If needed, we may provide shelter to dogs from other facilities in the area who need emergency shelter.
Health Emergency: If a dog has a health emergency, Puppy Love staff will prepare the dog for transport, and they will be taken to Bright Eyes Bushy Tails for emergency veterinary treatment. Parents will be called as soon as it is safe to do so.
We feed dogs individually in a separate room.
If you have dogs from the same household who only will eat when they’re together, let staff know so we can arrange for them to eat together.
We do not use kennels for feedings, as kennels can cause stress to some dogs, which can prevent them from eating.
Dogs are fed separately from the group because dogs can get upset stomachs if they eat food that is different from what they usually eat, and some dogs don’t like sharing food.
We only feed your dog food or treats that you provide. This ensures that they do not get an upset stomach from switching to new food.
We do have Taste of the Wild dog food available for sale. Let staff know you would like to order some, and we can have it ready for you when you come to pick up your dog at the end of the day.