What exactly is a pajama party for your pet?

Many of us as furry pet parents have to decide on daily/extended care for our animals; due to extensive travel or daily work schedules.  As with daycare for our children, doggie daycare is top on our list.  We decided to take a look at the history and reasoning behind doggie day cares or “pajama parties” as Judy Basteri at Pet Companion, Bed & Biscuit, in Reading, MA calls her wonderful doggie paradise–a daily getaway retreat for your precious pooch!

Believe it or not, there was a beginning to doggie day care!

It is amazing to think that there was once a time that overnight and daily care for your wonderful friend was not the “in” thing.  In 1985, faced with the fact that her precious doggie was her baby, Judy Basteri, long time Boston native, decided that dogs needed an extended family when parents were away.  “I didn’t want my baby in the “slammer”, so I figured others didn’t either!  It really wasn’t rocket science, it was reality.”  Judy’s intent in being the FIRST, and yes we said FIRST nationally recognized doggie daycare, was simply her love for dogs—and her B & B is CAGE-FREE—so no “slammer here”.  “We do not have kennels at Pet Companion, Bed & Biscuit, we provide open play and open overnight rest…on a cushiony pillow or couch no less!  We do have “crates” available if a dog feels comfort in that, but the doors are ALWAYS left open.” 

How does one measure success: One “wag” at a time, of course!

Success in anything relies on the response from the clients and in this case the “guests”.  Judy rates her success on happy dogs!  From relaxing music to over 10,000 sq. ft of available room to roam for our furry babies, we think happy customers is an understatement. 

The occupancy for overnight accommodations is approximately 60-75 furry babies.  On average, Judy’s wonderful B & B sees 500-600 guests per week, many are repeat and long-standing members–that is a great measure of success to us.  Extra care allows for more success: “many areas of our development have come from trial and error.  For example, feeding time is private time.  It allows for less stress for all and safety for medication administration, etc.” 

The meet and greet. All doggie day cares should be doing this!

Suns out to meet you, tongue and all!

How does one determine a good fit for this amazing B & B “Pajama Party”? Well, an interview of course; with the pet parents, the owner Judy, the furry baby, and often times a few regular “guests” of the B & B.  “Only about 70% of our interviewees make it; it has to be the right fit for all involved.  Our goal is a stress-free environment to allow for successful companionship,” Judy told us.  This wonderful establishment also has door-to-door service to encourage Playgroups.  Imagine front door service for pick-up and drop-off of your precious fur baby. 

Melo, Jax and Rogue hanging outside!

Remember to interview your potential doggie day care

Frolic in the snow! Freedom awaits!

Items to look for:

  • Cleanliness of the facility
  • Proper and verifiable credentials: licenses, insurance, etc.
  • How many are on staff at any given time, 24-7?
  • Check references-be aware: you have a busy life, but your furry pet only has YOU
  • What type of control measures do they have in place to prevent/alleviate any fights, difficulties, and to instill proper feeding times, make sure small/medium separated from larger breeds, etc.
  • How large is the facility, will it allow for proper area/space for all animals visiting?

Thanks to the pioneers for leading the way!

As with all great things there are often humble beginnings. We thank those that forged the way, even without really trying to, especially in the days before the internet, cell phones and social media! This founder of the pajama party or doggie daycare shows us that ideas that come from the most tender of reasons: the love of our furry babies, can carry us far.  While Pet Companion, Bed & Biscuit is only one of the over 5,000 now existing private doggie day cares, it definitely has stood the test of time: leading the pack and has the “paw” stamp of approval for sure! 

For more info on Pet Companion, Bed & Biscuit see them at www.petcompanionsinc.com or on FB @petcompanions

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