Frequently Asked Questions
Our Columbia Heights location is the only dog day care in the city that caters exclusively to small dogs (10 -to 25 lbs).
Our Brookland location has distinct play areas for tiny, medium, and large-sized dogs of most sizes (8-85 lbs).
All Montessori Dogs (except those in the Puppy Head Start Program) must be at least six months old.
All Montessori dogs age 6 months and over must be spayed or neutered unless medical documentation from a veterinarian is provided explaining the medical need to delay the procedure along with the alternate age that the procedure will take place. In that case, we will delay the requirement until the alternate age is reached.
All Montessori dogs must be vaccinated for Rabies, Bordetella, Distemper and Parvovirus.
All Montessori dogs must be pass an all day behavior assessment.
The Behavior Assessment is an opportunity for your dog to get to know us, and for us to get to know your dog to determine his/her playstyle, energy level, comfort and confidence, and overall suitability for our Montessori program.
The assessment is fear and force free, and serves as a snapshot in time to help us gather information about what your dog may need to succeed in a Montessori environment. The assessment is not a final or permanent determination of a dog’s character.
Montessori dogs have the fundamentals down and are ready to learn. 101 dogs aren’t quite ready yet for one reason or another.
Every dog develops at its own pace. Science tells us there are very different needs for different age dogs. However, it would get very complicated if we made categories for all the different developmental periods, so we keep it simple:
- Puppies age 8 weeks to 6 months
- Adolescents and adults age 6 months to 12 years
- Seniors age 12 years +
If your dog is only 5 months and is ready for Montessori, we’ll let you know and work with you. Or, if your dog is 4 months but needs Day Care 101, we’ll let you know and work with you. Or if your dog is 14 and is still very healthy and energetic, we’ll work with you.
It all begins with a behavior assessment so we can figure out who we are working with, where they are in their development process and life cycle, and what they need to succeed.
Yes, though we generally discourage this because the dogs receive the caloric equivalent of a lunch in treats throughout the day. In addition, if they are even more “full” from eating lunch, they’ll be less motivated to participate in the activities and take treats. If there is a medical necessity, please let us know and we’ll be happy to work with you.
We call them nap condos. They are not plastic crates or concrete or wire barred kennels, they are glass and marble. But they are enclosures that serve the same purpose as a crate or kennel: to provide a safe area for the dog to be independent, on his/her own, and rest with a toy or puzzle on a soft bed with water while the staff does individual activities one at a time with other guests nearby. You can see a photo of the nap condos here.
Most likely not, but it depends on the severity. If your dog has mild separation anxiety and might whine or drool slightly for the first minute or so, the Montessori school staff can work with him to overcome that with positive methods.
If it’s more moderate separation anxiety that, when triggered, results in pawing, prolonged barking, or excessive whining, the dog would not be a fit for Montessori School and would be referred to our Day Care 101 program instead. At Day Care 101 the instructors would help him overcome that moderate separation anxiety in a dog day care setting in a short term 4-8 week program before returning / re-admitting him to Montessori.
In severe cases, where the dog experiences genuine terror, and screams or engages in destructive behavior we’d refer you to one of our dog trainers, or an animal behaviorist to create a management and recovery plan in consultation with your veterinarian, and any pharmaceuticals they may prescribe. After the recovery plan has been implemented, we’d re-assess the dog for Montessori.
Separation anxiety and severity level are a critical part of our free behavior assessment process before any dog is admitted to Montessori School.
We try to be accommodating to the greatest extent possible. But, in general, if a customer’s special request disrupts the usual routine of the day on an ongoing basis, we will decline. However, feel free to ask.
That depends on your dog, their needs, and your budget. In general most dogs benefit from coming once or twice per week. Very energetic and dogs who need a lot of stimulation to be satisfied come three times per week. On rare occasions a very special dog might come more than 3 times per week. Often customers augment their Montessori visits with in home Enrichment walks on the days that the dog isn’t at Montessori.
Here are two blog posts that explain it:
- Fear-Free Grooming: A Compassionate Approach to An Essential Service
- The Ins & Outs of Fear Free Grooming
- Completed New Customer Intake Form
- Vaccinations (Puppies <20 weeks): 1st round of Distemper, Parvovirus, Bordetella
- Vaccinations (Dogs >20 weeks): Rabies, DHPP / DAPP, Bordetella
- Age: 12 weeks – 12 years
- Weight: 5-90 lbs
You have two options:
- Option 1: Ask the reservation specialist for the “First Appointment of the Day” and we’ll groom your dog first while you wait. There is only one of these slots available per day, and you have to be flexible to pick up your dog whenever they happen to be done. That could be a half hour and it could be three hours. However, if your dog has other fears of the grooming process (fear of nail trimming, or fear of water/bathing, for example) it won’t work because then we have to rush which defeats the purpose of fear free grooming.
- Option 2: Work with one of our trainers to help your dog overcome the separation anxiety first, perhaps in consultation with a veterinarian to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication, and once the separation anxiety is managed, then come to us for fear free grooming afterward.
- Provide a photo of a dog that has the haircut you’d like for your dog. The model dog needs to be of a similar breed/fur type to make that possible. We will never be able to make a cocker spaniel look like a dalmatian. (Yes, we have received that request.)
- Be patient. Some dogs take one or two or even three visits with us to be comfortable with the process to a point where they can get a perfect breed standard haircut. Each visit should make progress toward the goal, but if your dog has fear of grooming, do not expect perfection the first visit. We’ll get there eventually!
- Arrive on time and take a few minutes at drop off to make sure the groomer understands your goals for the appointment.
- Request progress pictures before coming to pick the dog up so we can make touch ups or changes before you return.
We believe that all of our clients should be fully satisfied with the services they’ve received. We do not guarantee that we can solve every problem. But we do believe we can improve the relationship you have with your dog. And we guarantee that we will be transparent, communicative, and provide value for your money. If at any point you do not feel that we have done that, please let us know that you are not satisfied and we’ll give you a refund equivalent to the value of the last 3 visits of your most recent package purchased. (This does not apply to expired packages or a la carte purchases).
As of March 2020 Patrick’s Pet Care no longer offers overnight boarding services except for dog slumber parties, on holidays and holiday weekends only. To be eligible to board with us you must be a monthly member or package holder.
Puppy Head Start
Read our statement on vaccines and health concerns.
Trips within Northwest DC are $25 per trip, trips around other quadrants of DC are $35 per trip, and trips to our surrounding Maryland or Virginia counties are $50 per trip.
Absolutely! We’re happy to pick up your pup at home and bring them to spend some time with us, and you can indicate that preference when you fill out your intake form for boarding or Day Care.
Patrick’s Pet Care follows the Office of Personnel Management operating status which you can see here. If the federal government in DC closes due to inclement weather, Patrick’s Pet Care closes as well.
Patrick’s Pet Care will happily accept used bath towels and washcloths as well as empty egg cartons, and paper towel tubes. We do not accept cleaning supplies, pet food, or pet supplies including potty pads, dog bedding, dog cages/crates, or dog toys. If you’d like to donate these items consider contacting an animal shelter or animal rescue such as Humane Rescue Alliance or Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.