The Daily Evergreen

Dog day care: ‘Grandma’s house for all the dogs’

Owner+Kaycee+Richman%E2%80%99s+rat+terrier+mix%2C+Dodger%2C+lounges+on+the+couch+Monday+at+The+Downtown+Dog+in+Moscow.+
Owner Kaycee Richman’s rat terrier mix, Dodger, lounges on the couch Monday at The Downtown Dog in Moscow.

Owner Kaycee Richman’s rat terrier mix, Dodger, lounges on the couch Monday at The Downtown Dog in Moscow.

Kiera Clubb | The Daily Evergreen

Kiera Clubb | The Daily Evergreen

Owner Kaycee Richman’s rat terrier mix, Dodger, lounges on the couch Monday at The Downtown Dog in Moscow.

NINA WILLIS, Evergreen reporter

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A WSU graduate caters to the local dog scene through doggy playrooms and monthly field trips, as part of day care and boarding services.

Kaycee Richman opened The Downtown Dog almost three years ago in Pullman. After the day care outgrew its space six months later, they took over the location of an evicted pet store in Moscow, she said.

The day care makes a good place for dogs to socialize, she said. Many people around here have farms and a lot of land, so some dogs don’t spend much time with other dogs.

“[The] benefit of dog day care is that you drop your dog off in a friendly, safe and clean environment,” Richman said. “Then you pick up a very tired dog after working all day.”

While Pullman and Moscow have a few dog-friendly areas, most people don’t want their dog running out in snow and getting soaked and muddy, considering the weather during the year, Richman said.

On a typical day, owners can drop off their dogs anytime during store hours, Richman said. During naptime from 12 – 2 p.m., dogs go into individual kennels while staff clean the playroom. Afterward, the dogs go back into the playroom until their owners pick them up.

The playroom is about 3,000 square feet, Richman said, with access to an outdoor area. In the future, she would also like to have a pool for all the dogs who love swimming, like her own dog Norman.

“[The dogs] are all just wonderful,” Richman said. “It’s a joy in that room, after you get over all that barking when new people come in.”

The Downtown Dog Manager Erin Ingram handles scheduling, staff training and operations. She joined mid-August of last year.

Dog owners can sign their dogs up for a field trip on the last Thursday of every month, Ingram said. The day care staff takes the dogs to the Palouse River Trail just outside Colfax, walks them for about three hours and then lets them play. Then the staff give them baths and McDonald’s ice cream.

“It’s kind of like being grandma’s house for all the dogs,” Ingram said. “You get to bend the rules a little bit and spoil them with treats.”

As part of the daycare’s prerequisites, Richman said the dogs go through temperament tests to see how they mesh with the approximately 30 established clients — the dogs who come three to five times a week and have formed a pack.

The daycare also requires vaccines for Bordetella, the main bacteria responsible for kennel cough, rabies and distemper, Richman said. Dogs must get the Bordetella booster vaccines every six months, and rabies and distemper once a year.

“Kennel cough is basically the dog’s common cold,” Richman said. “When a dog does start coughing it’s highly contagious, just like you could catch the cold from me.”

The prices are currently being updated, but a half-day package consists of five hours or less, and a full day is considered more than five hours, according to their website. For more information or to contact the daycare, those interested can visit their Facebook page or website.

The Downtown Dog is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday.

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Dog day care: ‘Grandma’s house for all the dogs’