Frequently Asked Questions

I have a young puppy, when can he/she start boarding Tappen Hill?

There are several considerations regarding puppies.  They need to be fully potty-trained and reliable about taking themselves outside to relieve.   They also must have completed their series of puppy vaccines.  Most vets recommend that the final vaccinations in the initial series be administered at about 16 weeks.  Once fully vaccinated and potty-trained,  puppies are welcome to stay with us anytime.

My dog has never been crate-trained, will he/she be accepted?

While most of our clients’ dogs were crate-trained as puppies, many have either never been in a crate or are not regularly crated at home.  The vast majority of these dogs enjoy their individual dens/crates at Tappen Hill with no issue at all.  If your dog exhibits any anxiety or discomfort with being crated, we will let you know and together we can discuss different options.  For most dogs, however, their dens at Tappen Hill are comfortable and desirable private spaces to eat, rest and relax.

Are there any breeds that are not allowed at Tappen Hill?

Dogs that are too dominant or too alpha do not do well in this style of boarding. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate certain breeds such as Akitas, American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls, Chows, Shar Peis, Shiba Inus, Livestock Guardian breeds, Mastiff-type breeds any fighting breeds, as well as giant breeds.

I am interested in boarding my dog over a holiday, can I call to make an evaluation appointment and/or reservation at the last minute?

Unfortunately, the major holidays (and any time kids are out of school) tend to be the busiest times for us. As such, it is imperative for our clients to call as far in advance as possible (usually two months prior to the holiday) to ensure there is still room at Tappen Hill for their dog. For new clients, holidays present even more of a challenge due to our initial evaluation requirements. Therefore, it is a good idea to plan ahead and to give our office a call as soon as you know your travel plans.

Is there a cancellation penalty?

We ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we are able to accommodate other clients that may be on our waiting lists. There may be a cancellation charge for clients who repeatedly cancel high season bookings at the last minute.

When my friend visited Tappen Hill, she told me that there must have been at least fifty dogs, romping around, playing, swimming, napping or just relaxing.  They were all so happy, but also very quiet and well-behaved, she said.  My dog has a rowdy, rough play-style and barks quite a bit.  Will he fit in to the social play-groups at Tappen Hill?

We welcome a fairly wide range of energy levels, play-styles and temperaments.  However, there are some dogs that, when interacting with other dogs, are too rough, too dominant and/or too barky to fit into our boarding style.  Although we cannot accommodate every dog, there are many high-energy dogs have a ton of fun romping, swimming and playing while staying with us.  Please understand that we are responsible for the health, safety and comfort of all the dogs in our care and that our goal is to ensure that all of our canine guests have a wonderful time.  Please call us to discuss any specific concerns.

What if my dog gets sick or hurts himself during his boarding stay?

Should any health concern arise during your dog’s stay with us, the first thing we do is try to contact you by phone.  If we are able to connect with you right away, we will let you know what we are concerned about and you can then decide on the course of action that you are most comfortable with.  If we cannot reach you, we will leave you a voice message and then attempt to consult with your veterinarian and your emergency contact.  The veterinarians that oversee the medical care at Tappen Hill are local (5 minutes away) at the Animal Hospital of Sebastopol.  Although we will make every effort to establish contact with you as soon as possible, a lack of contact will not delay necessary care.  If you remain unavailable, care decisions will be made in consultation with both your, and our veterinarians.

My dog has seizures, is it safe to board him/her in a social setting?

This depends on the severity and frequency of the seizure activity.  Please call us to discuss the specifics of your dog’s condition and what cautions would be most appropriate.  If your dog has had a seizure in the past 6 months, because of safety concerns, we may not be able to place him/her in our regular play-groups.  We do have private run accommodations, but private run availability in limited.  For this reason, if your dog will require a private run, it is a good idea make your reservation as far in advance as possible.

My dog is diabetic, are you able to administer insulin injections?

Our staff has been trained and can easily administer subcutaneous injections.  Please inform our office of any and all medical instructions when you drop off.

My dog gets very upset and fearful in the presence of loud noises.  Therefore, I would like to board him/her at Tappen Hill over the 4th of July to get them away from all of the fireworks.  Is this a good idea?

No.  This is not a good Idea.  Though Tappen Hill is located in a very peaceful country setting, there are three separate fireworks displays put on by the surrounding communities.

My dog has special needs: blind/deaf/geriatric/post-surgery, are you able to accommodate him?

This depends on how independent and social your dog is.  To board with us, it is important that your dog be comfortable in a social grouping of other dogs and that they still have a degree of independence.  All dogs must be able to comfortably walk outside (on their own) to relieve themselves whenever they need to, which involves stepping up through our dog doors.  As long as your dog is still mobile and socially comfortable, we are happy to accommodate their special needs.

I have two dogs.  Can they sleep together at night?

Dogs from the same family are usually placed in the same play group unless there is a big disparity in size, activity level or age.  They can be placed in individual dens next to one another overnight – where they will be only a few inches away, able to see, hear and smell each other; however, for safety, we do separate all dogs for sleeping at night.

How often do the dogs get to go swimming?  Will you teach my dog to play in the water?

We do not have “set swim hours” at Tappen Hill.  We strive to rotate the dogs out to the pools as often as possible, weather permitting.  If you are interested in finding out if/when your dog has gone swimming during his/her visit, please mention this to our office staff when you drop off.  If your dog has never been swimming before, we can gently encourage them to try our shallow pool, but we won’t force your dog to go in the water.  Not respecting a dog’s apprehension about water is always counter-productive.   Many times, simply seeing their friends playing in the water is all that it takes.

What are my transportation options?

When you are first learning about Tappen Hill, during the process of becoming a client, it is very important that you take the time to come and visit us. Being here in person allows you to appreciate what it would feel like to your dog to live with us while you are away. If you are comfortable with our facility and feel good about how we care for the dogs, once your dog has been approved for boarding, you may elect to utilize our shuttle service to and from San Francisco and Marin. Our shuttle operates every day (except major holidays) and is offered as an option for your convenience.

To learn more about our shuttle service: click here.