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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BOARDING

What are your check in and check out times?

Check In and Out Times:
Monday to Friday: 7am – 9am and 4pm-5pm Saturdays: 9am-10:30am
Sundays: 2:30pm – 4pm
Please arrive as early in the day you can. This gives us more time to spend with your pet so that we can get to know them and so that they have plenty of time to settle in before their first night with us.
Please note: A departure day charge applies after 9am. If you collect your pet in the morning on the day of departure you will not be charged for that day, excluding Sundays.

Can I go with my pet and see where they are staying?

To minimise disruptions to other pets staying with us, clients are not able to accompany their pet to their pen. Meet and Greets are always welcomed prior to your pet’s arrival date if you would like to discuss your pets needs.

Can we come for a walk through of the facility?

As we specialise in managing dogs with anxiety, fear based behaviour and in some cases, aggression through our stay and learn program, our goal is to keep the environment as stress free as possible for our current guests. We also minimise the risk of contamination being bought into the facility as we follow rigorous cleaning protocols to keep guests safe.

We are happy to forward images of sleeping areas and day yards to client email addresses, and do welcome a meet and greet to meet with a staff member to discuss your dogs requirements to make sure we are the right fit for you!

Can I bring along my dogs bedding and toys?

We provide hammock beds and soft bedding, which we wash everyday. We always wash bedding when a dog goes home, to ensure we have fresh, clean bedding for the new arrival. We have a vast selection of toys and would hate for your dog to loose their favourite toy here at the farm, so we ask that you keep toys and bedding at home!

How far in advance should I book?

As early as you can! Our dog accommodation books out very quickly for peak periods and long weekends. We recommend booking at least ten months in advance for Christmas/New Year, four months for Easter, three months for long- weekends and school holidays and once month for all other weekends.

Does my dog have to be vaccinated?

It is a legal requirement that all pets who stay with us have a current annual vaccination (C5 for dogs). Please ensure your pet is up to date before their stay as we are unable to admit them on site if they are out of date.

Vaccinations must be renewed yearly. Please speak to your vet to confirm your pet is fully covered. If you are wanting to board you pet but they have not been vaccinated in over 12 months, they will require a booster a month after their initial vaccination in order for them to be fully covered. This additional booster must also be administered in order for them to stay with us so please plan accordingly.

I have a puppy who is not old enough to be fully vaccinated, will you still take them?

Yes, we will. They do require at least their first vaccine and are required to participate in the luxury stay. They will only be socialised with carefully selected dogs and will not be placed in the main kennel facility.

You used to offer a crate space for the luxury package, is that still an option?

Unfortunately, no. The larger we got, this became no longer practical for us. We do offer a quiet space, adjacent to the family home for our luxury guests. This is limited to 8 dogs, and each dog has their own sleeping area. The area is heated and cooled.

I have multiple dogs from the same home, can they sleep in the same sleeping area?

Absolutely. The main sleeping areas are a 7m by 2m space and are large enough to house multiple dogs comfortably. We do not feed dogs together, but place them back together once meals are finished. We can also have the same dogs from the same household in the pen but with a gate separating so they can see, smell and touch each other if the owners would not like them directly with one another.

Please note, no dogs from different household will ever share the same sleeping area. Every families dogs have their own designated sleeping pen.

Is your facility climate controlled?

Our facility is climate controlled for year round comfort. All dogs sleeping areas are out of the elements and are calm and comfortable.

What do you do on really hot days?

The staff all start before dawn and get the dogs exercised whilst the cleaning staff attend to the dogs sleeping areas. Most dogs are back inside in the air conditioning before 10:30am, and we will allow them another run later in the afternoon if cool enough to do so.

Each dog is monitored as an individual, including brachycephalic breeds. If not suitable to go out, they will be given a toilet break and taken right back into the air conditioning.

What happens if my pet falls ill whilst I am away?

We will endeavour to contact you, your emergency contact or your vet and act accordingly in your pet’s best interest. All pets are health checked daily and we have an on-call vet as well as an emergency 24-hour vet clinic close by, should the need arise.

My dog is on a medication schedule, are you able to administer this?

All our staff are trained in medication administration so we can cater to all medication schedules. Additional charges may be applied if medication administration is required after 6pm.

Is there a staff member on site overnight?

Yes, we have a staff member on site at night at all times. If Aimee is away, one of our staff members will house sit the property to ensure the safety and comfort of the dogs boarding.

What happens if I need to extend or collect my dog outside of the booked time frame?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to collect your pet earlier or later than their original departure date. We bath all dogs the day before departure therefore we need to plan this accordingly. In off-peak periods, you will only be charged for days used, however in peak periods, you will be charged for days booked if you need to reduce your pets stay. At any stage throughout the year, we are certainly able to extend your pets stay assuming we have the availability.

Do I receive updates of my dog whilst I am away?

Yes, we send you regular updates to your nominated method of contact. We DO NOT update clients everyday, but do our best to update as much as possible.

We always provide accurate updates directly from the animal attendants looking after your pet, and this can take time. For this reason, please try and refrain from asking for frequent updates as frequent disruptions do take our attendants away from the pets in their care.

What food do you provide?

We provide Royal Canin dry food free of charge to our boarding guests, including puppy options. We also offer other food options, including Prime 100 and raw feeding, which can be added on for dogs with special dietary requirements or those who are fussy eaters.

Can I bring my dogs food?

If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is a fussy eater, you are welcome to bring their own food along. We kindly request that dog owners send extra food along as we find with increased activity levels, dogs tend to lose weight if they are fed the same amount of food as what they are fed at home. We have a large freezer, therefore if you need some food to be frozen then defrosted, we can easily accommodate. Packaging frozen food into daily portions is very helpful for us and if you also have time to write your pets name of the packaging, it is greatly appreciated!

When are your peak seasons?

Peak periods refer to any days over the Adelaide Public School Holidays.
The following minimum charges apply over peak periods:
Easter: 7-days
Christmas/New Years: 14-days
Long weekends
All remaining school holidays

How can I pay?

When submitting a booking request through our online portal, we require your card details to be on file so that we can collect the booking deposit as soon as the booking has been confirmed. Your card will not be charged for the rest of the stay until you have dropped the dog off. If you need to extend your dog’s stay, or would like to add on some enrichment or food extras while they’re with us, we will seek confirmation with you and charge the card on file.

What is included in the Standard Stay?

The standard stay includes 2 hours out in the 1-acre day yards. The dogs able to spend time with our team of day-care attendants throwing the ball, getting plenty of cuddles and room to explore.

What is included in the Stay and Play?

The stay and play dogs must be dog social and must be able to integrate in our carefully selected day-care setting. We run 3-4 separate social yards a day and they are monitored by our highly trained staff. The dogs are out in the day-care setting from 6:30am until 4:00pm in the afternoon. The dogs have a variety of activities with the staff throughout the day over the 23 acre farm setting.

What is included in the Luxury Stay and Play?

The Luxury stay and play is everything in the regular stay and play, however the sleeping areas are adjacent to the family home and are a quiter space with less dogs housed. This package is perfect for senior dogs, quieter dogs or nervous dogs.

Do you have a shuttle service?

Yes, for an additional fee we can pick up and/or drop off right to your door!

Does my dog have to be desexed?

No, they do not have to be desexed to stay on the farm. We do not socialise entire male dogs together, and we do not accept female dogs who are in season. If your female dog comes into the season, we will not be able to board them and you will be required to make alternate arrangements.

If I need to cancel, is there a cancellation fee?

At the time of booking, we require a non-refundable deposit to secure your booking. For non-peak seasons, we require a $50 non-refundable deposit.
For peak seasons, we require a $100 non-refundable deposit. Peak seasons are school holidays, long, weekends, public holidays, and festival periods.
For stay, and learn bookings, we require between a $200 non refundable deposit and a $500 non refundable deposit dependent on the package selected.
These fees are non refundable but can be transferred if the booking is edited to change dates.

After your pets holiday..

After your pet’s holiday, it’s not unusual for habits to change and they may require readjusting when they get home, just like us when we return from a holiday.. We like to refer to it as a ‘Farm hangover’.

Some common post-holiday behaviour includes:

  • Over excitement: Your pets are thrilled to have you home and to be home so they may run around and go crazy with excitement and delight from being back with their pack. This usually abates in a day or so.
  • Exhaustion/Lethargy: We also often hear from clients that their pet came home and slept for the entire day (sometimes 2-3 days) after their stay. This is not uncommon as their playtime each day begins at 630am and doesn’t subside until 4-6pm for their entire stay. During their holiday they have more activity and stimulation than they normally do at home so they are ready for a good rest upon their return.
  • Food gulping: Once again normal eating habits will resume within a few days, please don’t be alarmed, this is a very common behaviour post- holiday as your pet has been in the company of other pets and is very typical canine behaviour, regardless of how civilized they may normally behave at home.
  • Upset tummy: This can usually be attributed to a change in diet while staying with us. You are more than welcome to use your pet’s own food for your next visit, please ask our Client Care Specialist for further details.
  • Excessive thirst: Often while having so much fun with friends along with the sensory overload which happens with so many playmates and things to do, pets can forget to drink enough water and this may catch up with them once they return home. This again will settle once a normal routine is resumed at home. It is best not to allow your pets to gulp more than one bowl of water as they can be prone to bloat and vomiting if too much is
    consumed too fast.
  • Weight loss can occur in certain breeds or due to certain behaviours, such as excess activity and even anxiety. We offer all pets as much food as they comfortably eat without creating a health risk. Some dogs should consider the second meal option as they will burn calories due to excess movement. We also provide the option of beef mince for our guests who are prone to dropping weight (generally Boxers, GSP’s, Viszla’s, Shepherds, Dalamations etc). Imagine yourself if you moved for 5-6 additional hours a day with the same calorie intake how much weight can be burned off. We do weigh all dogs on arrival and some of the weight loss candidates will be weighed several times during their stay. We can’t guarantee weight will not be lost, however, we will ensure we do our utmost to prevent it.

Please remember that it’s important to re-establish all the usual home patterns and follow your normal home schedule. Our pets love following a schedule as it makes them feel safe and secure.

Important information regarding Canine Cough

Unfortunately for accommodation facilities, no amount of supervision or hygiene practices can completely eliminate the presence of Canine Cough. While we insist that all our canine guests are adequately immunized before staying with us,
this does not stop the presence of canine cough.

Signs include a persistent cough often followed by gagging. If your pet displays any of these signs post-holiday, it is recommended that your pet is kept rested with plenty of water. If the coughing persists or your dog becomes lethargic, please consult with your vet.
At Take the Lead should we detect any pet displaying symptoms of K-9 Cough we will isolate them from other pets to stop the spread of this virus. We also disinfectant all sleeping areas, leads, treat pouches etc daily which achieves a broad spectrum kill of potentially harmful micro-organisms. It is active against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. It is an excellent product for achieving a high level of biosecurity effectively and safely as it poses no hazard to humans and is completely safe to use in presence of animals.

Take the Lead will make all attempts to prevent any outbreak of Canine Cough, however like Human colds and Flu’s the virus is unpredictable even in the cleanest environment. Take the Lead will not be held accountable in the event that an animal contracts the virus but will make every attempt to make sure the pet is comfortable and treatment is sought. Any veterinarian fee’s will be billed to the corresponding owner.

Brachyphaslic Breeds

      • French Bulldog
      • Pug
      • British Bulldog
      • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
      • Boston Terrier
      • Boxer
      • Brussels Griffon

There are others on the list but as mentioned above, these are some of the more known or popular. This breed of dog can have breathing health-related issues and are also very prone to problems during heat and excitability.

Take the Lead understand that these breeds have special needs and takes all measures to ensure their health and well-being, however they can be prone to life-threatening issues in a very sudden and short amount of time. Many airlines have strong travel guidelines and restrictions in place with Brachycephalic dogs and cats because of the delicate upper respiratory tract anatomical anomalies.

We advise that veterinary check ups should be considered prior to checking in and consideration by the owner during warmer months to ensure optimum pet
health.

  • French Bulldog
  • Pug
  • British Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Pekingese

Senior Pet Care

Geriatric or senior pets often require special considerations when they board, especially if you are travelling during the busy holiday periods. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and routine, and do best when they can maintain a consistent daily pattern. Seniors may be more set in their ways, and any disruption to their schedule may cause additional stress to an ageing body.

At what age, exactly, is a furry friend considered a “senior” or “geriatric” pet? The actual age varies depending on breed (with larger breeds aging more quickly than smaller dogs), but generally any dog over the age of 10 years will be noted as a senior pet.

Older guests will typically require more attention from our staff, or even veterinary care, during their stay as they generally have more pre-existing medical conditions than our younger pets. For example, heart conditions, diabetes, kidney and/or liver dysfunction, low thyroid, arthritis and other joint problems, are commonly seen in senior pets.

Some conditions may be underlying and not previously diagnosed prior. When older pets experiences higher than usual levels of stress (in this case, due to changes in their environment and schedule), their body will react and any underlying symptoms may begin to show.

Therefore, before making arrangements for your senior pet to board, first make an assessment as to his/her overall health and temperament. It may also be a good idea to book your pet in for a veterinary health check just prior to checking in to ensure that all is well (or at least stable) with his/her health.

If your senior pet has a number of medical conditions, gets very stressed in new situations or is not an experienced boarder, you may want to consider alternative options such as a home pet-sitting service. If you do need to board your pet outside of the home and they have a serious or unpredictable medical condition, your veterinarian may be a better choice, as they will be able to spot an impending crisis quickly and take the appropriate action.

If, however, your pet is relatively healthy, happy and active, if he/she has boarded previously, and if he/she has an outgoing personality with a relatively laid-back reaction to new things, then you may choose to board him/her at Take the Lead. In choosing this option, we would recommend that book in for our luxury stay and book a time with our client care specialist to ask questions and express any concerns as far as the care of our senior citizens.

What do we need from you?

  • To ensure our facilities are suitable for your pet, a fit-to-board letter must be provided every three months from your vet.
  • A Rainbow Form will need to be completed once your booking has been created, our team will be in touch with you to provide you with this form. Due to the extra care that is essential for older pets, an aged care fee of $5 per day will be applied on top of your booking.

When it comes to the care of senior pets, we will….

  • Offer plenty of opportunity for your senior pet to get out and walk around/receive individual attention. This will help keep his/her joints mobile and avoid any uncomfortable stiffness and allow our staff to monitor their health very closely.
  • Work with you to provide any special dietary needs.
  • Administer any medications according to veterinary directions.
  • Allow extra time for our staff to interact with and assist dogs that have hearing and/or vision deficits.
  • Have quiet areas for lodging away from the general commotion of the younger pets.
  • Take the time to make your dog more comfortable if he/she appears overly anxious or stressed.
  • Seek immediate Veterinary attention should your dog stop eating, appear distressed, or experience any bouts of vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • It is critical to your pet’s well being that you advise our staff of any health problems or concerns. Be honest. Take the Lead is here to provide the best care possible for your senior pet, but may not be able to do so if we are not aware of pre-existing conditions.
  • Remember, we do not know your dog as well as you do, and subtle differences in behaviour or habits that may be indicative of a developing problem may go unnoticed if you do not inform us of what is and isn’t normal for your pet.

It is also extremely import that you leave a forwarding phone number where we can contact you in the case of an emergency. We also ask, where possible, that
you provide an additional contact number for someone local and who will be able to make health-care decisions for your pet if we are unable to reach you on the number provided.

In the event of an emergency, Take the Lead must be familiar with your wishes in terms of what action you would like us to take. We also ask that your veterinarian be authorised to provide information to our pet care staff if our facility has questions or concerns about the health of your pet. Vets respect patient privacy in a similar fashion to human doctors, and unless you have given your approval, they may not be able to provide the information that we need to make an informed decision about the welfare of your pet.

There are a variety of alternative options available to care for your senior pet while you travel. We ask that you make an informed decision based on his/her overall health, temperament and needs, that way, it can be a relatively stress-free and enjoyable experience for both you and your senior pet.

TRAINING

When I am enrolled in the stay and learn, how do I maintain the newly learnt behaviours?

Upon completion of the stay and learn program, you will be scheduled in for a two-hour handover with one of our trainers. They will go through a theory component and a practical component, so you have all the information to go home and continue on with the training. It is a lot of information to take in, so don’t worry – we send you home with a detailed 21 day training plan, a training booklet, and access to our private training group on Facebook.

What is included in the training program?

We send you home with a slip leash, a roll of prime100 and a completion certificate.

Are there any additional fees incurred in the training program

No. We do have equipment that we recommend post training. This is the only additional fee incurred.

Can I extend if my dog requires the extra time?

Absolutely, this will be discussed with you throughout your dogs updates. We will request a call with our training leader to discuss the progress.

What does an average day look like for my dog during a stay and learn?

Every dogs stay is different as we cater the stay to the individual dog. If they are social, they are able to participate in our day care setting in the morning before training starts. Dogs sessions vary dependant on what they are working on over their stay. Some sessions are quick, fast paced, more tiring sessions whereas some are longer duration based sessions.

Is there a guarantee for training?

No. We do not provide any type of guarantee because every dog is an individual and the work that goes in post training is what makes it stick. We always recommend reading our social media reviews on Facebook and Google. This is a great way to see people’s experiences here at the farm.

I want my dog to be good in public, what program do I select?

We only perform off-site training in our 3+ packages. We do not take dog off site in our 10 day or 2 week packages unless the dogs have been a regular client of the farm for training services.

I don’t want to board my dogs, can we do day trains?

Absolutely, but the results can be slower and require the owners to perform a lot of homework between each session. We recommend weekly day trains to maintain good behaviour.

My dog has anxiety, I am so worried about how they will cope...

Our team are trained to make all dogs feel as comfortable as possible in our care. If needed, we have quieter housing areas for nervous and anxious dogs. This can also include being crated in the home for extreme cases. Our goal is to take it slow with anxious dogs to build up trust and a solid relationship, so longer packages are normally recommended.

What do I need to provide?

We provide everything for your dogs stay… From bedding, to treats, to toys – you name it, we provide it! If your dog has an absolute favourite toy, we do recommend bringing that along for training.

How do I keep up to date with their progress over their stay?

We have a training leader who is responsible for keeping all owners up to date with their dogs progress. We have two set updating days which are Tuesdays and Fridays. This allows you to receive a detailed email break down with an online photo gallery. Your dog will also be included in our professional photo shoots and you will receive the photos from that session too!

Do you have a set training program or is it catered to my dog?

We do have set tasks that we perform in each dogs training program, but the programs itself is catered to the individual dog. This might mean a bigger focus
on socialisation, public outings, relaxation etc.

My dog has a bite history, how will you manage that?

Our team are highly trained in dealing with dogs who have a bite history. We have a great drop off procedure which makes not only the dogs feel as comfortable as possible, but the owners too. It is as stress-free as possible, and the staff will take the dogs for a large paddock walk to distract them whilst you leave. We do recommend the use of a muzzle when required.

Can I come visit my dog?

Unfortunately, we do not allow visits whilst the dogs are on-site training. It can really disrupt the dogs training plan if you are coming and going, and we want to keep everything as routine as possible. If you come, you may be inadvertently reinforcing behaviours we are trying to curb, therefore setting us back. Rest assured, the updates and photos will make you feel warm and fuzzy!

Can I walk my dog as soon as we get home?

This is a big one. It takes us about 2 weeks to set the new foundations before we start heading out into public. We highly recommend that you follow the 21 day training plan and this means, you do go into public settings until day 14. We are trying to create new patterns of behaviour and break prior associations with you as the owner, so this is crucial to the success of the dogs training plan.

I would like to utilise your stay and learn service, but how do I know what program is best?

Our friendly team are accessible over the phone and are able to discuss your dogs behavioural needs. They will make recommendations for a package, or they will be able to get you booked in for a day assessment package so your dog can come for a day visit on the farm.