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Happy Birthday K9 Enrichment!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

 

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A BIG BIG thank you!

It is so hard to believe that it has been one year since we began offering our K9 Enrichment Program to our guests.  We took our old Doggie Daycare program and transformed it to our NEW K9 Enrichment Program and began making it available so that even our overnight guests could take part in it.  This has been a hugely successful program, but I know that many of you are still unsure as to exactly what this program is all about.  Let me take a moment to indulge you.  


Enrichment by definition is the action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something.  Take that a step further and K9 (canine) Enrichment is enhancing our four legged guests experience at Petite Paws by providing activities that bring quality and value to their stay with us.  These activities come in 4 main categories and are done everyday (except major holidays) by rotating our guests all throughout the day.  

1.  Group Play/Socialization - This activity can take place inside or outside by grouping our guests into small playgroups and allowing them the opportunity to learn how to interact with other dogs.  For those guests who do not do well with other dogs they get “private” play time with one of our K9E Coaches and learn how to interact with other people.  This is really an important behavior for your pet to learn.  During “playtime” we offer different activities such as play on our playground equipment, ball pit, swimming pools, stuffed toys, and more!  This is definitely a favorite activity among our guests!
2.  Mental Stimulation - Mentally stimulating your pet can be done in a variety of ways.  At Petite Paws we play lots of games and work on basic skills to help our guests work their brains.  We use a variety of puzzles with a “treat” reward.  We also have our certified trainer work with them on training skills such as SIT, WAIT, LEASH, and more!  Those skills are reinforced daily though different games and repetition.  Mental stimulation activities are a great thing to do on rainy days or when the weather is just not appropriate for outside play.  You can truly get the same result from doing mental activities as you can by physically working your pet.  This is definitely a staff favorite as it shows just how smart these pups truly are!
3.  Emotional Support - Some of our guests simply enjoy spending “snuggle” time with one of our staff members.  We have created a program called an “Office Buddy” and these are for those guests specifically who thrive by being with people.  We have enjoyed quite a few “Office Buddies” over the past year and they truly have been terrific helpers!  They make the best greeters!  This is definitely a staff favorite!!
4.  Rest Time -  While this seems like this should be done at the end of the day so that the pet rests better at night, that is actually not the case.  This is the most misunderstood requirement for your pets to actually have a safe & healthy playday.  We work “rest time' in' all throughout the day.  After our guest finishes up a series of rotation activities it's then time to go back to their suite for a little R&R.  This allows the pet time to rest (of course) and decompress from one group of activities before introducing another round.  It also allows them to be more productive during all rotations of activities.  They do not tire out as easily and are more willing to to participate in new skills that might be presented to them even later in the day.    Overall having adequate rest throughout the day better sets up our guests for success for participating in our K9E rotations.  

Throughout this past year we have seen such fantastic results from integrating this program into our daily schedule.  The BEST result by far is how much we have been able to reduce our guests stress and anxiety.  Stress can cause a host of issues and can definitely make the boarding experience a less than happy one.  That is truly not our goal here at Petite Paws.  While our number one priority is safety for all our guests, part of that safety aspect is keeping their stress level to a minimum.  We have definitely accomplished that by adding K9 Enrichment to our day.  The other areas of improvement that we have seen from our guests is overall appetite improvement and they rest better both during the day and at night.  

This program has made such a difference in the overall experience that our guests receive.  While our guests are always happy to see mom and dad, they also are more eager to come back to see us!  Many of you have shared videos and pictures with us of how excited your pets get when they figure out they are coming to Petite Paws!  That just makes our hearts soar and our efforts all the more worthwhile!  Each and every one of us do this job because of our love and compassion for animals.  Being able to take what we started off with 11 years ago and continue to improve the quality of our services provided just makes us all so happy!

But wait...did we mention “Craft Time”?  Yes, you read right.  Each month we select a craft project that all of our K9E/Doggie Daycare guests participate in.  They are generally centered around the season we are in and are truly such a fun way for you as the pet parent to get to show off your pets artistic abilities.  As pet ownership continues to soar in the U.S., statistics are showing that more and more households are treating their pets like a family member.  What better way to show your pet that they truly are a member of the family than by giving them their own spot of the refrigerator!   As you can imagine, this activity has quickly become a favorite among our pet parents!  


We hope by all the above information you can see how we have taken the pet boarding experience to a whole new level.  Now for the big question...does K9 Enrichment cost extra?  The answer is Yes.  Because this is a fully interactive program, properly staffing for this was very important for it to be successful.  We have a whole team dedicated to K9E/Daycare only during their shifts at Petite Paws.  We are also continuing to add to our equipment and craft supplies to continually offer new activities and fun projects for our guests.  If your pet is boarding overnight then you are able to add K9E for an additional $4 per day.  You can also choose how many days your pet participates in K9E.  We, of course, would recommend everyday, however, you are free to make that decision for you and your pet.  If your pet is coming for Doggie Daycare then the cost is $14 per day (with special package prices available).  


K9 Enrichment is also for any aged pup.  There are truly positive benefits no matter what age your pet is from a puppy to a senior.  All of our activities are able to be modified based on age and activity level of the pet.  That is one of the best qualities of this program is that it is 100% adaptable to ANY pet.  

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Over this past year we have absolutely enjoyed the opportunity to grow our K9 Enrichment program.  One of the biggest additions we made this year to help enhance this program was adding an indoor, climate controlled playroom.  This has been a fantastic addition to our overall facility as it gives us the ability to safely continue our daily scheduled activities no matter what is happening outside!  Louisiana’s summers can be grueling and many breeds cannot handle the outside heat and humidity for an extended time.  The same can be said for our unusually cold winters.  Having the indoor K9E room has truly allowed us to not have to alter any pets time when participating in K9E rotations, therefore, allowing them to receive the full benefit of participating in this program.  The next time you are scheduling your pet to stay with us at Petite Paws, we sure hope that you will add K9 Enrichment so that you and your pet can experience all the benefits this program offers.  You will not be disappointed!  

 icecream1-min.jpgWe have a special K9E BIRTHDAY OFFER during the month of August that you won’t want to miss out on.  Every Tuesday we will be having a #tastytuesday Ice Cream Social and all of our guests that are here for Doggie Daycare or K9E will be given a FREE doggie ice cream treat!  We also have a NEW SERVICE that we will begin offering in August...Nature Hikes!  During each of our #tastytuesday celebrations we will be drawing for one of our lucky guests to win a FREE NATURE HIKE (see details below).  We are looking forward to an exciting month of celebrating and of what the next year ahead holds!!

 

*Nature Hike Drawing:  Only guests who are in house for Daycare/K9E on #tastytuesday will be entered into the drawing.  Guests names will be chosen based on their age, activity level, and knowledge of walking on a leash.  The pet’s name drawn will be given a Nature Hike Gift Certificate that the owner can redeem at a later date.  These hikes are taken on PPPH property, but are outside the safety of our building and fenced in yards.  All guests who participate in Nature Hikes will be harnessed and leashed using PPPH equipment of choice.  

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