I have a dog named Lucy and she’s like my child, she’s family. If I were to trust a facility with my dog there are certain things I’d look for in how they care for dogs. I was incredibly impressed with Camp Bow Wow.
/edit Camp Bow Wow has recently, as of 2023, been taken over by new owners. Read the recent revisit.
You may be familiar with the name Camp Bow Wow because it’s not specifically local, they are under a national company brand. Especially with the tragedies in Texas, Camp Bow Wow is one of the leading animal shelters accepting donations for pets in that area. Locally, you can find Camp Bow Wow locations in Albany and hopefully another location soon. Sadly, at the end of July, the second location in Clifton Park caught on fire damaging the property structurally, thankfully with no animals inside yet.
Camp Bow Wow offers three services: dog daycare, dog training, and in-home pet care. I was really impressed, overall, how professional this facility is but mostly how they handle their dog daycare. All counselors (as they call themselves) are trained in dog behavior, pet CPR and first aid. The entire facility has live webcams so you have the ability to check in on your dog throughout the day. The most impressive part is the socialization review. Before your dog is accepted as a “camper,” they are socialized into the facility. For example, first your dog will be playing in the yard with a counselor and then a same-sex dog will be added, then an opposite sex dog, and from there the amount of dogs in the yard will increase incrementally to see just how socialized your dog would be.
They not only care about the safety of the new dog attending camp but also the safety of the dogs already in attendance. Some dogs just don’t work well together and it’s better to see that right off the bat.
There is 1 counselor for every 25 dogs. Throughout their stay, have it be daily or overnight, the counselors must keep the dogs engaged. They do periodic checks with behavioral commands just to reinforce them. That includes things like Operation Happy Dog or a random call and come where they call and give positive attention to each dog to create that bond between the dog and counselor.
If you have a puppy that you’re hoping to socialize with other dogs, they offer something called the Puppy Social. Starting September 13th, the puppy social will be held every Wednesday through November 15th. If your puppy is 10-20 weeks and up to date on proper vaccines, it’s free for you and another adult puppy supervisor to attend as long as you RSVP. That’s not only a really great way to get a feel for the facility but a chance to hang out with puppies on a Wednesday night and no one is mad at that.
Overall, I’m not just impressed with the safety protocol or the passion of the counselors but their knowledge. Just talking to the main trainer Kristie about my dog and her behavioral problems (Lucy isn’t perfect as much as I tell her she is), she was able to give ideas of how she would work on bettering them. They have the option for specific training but if you think your dog needs help recognizing their name or holding attention, they can work with the dogs while they’re in the yard as well. It honestly feels like a great day camp for dogs and I doubt that there’s any better recommendation I can give more than that I’m looking into putting my own dog there for day camp or the potential for overnight. Who knows, maybe our dogs will be friends!