What to Expect From a Doggy Daycare Evaluation

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Enrolling your dog into doggy daycare is an exciting journey for both pet parents and their furry companions. It’s a chance for your pup to make new friends, explore stimulating environments, and have a tail-waggingly good time. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the evaluation process at Canine To Five in Midtown Detroit, Ferndale, Commerce Township, and Eastside Detroit.


If you want your dog to enjoy all the fun doggy daycare has to offer, there are a few steps to follow before making their very first reservation.


  1. Register online | Filling out our online registration form helps us get to know your dog before we meet them! It will help us determine where they will best be suited and if there is anything we should keep an eye out for while they are in our care.
  2. Send in vaccines | We will need to see a copy of your dog’s vaccination records before they can start. We require the Bordetella, Distemper, Leptospirosis, and Rabies vaccine. If your dog is a puppy, we just require them to have their Rabies vaccine by the time they are 18 weeks old. You can upload a photo or PDF of your pup’s records to your new customer portal account after you’ve completed your online registration.



Once your registration form and vaccine records have been reviewed and approved, our Canine Concierge will help you schedule your dog’s first day of play! These are facilitated Monday through Friday, require your dog to stay a minimum of 5 hours, and cost the same as a full day of daycare.


Reasons your dog’s registration form may not be approved include:
  • Your dog is under 12 weeks old or over 13 years old
  • Your dog’s vaccines are not up to date
  • Your dog is over 9 months old and not spayed/neutered (Still eligible for Pawsitive Enrichment!)
  • Your dog is recovering from an illness or injury
  • Your dog requires life sustaining medication
  • Your dog is heartworm positive



On your dog’s first day, we require them to arrive prior to 9:00am. Arriving bright and early allows them to be one of the first pups in the playroom so the other dogs can slowly trickle in to greet them as they arrive for the day. This method is much easier on your dog rather than us trying to introduce them to an already established pack later in the day. 

As soon as you and your furry friend arrive at Canine To Five, get ready to check in at the front desk and kick off the fun. Checking in at the front desk allows you access to our live webcams through your customer portal, and it gives you the chance to add on any extra special treats or playtime for your dog. Once your dog is all checked-in, they’ll be equipped with a special accessory – a pink collar! This vibrant collar acts as their “First Day” badge, making them the star of the show. It lets the entire staff know that your pup is new and extra special. So, expect lots of smiles, ear scratches, and warm welcomes from everyone!


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Once your pup is checked in and sporting their fabulous pink collar, it’s time for them to discover their designated playroom. Depending on your dog’s age, size, and playstyle, they will either start in Puppy Preschool, Tiny Town, or one of our numbered large dog playrooms.

  • It is important to know that we cannot honor specific playroom requests by pet parents. Our Supervisors pick the playroom that your dog is most comfortable in and will be the safest for our pack.

Whichever playroom they settle into, you will be able to keep an eye on them through our live webcams, see photos from their day in our pet parent Facebook Group, and read over their rePAWt card at pick-up time!



Our evaluation process at Canine To Five involves vigilant monitoring by our trained Pack Leaders. They ensure that the other dogs in the group respect your pup’s personal space, observe their boundaries, and remain attentive to any signs of discomfort.


Our Pack Leaders Are Trained In
  • Dog Behavior
  • Dog Body Language
  • Appropriate Canine Play
  • Pet CPR & First Aid


Evaluations may evoke a range of emotions in dogs, such as anxiety, nervousness, or exuberant excitement. Regardless of your dog’s reaction, Canine To Five acknowledges and appreciates the uniqueness of each pup. Our experienced team specializes in handling their individual quirks, and they excel at establishing a nurturing environment that promotes feelings of safety and security.


Signs of Discomfort We Look Out For
  • Agonistic pucker, (nose wrinkled, teeth bared)
  • Ears flattened (pinned back)
  • Intense stare
  • Bark & lunge
  • Head turned away
  • Lip licking or tongue flicking
  • Tail lowered
  • Splitting (dog goes between two other dogs to head off conflict)
  • Crouch (head lower than its body, tail down & legs bent)
  • Height seeking posture
  • Tail raised
  • Mouth closed
  • Low growl
  • Punctuated barking
  • Paw lift
  • Humping


Calming Signals We Look Out For
  • Shake Off
  • Yawn
  • Sneeze


If we consistently see signs of discomfort, without your pup exhibiting any calming signals, our team will help them decompress with a break. Breaks offer a space away from the lively atmosphere and can help dogs settle in. If you already know you have a nervous pup on your hands, we recommend adding on a stuffed Kong to help them relax.


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Once the morning is over, our Supervisors will determine whether your dog has successfully passed their evaluation day. For dogs that pass, they are welcome to stay the rest of the day at no additional cost up until we close. For dogs that do not pass their evaluation – don’t worry! It just means that they might not feel entirely comfortable in our environment. It doesn’t make them a “bad” dog, nor does it imply that they dislike being around other dogs. As long as they don’t exhibit any unsafe behavior towards our staff, they are more than welcome to explore Pawsitive Enrichment and enjoy individual sessions with our loving staff, with opportunities for small playdates with other dogs.



When you’re ready to pick up your dog after their big day out, our team will give you a rundown on how your furry friend did! If your dog successfully passed their evaluation, you’ll receive an adorably crafted rePAWt card and have the chance to schedule future reservations. Instead of paying for the day, Canine To Five provides daycare packages that enable pet parents to purchase a bundle of daycare days at a discounted rate, similar to punch cards. 

Our attentive Canine Concierge will reach out to you over the next business day to inquire about how your dog’s first day went and give you an opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have or provide us with feedback.


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Our Supervisors will give you a recommendation on how often you should bring your dog to daycare depending on their comfort level. Most dogs thrive on a predictable routine, so we often have pet parents utilize a Monday/Wednesday/Friday, or Tuesday/Thursday schedule, while others just choose to visit once per week. Whichever routine you choose, it’s important to make doggy daycare a regular part of your pup’s life if you plan on utilizing our services long term. Dogs can find it challenging to readjust to our environment after a prolonged absence, which is why if they have been away from Canine To Five for 6 months or more, they will need to undergo a re-evaluation process.



Once your dog becomes a regular member of our pack, you’ll have access to an array of exciting services that we offer at Canine To Five! We can provide bathing services to keep your dog fresh and clean, delicious snacks to tide them over until dinnertime, or fun filled solo play sessions with our staff. We also organize community events, designate discount days, facilitate engaging group activities, and so much more! 

Our staff is filled with dog lovers who enjoy showcasing adorable photos on Facebook and Instagram every day, creating entertaining videos on TikTok, and actively participating in our pet parent Facebook Groups. 

Bringing your pup to Canine To Five for doggy daycare guarantees an adventure filled with wagging tails, lively interactions, and boundless fun. So, pet parents, get ready to embark on this thrilling journey together and witness your furry companion’s daycare dreams come to life!


Eager to join in on the fun? Here’s what you’ll need to start:

  • Your pup must be at least 12 weeks old
  • They must have their DHPP, Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccines (Rabies by 18 weeks old for puppies)
  • Puppies over 9 months old must be spayed/neutered to participate in our pack-style environment; Unaltered dogs may continue to join us for Pawsitive Enrichment

If your dog is eligible to start, click here to fill out our new client inquiry form and our Canine Concierge will get in touch with you to go over next steps!

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