Frequently Asked Questions answered for you

If your dog has never stayed with us before, the easiest way to schedule his first stay is to set up an account in our booking system by choosing the "New Customer" button on our Book Now page and book an evaluation visit for your pup(s). An evaluation visit is always required before any new dog can stays with us and you won't be able to book a boarding visit until your dog passes his/her evaluation. We will call you when we receive your evaluation visit booking to ask any questions we may have and to answer any questions you may have as well. You will also be able to tell us your desired boarding dates when booking an evaluation and we will hold a spot for you and your pup for those dates (as long as we have availability at time of booking).

There is a $50 charge (+tax) for the evaluation visit which you can pay in cash, via venmo, by check made out to Happy Dogs Maui LLC or by Credit Card when you pick up your dog. Since January 1, 2024 the evaluation visit fee will also be charged if your dog does not pass (something we did not do in the past but found necessary due to some miss-use of this policy). Mahalo for your understanding.

On the day off your dogs evaluation visit you will simply drop off your dog at the agreed time (yep, just drop the leash and you are good to go) and leave him/her her with us for the 2 hour time slot that you booked.

During this time we will:

    • let him/her sniff out the yard first
    • introduce him/her to the other dogs that are staying here at the time (depending on the confidence of the dog we usually introduce dogs one on one and give them time to settle in)
    • let them play together as long as they desire
    • let him/her come inside to sniff out his/her home away from home
    • leave him/her settle down for a short period of time (if he/she doesn't settle down well around the other dogs we give him/her the opportunity to be in a quieter part of the house.
    • possibly go out for more play time (depending on age and energy level of your dog)
When you return to pick up your dog we will give you a tour of our facility and answer any questions you may have and we will tell you how your pup did during his evaluation :)

There are really only 2 reasons for a dog to not pass our evaluation with one being his/her behavior around other dogs and the other being excessive vocalization (barking/wining/howling/crying). Let's look at these in a bit more detail:

1) dog/dog behavior: our number one concern here at Happy Dogs Maui is the health and wellbeing of any pup coming to stay with us and because we are a social boarding place (also because we think it truly is the healthiest for a dog) we make sure that every dog that boards with us shows safe behaviors around other dogs. This includes appropriate play behavior (for example no excessive chase behavior), appropriate communication (keeping other dogs at bay with growling or even air snapping could be very appropriate depending on the situation while responding to clear signals like this would be just as important) and for bigger dogs this might also mean knowing their size around smaller dogs - all things we pay a lot of attention to during our evaluation process.

2) vocalization/barking: because this is our home and our family and neighborhood peace is just as important to us as running a successful home boarding and training business, we do not board dogs that vocalize excessively during day or night. There are different possible causes for Barking/howling/wining behavior with some of them being caused by excitement, fear, guarding behavior or frustration and separation. Now, if your dog barks at any sound and sight at home, this would be a form of guard or alert barking and is usually the easiest for us to manage, as we have purposefully built our facility with the management of sight and sounds in mind and the calming sound of the stream also helps by adding extra serenity. Frustration and separation baring or crying or learned barking on the other side generally speaking require a very consistent approach that can be very time intense and often these behaviors are intensified by the fact that a dog is in a new environment with strange people and dogs and is therefore often not something we can manage here at Happy Dogs Maui.

It can be difficult to figure out the reason for your dogs barking at home and if in doubt we always suggest just scheduling an evaluation visit to see how your dog actually does. We might just be able to give you some tips and help you figure out your dogs behavior in the process too! :)

Should your dog not pass the evaluation for any of the above reasons we can often connect you with the right professionals to either help you train your dog or take care of you pup in your own home. And if you want us to re-evaluate your dog in the future we are totally up for that too! :)

If you dog does pass his evaluation and does come to stay with us, this also does not mean however that he is qualified for the rest of his/her life. Dogs change over the course of their lives and if we see any new behaviors in your dog that we had not seen previously and these include unsafe behaviors towards other dogs, excessive vocalizations and in very few cases inability to settle in with the other dogs and people here during a multi day stay, we will let you know our concern about these behaviors. Ultimately it is always our goal to make dogs happy here at Happy Dogs Maui and to keep the environment happy is part of that as well.

Mahalo for your understanding

and the third one him/her wanting to and being able to jump our 6 ft fences.

There are a few important things we are trying to establish during your dogs evaluation visit.

Firstly, we want to see how your dog does around other dogs and how other dogs that are currently staying with us perceive your pup. We don't necessarily need your dog to play with other pups during his/her 2 hour visit, but we are specifically looking for their reactions when approached by other dogs (one at the time and under close supervision). More submissive behaviors usually do better in our social setting but if your dog is communicating to other dogs to keep their distance and that they need more time and space that is generally fine.

Some dogs are shy, some dogs just aren't very well socialized, other dogs are just older and don't want to be bothered much... once we get to know your dog during the first part of the evaluation we will make him/her feel comfortable in whichever way he/she needs. This is when we then try to see how your dog might be settling in around here during a future stay. The health and wellbeing of every pup staying at Happy Dogs Maui is truly important to us, so if your dog is visibly overwhelmed and stressed to a point where we believe they would not settle in well, we will discuss other options with you.

We also want to find out how your dog does when no human is in his/her direct surrounding, no matter if that is inside our outside. Are there signs of separation anxiety? Is your dog depending on a human being with him at all times? This usually does not work well for our home boarding either since we can not be with every dog at all times. Some dogs however feel comfortable in the company of other dogs and do much better than if left alone at home, so an evaluation visit will really give us insight into this.

Last but not least, if your dog is under 2 years of age or even older and does not settle well around other dogs , is not fully potty trained or is destructive in any way, we will also try them out in a crate to see how he/she does. Generally speaking we believe all dogs should be crate trained (even if just for a case of emergency). However, only dogs that do mark in our house, never give the other dogs a break or destroy any items around here (other than dog toys) will be crated during rest times, so finding out how they do in a crate will be crucial for us as well.

You really don't need to bring much and often times doggie parents drop of their pooch with the amount of food needed for his/her stay and the required paperwork... and that is it.

However, once your dog's stay with us is booked in and all is set, you will receive an email from us in the days leading up to his/her stay with a list of things to bring and do.

Dogs that require medication or supplements need to be dropped off with the necessary meds.

Things you don't need to bring are food bowls and dog beds... we have plenty of those. :)

Your pups day here will be a perfect balance between outdoor/play/sniff time and indoor/rest time and we generally follow this schedule:

    • 7am-9.30am: Outdoor potty/play/sniff time with breakfast time just before going inside
    • 9.30am-12.30pm: Indoor napping/resting time
    • 12.30-12.45pm: Potty Break
    • 12.45-4.30pm: Indoor napping/resting time
    • 4.30-7.00pm: Outdoor potty/play/sniff time with dinner time just before heading inside
    • 7.00-9.30pm: Indoor napping/resting time
    • 9.30pm: Potty Break/Last Call
    • 9.45pm-7.00am: Nighty Night, Sleep tight
The schedule changes a little due to dog drop off's and pick up times (if someone arrives after 9.30am we usually go say him outside for a moment for example) but our set shifts are 7-9.30am and 4.30-7pm with an attendant being outside with the dogs. The mid day potty break fluctuates a bit based on the day as well. Sometimes we go to bed a little later and consequently take the dogs out for their last potty call a little later too. On DayCare Tuesdays and Evaluation Wednesdays there is usually a little more play time and longer outdoor times in the first part of the day but generally speaking there is a good balance between play/explore and rest time, we ensure that the pups don't play right after a meal time to prevent stomach issues and we follow the dog's natural rhythms of morning and evening activeness. New pups usually settle into the routine easily and within a couple of days and have a good time with all the pups and people here. :)

This is a question that almost every dog parent asks and it is probably the most difficult one to answer...

Does your dog settle well around other dogs, does not potty in the house and doesn't look to destroy anything or make trouble otherwise (like try to climb over the baby gate)? If the answer to all the above is yes then your pup will usually just find a dog bed, corner or day bed that he/she is comfortable with. It might take a day or two for your pup to find a preferred place and it might also vary during the day (e.g. laying under the fan in the middle of the day vs laying on a bed and blanket at night).

If any of the questions above can be answered with no (so, your dog does soil in our home, doesn't give the other dogs a break or tries to get into trouble otherwise) your pup will sleep in a crate, appropriate to their age and abilities.

Before your dogs stay we ask for your dogs health records to be uploaded to our booking system so we can make sure everyone is up to date on his/her general vaccinations (DHLPP every 3 years). We do not require the Bordetella vaccination, however, you may want to still get this easy (taken by mouth) vaccine for your peace of mind. If you do however get the Bordetella vaccine for your dog, please make sure he/she gets it at least 14 days prior to a visit with us.

If you want to book a Stream Splash around for your pup we also require the Leptospirosis vaccination. If your dog doesn't have this (initial immunization done in 2 shots about 2 weeks appart, repeated every 6-12 month for continued immuization) we will not let him get close to the stream at any time.

As for preventatives, yes, we do require your dog to be on heartworm and flea/tick preventative and if these are due during his/her stay we would also like to ask you to bring these preventative along so we can administer them.

For a repeat stay you can always just book your pups stay by choosing the "Existing Customer" button on our Book Now page and we will confirm your booking dates as soon as the pups allow us to. :)

However, if it has been more than 6 months (for dogs under 2) or more than 8 months (for adult dogs) that your dog has come to stay, please schedule a re-evaluation visit with us. Dogs change as they age just like humans do and they also get very used to regular routines (or being with their humans 24/7) which might make it hard for them to remember and settle in here again.

IMPORTANT: even if your dog has been staying with us rather recently but there has been an incident with another dog that changes your original answers to the question "Has your dog shown any aggression around other dogs or humans?" then please let us know before booking in a stay for your pup. Mahalo.

Are you interested in our services? If so, book an evaluation visit for your pup today or book your dogs next stay with us by clicking on the button below. We look forward to seeing you and your doggo.