a second home
Room To Run is a 26-run boarding facility set on eight acres just southwest of High River, Alberta.
Our large dog building holds 16 runs
Seven are “singles” which comfortably fit a large-sized dog. Single runs are 8 ft. long x 4 ft. wide on the inside, and dogs can enter and exit through a sliding door into their own graveled area, which is another 8 ft. long.
Double runs comfortably fit two large-sized dogs, and are 12 ft. x 4 ft., again with an 8 ft. outdoor gravel area. The family suites are meant to accommodate three or more large-sized dogs. We don’t believe in separating family members, and having the double runs and family suites allows a “family” of dogs to stay with each other.
The family suites are 14 ft. x 14 ft.
The small dog building has 10 runs
Each run is 6 ft. x 4 ft. with a sliding door set up into a 6 ft. gravelled area.
The sliding doors are left open during the day to allow easy access to the outdoors, and playtime is enjoyed in the large fenced yards, with a minimum of three rotations a day. Even in colder weather, we just turn the heat up! We want the dogs to have as much fresh air and exercise as possible during their stay
Plus our large yards
In addition to the main buildings, we have three “Fort Knox” yards. The “L” yard is a huge space that allows a like-minded group of dogs an almost off-leash experience. In the summer, the pool is set up in one corner of the yard, in addition to the permanent sun shelters to give the dogs using that yard as much comfort and fun as possible. The “3 Yard” is another huge space, often used for daycare dogs or whoever needs extra space and a secure yard to romp in. The “Single” yard is also set up with a sun shelter for lazing on a hot day, and allows a smaller group of dogs to interact on glorious weather days.
The main yards are well fortified with 8 ft.-to-10 ft.-high fencing, bright outdoor lighting in the darker months, and more than enough room for even the most active dog to run like the wind!
All the run areas are very well lit, and vibrantly painted to help stimulate our minds as well as our boarding guests! Colourful art hangs on the wall, and music is played around the clock.
a day with the pack
The day starts at 7:30am
Kim opens the kennel daily at 7:30am and all the dogs are let out for a bathroom break and rotation into the fenced yards (we believe in exercise before feeding!).
Rise & shine!
Breakfast starts at 8:30am and after the 45 min. to 1-hour “rest-to-digest” period, rotations start. We don’t do a “group play” where 30 dogs are in the yard together. Instead, we like to have two to three dogs play together, and we’re very careful of what kind of personalities, size and age of dogs we pair up for playtime. Dynamics can change very quickly between a larger number of dogs, and we don’t want to risk any poor interactions.
Eat, rest, play...
Rotations are approximately half an hour, and then the next dog gets their chance in the yard. All the while, staff are starting a busy cleaning day where the runs are swept, mopped and wiped down, water is being refilled, and blankets changed out as needed. This is a great time to interact with the dogs, as well as continue the rotations as the day goes on.
Evening routines involve a bit more fun! Dinner starts at 4pm and the rest of the evening is spent tidying up blankets, refilling water, having the dogs enjoy their turns out in the yards, and playtime with the staff. Oftentimes, “playtime” involves just sitting with an older dog and loving them up, or if the dog is more energetic, throwing one of our “indestruco” toys around the yards for fetch. We will often leash-walk dogs who seem to need just that little bit more “one on one,” and in the case of a very timid or “toy” breed dog, we can offer a “modified” board.
Custom care for all...
“Modified” boards are extended to clients who have an elderly dog, or a traumatized dog, or a very, very small-breed dog. If your dog falls into this category, it is best to speak with Kim ahead of time to discuss the dog’s specific needs, and whether or not a modified board is appropriate. Because each dog and their experiences are unique, we are very aware that not every dog will enjoy the “run area” and are willing to discuss individual needs extensively with the client.
Although we close at 6pm, we are still working the dogs until 8pm or 9pm. The dogs will have been fed, well exercised, the water refilled, blankets dry and available, and lights out. We rarely have dogs who wake up during the night, but because Kim lives onsite, if there are any unexpected issues she is very close to deal with whatever may be happening. Additionally, “walk-thru” is done between 11pm and midnight before Kim goes to bed. This is a final check to make sure all the dogs look okay, room temperature is appropriate and all the gates are clipped. Basically, that all is well.
We do put reasonable restrictions on the dogs during their time with us. For example, all dogs “sit” before food is given to them. If a dog is heavily excited when it’s their turn in the yard, and they’re jumping up or barking, the dog must “wait” until they’re calmer before we open their gate. If one dog is barking loudly at another, we use a “touch correct” to the side of the body to redirect them away. We never raise our voices to the dogs, or give “angry” commands or any kind of human behaviour that will make the dogs fearful. Our duty is to protect and care for them during their stay, and any manner of poor human behaviour is not tolerated.