Call: (415) 383-2111
230 Shoreline Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Home » FAQ




Why does my dog have to have an consultation before he can stay with you?

The Consultation period lets us evaluate your dog(s) as an individual, making sure their needs are being met. Our first concern for all our furry clients is that they are safe and happy! We spend focused time with your dog (four hours total), slowly introducing them to the other dogs already in our facility. An outdoor environment is great for most socialized dogs, but some are more comfortable with a different kind of play. If that’s the case, we are happy to try and work around their circumstances! We also have different yards for specific needs (Senior Citizen Yard, Puppy Yard, etc.) and we want to make sure Fido is content wherever they are.

Can I just drop in for a tour and consultation?

We always show the facility to new customers during the Consultation, but if you would like to see it beforehand please do let us know! We’re happy to tour you around.

Unfortunately, we cannot take walk-ins for Consultations. We have specific times blocked out every day for Consultations, so please fill out the application if you’re interested and one of our trained staff will get back to you as soon as humanly possible!

Viewings are allowed from 7:30AM-12:00PM and 1:00-3:30PM every day. Meal times and shutting down/opening up times are exempt, as we are moving dogs throughout the facility.

Do I have to pay for a consultation?

The Consultation fee is $25.00 for one dog ($20.00 per dog if multiple), is required in advance, and will be put towards your dog’s first day of daycare or boarding after they’ve passed!

What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?

A filled out application is required ahead of time (available on our website), copies of up to date vaccinations either faxed, emailed, or brought in person of DHPP (or some variation of), Rabies, Bordatella, and Canine Influenza, proof of current flea/tick treatment, a collar that follows the guidelines–and of course, you and your pup!

What if my dog is too nervous or reactive during the consultation?

In a lot of circumstances, it takes a few tries for a dog to acclimate (especially if they are in a fairly new home). We are happy to communicate with you and perhaps have your dog come again down the line for a few hours to see if they just needed a little more time to adapt! We want every dog in our care to feel safe and at home. Each dog is different however and not every dog does well at a facility like ours (some do best with at-home care, for example). This is exactly one of the things we are trying to figure out during the Consultation!


Do I need a reservation for daycare?

Most of the year, you do not need a reservation for daycare. You may drop your dog off between 7am and 7pm, but preferably before 3pm so they have time to play before dinner and shut-down. However, major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas,New Years and Spring break) we require advance notice. Please email us to check availability!

There is a $10 cancellation fee for No-Shows if notice is not given within 24 hours.

Do I need a reservation for boarding?

Yes, you always need a reservation before boarding your dog. Some Holidays may require a minimum stay and prepayment (ex: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break) which we take in advance. Please email us for inquiries!


There is a $10 cancellation fee for No-Shows if notice is not given within 24 hours.

Do I need to make reservations for daycare and boarding reservations during holidays and peak seasons?

YES! Reservations are needed to ensure space for Boarding and for Daycare during holidays and peak seasons. Minimum stay and prepayment will apply during certain holiday periods. 

Inquire via email for the following periods:
  • MLK Weekend
  • Ski Week through Mid February
  • Easter Weekend
  • Spring Break
  • Memorial Day through Labor Day through Summer Break
  • Columbus Day Weekend
  • Thanksgiving Week
  • Christmas through New Year’s Week

What happens if you send out the “At Max Capacity” message?

We unfortunately cannot take any more dogs once we hit our daily maximum capacity. We try to avoid having to turn dogs away by requesting you set up appointments ahead of time (again, holidays/peak periods are required), but walk-ins are okay when it’s any regular day of the year. Just keep in mind, we can only handle a certain number of dogs! Their happiness and safety is our number one priority.

Our high energy groups, especially for large dogs, fill up quickly so please sign up for our mass notification list! 


What time can I drop off my dog?

We have boarding dogs in addition to daycare, so we are always staffed 24 hours a day. However, we open our doors and are ready to greet new dogs each day at 7am. We do not accept any dogs after 7pm!

How late can I pick up my dog?

Regular pick up is until 7pm, but late pickup can be arranged for an additional charge until 10pm. If you are going to send someone else to pick up your dog, please give us written notice & permission.

Are you open on Holidays?

We are open 365 days a year, 24/7! Holidays are our busiest time and usually require a pre-paid reservation.

Puppies & Intact Dogs

Why was I asked to spay/neuter my dog sooner or wait until altering to return?

We do this to avoid any potential “accidents”, as well as to avoid any agitation via mounting! We find that most dogs at our facility are not a fan of being mounted as some dogs have difficulty controlling themselves whilst their hormones fluctuate; we don’t want any dogs getting upset or injured while in our care. We also do not want any accidental pregnancies (and we’re sure you don’t either!). To ensure the safety and happiness of all the pups in our group play environment, we individually monitor behavior and temperament then make judgements based on each situation. We might ask for a dog to be altered sooner or for them to wait until altering before returning to group play.

What happens if my dog goes into heat?

We unfortunately cannot take in any dogs during their heat cycles in order to keep every dog safe and happy–as we are a large group facility. Dogs in heat change temperaments (their goal is to have puppies ASAP!) and the dogs around them smell those pheromones, both male and female dogs alike. Everyone goes into instinct mode and we’ve noticed this cause issues with group play. To avoid injuries and upset, we do not take any dogs that are in heat into our facility. Your pup(s) is more than welcome to come as soon as their cycle ends!

How old does my puppy have to be to come to AlphaDog Lodging?

We love puppies! Currently your puppy must be at least 2 months or older to visit as long as they have the second booster of Distemper/Parvovirus and Bordatella vaccines, required fecal exam, and a wellness exam.

Food & Medication

Can you give my dog medication while they are staying with you?

We are happy to give your dog their necessary medication! Please label it and give us explicit directions. However, we are not a medical facility and are not equipped to give shots or administer any complex medical treatment. AlphaDog and Camino Alto Veterinary Hospital have a partnership in case those kinds of emergencies arise.

Should I bring my dog’s food?

Yes, AlphaDog Lodging prefers that your dog stay on their regular diet. Please label the container/bag with name and feeding directions. You also have the option of your dog being fed our house food however; dry Kirkland lamb and rice kibble.

In-House Specifics

Do you have puppy cams on the yards?

At the moment, we unfortunately do not, but we do post pictures on our Instagram as well as send out pictures to those who sign up for our “Pupdates” service. If you do choose to sign up, you receive pictures of your dog while they board with us. You can either sign up for this on the sheet posted in the lobby or send an email to with both your dog’s name as well as yours.

What are you doing differently in light of COVID-19?

We’ve made a few changes to our business in the hopes of keeping clients and staff alike safe:

  • Masks are to be worn by clients and staff at at all times and social distancing is to be upheld, as required by California law.
  • The need for entry to the building has been reduced greatly by implementing a new drop-off/pick-up system. Upon arrival, clients will either meet with a greeter in the parking lot (maintaining social distancing) or call our phone line once parked in our facility.
  • We kindly ask for your dog’s belongings to be reduced to absolute necessary, as our facility has everything required to keep Fido happy and healthy! If you need to bring food or medication, please keep the items in a waterproof container so we may sanitize properly before handling.
  • Feel free to inquire about how sanitary practices and staff health screenings if curious!

Where do the boarding dogs go at night?

We have 3 kennel buildings and a crate room, but for any dogs that have a difficult time being away there’s a few spots on the bed with the overnight staff!

Our kennels have runs attached so the dogs can go to the bathroom and roam a bit before lights out. Each kennel has a bed, water, and if you bring anything along those join in too (blankets, plushies, etc.). Our crate room has various sizes and types, as well as the ones provided by owners for their specific dogs. Each crate has a bed, the room has standing fans and again any belongings that came with the pup.

Same family dogs are put together at night unless otherwise specified.

Does outdoor play mean my dog will always be in a cageless environment?

Although we pride ourselves on our outdoor yards and group-centric play, most dogs do need time to rest. Each dog is evaluated individually and is placed in play yards based on temperament, sociability, size and age to determine such.

If your dog is also part of our high energy groups (especially for the large dogs), we do small groups. They rotate out between the kennels with runs, private yards, and group play on yards depending on our daily numbers.