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Doggy daycare dilemma as pet owners return to in-person work


By Tony Lopez

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    SACRAMENTO (KOVR) — A doggy daycare dilemma is forming: As pet owners find themselves out of luck with more people taking trips and more people adopting dogs during the pandemic – it’s turned into the not-so-perfect puppy storm.

Business is barkin’ into big bucks at Cha Cha’s Doggie Daycare in Sacramento. A whole bunch of people got new pets during the pandemic and as more of us go back to work in-person – and plan summer vacations – pet sitting appointments are filling up.

“We’re booked weeks out,” said Desalane Jones, owner of Cha Cha’s.

Demand is so high, they routinely have to turn away customers.

“It is so hard to do,” Jones said.

Traditionally, their busiest times were over holiday weekends, but now, jones said every day of the last six weeks has felt like a holiday. Even the heat has an impact.

“Anytime we have triple digits, we’re booked,” Jones said. “And when triple digits come here, they stay for a few days and those are the days that everyone needs it.”

Pet sitting slots are hard to come by because at least one local doggie daycare went out of business during the pandemic – and others have tightened their leash on accepting new customers.

“You have to book ahead,” said Linda Forest, a pet owner.

Pet owners like Forest and her dog Ollie have learned last-minute appointments are hard to get.

“I know that if there’s times when I’ve tried to add on a day, I’m usually on a waiting list because they book up quick,” Forest said.

So how can you make sure your pooch has a place to stay when you go away?

“You have to do your own legwork a little bit, as soon as you know about your vacation call and book the days,” Jones said. “This time of year, two weeks is ideal, the further out you know, the better.”

And they expect it to be busy until the dog days of summer are over.

“Nobody has every month where they can go vacation, vacation, vacation, so this is just summer and they’ll get over it,” Jones said.

If you are lucky enough to find a place for your doggy, make sure they’re up to date on those shots, especially the bordetella vaccine. Without that, you might be taking scruffy with you.

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