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Heartland Animal Hospital

Puppy Standing Outside on Concrete

Puppy Day Camp

Two hands holding an elderly dog's face with its eyes closed

What Is It?

Our Puppy Day Camp is a socialization and house-training dream for your new little addition! It is a controlled environment that focuses not only on new novel items for your puppy to experience but experiencing those things positively. What we mean by positively, is that your puppy gets to experience these new things (that might be scary!) with treats, soft encouraging words, and allowing them to vote with their feet if they want to get closer or not.

This same experience also includes interacting with other dogs! Puppies up to 12 to 14 weeks are able to be molded into calm, confident, and adjusted puppies if exposed properly and positively. We know that life gets busy so let us help with our Puppy Day Camp to help your new family member in the most positive way possible!

How Does It Work?

Everything is built around the goal of helping puppies from 9 to 17 weeks of age develop into well-rounded canine family members. Your puppy will be in a group of no more than six puppies so staff can help each puppy individually build confidence and keep a close eye on body language. While your puppy is at Day Camp, they will be kenneled with frequent let-outs when not in playgroup to help facilitate kennel training they should be experiencing at home. All puppies will have two monitored puppy playtimes with the other puppies or appropriate older dogs. During the playtime, body language will be monitored to make sure all puppies are enjoying themselves. This will help develop good play skills for when your puppy is ready for a large playgroup.

Throughout the day your puppy will also be positively exposed to different socialization challenges. Objects such as vacuums, grooming tools, unusual shapes, tarps, bubble wrap, tin foil, and blow dryers, will be introduced to encourage your pup to investigate their world in a calm and positive manner. On top of the let-outs, puppy playtimes, and socialization challenges, staff will also work on basic commands with your puppy to build a good foundation!

Is It Safe?

There is a potential risk in exposing a puppy to social situations when their immune system is still developing before they have completed their initial vaccine series. We minimize this risk in every way possible by strict sanitation procedures and requiring vaccines for all pets who stay with us. The DayCamp program was developed based on guidance from behavior experts who recognize that in many cases, the risk of behavior problems in the future is much greater than the risk of contracting disease in a controlled, clean environment. Read more here:

Owner Playing with Puppy with a Green Ball

Puppy Day Camp Requirements

  • Based on puppy development and socialization periods, puppies must attend their first camp BEFORE they reach 16wks of age.

  • Your puppy must have been in your home for at least 7 days prior to their first camp day

  • Puppies must receive a Distemper/Parvo and Bordetella vaccine from a veterinarian at least 7 days prior to first visit

  • Must have a negative fecal test

Small brown and white dog sleeping on dog bed

What Should I Bring?

For your puppy, you can bring whatever you feel comfortable with! If you want to bring a bed or a blanket for them to rest on while in their kennel please do. If you are feeding your puppy a lunch please bring that in a labeled bag, we will make sure your puppy gets it. We also recommend bringing whatever treats you are planning on using at home.

Important Clarification

This program is designed to complement, not replace, a puppy kindergarten or manners class you may be attending. The biggest key to puppy socialization and training is consistency! Everyone at home should be involved in the process and keep the same rules and boundaries. By following not only your puppy manners class but enrolling in our puppy day camp you will soon have a well-socialized and confident puppy.