Dog Daycare

Choosing the right Daycare for your dog.

By | Airdrie, Dog Daycare, Dogs, Grooming, Dog Grooming, Airdrie, Crossfield, Uncategorized

Daycare for your dog is the newest trend. With new facilities popping up everyday, and each offering different services; it can be hard establishing the best fit for you and your furry companion. Well, we are here to help!

We all want whats best for our dogs, and daycare can be a wonderful addition to your dogs weekly schedule. A good daycare can fulfill a dogs social, mental and physical needs; leaving you with one tired, fulfilled dog. A fulfilled dog is a good dog…right?

So how do you determine the best place for your dog? First you need to decide what your daycare expectations are.

  • Do you want a one stop shop (boarding, daycare, training and grooming)?
  • Do you want your dog to have access inside and outside freely? (Did you know some places don’t have a outside area!)
  • Is it important that the play group is supervised; if so what staff to dog ratio is appropriate to you?
  • Do you want a daycare that has equipment and activities for your dog, or is just a open space to socialize and play enough?
  • Do you want your dog to go for walks?
  • Do you want your dog to work on basic obedience skills while at daycare?

Personally I tell people to stop by a prospective business and check the place out, get a feel for the staff and the atmosphere, ask questions. Yes, majority of places ask you pre-book a meet and greet; However I believe in transparency; A daycare that does not allow a client to view the area, leaves a bad taste in my mouth (personally). Here at Four on the Floor have a open door policy. You are more then welcome to stop by whenever to take a peek through our window in our daycare, and chat up the staff (if they have time). For a full introduction we will ask you to book a meet and greet (free of charge). This way we can give you our undivided attention. Answering questions, going over everything about our daycare, programs and services, handling protocols, activities, and waivers. During the meet and greet we will ask you a variety of questions about your dog, and introduce your dog to a couple of our mentor dogs. During the introductions we will be able to observe their body language, interactions and behaviors to ensure daycare is a fit.

Not all dogs are a fit for daycare and the highly stimulated environment, and that is okay. Just like not all people like crowds. I found this article to be helpful in determining if your dog is a fit for the daycare environment. The last thing you want is to have your dog in a place that they just don’t want to be, or that will effect their mental well-being. A good daycare will be 100% transparent and honest about your dogs experience and their recommendations. We (Four on the Floor) have a modified program for dogs that need a bit more one-on-one attention from the handlers. This is our first step before dismissal. We like to try and work with the dog and owners before determining if the environment is a fit or not. Majority of the time, the dogs just needs some extra one on one time to feel comfortable. Our behavioral program is tailored for dogs that are overly excitable, and shy dogs that need some practice with their social skills.

Alright, alright…I did say ask questions…So after determining exactly what you want out of a daycare for your pal, it’s time to come up with some questions. Here’s my personal list:

  • Is your play group staffed? What is the approximate staff to dog ratio? “Our play groups and ALWAYS supervised! 12:1 Dog to staff ratio.
  • Do you monitor play? What is your handling? ” We are constantly monitoring play styles (no bullying) and watching ques. We use a variety of force free techniques to redirect the dogs attention away from whatever they were focused on.”
  • Do you kennel dogs? “We do! Kenneling (more like a large run) is crucial for downtime and help bring those adrenaline and cortisol levels down. Some dogs do not self regulate and give themselves a break. The last thing you want is them continuing to practice behaviors in a constant high excited state (no-one wants a adrenaline junkie). Did you know, a hyper aroused brain is poorly responsive to learning and memory. Some of the dogs just need some one on one downtime, away from the group. In this case we like to pair them with handler and take them outside for a small walk or obedience work.”
  • Do dogs have access outside? “Our facility has a full bay inside (heated) with a dog door with full access to outside (fenced). We allow our dogs to have full range of both the bay and outdoors. Both areas are staffed and monitored. Our outside area has artificial turf and a variety of play equipment (as well as a fenced pool for summertime fun).”
  • Do the dogs get to go for walks or participate in activities? “Personally we believe in mental stimulation and physical. Some dogs will only play with a selective dogs and selective times. So we like t ensure each dog is getting a fun experience. We provide a variety of activities such as scent work, obstacle courses, water fun, bubbles, bobbing for apples and carrots, obedience activities, weight pulling, bike riding, off leash and on leash adventures, group walks and so much more. Bonus! No extra cost!”
  • Is your staff certified? “A variety of our staff hold their canine CPR and first aid. Others are proud of their participation in a variety of canine seminars on force free handling, body language and canine communication, behavior and training. Our founder/owner/trainer Rhonda Labas, has years of education and schooling under her belt, completing a variety of certifications. We don’t believe in paying subscriptions for memberships that are not government regulated. We rather put our money into educating and training.”
  • Do you require proof of vaccines? Updated vaccines are crucial for your dog, especially if they are around other dogs (daycare, kennel setting and yes, even the dog park!
Daycare Fun

So there you have it! I hope this article makes your decision a bit easier when choosing a daycare for your furry pal.

Basic Dog Grooming Tips

By | Dog Daycare, Grooming, Dog Grooming, Airdrie, Crossfield, Uncategorized

Dog’s have a unique way of keeping themselves clean (in their eyes haha). Their clean and our clean can mean two very different things. Today we are going to provide pet parents with some helpful tips and tricks on keeping their dog’s coats manageable between grooms.

Freshly groomed Odin, feeling fabulous

Personally, I like to start by giving my dog a good brushing. This helps remove all the nasty bits such as; dead hair, dirt and dandruff and whatever other little things have gotten stuck in their coat. Plus a good brush can get rid of some of the loose mats, and provide you the opportunity to check for pesky little critters like lice, ticks or fleas (yuck!).

Hold up! You maybe wondering what brush to use…

With such a variety of brushes and combs available, things can get confusing. I will name our favorite three, just to keep it simple (there are a ton more options).

Slicker Brush: Basically this is the go to brush. It works well for all coat types. It’s row of thin wired type pins help remove loose fur, assisting in de-tangling the coat. The Pin brush is very similar to the slicker brush. The wire pins are tipped with rubber or plastic, which is made for silkier coat types.

Bristle Brush: A great option for short and wire coats. It’s soft bristles help removes shedding hair and smooths out the fur. A great option for sensitive areas like the face.

Rake: Rakes are designed for thick-haired dogs. It is designed to penetrate the coat, removing the undercoat.

We personally do not recommend the Furminator. In our experience we noticed it tends to damage the top layer of the coat.

Holy heck: Enough about brushes! Let’s get back to our steps.

After you have given your dog a good brush (we call it the prep phase). It’s time for a bath! If you have a tub that contains a handheld hose that’s a bonus! Otherwise you can go to a dog wash station (I recommend this if you have a double coated dog) or fill the tub with a couple of inches of water and utilize a cup or small bucket (to fill and rinse the dog).

Give your dog a good rinse off, soaking the entire coat. Ensure to protect your dogs eyes, ears and nose from water.

Once the coat is damp, begin the shampoo process: Here at Four on the Floor the groomers utilize the Melanie Newman Salon Essential line. I find it easier to dilute the shampoo with water and put it in a squirt bottle (think ketchup bottle). This way I can easily distribute the shampoo all over the dogs body. Once you have the shampoo all over the dog, begin to give the coat a good scrub. Our groomers utilize a rubber bath brush, to ensure each inch of the dogs coat is getting a good clean.

Rinse, and repeat….Yes, repeat the shampoo and rinse.

After the shampoo process you can opt to utilize a conditioner. A variety of conditioners are available at your local pet store. Pick one suited for your dogs coat. I find conditioners are best used for dogs with silky, long haired or curly coats. If using a conditioner, I recommend taking a couple extra minutes to brush your dogs coat while letting the condition soak in (helps de-tangle). Our groomers love utilizing Emu Oil conditioner.

No its time to dry the coat, duh duh duh....

Give your dog a good massage with a towel. Take your time and get all those hard to reach areas (under the legs, stomach, behind ears, in between facial folds and feet). You have a option to grab your hair dryer and give your dog a good thorough dry. This would be a ideal option for those curly and silky haired dogs (their coats tend to get matted when wet and not brushed out). Note: Ensure you put your dryer on the cold or warm setting and not sit in one spot for too long. Once your dogs coat is 100% dry, you can start step one again and give your dog a good brush, removing any matting.

Personally, I would not bath your dog more than once every 4-8 weeks. However; how often you bath your dog really depends on a variety of factors (health, coat type, activity level). My rule of thumb; If your dog looks or smells dirty, it’s time for a bath!

If you get your dog groomed regularly, SKIP the bath, but continue to brush the coat daily or after outdoor activity. This helps keep the coat free of mats and debris free (your groomer and wallet will thank you).

If your anything like me (Jordan), after writing this, I just looked down at my dog and realized he is over due for a groom. If this is the case give us a call (403)945-8834 to book a spot with our two fabulous groomers!


By | Dog Daycare, dog food, healthy dogs,, Dog Training, Grooming, Dog Grooming, Airdrie, Crossfield

Have you made the switch?

I am a dog food nut! Between my mom (Rhonda) and I (Jordan), we own six dogs. The two bullies (Bronx and Capone) have food sensitivities. If given grains or poultry, their skin starts to inflame and get red. They begin to itch like crazy; Creating numerous hot spots and skin inflammation. Now the Golden Retriever (Rue) has stomach issues and needs to be careful with his proteins. However the other three bullies (Compton, Harlem and Pocket) literally can eat anything (our garbage disposals haha).

Through the years, I have tried Numerous different dog foods. I have had had them brands including Horizon/Pulsar, Canidae, Acana, Purina, Under the Sun, Grandma Lucy’s and Raw (just to name a few). Every kibble just didn’t sit right with either a few of the dogs or all of them. I noticed dull coats, excesses shedding and bald spots. They became lethargic and seemed to either lose weight or gain it. Their overall body odor changed and their breath reeked. My oldest bully, Harlem even began to have simple seizures (also known as fly biting syndrome). When I introduced him to Under the Sun-Lamb (as soon as I took him off the food he never experienced another one). I do admit; All the dogs did amazing on Raw (had them on raw for about 3 years), however with having a toddler in the house who loves to interact and feed the dogs, raw became a no go. This is when I began my research into dog foods. Begining my research I had some specification; I knew I wanted a dog food that

  • Had a variety of protein options (I believe in rotating their proteins),
  • Was high in protein
  • Contained “good carbs” aka complex carbs.
  • Affordable

Hello Boreal…

Exclusively at Four on the Floor

My research led me to the Boreal Brand. Two brothers (Dan & Hugh) started Boreal with the thought in mind of “going back to the basics”. Basically eliminating the ingredients that are leading to high blood sugars and diabetes and feeding dogs what they would eat in their ancestor days.

” We are trying to reduce the wrong kind of carbohydrates and really focus in on low GI – glycemic index – starches. By basing our foods on low GI foods like peas, beans and single protein meat sources we think your pet will feel full longer after they eat and the diet will help keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating. Add in the right amount of exercise and we think this is a smart way to feed your pets. “ (Boreal Website).

To Sum it up

The Boréal line of pet food is formulated to provide a balanced and healthy diet similar to what dog ancestors ate. Providing your pet with food that contains only low gylcemic ingredients (meat, peas, beans and good grains) that take your dog longer to digest (also, that don’t spike blood sugars), will go a long way to helping them live a long healthy life. I have had all six dogs on Boreal for a year now, and all six are thriving! We personally avoid the chicken and turkey proteins (due to Bronx and Capone’s allergies), and rotate between Red meat, Lamb, White Fish, Ocean Fish and Salmon.

It’s time to make the switch! Stop by to pickup some samples or try a bag. (403)945-8834 Bay 10, 25 East Lake Circle, Airdrie, Alberta

Four on the Floor Team

By | Dog Daycare, Dog Training, Grooming, Dog Grooming, Airdrie, Crossfield, Pricing, Uncategorized

Today I wanted to introduce our readers to the amazing staff at Four on the Floor. Each and every member brings valuable skills, characteristics and knowledge to our team. 

 What do they all have in common? The love of all things dog! 

Our team…Missing Morgan 🙁

First and foremost I’d like to introduce you to our dog grooming team! 

Rhonda Labas: Entrepreneur, certified/competitive dog groomer, dog trainer, behavior consultant, dog daycare specialist & Founder (owner) of Four on the Floor. Owner of 3 dogs, 1 horse and mother of 3 brats 

Jamie Lakosky: Certified/competitive dog groomer, Entrepreneur, qualified dog lover (owns 3 dogs) 

Jordan Labas: Manager & Co-owner of Four on the Floor, Social worker, Bather/prepper, daycare specialist, owner of 2 bullies, mother of 1 minion.  

Haylee Labas: Closing Supervisor, Bather/prepper, daycare specialist, dog walker, nail trimming goddess, avid dog and horse lover, owner of 1 bully and 1 horse. 

Latisha Sigda: Daycare specialist, dog walking queen, off-leash adventurer, “Chatty Cathy”, owner of one furry pal and one son.  

Jacob Legault: Daycare specialist, dog walker, off-leash adventurer, owner of 2 furry brats. Brings a sense of calmness to the group.

Courtney Cooper: Daycare specialist, dog walker, comedian of the group. 

Maisyn E: Our kind, quiet soul, daycare specialist, lead opener, dog training enthusiast, dog walker and off leash adventurer, owner of one smart pup.  

Morgan Wood: Daycare specialist, dog walker and off leash adventurer, our go-getter, cowgirl, avid horse & dog lover! 

Krystyne Sobiecki: Dog walker, daycare specialist, off leash adventurer, sewing master, owner of 2 dogs, mother of 3! 

Dara Russell: Dog walker, daycare specialist, bring the Irish flare to the group. 

Celest Schrader: Newest team member, daycare specialist, multi talent queen, behavioral handler, and dog owner. 

Maegan Adams: Whoop whoop she’s back! Daycare specialist, dog walker champ, customer services extraordinaire and kindred soul.

If you are in the neighborhood, stop on by for a visit! We all love to chat.

Grooming Options at Four on the Floor

By | Dog Daycare, Grooming, Dog Grooming, Airdrie, Crossfield, Pricing

Options, Options, Option….Sooo many grooming options for your dog! 

Did you know here at Four on the Floor (Airdrie), we offer a variety of add-on packages to customize your dog’s grooming experience?  

Why!? Each dog’s coat and skin are different. With a variety of food and environmental allergies, a dog’s coat can become either oily or dry, some even experience a variety of skin irritations such as hot spots and yeast build up.

Riker our famous daycare Beagle

So, what can you do? First and foremost, talk to your groomer. They will be able to help customize the perfect package for your dog’s groom, based on the condition of their skin and coat and specific for their breed.  

Four on the Floor Options

$20.00 Customized Package: This spa package add-on is tailored for each dog, depending on the condition of their skin and coat.  

  • Shampoo and Charcoal Scrub (Help get rid of build up, prevents flaking, and whitens coat)
  • C02 rinse with the famous Nagayu Bathing System
  • Emu Oil Condition
  • Nose and Paw Balm
  • Teeth Clean (Brush & Gel)
  • Nail Grind (After trim to smooth edges)
  • Extra Bling (Jewels, Art-Shave in, Scarf or Bow)

$30 Pawdicure: 

  • Paw wash/Scrub with massage
  • C02 Rinse with Nagayu System
  • Full Dry
  • Trim around and between toes and pads (goodbye Grinch feet)
  • Paw balm with massage (prevents salt buildup, and dry cracking pads)

$20 Nail Trim with Bottom Paw trim: 

  • Nail trim
  • Trim between pads

$18.00 Facials: 

  • Rinse free facial wash
  • Eye Cleanup (bye bye goop)
  • Ear clean
  • Teeth brush or gel (see ya bad breath)

Give us a call (403)945-8834 to book your pooch in for a groom with their customized package. Heck might as well make it a Spa Day! They will start their afternoon in our daycare, participating in structured play, activities and group walks. In the afternoon they will begin their groom. 

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