7373 Franklin Road in Roanoke Virginia

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Why Choose Aspen Grove?

Aspen Grove is the premiere recreational-style lodging & day care facility in the Roanoke/NRV area. Distinctively professional, we were the first to certify our staff as Pet Care Technicians through the ABKA and the first to be completely cage and crate free. We are hands-on and uniquely styled to reduce stress. Rather than keeping dogs separated, anxious, and uncertain, we believe socialization and play are crucial to the health and happiness of our guests.

Proving imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery, since our opening in 1999, many - including clients and former employees - have tried to duplicate our inimitable organization to no avail. We set the standard and we continue to raise the bar.

We offer tours Monday through Friday anytime during business hours - no appointment is needed.

A “pre-screening visit” is not required and we welcome all breeds.
Our services are all-inclusive; there are no hidden fees. All rooms are completely sanitized daily - not just when being turned over to a new guest.
We return all belongings clean and freshly laundered.
Our staff operates using daily checklists and health reports.
All registration, reservations and communication can be conducted online at YOUR convenience.

Our commitment? Your dog will know the difference!

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Q2: What is a typical day like at Aspen Grove?

We are a recreational-style facility and keep to a strict routine. Dogs are social animals and enjoy the companionship of other dogs; they like routine and are most comfortable when they know what to expect... “What's happening next...”

First thing in the morning, dogs are awakened and let out onto their patios to relieve themselves. During this time, all suites are completely sanitized, bedding is fluffed, water is freshened, and breakfast is served. Dogs are then brought back into their rooms to eat while their patios are cleaned and sanitized. After breakfast, patio doors are opened again allowing guests free access to choose between indoors or outdoors. (Doors from the suites to the outdoor patios are closed at nap-time, at bed time, and for brief periods if needed for re-climatizing indoors.) Mid-morning, group playtimes begin. The dogs play until they're tired and ready to come in - the length of time spent on the playground each time varies depending on the number of dogs, the temperature, and the style of play. A quiet naptime follows during which the Bed & Breakfast is silent with the exception of peaceful Pet Music piped into each suite.

Afternoon/evening group playtimes are scheduled around dinner with everyone receiving personal attention and care. Laptime, quiet strolls, cuddling, belly rubs, kiddy-pools, races, and ball games are all part of the fun during morning and evening recreation.

The hour of our “last call” in the evening depends of the number of guest in our care and the length of time it takes them to relieve themselves as we do make sure everyone has done what they need to do before lights out. At bedtime, guests are tucked in with a cookie and a kiss!

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Q3: How do you choose playmates?

Playmates are carefully selected based on temperament and play-style. First, our trained Pet Care Technicians get to know your dog in order to determine the appropriate playgroup. Dogs are initially introduced through fencing - then on leash. Once new dogs are comfortable, they are brought into established playgroups. Unless an owner requests individual play for health reasons, the only dogs excluded from group recreation are those with aggressive temperaments, intact males, and unaltered females.

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Q4: How big are the suites? Are they heated and air-conditioned?

All suites are indoor/outdoor. The indoor portions are fully heated and air-conditioned. Single occupancy suites are 4x8 on the inside with 4x10 patios. Multiple occupancy suites are 5x8 inside and 5x10 outside. The indoor portions are completely private with cedar doors. They are joined by a guillotine style door to outdoor, individually fenced, patios. (The adjoining door is one we raise to create an opening; dogs do not need to learn to push through the doors.)

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Q5: Will you room dogs together?

We have rooms available for multiple occupancy and will room dogs together. We are able separate them at mealtimes if needed to make sure each dog eats without interference from another. Usually roommates are from the same family but at times some of our guests will share a suite so they can have extra playtime and added company.

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Q6: Do you require vaccinations? Which ones? What about titers?

For the safety of all our guests, we require veterinary vaccination records showing up to date Rabies, DHP-P, and Canine Cough (Bordetella). To avoid confusion, we will want to view these records at least 7 days prior to the day of check-in. Confirmation may be supplied via receipts or Vet Clinic computerized printouts; Pet Health Record pamphlets are not accepted. If you self vaccinate, your records must come through a veterinarian, meaning your vet must recognize the vaccinations as valid. Titers for DHP-P are accepted only if they have been done within the past 12 months. You may email the records to us, fax them or have your vet fax them (844-808-1308).

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Q7: How are the dogs fed? Does it cost extra if we use your food/treats?

We feed our guests according to owner instructions. When you register your dog, you will be asked if you prefer to use our food or bring your own and you'll supply specific feeding instructions.

If you choose to bring your own food, please package the dry food in individually bagged meals and bring only an amount sufficient for the stay. We will not accept dry food that has not been pre-measured and bagged into individual meals.

We don't charge extra to feed our food. The food we use in our Bed & Breakfast is 4Health by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. We feed the adult Salmon & Potato formula kibble; it is completely corn, wheat and soy free! For more information: 4Health History and Review
We have found that very few dogs have any gastric difficulty transitioning to our food.

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Q8: May I take a tour? Do I need an appointment? May I bring my dog?

We welcome tours at any time during our business hours Monday through Friday; there is no need for an appointment. We do not offer tours on Sundays due to the number of guests coming in and out. We prefer you not bring your dog to tour with you; Day Care is a far better way to introduce your dog to Aspen Grove.

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Q9: Will you bathe my dog before I pick up? What is the cost?

We offer luxury baths to dogs while they are with us for Day Care or lodging. Luxury baths include citrus and oatmeal shampoos, aloe conditioners, nail trimming and filing, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, full coat brush- outs, trimming hair between pads and hygiene areas. Many of our clients choose to schedule a Luxury Bath at the end of their dog's stay! The cost will vary depending on the dog's size, length & condition of the coat, and overall time needed to complete the service.

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Q10: How far in advance should I book a reservation?

During the summer months and on holidays it is a good idea to book your dates 6 to 8 weeks in advance. Off season, it is best to provide 7 to 10 days' notice. We recommend contacting us as soon as you know your dates....It is never too early to book a reservation!

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Q11: What is meant by “Open Hours”? When you are “closed” does anyone feed and care for the dogs?

During Open Hours the office is staffed with someone at the front desk to assist guests checking in and out, conduct tours, process reservation requests, and answer e-mail.

Saturday and Holiday closings refer ONLY to the office. Our kennel staff arrives early and stays late EVERYDAY to provide love and care for our guests!

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Q12: What arrangements can be made if your Open Hours are not convenient for our travel plans? May I bring my dog in or pick my dog up outside of these hours?

Our Open Hours are designed for the comfort and health of our guests. By closing for a portion of each day, we allow the dogs to rest without outside interruption. This is a crucial part of maintaining a low stress environment and we prefer not to compromise that.

If it is impossible to use scheduled Open Hours, we will provide outside- hours service by prior appointment only. A convenience fee will apply and we will charge our lodging rate as though check-in or checkout was during normal hours. This means if you schedule an appointment to check-in on Sunday morning you will pay a convenience fee in addition to paying for lodging as though the check-in was on Friday night.

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Q13: My dog takes medications. Is this a problem? Do you charge extra?

We have no problem administering medications, including insulin, and will do so in accordance with your instructions at no extra charge. Please keep medications in the original package/vial and label as to type and dosage. We keep peanut butter, hotdogs, and cheese on hand to “help the medicine go down”. Please advise us prior to check-in if your dog will be taking medications while in our care.

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Q14: What do I need to bring for my dog's suite?

We supply everything your dog will need to make for a pleasant stay! We have blankets, beds, food, bowls, toys, and treats. For familiarity, you may want to consider leaving a small blanket or towel; some guests find it comforting to have a familiar smell from home! Personal belongings MUST be machine wash/dry-able.

You are welcome to bring a toy or two - no rawhide or rope-toys please! Beds, bowls, quilts, chain collars, and leashes brought from home will be returned at check-in as our storage space is extremely limited.

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Q15: Do the dogs have access to water at all times when they are at Aspen Grove? Did my dog get enough water?

Each suite is equipped with a spill-proof water container which is kept full. Water consumption is monitored carefully by our staff and abnormalities are reported. Rest assured, unless an owner specifies otherwise, our guests have plentiful access to water at all times. Occasionally upon arriving home, out of excitement and a desire to reacquaint himself with the familiar, a dog will gorge on water. This is not a sign of deprivation. For health purposes, once home, you will want to discourage excessive intake.

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Q16: Are all breeds welcome?

We do not practice breed discrimination at Aspen Grove - large or small, we love them all!

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Q17: Why can't I reach you by phone?

We have chosen to devote the bulk of our staffing to the care and happiness of the dogs. Knowing the nature of our business, we have set up an automated attendant to not only take messages but also answer the most frequently asked questions. The phone message encourages clients to use the website for the fastest service. We prefer email correspondence as it can be handled at any hour of the day.

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Q18: Does anyone stay in the kennel overnight?

Our staff arrives early and stays late; no one sleeps in the kennel area, our ADT system is activated during down times.

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Q19: When do you take deposits? Are they refundable? Is the deposit applied to the lodging stay?

Reservation requests are subject to availability so deposits are only taken if a reservation is made. We take a $25 deposit for each room reserved. Just as it sounds, the deposit is a down payment toward the stay with the balance due at check-in. Deposits are not refundable.

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Q20: Do you make exceptions to your cancellation policy?

Out of fairness to ALL our clients, we adhere to our cancellation policy without exception. Last minute cancellations are most always due to something unexpected, unpleasant, and out of a client's control; we see it as prejudicial to weigh those reasons. We are up front about our policies communicating them clearly. We value our clients and it is never our intention for our adherence to come as a surprise.

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Q21: May I visit my dog while he is staying with you?

We don't encourage visits while dogs are lodging. While it may be comforting to the owners, it is confusing to the dogs. As creatures of habit; they want routine and are most comfortable when they know what to expect... “What's happening next...“ We make sure to lessen the stress for our guests by keeping to a daily schedule. They don't measure time the way humans do but rather live in the moment. Most guests quickly grow used to our routines and practices and settle in very nicely. They aren't thinking about their owners until they see them so visits can be disruptive causing undue excitement and confusion that result in having to adjust all over again.

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Q22: Do you accept dogs in heat?

We do not lodge females while they're in heat. We're a recreational style facility and as you might imagine, it's very disruptive in this type atmosphere. ☺

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Q23: Do you accept puppies?

In order to allow our guests to socialize it's necessary they be fully immunized against not only Rabies but DHP-P and Bordetella as well. It's for this reason we do not offer lodging, group training or Day Care until a dog has completed its full series of puppy shots. Given a normal vaccination routine, this usually occurs around 4- months of age.

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Q24: What do you do when it snows?

We maintain regular Open Hours and staffing regardless of the weather. You have placed trust in us to care for a member of your family and we take that responsibility seriously.

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Q25: What happens if my dog gets sick?

Once under our roof we treat your dog as we would our own. Minor tummy upsets, scratches and such are treated by our staff. In the event of an emergency we will attempt to reach you, but our first concern is for your dog. If your vet is local that will be our first choice; EVS may also be used.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we will always seek medical attention in situations where a judgment call is needed and you can't be reached. Costs for medical care will be your responsibility.

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Q26: What if I want to check on my dog while I'm away?

You would of course hear from us if there were any problems but if you'd like to check in just send us an email or leave a phone message. We check messages and email during our Open Hours and will get back to you as soon as possible. We post pictures on our Facebook page so make sure to “like” us and visit there as well.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we will always seek medical attention in situations where a judgment call is needed and you can't be reached. Costs for medical care will be your responsibility.

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Q27: May I take my dog to her suite? May I take a tour at check-in?

We tell all our first time clients to come for a tour before the day of check-in in order to keep the dog's living space neutral territory. We found early on that when owners go back to settle their dogs into their suites, not only does the adjustment period take longer but at times, social behavior is negatively impacted.

Dogs' behavior can change significantly depending on the presence/absence of their owners. Many clients who've described their dogs as people or dog aggressive are pleasantly surprised to learn this aggression often doesn't carry over to our playground. When we first opened years ago one such client asked if she could observe her dog during recreation. She watched through the glass at our back door and all was well until he heard her laugh and then saw her. His entire posture changed - he tried to assert dominance over the other dogs, completely changing the pack dynamic. This trait held for the rest of his stay and he was unable to engage in group play again.

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