Southern Maryland's Favorite Pet Care Retreat

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26120 Jones Wharf Road
Hollywood, MD 20636

Frequently Asked Questions

(Updated Nov 2012) 

Q: When can I drop-off or pick-up my pets for boarding or take a tour?

A: Our Office is staffed daily 8-11am and 3-5pm. Weekend Tours are by appointment only. Pet care staff is on-site around the clock every day of the year, however, office staff and office hours are only available during the above times shown.  Due to the excessive number of daily requests for special hours, which has become unmanageable and disruptive to pet care operations and our family in residence, we are no longer able to offer service outside the posted office hours.  Our Office is staffed during the times posted.  Special arrangements can be made to pick up your pets outside normal hours but must be made in advance.

Q: Why can't I just show up whenever I feel like it to pick up or drop off my pet(s)?

A: Our office is staffed daily 8-11am and 3-5pm.   Weekend tours are by appointment during the times posted. Pet care staff is on-site around the clock every day of the year, however, office staff and office hours are only available during the above times shown.   

Q: How do I choose the right pet care facility?

A:  For many families the thought of leaving their pets behind when they travel can be very stressful, to say the least.  In our experience, most customers are best served by asking their friends and their veterinarian for recommendations.  Most people will be upfront about their last experience where they left their pet, and veterinarians frequently hear from their customers about their boarding experiences as well.  The next step is to make a list of questions and take unannounced tours of several facilities in your area to see what will work best for your pet. Be sure that any tour is of the entire facility, and not just a "tour" area.  Be sure to look at the pets in residence there and see what condition they are in.  Is their space clean? Do they have fresh water and food?  Do they have lots of clean bedding, or are they lying in a corner scared and upset?

It also helps to stop and ask questions to other staff you see during the tour, beyond the person giving the tour.  Chesapeake Pet Resort & Day Spa has been serving the area for over fifteen years and is proud of our extensive list of returning customers who often refer to their friends.  Be sure to also check with the local Animal Control Department for results of their most recent inspection of any facility.  Also check out the websites for each facility you are interested in.

Chesapeake Pet Resort continues to offer the highest level of trained, and professional and friendly staff, that are eager to assist.  Many families also enjoy the option for pets to be able to go outside or inside with their own doggie doors.  Indoor only enclosures can sometimes leave pets feeling isolated and lead to increased anxiety.  Indoor-outdoor facilities are a great choice for pets to be able to go outside as they please, weather permitting, and enjoy additional play yard time, which should be included in your lodging rate.  Indoor only enclosures often leave some customers wondering if their pets really go outside or not while they are away, which can defeat the purpose of "worry-free" pet care.

Another suggestion would be to have a friend or family member visit the facility where your pet is staying in your absence, unannounced, to check specifically on your pet and their enclosure.  This will provide an accurate snapshot of the level of care and emotional comfort of your pet.  On more than one occasion we have received calls from upset families that are out of town, or out of the country, that need to move their pets to us immediately, out of concern of their pets present situation witnessed by a surprise visit.  The initial savings of a couple bucks can often lead to medical bills and alternative boarding fees upon your return home.

Q: When can I take a tour? 

A: Tours are welcomed anytime during business hours daily from 8am-11am or 3pm - 5pm.  We encourage anyone new to pet boarding to take a tour of several facilities, and ask lots of questions to make sure your pet, and you, are comfortable with the facility, staff, and accommodations. We also suggest speaking with your friends, co-workers, and local veterinarians for recommendations on local pet boarding facilities.

In general though, you’ll know within a couple of minutes of visiting any facility if it’s a good choice for your pet or not. Your pet will also speak volumes when you pick them up after your trip, if they were comfortable, clean, and well cared for. Watch for their reactions and body language.

Q: But your facility is frequently full during peak dates.  What do I do now?

A: We understand that this can create a lot of frustration as families try to book a spot and we are full and are frequently asked, "Where would you take your pet?"  In a nutshell, ask your friends, your veterinarian, and Animal Control who regulates the licensed facilities in our area.  In general though, the better facilities will fill way in advance for peak dates in this area, so if you are able to secure a kennel spot at the last minute somewhere else, that may not always be a good thing so make sure you take a tour to check out cleanliness, staffing, and who's on site at night.

Q: What are the “cabins” we’ve been hearing about?

A: Our very popular “upscale” lodging option, the Deluxe Cabins are actually separate small buildings available for families of single or multiple pets. The cabins include individual large custom beds with comforters and pillows and rugs, heat and a/c units, and private covered, fenced patio play yards. We’re the only facility in the region to offer these great alternatives for pet lodging.

The cabins are frequently requested for long-term boarding, day trips, holidays, and anniversary or honeymoon trips, when pet owners request extra special care and attention for their pets…or just because! In some cases, we offer the cabins for special needs pets when additional care or monitoring is needed (short notice family emergency trips, post-surgery pets, very elderly pets, other pets with special needs that wouldn’t be comfortable in the general lodging building), while their families are away. These requests are on a case-by-case basis, and require respective additional fees, and management approval.

Q: What’s the difference between Indoor-Outdoor Patio Runs and typical “kennels“ we’ve seen at other places?

A: Chesapeake Pet Resort offers a private inside space for your dogs with an attached doggie door to their own personal fenced outdoor patio dog run, which is about 10-12 feet in length. The Indoor-Outdoor Runs allow dogs to go in and out all day long, morning to evening, weather permitting. This has been great for their morale, as they can see the other dogs, get fresh air and exercise, and limits “pouting” time while away from home. Chesapeake Pet Resort also includes four or five play yard times each day, with staff, which is unique to our operation.

Please take unannounced tours and ask lots of questions for any pet care facilities or “kennels” you are considering. Typical “kennels” offer indoor spaces or “suites” or crates, with the option to purchase outdoor play times, but pets must depend on others to be able to go outside. Unless you’re confident that a lot of staff is present and available, (not just when you come by for a pre-scheduled tour), you can’t be sure your pets are getting outside to eliminate, or even at all. Indoor-outdoor connected runs, or our Deluxe Cabins, are the best option if pet comfort is your choice.

Q: We’ve called other places with cheaper prices, but we’ve heard good things about Chesapeake Pet Resort, and want to leave our pets with you. What’s the big difference?

A: We’re not the “cheapest” place in town, but you usually get what you pay for. Take unannounced tours of several pet care facilities or “kennels” prior to making your choice. Yes, there are other great places that you can feel safe leaving your pets, but take a tour and ask questions. Price is important, but shouldn’t be the only influence. If you’re just looking for a place to store your pet, with minimal attention or outdoor time, for the cheapest price…we’re not the place for you.

Please take a tour and ask questions prior to leaving your pets anywhere.

The difference, however, is our high level of standards, attention to detail, safety, sanitation, and comfort, educated and trained staff, higher than average staff to pet ratio, genuine care, ’round the clock care, and management culpability. We stay in business because of our returning customer base and word of mouth that brings new business daily. Ask your friends or Veterinarians about us.

Q: We forgot to bring our pet’s toys when we dropped off at check-in. Does this mean they won’t have any toys while we are gone?

A: This is a frequent question and please don’t worry! We make sure all pets that want toys, get toys. We have an extensive variety of dog and cat toys, balls, rope toys, Kong toys, squeaky toys, you name it. Toys are changed out for fresh each day when we switch out their laundry, and more often as needed, depending on the “slobber” factor and sanitary condition of said toys.

Many customers also bring new toys for their pets while they are out of town, as a special occasion gift (we also call it “Guilty Mom Syndrome”).

Q: What should I bring with my Pet?

A: Please bring your pets’ Vaccination records and any special food, treats, or medication needed during their stay. All pets should arrive on a leash or in a pet carrier. We have all the bedding, blankets, bowls, and treats you need otherwise.

Q: Can I bring my own pet food?

A: Yes. We provide Pedigree Adult dry food for dogs, but many customers opt to bring their food of choice from home, to avoid possible tummy issues. We do ask that dry food from home be pre portioned per pet, per meal, in plastic zipper bags. Please bring any canned wet food you wish to provide.  Cat owners should bring their food of choice. Complicated or elaborate food preparations, beyond adding one or two ingredients, will be charged accordingly.  With our busy facility and numours pets to feed throughout the day and evening, we prefer to keep it simple when possible.

Q: Why can’t I bring my dog bed from home?

A: We provide ample blankets and puffy bolster beds for all of the pets, (in addition to raised Kuranda PVC pet cot beds), which are laundered at least once or twice each day. In this environment, it is also vital that we not introduce any fleas or ticks into the facility that may harbor in bedding from home, even if you think it is clean. Your pets will be just fine with our ample supply of blankets and bedding so it is not necessary to empty out your linen closest at home for their visit with us. We work very hard to make sure no pet is ever lying on the concrete. During winter months when the building is heated with an oil furnace, we also wrap some pets up in blankets for that added “snug as a bug in a rug” feeling. Most really enjoy this as they snuggle in for nite nite time and wait for their tuck in treats. We do charge a fee, however, if your pet(s) destroy our bedding or other items.  If your pet is a chewer, please speak with us prior to boarding.

Q: Why is there a fee to give my pet medicine or vitamins?

A: We are not Veterinarians and prefer that any pets needing medications be boarded at your Veterinarian. We are able however to administer one or two medications as needed for your pet during their stay for a fee starting at $5.  Any medications from home are required to be pre-sorted and labled at home in pill boxes or baggies for each pet.  If you need us to do this at check-in we do charge a fee starting at $10.  Providing medications for numerous pets on-site at any given time can be very time consuming and requires specialized Staff to ensure it is done properly to ensure that your pet actually receives and/or consumes any medications you send and at the correct time and dose.

Please see our Medication Policy for more info.

Q: When do we pay? 

A: Lodging pet guest fees are due at check-in, as of Sept 2012, for your current visit. This is helpful in saving time on check-out day when most customers just want to see their pet and head home after being on travel or flight training. We do also require payment at check-in for any pets being picked up after hours (which is by appointment only), or for pets being picked up by non-family members or friends that are just here to pick up your pets for you. Frequent daycare customers have customized payment schedules on a monthly or weekly basis. For longer visits with big invoices, many customers also put deposits down and send payments prior to the pet’s reservation to reduce some of the sticker shock on check-out day. Sort of like “doggie lay-away”!

Q: What payment methods do you accept?

A: We accept Cash, MC, Visa, Discover, and Paypal. Checks are accepted with 2 valid ID’s, including a driver’s license. Bad check fee is $50 and we reserve the right to deny any check for any reason, so please have a back-up payment method available if needed.  For checks we use “Deposit Now” direct deposit  which means all checks provided to us are scanned and deposited where funds from your account are withdrawn immediately.

Q: We waited too long to call for a reservation and all of the lodging space is full. What do we do now?

A: Chesapeake Pet Resort & Day Spa typically fills up several months in advance for our Deluxe Cabins, Patio Lodging Runs, and Kitty Condos, for peak dates and Holidays. Many customers call ahead to reserve their space several months in advance, but we understand that sometimes last minute trips come up and lodging space is needed ASAP. If we are full when you contact us, we do offer waiting lists, and if space becomes available we will contact those on the waiting list to see if they are still interested, on a first come, first serve basis. We also periodically offer a variety of size appropriate indoor cages or crates for those customers not comfortable boarding their pets elsewhere.  These pets are taken outside frequently morning to night to ensure their comfort.

For those seeking similar pet care facilities when we are full, we suggest checking the yellow pages for a list of other facilities in your area. Please take a tour of any new facility, however, to ensure cleanliness, proper staffing, and overall confidence in care, before leaving your pets just anywhere. Be sure that your canine pets are able to go inside and outside with their own doggie door, and not just housed in an indoor cell or cage all day and night, unless other arrangements are made to ensure your pets receive lots of outdoor playtime daily, at no additional charge.

Q: Is anyone there at night?

A: Susan and her family live on-site and has protocols in place providing that someone is available to watch over the pets at night, however, they are not available to assist customers after posted customer hours.  We also have additional staff on-site at various times, in addition to our professionally monitored automatic fire/carbon monoxide/burglary security system, and video surveillance both on-site and remote access viewing. We also contract with a licensed Security Company to monitor the pets and facility during night time hours and other times as needed.

Q: Can we call and check on our pets while we're away?

 A: Customers can call anytime or e-mail us at If calling after hours we will call you back as soon as we can, or during regular business hours. Remember though, we will be calling you if at any time during your pets visit with us we have cause for concern. We won’t bug you on your vacation, but if the need arises, we will contact you to let you know of our concerns. Please make sure you leave a valid local emergency contact name and phone number with us.

Q: How far in advance should I reserve my space?

A: For major holidays and summer, we typically fill up 6 months or more in advance. Many families opt to book their dates for the year, up to a year in advance, to ensure their pets get the Indoor-outdoor runs. The optimum pet care facilities will fill up in advance, so be leery of places that have lots of room on peak dates and Holidays; there’s probably a reason why.

Q: Why is there a fee for After-Hours Service? I should be able to pick up or drop off my pet whenever I want to.

A: In order to continue to provide the "above and beyond" pet and customer care that Customers have come to expect from us we do have established Customer Hours.  Pet care continues around the clock, however, our office is only staffed during the times posted. After-Hours Service is periodically available for a fee starting at $25 for every 15 minutes after closing that Staff is expected to wait for you, with prior arrangements.  Arriving After-Hours creates disruption to Staff and Pet Care schedules as well as our limited personal Family Time.  Chronic offenders of our hours will be requested to make alternative pet care arrangements in the future.  Exceptions:  Daycare and Grooming Customers.

Q: I need to pick up my pet on Saturday night or Sunday morning but your office is by appointment only on weekends.  Does that mean no one is on the property?

A: Pet care operations are around the clock every day of the year, including weekends and Holidays.  Due to the nature of our business many families assume we are like "7-11" with customer hours anytime they want.  In addition to our pet care responsibilities we also have families of our own that we like to spend time with whenever possible.  Our office is staffed during the times posted, and/or by appointment.  Pets on-site are still being cared for with Pet Care Staff, however, we do not have Office Staff otherwise.  After-Hours requests are periodically available for fees starting at $25 to cover additional staff wages.

Most customers have a solid pre-arranged back-up plan with pre-payment at check-in and with designated friends to pick up their pets before our office closes, if their return visit has any possibility of being delayed. Please plan your trip in advance, taking into account travel delays or problems that are out of our control.

Q: I need to pick up my pet on a Holiday but your office is closed.  Does that mean no one is on the property?

A: Pet care operations are around the clock every day of the year, including weekends and Holidays.  Due to the nature of our business many families assume we are like "7-11" with customer hours anytime they want.  In addition to our pet care responsibilities we also have families of our own that we like to spend time with whenever possible.  Our office is staffed during the times posted, however, we are not available on Major Holidays for pet pick-up or drop off.  Pets on-site are still being cared for with Pet Care Staff, however, we do not have Office Staff otherwise.

Most customers have a solid pre-arranged back-up plan with pre-payment at check-in and with designated friends to pick up their pets before our office closes, if their return visit has any possibility of being delayed. Please plan your trip in advance, taking into account travel delays or problems that are out of our control.

Q: What if my pet bites someone while I am away?

A: One of the benefits of being a reputable pet care facility in the area, is being able to ask questions and screen pets prior to their arrival, rather than just taking any pet that calls. We try to take fun and stable family pets that don’t bite … but all dogs or cats will bite or scratch. We take great efforts to ensure pet comfort and care while you are away, but all pets will likely miss their owners on some level, and may bite if they are nervous, at any time.

If your pet bites a staff member or anyone else, we are required by law to contact the Sheriff, Animal Control, and the St. Mary’s Environmental Health Department. Our first concern will be human safety, and then of course the care and safety of your pet. Animal Control will typically require a ten-day quarantine after the incident, which shouldn’t be a problem since we only accept pets with current vaccinations. Luckily, this is a very rare event, due primarily to efforts to only accept family pets with stable personalities, and very good, and comforting, staff with proper animal handling skills. For additional information, you can review the County Regulations in full, at St. Mary’s County Animal Control Regulations.

Q: Can I call to check on my pets while we are away?

A:  Feel free to call or email us anytime to check on your pets! We are happy to respond and often try to follow-up any emails with photos of your pet, as time and staffing permit in this busy environment.

Our Hours »

Monday – Friday:
8am – 11 am & 3 pm – 5 pm

Saturday: 8 am – 10 am

Sunday: 3 pm – 5 pm