Here at Rocky’s Retreat, we are here to answer any questions that you have. That’s why we put together this FAQ. 

What services do you offer for my dog?

We offer overnight boarding in our 12 beautifully appointed suites, dog daycare limited to a maximum of 12 dogs per day, hydrotherapy in our climate controlled indoor warm water pool, dog weight loss and fitness programs, and other hands on healing services.

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What is your facility like?

We have a 7000 square foot indoor/outdoor state of the art facility that looks and feels more like a home. We have Florida’s only climate controlled indoor pool, that is sanitized with ozone, so there are no harmful effects of chlorine. Our building is handicapped accessible for both dog and human, provides adequate parking, and has an inviting reception area that provides a comfortable setting to relax prior to your appointment.

The main entrance into our facility leads to our lobby. There is a private entrance from the lobby into the pool room. The pool room has a separate exit, located in our drying room.

Temperature and humidity in our pool room is controlled by a state of the art dehumidification system.

Our facility also has 12 beautifully appointed suites for overnight boarding, a fitness area, daycare rooms for our daycare dogs to rest, and an expansive backyard where dogs can play and be dogs.

We invite you to come by for a tour. We happily give tours any weekday between 10am and 5pm, and on weekends and holidays between 10am and 3pm.

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Do you use chlorine or other harmful chemicals in the pool?

Our primary sanitation is provided by a state of the art ozone system, which is not only completely safe for your dog but provides therapeutic benefits for a dog’s skin. We then use an advanced automated system that puts an extremely small amount of chlorine in the pool (100 times less than is in your drinking water) to kill any residual bacteria that may be present. After exhaustive research, we determined that this combination is the best for the health and safety of your dog. We also have an automated pH system that continually monitors pH to ensure proper balance for each dog.

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Are you insured?

Yes. We carry all insurances, including professional liability. Please feel free to ask to see our insurance certificate.

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Can I take a tour of your facility?

Absolutely! We welcome tours either by appointment or between the hours of 10am and 5pm weekdays and between 10am and 3pm on weekends and holidays.

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What organizations do you belong to?

We are members of the Association of Canine Water Therapy (ACWT). We also belong to the College Park Partnership and The West Orange Chamber of Commerce.

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What do you do to ensure safety?

We consider the safety of both our clients and our staff to be of utmost importance. We train new staff thoroughly before they are ever allowed to be alone with more than one dog. We never put more than 5 to 6 dogs together in our play yard at the same time. (We will NEVER put 30 dogs together!) We slowly introduce new dogs to ensure their comfort and safety. We have protocols and fencing in place to ensure that dogs who don’t know each other will not be put together until they are properly introduced.  

Our backyard is completely fenced with a 6 ft. privacy fence with chain link fence buried beneath the surface to ensure no dog can dig out. We have fencing around our front door, and we keep the front door locked so that it’s not accidentally opened allowing an off-leash dog to escape. We have fencing around our back yard door so that dogs who don’t know each other won’t be accidentally put together.

Our hydrotherapy pool is only 4.5 ft. deep. Any deeper may put both your dog and the therapist at risk. We never force your dog into the pool and for those enthusiastic pups, we don’t allow them to jump off the edge of the pool. We also only allow one dog in the pool at a time. We gently encourage your dog to swim, when he or she is ready, not before. Your dog is never bullied.

The pool room floor is coated with a non-slip material, so when your dog shakes water all over the place, neither one of you will slip and fall. The pool room is secured via double sets of doors, so your dog cannot accidentally escape. We have separate entry/exit points to our pool room to avoid possible confrontations between dogs.

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What can I expect my dog to do when in daycare?

Once excepted into our daycare program, your dog will spend his day in a combination of fun outdoor play and activities with 1 to 5 other dogs, and rest in a room of his own. If we believe your dog needs more exercise or needs to improve strength in certain parts of his body, we will work individually with him using our dog treadmill and other fitness equipment. To learn more, visit our doggie daycare information and pricing page.

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How will my dog spend the day when boarding with you?

When boarding your dog, he or she will spend his day in a combination of fun outdoor play and activities either with staff alone in the back yard or with 1 to 2 other dogs, and rest in his suite. Whether he plays with other dogs depends on if we can find a suitable playmate or whether he enjoys the company of other dogs. To learn more, please visit our dog boarding information and pricing page.

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What can I expect from my dog’s aqua therapy session?

We value your time so you can expect that (barring an emergency) your appointment will start on time. You will be in the pool room to watch your dog in the water and cheer him or her on during the session. We respect your dog’s feelings about the pool and therefore will ease him or her into the pool as appropriate. Each session is tailored to your dog’s specific needs, capabilities, and health concerns.

When the session is over, you and your dog will be escorted into our private drying room, where you’ll be able to finish drying your dog or simply spend some quiet time together. When you’re ready, you’ll exit through the private drying room door to the parking lot.

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What happens if my dog poops or vomits in the water?

If a dog defecates or vomits in the pool, it contaminates the water making it unsafe to swim. When this happens, we must immediately shut the pool down and contain the damage. The pool must remain closed for 12 to 24 hours or longer depending on the severity of the damage, resulting in loss of revenue to the business. For this reason, the swim session is immediately canceled, and payment is non-refundable. We also reserve the right to assess the dog parent an additional fee of $150 to partially cover the cost of cleanup.

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What happens if you can’t get my dog in the pool?

We NEVER force your dog in the pool. Instead, we work with you and your dog to gently get your dog into the pool. While we’ll try during the entire scheduled session, there are no guarantees, because we don’t force your dog. In the unlikely event that we are not able to get your dog into the pool during your scheduled session, we will refund you ½ of your session price.

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What vaccines do you require?

For boarding and daycare dogs, we require that your dog be current on rabies, distemper/parvo, and bordatella. We also require a negative fecal test every 6 months. While we do not require heartworm, we strongly suggest a yearly heartworm test. We currently do not require canine influenza. Puppies must have all their vaccines to be eligible to come to daycare or to board with us.

We do accept either titers or a letter from your veterinarian if your dog can’t be vaccinated for rabies and/or distemper/parvo. We must have bordatella.

For dogs who only come in for hydrotherapy, we do not require proof of any vaccines. These dogs do not come in contact with boarding and daycare dogs.

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What if my dog hates or is afraid of the water?

Our staff is specifically trained to work with dogs who have issues with water. We are patient and work slowly and gently to get your dog accustomed to the pool.

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How do you get dogs in and out of the water, especially if they hate or fear water?

We develop trust by working closely with you and your dog, and then gently, calmly, and lovingly encourage them into the water. We don’t use any mechanical devices (for example, lifts or hoists) to get dogs into or out of the water. These devices frighten your dog. Our method eliminates any fear associated with the pool and water in general.

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How do I get my dog ready for his or her swim session?

If your dog has no bowel control problems, don’t feed him or her for at least 6 hours. If your dog does have bowel control problems, withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early so you can potty your dog in our backyard prior to your session. First-time clients should visit our Policies and Procedures page to learn about first-time procedures and to download and fill out our first-time client paperwork.

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How many dogs do you swim during each swim session?

Only one dog at a time, unless you have two dogs and there are two therapists available to swim both dogs. This is your session and your dog(s) are the only dog in the pool during the session. We do this for the safety of your dog(s).

We don’t have dog pool parties or put dogs who don’t know each other in the pool at the same. To do so is irresponsible and potentially dangerous.  

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How many sessions are required before I see an improvement in my dog?

That depends on your dog, the situation, and/or your veterinarian’s recommendation. We may offer advice after assessing your dog, but we will never dictate to you how many sessions your dog will need. The decision is yours alone.

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Is aqua therapy only for older dogs or those with health issues?

A: No! Any dog, any age can benefit from warm water swim therapy. Visit our hydrotherapy for dogs page to see how aqua therapy can help dogs of all ages and health and fitness levels.

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Can I just come in and swim my dog?

No, all swims are by appointment. Please contact us at (407) 295-3888 for more information or to make an appointment.

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Can I swim with my dog?

Unfortunately, no. In canine aqua therapy, Florida law, the Health Department, and our liability insurance prohibits anyone other than staff from being in the pool. However, you can be poolside to watch your dog swim. We encourage you to be poolside, to cheer your dog on, and help maximize his or her pool experience.

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How long are your swim sessions?

Sessions are booked either by the hour or by the half hour. Hour-long sessions include a maximum of 55 minutes in the pool, and half hour sessions include a maximum of 25 minutes in the pool. Pool time can be reduced depending on how long it takes to get your dog in the water and if you are on time for your appointment. The additional time is used to get your dog into and out of the pool, do a bit of drying, etc. We value your time and pride ourselves on starting your dog’s session on time.

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What is the water temperature in your pool?

Typically we maintain a temperature of around 92 degrees. However, because of our equipment, we can easily raise and lower that temperature.

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Do I need to bring towels?

No, you don’t – not for drying your dog. We provide towels, and also towel dry your dog after leaving the pool. If you choose, you can then spend some time in our drying room thoroughly drying your dog prior to leaving our facility (using our towels or our blow dryer). At your discretion, you may want to put towels on your car seat, in case your dog is not completely dry when you leave.

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I’m interested in learning more about how to better care for my dog. Can you help in any way?

Yes, we can. We believe in advancing our client’s education, and we do this through newsletters, and general conversation with our clients. Should you have questions about anything related to your dog, please ask it. If we don’t know the answer, we will find someone who we can refer you to.

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Do you have a hurricane policy?

Yes, we do. Because we are located in a hurricane-prone state, we have a hurricane policy from June 1 to November 30. We believe our facility is a perfectly safe building to weather a storm because it has survived a number of serious hurricanes and is wind rated to 150 mph. Therefore we will not begin an evacuation of boarding dogs unless we are under a mandatory evacuation order. If we are ordered to evacuate, we will do so, evacuating all boarding dogs and employees at least one day prior to the storm entering our immediate area. We will notify all owners or emergency contacts to arrange pickup of dogs at that time. All dogs MUST be picked up. If we are not under a mandatory evacuation order, and if necessary, we will arrange for one or more of our staff to stay at the facility 24 hours a day to make sure all dogs are safe.

We also reserve the right to close the facility for daycare and hydrotherapy or other scheduled appointments, depending on the severity of the storm. Once we make that decision, we will notify our daycare and hydrotherapy clients. Daycare clients will NOT lose a day of daycare and we will reschedule hydrotherapy sessions to suit our clients.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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