Do you need to meet my dog before she stays at Metro Dog?

Yes, we meet with every new client before they can use day care or overnight boarding services. We do a new-client assessment for every dog before they are accepted for services. The assessment is $35. We want to make sure your dog is going to have a happy, healthy experience staying with us. Metro Dog is not a kennel experience. Learn about the New-Client Enrollment Process here. We look forward to meeting with you and your pup!

Does my dog need to be spayed or neutered to come to Metro Dog?

Yes, all dogs must be spayed or neutered by 6 months to use services in the center. Home Services clients do not need to be spayed or neutered. Because dogs in the center are in social company throughout the day, behavior change associated with the presence of hormone production beyond 6 months, as well as accidental pregnancy, are our primary concerns.

Males: Between 6 and 7 months of age, hormone levels increase dramatically and can cause behavior change. Metro Dog requires the unneutered puppy to stop attending programs in our center until neuter is complete and testosterone has dropped once behavior change is observed. The behavior of the neutered males in our care can also change as they no longer accept the unneutered male as a puppy. They can target the unneutered male with more harsh corrections, mounting behaviors, and general intolerance. It takes a full month for testosterone to drop after the neuter is done before the newly neutered male can return to day care. If owners choose to delay neutering, our Home Services division may be able to provide in-home care for the dog. Contact todd@metrodog.com to explore the possibility of this option.

Females: Accidental pregnancy and behavior change in the dogs in our center due to the scent of a female in heat are concerns. Metro Dog can never have a female in estrus in our center. All females are required to be spayed by 6 months to avoid entering a heat cycle while in our care. If an early heat cycle occurs, owners understand and agree that Metro Dog will be unable to continue to offer care. Owners will immediately make alternate arrangements for the care of their dog and have her leave the center. If owners fail to do this, it is understood and agreed that Metro Dog will transfer the dog to an alternate care program off our premises and the owner will pay the charges incurred.

On a case-by-case basis, Metro Dog may extend the time line for spay or neuter. This must be discussed directly with owner Diane Livoti. No other staff member is authorized to make special agreements regarding our spay and neuter policy.  Contact Diane at diane@metrodog.com.

What kind of packages do you offer?

We offer two different types of packages for optimum flexibility and savings. Day care packages offer substantial discounts for bulk visit bundles and are valid for one year from purchase. Metro Dollar packages are multi-service packages that give you additional value called Metro Dollars. Metro Dollar packages never expire.  Click here to see all our packages

Day Care Packages:

10 visit package for $385, making each visit $38.50 instead of the drop-in price of $44 per day.

20 visit packages offer a 25% savings on the $44 daily fee for day care, bringing the cost to $33.75 per day. A 20-visit package is an $880 value for $675.

BFF package – for qualifying dogs, our Best Friends package is a 120-visit package for $3200. This is our deepest discount offering day care for $26.67 per day. This package is for dogs that are regular 4- to 5-day-a-week clients and meet the requirements of the program.

All day care packages are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

Metro Dollars Memberships offer you excellent value for your money for a greater range of services. You pay an upfront amount, to which we add value, and then you use your Metro Dollars for whatever services you like, at the center or from your home. Metro Dollar Memberships do not expire.

Please see our Packages page for more details.

What are your hours of operation?

We are open from 6 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We have staff on site 24 hours a day and allow you to pick up and drop off your dog at any time. Drop-offs before 6 am and pickups after 9 pm are by appointment only and carry a fee of $15.

How are you a socially responsible business?

  1. We buy products that are fair trade.
  2. We support local businesses and artisans.
  3. We purchase green products and actively contribute to decreasing landfill contributions through reuse.
  4. We are green certified.
  5. We support the local schools with donations.

How are you a green business?

  1. We are a Certified Green Business in Contra Costa County.
  2. We are founding members of the Richmond Green Business Council.
  3. We only buy the most sustainable product to get the job done: bio-degradable bowls, towels, poop bags and cleansers; toys, leashes and collars made from recycled materials. We are actively reducing our pawprint on the planet.
  4. Our center is on a filtered-water system.
  5. Our construction materials are sustainable, non-polluting and, whenever possible, purchased from a reuse company.


Do I bring my pet’s food when she stays at Metro Dog?

We prefer it if you do! We will feed your pet breakfast and dinner with food you provide while they are a guest at no charge. We can also offer meals of Prairie kibble, Natural Balance canned food or Feed This! raw food for $2 to $8 a meal, tbd based on food choice and quantity.

Can I bring my dog’s toys and bedding?

Yes, we recommend you provide ONE article of bedding, though it is not required. We will provide comfy, clean bedding to all overnight guests. If you would like to bring your pet’s bed, she will have access to it whenever she is in her room at night. During the day, bedding is put away to keep it clean. If your dog is staying in a social room, we cannot guarantee that her bed will not be chewed or damaged by another dog. Please do not bring the Gucci. 🙂

For social boarders, please do not bring toys or treats. We will not give them to your dog. It is not safe. We must ensure that there are no opportunities for dogs to resource guard. We do not give your dog personal items beyond one article of bedding – or a shirt or towel if your pet’s bed is too valuable – from your home so that your pup has your scent in her room. Please note that we cannot guarantee the return of personal bedding!

If your dog is boarding privately, you are welcome and encouraged to bring any of her bedding, toys, and treats.

What is social boarding?

Social boarding allows your dog to be housed with other dogs at night, providing the comfort of companionship when your pup is resting through the night. Think of sleep-away camp when you were a child. All dog rooms are monitored by our overnight staff.

Can my dog have his own room?

Yes, you can reserve a room for your dog that does not include others. Your pup can spend his day in social play groups and retire for the night in a room of his own. This is what we call a Single, Social. The cost is $80 per night, and includes the full day of social day care.

What is a “social” dog?

A Social Dog has demonstrated a level of comfort being around groups of dogs he does not know. Your dog does not necessarily need to actively engage other dogs in play. A social dog is relaxed when new dogs approach him. He does not avoid contact, stiffen, growl or snap at another dog. A social dog can be handled when he is very aroused without lashing out at the handler. It is acceptable for a dog to growl or snap at another dog to “correct rude greetings.” Any growling or snapping that continues after the dog has moved away is not acceptable. Likewise, a social dog must be able to “take correction” and move away.

Do you have private overnight boarding?

Yes,  if your dog must be cared for solo (ie, not spend time in social groups), the fee is $100 per night for private boarding. A dog that boards privately receives three 15-minute mini play sessions alone with a handler in our outside yards (weather permitting) and one private, 30-minute play session per day, as well as potty breaks every two hours in an outside play yard. Private dogs can have toys and additional bedding in their room.

What is semi-private day care and boarding?

For dogs that have a foundation of good social skills but cannot be in full-sized play groups we offer semi-private care. Play groups consist of 1-4 friends hand selected for compatibility with the semi-private dog. The program for semi-private dogs mimics the day for a private dog: 3- 15 minute play sessions, 1- 30 minute play session, and potty breaks in an outside play yard every 2 hours.

How much time will my dog get to play with other dogs when boarding?

A lot! But with the right amount of down time, too. The day care day runs from 7 am to 7 pm. The day consists of play, rest, play, rest….

Our dog guests are put in groups with dogs that are of similar size, energy level, and play style. More active groups are smaller to ensure the safety of all the dogs while allowing the dogs to romp and wrestle. Our mellow dogs and sunbathing seniors may have up to 20 dogs in their group. The dogs spend their day moving with their friends through our various and ample yards, both indoor and outdoor. We offer rest time between play sessions to mimic their natural rhythms, giving them time to recover and be fresh for the next opportunity to romp.

What do you consider a “puppy” versus an “adult”?

We consider a puppy to be an 8- to 24-week-old dog. We have created a specialized program for puppies of this age. Some dogs graduate from the puppy program as young as 16 weeks (4 months). This is determined based on the pup’s comfort meeting new dogs, social skills, confidence, and comfort with being handled by new people. We consider an adult to be any dog over 24 weeks, sometimes as young as 16 weeks depending on maturity, for the purposes of our daily schedule of activities. Though a young dog may graduate into our adult program, adolescents are typically grouped together as they have special handling needs while they are continuing to learn the social norms for being in play groups. We may refer to them as members of the adult social program, but it is understood they have not reached adulthood and the reference is merely one based on our program definitions.

What vaccines do you require?

We require Rabies, Bordatella, and DHP. We accept annual titer test results for rabies and DHP. Please see our Vaccine Policy to learn more about these vaccines. We currently do not require Canine Influenza but recommend you discuss whether your dog should have this vaccine with your veterinarian. Waivers for required vaccines will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and must be supported with a veterinarian letter explaining the need for the waiver.

What happens if my pet gets sick or is injured while at Metro Dog?

While in our care, we will make sure that your dog receives the necessary veterinary attention. We contact you or your emergency contact immediately if there is any medical issue. Please read our policy on pet health and veterinary visits on our House Rules page.

Do you have web cams at Metro Dog?

No. We have 7 different play yards and many more rest areas for dog guests. There are too many areas to try to cover with live cams. Besides, we wouldn’t want to get you into trouble at work!

What kind of cleansers do you use at the center?

For all dogs areas, we use Clean Break Disinfectant – a neutral Ph, non-toxic (to mammals) bio-degradable cleanser with a veterinary formula to kill the bacteria and viruses that commonly affect dogs. We also use Anti Icky Poo – a live-enzyme solution to consume organic solids that cause odors.  For laundry, dishes and counters, we use earth-friendly soaps.

Metro Dog Training FAQS:

Can my dog receive training while staying at Metro Dog?

We can combine training sessions while your dog is staying here for day care or boarding. A great option for families with little time! Please see our Extra Fun page for more information.

Do you offer private training sessions?

Yes we do! Please see our Private Consultations page for more information. We are positive reinforcement trainers.

Metro Dog Home Services FAQS:

Do you walk dogs?

Yes! From your home, we offer neighborhood walks, house calls, and overnight pet-sitting services. Email todd@metrodog.com with questions about our Home Services offerings.

From Metro Dog, we offer daily leash walks and off-leash adventure outings.  Private walks enjoy leashed time on the trails of Albany Hill or strolling through the lovely Richmond Annex neighborhood, which we walk to from the center. Social group dogs enjoy off-leash time at one of the local East Bay Regional Parks, primarily Point Isabel, the Albany Waterfront and Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.

3117 Pierce Street, Richmond, CA, 94804 • 510.524.DOGS (3647) • info@metrodog.com