Have you ever heard of Alternative Humane Society?

Have you ever heard of Alternative Humane Society?

Rover Stay Over is super proud to be working with them, and we wanted to take a little time to talk about what they do and how they serve the many amazing animals ― and animal lovers ― in the Whatcom County community.

For starters, the unique thing about AHS is that it’s a 501(c)3 nonprofit staffed only by volunteers. They don’t have an office, they don’t have paid staff and they don’t have a shelter or kennels. All of the dogs they take in are living in foster homes while they await loving, permanent homes. They only take as many animals as they have foster homes for, and then they keep them until they find it a permanent family.


Now that’s pretty cool!

And in addition to caring for animals in distress, Alternative Humane Society does an enormous amount of work to prevent animals from ever needing help in the first place. Since their founding in 1977, part of their mission has been to educate the public on how to reduce the numbers of unwanted animals. Informational campaigns on spaying and neutering, for example, are a big part of their efforts.

AHS also works diligently to expand their ability to take in more animals and to find them homes. They’re always recruiting and training new volunteers for foster homes and case managers.

They don’t receive federal funding, and every cent they raise goes back into the process of helping animals.Dani with Harley and Riggins

So how do businesses like Rover Stay Over fit in? Rover and other organizations in the community step in to donate services that AHS can’t provide on their own. For example, we provide free boarding for some of Alternative Humane Society’s adoptable dogs. We have also held food and supply drives that benefited AHS.

It’s the least we can do to care for Whatcom County’s animals and the wonderful people who are helping them to live the best possible lives. We’re proud to be part of such a loving, pet-friendly community!

For more information about the Alternative Humane Society, visit their website at And look out for their monthly Adopt-A-Thons! We look forward to seeing you and your newly adopted fur baby at Rover Stay Over.


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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in News, Pet Adoption, Pet and Kennel Photos


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Weekend daycare for dogs in Whatcom County

15139712_10208042218788819_26784799_nDoes your dog know when it’s the weekend?

Unless she keeps a calendar near her bed, the obvious answer is “of course not!”

But if your busy lifestyle often keeps you occupied on the weekend, it’s a safe bet that, based on her decrease in activity on Saturdays and Sundays, your four-legged friend is wise to the schedule.

This is why Rover Stay Over has made a commitment to providing weekend daycare for dogs in Whatcom County. If your schedule has you coming and going on the weekend, don’t stress about your furry buddy not getting the exercise, companionship and socialization she needs.

At Rover, doggy daycare and boarding don’t stop when the workweek ends. We’re fully staffed and always ready to show your dogs a great time.

Related: Did you know that Rover Stay Over provides dog and cat grooming services? Find out more about how we can help keep your pets looking and feeling amazing.

Cheering your heart out at a Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders or Storm game on Sunday? No problem.

kali-jan-2017Leaving town for business and returning Sunday afternoon? We’ll be here!

Attending a special function at church all Sunday long? We’ve got you covered.

Want a simple, dog-free outing with friends and family on Saturday? Leave Fido with us, and you’ll both have a blast.

Or maybe you’re making a quick midweek trip to Winthrop or Leavenworth, and you’re getting back Saturday evening. Again — and you must see the pattern here — don’t worry. Rover Stay Over is one of the few dog kennels around that offers weekend doggy daycare near Bellingham. Our aim is to make life easier for your pups (and for you).

549406_497091893680390_31116314_nWe are open for pickups and dropoffs seven days a week, meaning that no matter what day you need us, we’re here.

Rover office staff are available to answer questions and make appointments from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For pets, by appointment only, check-in and check-out times are available every day of the week from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m.

After all, why should you get to have fun on the weekend while your dog sits at home alone? Feel free to bring your pups to Rover for a half day, a full day — or more — of good, old-fashioned doggy daycare fun.

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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in About Our Facility, Doggy Daycare, Grooming


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Stinky dog? We can fix that.

Does your dog smell funky? It certainly doesn’t have to.

A healthy dog shouldn’t smell — to us humans, anyway — much like a dog.

img_7121Dogs certainly can emit a lot of scents, but most of them are designed for the powerful noses of other dogs. If your own human nose smells a powerful scent of “dog” coming from your four-legged friend, they probably need grooming or something strange may be afoot.

That’s one reason it’s important that dogs get baths and checkups. A regular wash and groom is critical to your dog’s health, especially when an experienced groomer is handling the duties.

The right groomer will be able to select the best shampoo for your dog’s coat and skin and they will also be on the lookout for any medical or comfort issues that need to be addressed (like fleas, sores or nail issues).

While giving your pooch a nice wash, scrub and trim, a professional groomer will give her a careful once-over, from the tip of her tail to the tip of her nose, and note any problems.

Grooming your dog should happen about once a month, maybe a bit more or less depending on your dog’s breed. A consistent date with a groomer will ensure your pup stays clean while also getting a regular, professional inspection.

Did you know that you can take advantage of our grooming services while your pup is spending time here at Rover Stay Over? It’s true! We wash, groom and offer a number of a-la-carte services to keep your dogs in a clean, healthy (and great-smelling) condition.

535444_330772723645642_548360742_nGrooming services at Rover Stay Over include bathing, brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning and plucking, haircutting, deshedding, sanitary trimming, flea bathing, dematting, pad shaving, foot trimming, coat conditioning and health-enhancing shampooing. You can even add a blueberry facial or a complete round of teeth brushing!

All of this can take place without a special trip to a second location. We’ll handle all of your dog’s grooming needs while he or she is already here for doggy daycare or overnight boarding. Just schedule a grooming session when you may your daycare/boarding appointments.

While we don’t currently board cats, we do offer cat grooming, too. Call to schedule an appointment. It’s important!

If you have a stinky dog and you want convenient grooming services near Lynden and Bellingham — without a second trip to a separate grooming facility — ask us about Rover Stay Over’s pet grooming services.

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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Grooming, Uncategorized


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Your pup’s home away from home for the holidays

Your pup’s home away from home for the holidays

It isn’t always easy leaving your best friends behind when you travel.

It’s peak travel season, and you’re planning on heading out of town soon. But how confident are you that your dog also will have a great time while you’re away?

If you’ve booked a stay with Rover Stay Over, there’s no need to worry.


Rover Stay Over’s staff are dog lovers, through and through. We fully staff our dog boarding kennel because we want the attention, affection and companionship your furry babies get here at Rover to be as close as possible to what they receive at home.

“We always feel at ease dropping our pup off [at Rover Stay Over] and they are always so welcoming and friendly. You can tell each and every employee has a passion for dogs and that they will take the best care of them during their stay.”

-Kelsey Kooiman, via Facebook

Worried that your dog might run away if they stay with a friend while you travel? Know that Rover’s fences are sturdy and professional. Our fences are able to withstand the toughest abuse (and they prevent dogs who might be escape artists from getting on the lam).

Concerned your dog won’t be comfy in a boarding kennel? Rover uses only the best elevated dog beds to help ensure your pup sleeps comfortably.


If your dog is an older one, or has medical needs, you can feel confident that he or she will be well attended to. Rover Stay Over administers medication for no extra charge, and — again, these are dog lovers we’re talking about — they use a loving hand with sick, injured or older dogs.

“Absolutely LOVE this place and the people who work there… and so does our dog!  🙂 We highly recommend Rover Stay Over to anyone who needs a place for their dog!”

-Autumn Whittern, via Facebook

Is your flight on a Saturday night? Are you due to land on Sunday morning? No worries. Rover Stay Over is open for checkins and checkouts seven days per week, meaning you can drop off or pick up your furry friend on any day that’s most convenient for you and your schedule.

If you’re heading out of town soon, you — and your furry friend — can do no better than our award-winning canine care facility located here in Whatcom County. Please give us a call today!

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Posted by on November 23, 2016 in Dog Boarding, Doggy Daycare, Pet and Kennel Photos



What to do if your dog gets Bordetella

photo-1469899324414-c72bfb4d4161It’s that time of year again when kennel cough, also known as Bordetella bronchiseptica, often rears its ugly head. It seems like every fall when the weather cools, the fog rolls in and brings with it colds and flus for our fur babies.

Your dog may pick it up at the vet, at the dog park, from another dog met on your daily walk, or from our kennel. We say that it’s like a kid getting a cold at daycare, and a trip to the vet is not necessary because it usually will resolve itself within a few days. Unless the dog is very old, very young or has a compromised immune system, he or she should recover within a few days. The cough may hang on a little longer, but as long as your pooch is up and about and acting like herself after a few days, then she’ll probably be just fine.

Although all the dogs in our dog boarding facility are currently vaccinated for Bordetella, there are a minimum of 40 agents that cause it, and the vaccine often isn’t effective. Like the flu shot for humans, the vaccine only covers a few of the kennel cough strains that experts think might be in our area this year.

What to do if your dog gets Bordetella

Just like the virus that causes the common cold is carried by water vapor, dust and air, the bacteria and viruses that cause kennel cough also spread in every direction. When breathed in by a susceptible dog, the viruses attach to the lining of upper airway passages where the warm, moist conditions allow them to reproduce and sicken the pet.

Like some people who catch frequent colds and others who never get sick, some dogs are more susceptible to Bordetella, and others rarely or never get it.

13244129_1092187494170824_3484901821490402047_oIf your four-legged friend gets kennel cough, it will sound like he has something stuck in his throat, and he may even throw up from coughing so hard. For partial relief of symptoms and to help the dog feel more comfortable, minor cases can be treated with Robitussin DM. However, this should be used only to relieve chronic, dry, unproductive coughing. Products containing acetaminophen or caffeine should not be given to dogs.

We personally like to give the dogs coconut oil, which is a natural antibiotic that also helps lubricate the throat to help with coughing. Honey, especially Manuka honey, is another excellent choice. Both coconut oil and honey are good for you, too, so take a teaspoon yourself while you’re at it. Your dog can have a teaspoon (or more, for larger dogs) three to four times a day, all year long, sick or not. It’s good for fur, for digestion and for a myriad of other things.

We also love essential oils and highly recommend them. Dogs can also have up to 500mg of Vitamin C three times per day, or half that amount for small dogs as long as the infection lasts.

Your dog’s best defense against infections is a strong immune system, which you can boost with nutrition, exercise and supplements. Keeping her off of antibiotics, if you can, also helps. Antibiotics also kill the good microbes, which are your most important defense against any infection, whether fungal, viral or bacterial.

The end of the Bordetella vaccine?

The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine recommends one vaccination per year for kennel cough. The live virus is injected or given as a nasal spray. We have always asked that dogs receive the vaccine more than four days before coming to our facility, so the live virus is not spread to other dogs. What we are finding from our research is that dogs vaccinated for kennel cough can shed the virus for seven weeks, meaning they will infect other dogs for weeks after their vaccination but will show no symptoms.

Many kennels in the U.S. are now choosing to not have their customers vaccinate for Bordetella to prevent dogs in the kennel from shedding kennel cough and influenza, which is sometimes included in the vaccination.

At our Whatcom County dog boarding facility, we are re-evaluating our requirement for Bordetella vaccines. We will be talking to local vets and conducting more research to find out what’s best for the dogs and best for our kennel; our overall aim is to protect dogs from getting exposed while in our care.

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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in Dog Boarding, Pet Care Tips


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Fences designed to keep your pup safe

fenceOK, be honest: Raise your hand if

  1. Your dog’s name is Houdini
  2. You have good reason to change your dog’s name to Houdini

Our furry friends can be amazing escape artists. And while dog owners are often tempted to stand back and be impressed at their four-legged friends’ ingenuity and physical ability, a dog that often leaves the yard can be a cause for concern, too.

What if your dog gets hit by a car? What if she burrows into the neighbor’s yard? What if his mere presence on the sidewalk is frightening for neighbor children?

You needn’t worry about any of this when your dog is spending time at Rover Stay Over. Here’s why:

  • Rover’s fences are tall. All of the fences at Rover Stay Over are 6 feet tall, meaning that even the largest dogs would have difficulty making that hurdle.
  • Rover’s fences are sturdy. The heavy-gauge chain link used at Rover Stay Over not only makes them stronger but also less likely to break and cause injury to pups.
  • Rover’s fences are reinforced to discourage digging. A horizontal rail at the bottom of all of Rover’s fences discourages digging. A horizontal rail across the top, too, adds extra durability.
  • Rover’s fences are designed to be difficult to climb. There are no horizontal rails in the middle of Rover’s fences. This is a purposeful design decision to prevent four-legged climbers from having an easier foothold.
  • Rover’s fences are top quality. Rover pays a 30-percent premium on its fencing to ensure higher quality.
  • Rover’s fences are in great shape. We are constantly repairing and replacing outdoor play yard fencing to ensure that dogs staying on our grounds are as safe and secure as can be.


When it comes to pet comfort and safety, Rover Stay Over strives to be the best in the business. Our staff monitors fences for safety, and checks the exercise yard frequently for diggers. We do our best to ensure your little (or big) Houdini is here to greet you with slobbery kisses upon your return.

Want to learn more? Contact Rover today to schedule a tour of the facility.

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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in About Our Facility, News


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So you got a new puppy. Now what?

Recently welcomed a furry bundle of joy into your home? It’s all fun and games from here.A photo by André Spieker.

Well, it can be, anyway, as long as you train your puppy right. Here are five simple rules for training your new pup at home:

Command, reward, repeat.

When it comes to training a puppy, quantity beats quality hands down.

Their attention spans are short and everything’s a game. Instead of lecturing your pup for 30 minutes on the finer points of the “stay” command, try taking the training in 5-minute chunks. Your fur baby will be less apt to get confused, and you’ll both be less frustrated at the end of it.

Positivity rules.

Don’t mind what the BBC says about grumpy people being more successful. Proper puppy training is all about positive association. Whacking your puppy on the nose is never a good idea–neither you nor your pooch will feel better afterward. When your puppy responds appropriately to a command, praise her and pet her.

House-training? Be patient.

A puppy can generally “hold it” for about an hour per month of age. So a three-month-old pup should be good for about three hours. But of course, you should be taking him outside much more often than that. And when you do, and he goes, but sure to praise and reward him. And make sure you lavish the praise outdoors so he gets the connection. It may take a while, but eventually he’ll figure out what you want him to do.


photo-1424709746721-b8fd0ff52499Don’t worry; you needn’t be an extrovert for this one. But you do need to teach your puppy to be at home in social situations, and that means getting her in front of other dogs and people—overnight boarding and doggy daycare can be a great place for socializing! According to the American Kennel Club, from 7 weeks to 4 months of age, puppies go through a socialization period that permanently shapes their future personality and how they will react to things in their environment as an adult. The key is to put your puppy into a number of different situations and among a variety of people and other dogs. Over time, this process delivers a well-adjusted pup who isn’t afraid or aggressive in unfamiliar situations.

What if you don’t already have a puppy but you really, really want one? There are typically a few puppies waiting to be adopted in Bellingham and Whatcom County! Take a look and see if one might be the right fit for you/your family. Your new furry friend will be glad you read this article to help preparing for bringing a new puppy home.

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Posted by on August 24, 2016 in Dog Training, News, Pet Adoption, Pet Care Tips


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