Buddies and Buddies Doggy Daycare are trading names of BDDC Ltd (07933696), a company registered in England at Unit 1 The Cam Centre, Wilbury Way, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England, SG4 0TW
By allowing or organising your dog to participate in the services we provide, and/ or by signing our admission form; you accept, understand and agree the following terms and conditions, which may be updated at any time:
We feel it’s important for you to know that although we do everything we can to ensure the safety and happiness of your dog, there are some risks involved with our activities that you should be aware of- risks most of which are present in every day life for your dog in situations they will be in even out of daycare.
Our vans are professionally fitted with the highest quality cages and offer the safest way of transporting your dog- however vehicle transport always presents a small level of risk from collisions, doors opening and closing to put dogs in or out of a van which increases the risk of escape from the vehicle, being unloaded on a roadway etc. and due to being unattended in the rear of the vehicle when drivers are driving or picking up/ dropping off another dog or refuelling for example. Our vehicles are insured for our business use and to carry dogs. All of our vehicles are GPS tracked so we can see their live location at all times, and can monitor driving standards to ensure all dogs are transported in safety. While in the vans, dogs may be secured in to the vehicle by attaching a fixed line leash from the van to the dog’s harness to prevent them jumping out of the vehicle when doors are opened. Harnesses that are provided by Buddies remain the property of Buddies and must be left out for our drivers to use on collection. If harnesses are lost/ damaged while at home or not returned they will be charged for at a cost of £8 for a replacement new one. If the harness is not left out, we may not be able to collect your dog on that day and in this case the day would still be charged at full rate. Please note that whilst it helps significantly, this does not remove all risk of a dog escaping from a vehicle when the doors are open, and whilst extremely unlikely- it does increase the risk of a dog getting injured by getting tangled in the leashes. We feel this small increased risk is better than the potential to serious injury from jumping out onto a road or escaping from care.
You agree to allow us to transport your dog in any of our vans to any required location (either leased in or not) and agree to not hold Buddies liable for injury or death caused by a road traffic collision or incident involving our van or another vehicle at any time including when the dog is outside of our vehicle.
It is important to plan for the future when it comes to neutering and spaying. We have a full policy on neutering requirements within Buddies, which we ask all owners of puppies and non neutered dogs to read in full. This neutering policy forms part of our terms and conditions, and you can access this by clicking here.
Dogs mixing with other dogs (including other sized dogs and dogs of different ages and breeds) is a vital part of their life and socialisation. At Buddies, dogs are never left together without direct supervision, however during the time your dog is at daycare, they will come into contact with other dogs in an off lead and uncontrolled environment. In the vast majority of cases this is a hugely positive experience; however, as with any group interaction, this presents the risk of dog-on-dog aggression, fights, bites etc. and even death. By organising activities with us, you accept all of these risks and agree not to hold Buddies liable. We ask owners to accept legal responsibility for their own dogs behaviour, and assume any legal and veterinary costs to other dogs and property damage costs associated with their dogs behaviour. By organising activities with us, you agree to cover such costs and allow us to pass over personal information to any official authority or to any other dog or property owners that have suffered as a result of your dogs actions so that they may make contact with you. We may keep you informed of any altercation involving your dog, whether damage or injury occurred or not. We also reserve the right to dismiss any dog that shows dangerous or inappropriate behaviour from all services at Buddies with immediate effect. By organising your dog to participate in our services, you are confirming that the dog has no record of aggressive or anti-social behaviour and you have made a full and frank disclosure of any characteristic or trait that might make the dog unsuitable for socialising with other dogs. If we feel that a dog does pose any risk to any other dog, even if you do not agree, we reserve the right to dismiss this dog from daycare with immediate effect. If your dog bites someone or something, it is YOUR responsibility, as far as UK law permits- you could be sued or your dog could be put down. We will never take a dog into our services if we feel they pose any risk to people or other dogs and we reserve the right to muzzle any dog we think needs to be muzzled to prevent injury to our staff, the public or any other dog. Although these risks are always present within groups of dogs, we do everything possible to reduce the risks to as low as possible- our entrance policy is strict and we refuse to accept any dogs that show signs of aggression, and dismiss any dogs showing signs of aggression from daycare immediately, no matter how long they have been attending.
Incidents between dogs can have a cause not necessarily obvious from any injury as a result i.e. a dog who is injured in an altercation may actually be the one responsible for causing the incident in the first place and the other dog has reacted in a defensive manner. In these cases, liability for vet bills/ damages etc would be the responsibility of the dog that caused the incident rather than the specific injury. In ALL cases, the decision on responsibility for liability for costs relating to dog on dog incidents will be made by Buddies (as we will have witnessed the incident first hand to see what caused it) and will be final. It is also worth noting that the vast majority of minor injuries, cuts and scrapes that do occur in daycare are from friendly play or wrestling and is done accidentally or when play spills over slightly in excitement- and as such these have to be accepted and any treatment would be the responsibility of the owner of the dog who happened to get the minor injury as it was not caused in malice. You agree to accept these decisions. Please note that we can not be held responsible for the actions of another dog while in the daycare- this is not us trying to shirk responsibility, but pointing out the realities of doggy daycares. Dogs are animals and can react in a split second- despite all best intentions and entrance policies, a dog that has never shown signs of aggression before can cause minor or serious injuries or even death within the shortest amount of time. It is not possible for even the best trained and experienced team of staff to prevent these incidents when dogs are together in a social environment. It is extremely rare that incidents like this do happen, but the risk is ever present. You agree that you understand and accept this as part and parcel of the service.
Although we split dogs by approximate size into different play groups and fields at the daycare, there could be periods of time where dogs of different sizes are together in vehicles, communal areas or fields for a number of reasons. You accept that your dog may mix and interact off lead with dogs of different size (both smaller and larger) and that all our terms and conditions apply in the same way. Judgment on which approximate size group your dog will put into is the decision of Buddies and within all of these groups there will be a complete mix of breeds and ages, personalities and temperaments- and some variation in sizes and strength. The group that each dog interacts with during services may change without notice as they grow, have behaviour changes or the group dynamics change.
We take the greatest possible care of all the dogs we are responsible for, however as stated before, injuries can occur for a variety of reasons. Should your dog be involved in any incident, our staff will check your dog over for injuries, however our staff are not trained vets so we ask that you check over your dogs further at home or seek professional opinion. You agree not to hold Buddies responsible for failing to spot that an injury has occurred, or that the nature of the injury is worse than realised. Should your dog show any obvious injury, we will inform you immediately and take your dog to the nearest vet on request, or if the nature of the injury is serious we will take them to the vet immediately without request. By organising activities with us, you give permission for Buddies to authorise any treatment/ procedure etc that the vet deems necessary to carry out immediately or to prevent suffering, and agree to pay the associated fees or reimburse Buddies for the full amount- including consultation or out of hours charges. This is to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer waiting if we can’t contact you before hand. We have staff trained in Canine First Aid present at all times in daycare. This also applies when a dog shows signs of sickness or discomfort that we feel needs investigating by a vet- particularly if they are staying with us for a long period of time (more than 12 hours). We will always try to get in touch with you beforehand, but whether we can make contact or not, you authorise us to request investigatory procedures and surgery should it be deemed necessary before your dog is due to return to you. You agree to cover these costs in full directly with the vet, or reimburse Buddies should we not be able to get in contact with you. We strongly recommend that you purchase pet insurance for your dog that covers them while they are under our care.
It is important to understand that despite all our best efforts, dogs can get sick or injured for a variety of reasons. We believe in letting dogs be dogs and run around and play with each other and on a variety of surfaces and equipment. This can include raised objects and structures, water pools, grass, woodchip, bare soil and rocky areas that they could, for example, chew/ swallow/ cut themselves on/ jump from. We also have a variety of play equipment and toys on site that dogs have access to at all times. Although we make these surfaces and equipment as safe as possible, through play and interaction with these items and surfaces, there is a greater risk of injury than without them- however it also makes the daycare a more fun and interactive place for them to be. By using Buddies, you accept this and will not hold us liable (financially or otherwise) for any injury, accident or sickness that occurs as a result of normal day to day participation in our daycare.
Dogs who are showing signs of any potential contagious illness or disease are not able to mix with other dogs in daycare and should either not come to daycare or will be quarantined out of the main fields and away from other dogs while they are in daycare until we are satisfied there is no risk present to other dogs. There are certain illnesses, such as Giardia, where dogs are not permitted to be in daycare at all even in quarantine and must be kept at home until cleared by a vet. You must inform us if you think your dog may be ill so we can advise on the options available to you. During this period, usual charges and reduced cancellation charges apply. This also applies when a dog is recovering from any injury or operation such as neutering or spaying, injured foot etc. and may need to be out of the main daycare environment. We also reserve the important right to quarantine or ‘time out’ dogs from the main daycare environment for behavioural reasons.
With any off lead environment, there is a risk to dogs security. We work hard to ensure that dogs get the greatest amount of fun, interaction and exercise while they are with us, and we operate as a free range daycare- meaning all dogs are off lead. Our daycare is totally secured by perimeter fencing, and each individual paddock is also secured with fencing. All of our gateways are double gated/ airlocked to prevent a dog getting out and into the open. Our internal paddock fence heights are around 1.3m and the outer run of fencing has a top line of low power electric wire (as you would use around a horse/ goat/ chicken enclosure) to act as a final deterrent. Our farm perimeter fencing is approximately 1.5m. It is extremely rare that a dog would climb or jump fences of this height, but it is possible. By organising activities with us, you accept these risks and agree not to hold Buddies liable for any injury or loss resulting in escape. Should your dog escape, run off or get lost, we will do our absolute best to find them, and will contact you to let you know. If you believe your dog has any risk of jumping over or climbing up fences of this height- please inform us so we can take appropriate steps. Staff are with dogs at all times so the risk of any escape is extremely low.
Under UK law, all dogs must be micro chipped.
You must ensure that your dog is up to date with their vaccinations at all times while using Buddies to look after them in any of our activities. Kennel cough vaccines should be given to all dogs even though they are not 100% successful in preventing the infection. If Kennel Cough is detected in any dogs in our daycare, due to the incubation period, it is too late to quarantine this dog to prevent any spread. It is also almost certain that they have picked it up from public parks that all of our daycare dogs visit with their owners, and as such there are multiple routes of passing the infection on. For this reason, and under veterinary advice, we do not prevent dogs with Kennel Cough from coming into the daycare as there is no benefit to doing so and it would be likely to cause an issue to owners and distress to dogs if they are forced to spend all day at home alone.
When you enroll your dog with Buddies, we dedicate a space to them and guarantee them this slot on your chosen. For this reason, if for any reason your dog is away and not coming to us on a usual pre-booked day e.g. you are on holiday or are at home for the day and decided to walk your dog yourself, or they stay home for a veterinary appointment, a 50% rate of your normal charge will apply. This charge reserves your dogs space and makes sure it will be available on all days that they do come with us, rather than returning from holiday to find the space has been filled! It helps us be 100% reliable and means we never put more dogs in a van or a group than is safe to do so. All changes to schedules, including cancellations and additions must be made online through your account. It is your responsibility to ensure that your dogs diary is correct, as this is what we work off for our schedules and also our invoicing- no matter if you have asked members of Buddies staff to alter your schedule on your behalf or if you have informed Buddies management yourself. You can make changes to your diary up until 11pm the night before. Any cancellations made after this time must be phoned or emailed through to Buddies. Any cancellations after 11pm the night before will be charged at full rate. Please note that we are not able to switch days on schedules of less than 5 days. You must cancel the day you don’t require and book the day you do need as an extra day. Usual cancellation/ additional charges are applied to these days. If you no longer require the daycare service and wish to release your space, you must inform us in writing via email and let us know the date of your final day with us. Spaces will be charged for as usual, including the 50% cancellation rate, until this final date.
We are relatively lucky with the English climate that it’s rare to suffer extreme weather. However, both extreme winter conditions and extreme heat pose potential safety issues to both staff and the dogs in our care. We plan as best as possible for these eventualities by providing facilities to cope with them as much as we can. For example, we have splash pools and water areas to cool dogs down and large areas of shade- and air conditioning for the rear of the vans for transport in hot weather. For snow and ice, our vans carry snow chains. Sometimes though, despite all of these, the conditions make it unsafe for us to run our service. On these rare occasions, these terms and conditions are designed to allow us to make decisions in the best interests of the safety of the dogs and staff we are responsible for, rather than having to focus on financial implications. We will only ever instigate these when it is absolutely necessary and we always do our best to run the service as best we can- as long as it is safe.
In periods of extreme heat, (which we class as temperatures above 33 degrees Celsius or when there is a warning issued by the Met Office or the NHS), Buddies reserve the right to alter, suspend, cut short or cancel the daycare service. This is only ever done in extreme heat and under conditions where it is not safe for dogs to be transported or to be outside even with the steps we take to combat it. Where the service is altered or cut short for safety reasons, days will be charged as normal full days. Where the service is cancelled in advance, days will be charged at the 50% cancellation rate. In the event of any change to service or cancellation, we will make clients aware via email at the earliest possible time after the decision has been taken. By the very nature of the decision, this is likely to be last minute to judge the actual rather than predicted conditions.
In periods of extreme winter weather, namely snow and ice, (which we class as a Yellow, Orange or Red weather warning for snow or ice from the Met Office in London or the geographical location of the daycare facility or the transport link in between the two), Buddies reserve the right to alter, suspend, cut short or cancel the daycare service. This is only ever done when conditions are bad enough that it is not safe for dogs to be transported on the roads due to driving conditions. Where the service is altered or cut short for safety reasons, days will be charged as normal full days. Where the service is cancelled in advance, days will be charged at the 50% cancellation rate. In the event of any change to service or cancellation, we will make clients aware via email at the earliest possible time after the decision has been taken. By the very nature of the decision, this is likely to be last minute to judge the actual rather than predicted conditions.
We hope you understand that these decisions will always be taken with the safety of the dogs and our staff in the forefront of our minds and with the understanding of the disruption that it will undoubtably cause. Safety always has to come first and a day stuck at home for a dog is always better than being put in unnecessary danger.
We invoice for our services at the end of each calendar month for that calendar month, with payment due by the 15th of the next month. Direct debit is used for payment and this must be set up prior to your dog starting services with Buddies. You must maintain a live direct debit during the time your dog attends Buddies and you must not cancel your direct debit until your final invoice has been paid. If a direct debit payment request bounces for any reason, we will attempt to collect it once again within 5 days. If this second request also fails, 10% will be added to the total of the invoice and services will not be able to be used until the total amount outstanding has been paid.
BDDC Ltd take the safety of both staff and clients extremely seriously. During the lockdown period in the Uk, we did not run any of our services, under government advice. The government announced that we were allowed to reopen from May 13th 2020, and as a company we took the decision to restart our service from the 18th May 2020.
We follow all government advice and guidelines as to how to keep or employees and clients safe. We have carried out detailed risk assessments to identify any risks to associated with Covid-19 and we have put in place policies to minimise these risks. Our staff are appropriately trained and carry recommended PPE with them to use, including masks, face coverings, gloves and hand sanitiser. We use virucidal cleaning products in our workplace. We maintain appropriate social distancing measures while at work, and have appropriate policies for emergencies when this is not possible. For handovers, staff wear a masks or face coverings while in a property, and hands are sanitised in between every home. Our workplace meets the Government Definition of being certified ‘Covid-19 Secure’.
Any staff member that shows any symptom of Covid-19 is required to stop working immediately and to self isolate until a negative test result is received. Any staff member diagnosed with Covid-19 must isolate until given the all clear to return to work.
All collections from, and returns to home must be contact free and you must adhere to recommended social distancing guidelines. We reserve the right to refuse to collect dogs from households where contact free handovers are not possible or not maintained.
You must let us know if you are classed as vulnerable, are self isolating with any symptoms of Covid-19 and/ or if you are positively diagnosed with Covid-19. Please note that for safety purposes, we will not collect from any household with a current confirmed case of Covid-19 until anyone with a positive diagnosis is given the all clear and all members of that household are able to leave isolation.
If we are unable to provide the booked service for any reason connected to Covid-19, such as the driver being ill or in isolation with no cover driver available, there will be no charge for the services we were unable to provide.
BDDC Ltd are proud and confident in the steps that we have taken to reduce all risks associated with the transmission of Covid-19, however by undertaking services with us you agree not to hold the company, our staff or our directors liable or responsible for any transmission or any subsequent health or other implications as a result of us providing any such service.
Through Buddies, you will have access to additional services provided by external partner companies such as training, grooming, veterinary care and house sitting. Please not that any services booked with partner companies or individuals are entirely the responsibility of those individuals or companies and you should take care to look over their own terms and conditions before employing their services. Buddies are not responsible for any care or service provided by them, even if it takes place on property owned or leased by Buddies.
Of note, house/ dog sitting services provided by employees of BDDC Ltd are completely outside our scope of care as a company. Any sitting service is agreed directly between you and the employee and is not run by BDDC Ltd or covered by our insurance in any way. We are not responsible or liable for the actions or care of the employee while they are performing any external house sitting or other service for you. We do not prevent our employees from providing these services for you in their own time such as in evenings or weekends but it is not a service that we offer as a company. You should make your own decisions as to who provides these services for you and what insurance or liability is provided and covered as part of that from them directly. During the period of time that an employee is house sitting, you must book your dog into daycare on all week days that they are looking after them, at the usual daycare charge, if you want them to accompany the staff member to daycare. You are not obligated to use this house sitting service and you may make any other boarding arrangements you wish.
Buddies limits the amount of personal data we collect to the absolute minimum that is required for our service to operate. We will never collect data that we don’t need and we will never sell or pass on any personal data to 3rd parties.
When making an enquiry with us through our contact form, over the phone or via email, you will provide us with access to personal details such as identity and contact details. By sending an enquiry to us, you are not adding yourself to any mailing list and if you do not become a client we will not use your personal data in any way other than for contacting you about the enquiry you made. It will only be stored within the emails that you have sent us in our inbox- which is provided and secured by Google.
When you become a client of Buddies, we require further personal information from you to be able to carry out our services. This includes your full identity and contact details and details about your dog/s. All personal details that we require, we will ask for directly over email or phone and we will not collect anything else without you knowing or giving free consent. This personal data is used to set up and run the services we provide to you. It is stored and used within a number of systems. These are:
- Our own online account system which is owned and operated by Buddies and built and managed by Tay Commercial Services. The data stored on here is restricted to identity, contact details and details about your dog/s. We have no access to passwords or any other personal data- however passwords are stored within the system in an unreadable format. This system controls all of the scheduling for our services and provides the data for invoicing.
- Docusign, which is an eSignature service. Some personal data is entered here by us but most is entered directly by you as the client. We store the information you provide via Docusign within our online Docusign account and within our own online account. The information collected/ stored here includes identity details, contact details, information about your dog/s and your eSignature. Docusign have their own GDPR policy for any data you enter with that service and the data stored on their platform.
- Xero, which is an accounting platform. We use this service to process all of our invoices to clients and record payments. We enter and store identity details and contact details on Xero, as well as information regarding the issuing, deliverability, read acknowledgement and payment or non payment of invoices. Xero have their own GDPR policy for all data that is stored within their online software.
- Go Cardless, which is a direct debit collection service. We use Go Cardless to collect payments for invoices from our clients. This is directly linked to Xero and data from Xero and Go Cardless is passed automatically between services. When you set up a direct debit with Buddies, you do so by completing an online form on the Go Cardless website. The personal data entered here is only partly shared with Buddies and we have no access to any financial data of any client. The data we do get access to is the same data that you have submitted to us directly and this is so we can link a direct debit account to a client on our system and within Xero. Go Cardless have their own GDPR policy for the personal data that you enter via their website.
- Campaign Monitor, which is an email newsletter service. When you become a client of Buddies, we add your email address to a list which receives our important news updates which are often vital for clients to read. You are only sent these emails while you are a live client and if you pause or stop your account, you are immediately and automatically removed from this list. This list of email addresses is not used for marketing purposes or ever used by 3rdparty companies. We will only ever email you in this way to let you know about important changes or events that will affect you as a client of Buddies. Within this service, Buddies has access to information regarding how and where emails have been delivered, opened and links have been clicked on. Campaign Monitor have their own GDPR policy for all data that is stored on their software.
To summarise, Buddies and our staff will only ever have access to identity data, contact data, and data about your dog/s. We never have access to passwords or any financial data and use large trusted companies to process this extra secure data on our behalf. The personal data we do have, we limit access to it to employees that need to have access to it to perform their business activities. We take security of personal data very seriously and all of our employees are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
You have certain rights in regards to the personal data that we hold about you. This includes the right to request a copy of any or all of this data, to correct it if any of the data that we have is not accurate or outdated, to restrict or prevent us processing your data and for us to permanently delete your data. To carry out any of these rights, please email us and we will act quickly and within legal timeframe in all instances. Please note that in some circumstances, laws and regulations that we have to follow will supersede these rights or requests. For example, once a dog has attended daycare, we are required to hold data of the dog and the owner for a minimum amount of time to comply with licensing regulations. We will not be able to delete this required data until this time period has passed- however we will be able to delete any data that is not required to comply with these regulations. Equally, we will not be able to delete personal data that will allow us to be paid or claim for an outstanding invoice or unpaid services until those services have been paid for. If you have unresolved concerns, you have the right to complain to an EU data protection authority where you live or work, or where you believe a breach may have occurred.
Due to the fact that Buddies only collects necessary data, if you no longer want us to have access to this data or process it- we will not be able to continue to carry out any services for you- this includes opting out of email communications from us, as there is often important or vital information within these emails that you are required to know and/ or acknowledge.