HOW TO: Tips When Renovating Your Kitchen

It’s been awhile since we’ve been posted.. Ok so like months but we have kept RaeByDay in the backs of our minds and have been wanting to give everyone an update. As you can see if you’ve read any of the posts on this site previously we bought a house! Not just any house but A FIXER UPPER, which pretty much explains where we’ve been. Who knew lawn work literally can take you an entire summer? We sure know now, along with what poison ivy looks and feels like… We’re going to share some updates with everyone on here with some tips on what we’ve learned. We wanted to highlight our biggest project: THE KITCHEN! There was a ton of planning and decision making that went along with renovating our dream kitchen that we wanted to share and highlight. Take a look at some of the top tips when renovating your kitchen and a look into the Before and After of ours!

1. Look to finance your project

One thing that everyone told us when we decided we wanted to buy a fixer upper is how expensive renovating a kitchen can be. However, a kitchen is the top selling item when home buyers are looking so it can be a smart investment. For our kitchen we looked into different financing options but finally decided on the Home Depot Project Loan. They gave is a credit line that worked with our budget and a 7.88% Fixed APR. It’s important to lay out the monthly payments and see if it fits your budget. Spreading out your payments and getting a low interest rate can be ideal when renovating your kitchen so we highly recommend looking into the Home Depot Project Loan!

2. Wait for a store deal

Since we got the Home Depot Project Loan we went through the store to purchase the cabinets and countertops. The good thing about Home Depot is they actually have designers that sit with you and design your kitchen based on your measurements. They actually give you a 3D view of what your kitchen will look like after you pick your cabinets and countertop.


Another great thing about purchasing through Home Depot is they have seasonal deals on big purchases like cabinets/countertops. When we were designing our kitchen the HD employee actually recommended we hold off on purchasing for a month because there will be a 20% off all kitchen cabinets and countertops. This literally saved us almost $1000! So if you’re in the market for a big item, definitely check out what Home Depot has to offer or even stop in the store and ask about upcoming deals .


This was HUGE for us and it happens every year. For Black Friday, Home Depot like many other stores post massive savings on big items. Therefore, because we knew we were about to purchase the fixer upper we took a little risk and ended up buying a suite of appliances at an extreme discount. We really recommend timing out your renovation for around end of fall/early winter so you can catch some great deals!

4. It’s worth splurging a bit on cabinet extras

When designing your kitchen at Home Depot, they will ask you what types of cabinets you want for not only a design perspective but for functionality. There are little improvements you can purchase for a little extra that will literally be LIFE CHANGING. Below is a list of the extra items we got when purchasing are cabinets. #NoRagrets

  1. Trash drawer: We have our trash can built into our kitchen island as a pull out cabinet. This allows to easily access when cleaning or throwing things away. It’s also just like cool…
  2. Pull-out drawer with shelves for pots: Instead of just having our pots thrown into shelves, we got a cabinet that made the shelves a drawer so when you open the cabinet you can pull out the shelf for better accessibility and organization.
    Spice rack: This is a tiny cabinet that we absolutely love! It lets us organize all of our spices rather than just tossing in a “baking” cabinet. The spices are easy to find and very accessible.
  3. Pan cabinet: This is another tiny cabinet that actually pulls out and organizes your pan. If you just have a small cabinet you put your pans in now, you know how annoying it can be to find the actual pan you’re looking for without everything spilling out. We love this little cabinet that improves organization and accessibility that is conveniently right by our oven! 🙂
  4. Lazy susan: Whoever Susan is that invented this amazing contraption, WE LOVE YOU! The lazy susan is well worth the price. You can fit SO much in this cabinet and it’s so easy to access everything. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t buy a lazy susan when renovating. This is a MUST!
  5. Molding: Little touches can make a huge difference. When the designer asked if we wanted molding we were a little unsure because of course everything comes with a price but we are so glad we added it. It just adds that design element to your kitchen and really makes a big difference.

5. Check to Purchase Online

I know we’ve talked about how much we love Home Depot but we definitely recommend shopping around to ensure you’re getting the best price possible. We got two great deals by just researching online.

First was our sink. We really wanted a big farmhouse sink but when we went to Home Depot they ranged from around $1k-$3k, which was way out of our price range. So we dug around online and ended up finding a stainless steel farmhouse sink on Wayfair marked down around 60%! We read the reviews and knew it was it. They shipped it right to our house and we are so happy with the look and we got it for a great price!

Second was the hardware for the cabinets. We originally were just going to purchase from Home Depot but realized the cost quickly added up for the stainless steel bars we wanted. While we were in the store I just searched on Amazon quickly to see if there was any stainless steel hardware in bulk on there and found they were WAY cheaper. We ended up saving around $40 by purchasing on Amazon. Oh and they came in 2 days! 🙂

Overall, this is only a short list of everything we learned when renovating our kitchen. There are so many decisions you’ll have to make but we really just recommend taking your time and researching everything. There are resources everywhere that can help you along with each stage of the process, similar to this blog post. If you are planning on renovating your kitchen or even purchasing a fixer upper feel free to reach out to us! 🙂 Now enjoy some of our before and after pictures…

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How to White-wash Your Fireplace

We are semi new to the DIY world but decided to dive in head first with a make or break project. When we moved into our house we had a love/hate relationship with the fireplace in the main living room. We loved it because this is CNY and a fireplace means extra warmth. It makes a room so cozy and has the potential to be a really nice focal point. It wasn’t all love though. The appearance of it wasn’t exactly charming. I think the word we’re looking for here is… hideous. Here, see for yourself:


It is super outdated with the gold plates and rusty look. When you walk into this room, it is the first place someone’s eyes go to. The look of white wash is something we’ve always loved. It seemed really intimidating and so risky though. We knew if we messed it up we’d be screwed and wishing we just stuck with what we had. But… we took a leap of faith!

First, we cleaned the entire fireplace (cloth and warm water) to eliminate any dust or dirt. We didn’t want this stuff getting stuck under the white wash. Clearly precaution is our way of life now. Then we made up the white wash. Our biggest fear going into this was the fireplace would just look like it was painted white. So for our first coat, we used more water than paint in our mixture to be sure it didn’t come on too heavy. Again with the precaution…

We mixed one cup of water and one cup of white latex paint together in a measuring cup. Be sure to stir it up really good to ensure an even mix. Next, we used a regular Purdy paintbrush to brush the mixture onto the fire place. We started on the side of the fireplace (another precaution) so we could see how it went on before tackling the front. One of us brushed the mixture onto the brick while the other patted it dry, very softly with a terry cloth, and wiped up any drips. Be careful to watch for drips! The last thing you want is for the white wash to dry with drips. With two people, this didn’t take long at all. We were happy with how it was turning out but when it dried it looked really gray to us:


We decided to do another coat. This time, we added 1 C white latex paint and 1/2 C water in our mixture to make it thicker. We recommend just adding the water slowly and base it off thickness. We applied the white wash to one brick and were instantly happy with the color. We continued on and applied an entire second coat. When that was done, we sanded the mantel and painted it white. We used the same white latex paint from the white wash mixture. WAH LAH!


We are really happy with the turnout. The white on the fireplace really pops with our paint color. Now we are okay with people’s eye going right to the fireplace when they enter the room. Our next project will be to re-tile the floor in front of the fireplace, refinish the fireplace tools, and replace the screen with something from this century. Also, the brick on our fireplace is textured, not smooth, so we found that we needed to use more than if it was just normal brick. Good luck!

White-wash mixture:

1/2 C water

1 C white latex paint

Measuring cup

Paint brush

Terry cloth


Drop cloth


  1. Clean brick with a cloth and warm water.
  2. Mix ½ C water with 1C white latex paint in a measuring cup. Stir. Apply mixture to brick with a regular paint brush, continuously dabbing away any drip marks.

Check out the before and after!



How to survive the home buying process

We’ve spent the last few months searching for a home in the Syracuse area! It’s been a loooooong process but is finally coming to a close. We will be the first to admit it has been fun at times but torturous at others! We decided to compile a list of things we knew and found out the hard way along with some general words of advice from two amateurs who are excited for move in day! Here is what our experience looked like. If you’re going through this exciting time in your life, we hope it saves you a headache or two!

Decide on a location

This seems pretty obvious but the first thing you’ll want to do is decide where you want to live of course! It isn’t as easy as deciding you want to live in Syracuse, New York. There are tons of different areas and factors to take into consideration. You’ll want to look into different neighborhoods, school districts, and other things that are important to you. When you do settle on an area, drive that commute to some of your most frequented places like work or the grocery store. You’ll want to do this again once you find a house you want and are able to pinpoint the exact location.

Look into taxes in the area

When we began the process, we quickly eliminated some areas we loved based on super high taxes. You’ll be able to see the tax information for the previous year online when you find a house you’re interested in.

Tools to use:

  • County website property records. All the property information is public such as; costs, taxes, home additions, etc.

Get pre-approved

If you want to be taken seriously, do this first! If you find a house you like, chances are it’s a good one. The good ones ALWAYS go fast. This is something you’ll learn very early on. When a good one comes along, you’ll want to be in a position to make an offer before it’s gone. The last thing you’ll want to do is have to figure out your financials before you can make an offer. Don’t wait. Be prepared! Trust us on this!

Set a price range

Just because you are pre-approved for an amount does not mean that is your price range. Once you get pre-approved for a specific amount, you’ll want to seriously sit down and look at your financials to come up with a price range that fits your lifestyle. You’ll want to factor in everything single thing that has to do with your financials, for example; your income, current bills, amounts in savings and checking accounts, and new expenses that come along with being a homeowner. There are great tools out there to help you set up a budget and layout your financials but we used a simple excel spreadsheet!

Get a real estate agent

At this point, you should be ready to find a real estate agent! If you know someone who recently bought a house it doesn’t hurt to reach out and ask if they had a good experience with their agent. If they did and are willing to refer them, take this route! It’s always a better experience to use someone who has a good reputation with clients rather than calling a number you find a billboard. We ended up using a highly recommended agent Mary Doody, from Coldwell Banker. You can find her on her facebook page and website.

Be prepared to do some of the work yourself

It’s 2017. There are tons of websites and apps you can use yourself to house hunt. Don’t expect to hire an agent and have them pick houses you may like. Find the houses yourselves and present them to your agent. They’ll act fast and get you in to see the properties but make sure you have realistic expectations on how this works!

Make a must-have list

Make a list of “must haves” and then quickly come to terms with the fact that you’ll need to be flexible on this. Of course there are some things that are non negotiable. I can imagine everyone wants a place with a bathroom and possibly a roof)but there will be other things you may need to sacrifice. You can spend hours writing out a list of things you’ll need but if a good house comes along and is missing something small on your list, you may want to weigh your pros and cons!

Don’t be afraid of a fixer upper.

We were terrified of a fixer upper. This wasn’t even on our radar. After months of searching for a house though, it’s exactly what we ended up with. When we started house hunting, we were googly eyed over a certain neighborhood. The houses were out of our price range by a long shot and we knew that. One day a fixer upper at a low price popped up in the area we wanted to be in so we were like why not? Let’s go take a look. Location is one thing you can not change!  A day later we made an offer!

Understand the process

This is something we had absolutely no idea about when we began looking for homes. Believe it or not, we actually ended up putting an offer in for the very first home we saw. We submitted an offer and received an accepted offer by the seller right back. There is a 3-day contingency for any accepted offer. This means that the seller has up to 3 days to accept other offers but after that the contract is locked. Well, this 3-day contingency actually doesn’t begin until the seller’s lawyer sees it (there are many difficult, small things to know with this process) so we ended up losing the house to a better offer. Even though, it was techinically after the 3-day contingency we didn’t want to push it further and felt like it was a sign.

Come to find out, it was definitely a sign because we ended up finding our home a couple months later in our dream location. It is a fixer upper but now we can make it the way we want it to be! After we received our accepted offer with a bit of negotiating, we filed for a mortgage. This included lots of signing and working with your lawyer. We were lucky enough to work with an amazing mortgage consultant at SEFCU in Syracuse, Carey Clark. She really simplified everything for us and made sure we were getting the best possible rate.

The next step is the absolute WORST! Waiting. We have been waiting for what feels like forever. However, we may have been unlucky because not only was it right through the holidays but the sellers aren’t from Syracuse, nor are they in a push to sell. The one recommendation we have is really having your lawyer push the seller’s lawyer to get things moving if you want to close sooner than later. Our lawyer has been really pushing and we should be closing this week!

Have you gone through the home buying process? What were you favorite/least favorite parts?

RaeByDay Goes Lifestyle

As most of you know, a new beginning is what inspired us to start blogging: becoming dog parents. What a life changing thing to do! Over time that beginning phase slowly weaved its way around and became a part of everyday life. What this taught us is that life is a series of new beginnings. That’s what we’re here to talk about now; all those tiny moments that will look so much bigger in the rearview.

We know we have been off our blogging game for a bit but now we’re back, better than ever moving more into a lifestyle direction with RaeByDay. In our twenty something years on earth, we’ve found that life’s biggest adventures started and are starting with those beginnings, those moments, those trips, that first  $25 deposited into a savings account, the first little stamp in your Passport, the first time trying a Paleo diet and wanting to sell your soul for a Wendy’s cheeseburger, everything! So, if you’re happy with something in your life, take a look back because chances are it began as a little seed, a tiny beginning, an idea. We’re here to share those stories with you, big and small, along with tips for a little bit of everything: house hunting, trip planning, eating right, eating wrong, tips for pet owners, book reviews, house renovations (stand by), sports talk, everything! Follow along and we’ll promise not to give away our ending.

Reagan’s Bark To School Checklist

Some of you may be heading back to school this week or getting a little tyke of your own ready for their first day. No matter what you’re gearing up for, this time of the year is all about fresh starts! So we think this is a great time for your pup to get a fresh start too! We’ve compiled a refresher checklist to help ensure that your pup is living the best life they possibly can. Enjoy!


1. Collar safety

If your pup has been wearing the same collar for some time, it’s a good idea to check it out and make sure any buckles, hooks, or material are not too worn out. Some collars can still seem usable but are actually on their way out due to normal wear and tear. The last thing you want is for your pup to tug a little too hard on a walk and have it break while you’re away from home. Another good idea is to make sure your dog’s collar is tight enough (not too tight) because it can be pretty easy for them to wiggle out of their collars, especially when playing with other pups.
2. Routine

Since you’re heading back to school, you are probably settling back into a routine of your own. Well, your pup wants the same thing! Keeping a routine with your puppy helps eliminate anxiety and bad behavior. They want to know what to expect when you walk through the door after a long day. Repetition and consistency is the quickest way to achieve this one.
3. Vaccinations and shots

Now is a good time to give your vet a call and make sure your pup is up to date on all their vaccines, shots, or fecal samples. A lot of places have easy to use pet portals so you can manage all of their health concerns online. Some places send reminders in the mail too. If not, the information is still just a phone call away.

4. Grooming

When is the last time your pet went to the spa? If your pup is in doggy day care, most places also offer grooming services. Things like a nail trim, shampoo, or dental care are all usually done during the hours of day care so you don’t have to make a special trip. Unless you want to treat your pup to a special day of course. If your pup hates going to the groomers, you still have options! A lot of these things can easily be done at home and are totally worth it. Who doesn’t love that clean, fresh cut feeling? Your pup is no different.

5. Continued training

If a kid goes to school and misbehaves, a lot of the time it is because they pick up bad habits at home. Your pup is no different! Set aside a few minutes every day for a little training. Those few minutes will go along way. Whether it’s learning a new trick or mastering “stay.” If your pup knows how to behave in the house, it’s easier for them to behave in public like at the park or on walks. Reagan is only one years old, so we are very much in this phase right now. It’s a work in progress but those few minutes every day will pay off soon!

We hope all you back to schoolers are having a great week as you start your year! What have you done for the start of the new year?

Dog Friendly Summer Activities

It’s been a crazy summer! Like everything else, finding time to sit down and blog is harder than we thought. Keeping on the topic of being busy, we thought we’d share a short list of what we’ve been up to this summer, that are also dog friendly ideas for you and your pup!

1. Camping


Okay, glamping. You can “camp” at whichever level you prefer but for us, it was the second one. In June we went out to wine country and rented a cabin on the lake with friends. If you’re going this route, consider using HomeAway and be sure to filter out any results that are NOT pet-friendly. The last thing you want to do is find a place to stay, fall in love with the idea of it, and then see those harsh words us dog parents never want to see: NO PETS ALLOWED. Lucky for us, we found the perfect little cabin with lake access and plenty of land for Reagan to play on. Out little pup swam the whole weekend and it wasn’t a bad set up for the humans either!

2. Hiking

Having a pup is the perfect excuse to get out and explore your area. You will quickly find cool spots around you and then become hooked on finding more and more. In Upstate New York, our summer is short so we like to take advantage of getting out and exploring the area and finding new spots to bring Reagan. We wish we got out and did this more but the summer is not over yet! We hope to visit Ithaca, NY by the end of the summer for a mild hike and a peak at the gorges.

3. Festivals

Around here, the summer time is filled with festivals and events geared towards pets. We took Reagan to “Woofstock” out on Cayuga Lake and had the time of our lives! While the humans tasted wine the puppies played, sampled treats, and splashed around in kiddie pools. We got to meet a bunch of local vendors too which is always cool! Tip for locals: Most wineries on the lake are dog friendly! If you’re in the area, you should consider checking this area out. Americana Vineyards advertises being dog friendly and its an awesome atmosphere for you and your pet. We are headed to another fest this week: Canine Carnival. Full report to follow…

4. Hotel party.

Are dog friendly hotels not the coolest thing ever? Talk about a game changer. This summer we traveled to Long Island, NY and brought Reagan along too. Finding an affordable, pet friendly hotel is an excursion in itself, but if you look hard enough you will find one and be so happy that you did! We stayed at La Quinta (the chain is pet friendly) and this weekend will stand out for us for years to come! She quickly fell in love with the sand and the ocean. The waves were a lot stronger than she was used to having only swam in a lake (and kiddie pool) but she was fearless. At one point we didn’t know how we’d get her to leave – legs were locked, you know what I mean- but she was excited to find out she’d have another day running in the sand. Side note: for all of you who live near pet friendly beaches, we loathe you. The beach we visited, Gardiner Park, is a huge spot for the locals so it was packed with other pups. A lot of the dogs were scared to test the waters but Reagan was so far out we thought she was going to fetch a booie. Lucky for us, she stuck with sticks and tennis balls. We highly recommend a weekend get away with your pup whether you go to the ocean or to the city!


5. Triple dates.

Whoever said threes a crowd must not have a dog. This summer we’ve been all about going out to a local spot, posting up on the patio, and hanging with Reagan while having dinner. More and more restaurants in our area are becoming dog friendly which is something that really excites us. The better news is your pup is a cheap date too since water is free! Our favorite local hot spots that Reagan can come to are Modern Malt and Dinosaur BBQ. She always gets tons of love from the servers and other diners. Hopefully more restaurants follow the lead and open their doors (okay, patios) to our furry friends too because Reagan is one third wheel we will always welcome.

What other dog friendly activities have you done this summer? Let us know in the comments below! We hope you and your puppy are just as busy as us!

Happy 1st Birthday, Reagan!

Guys, it’s Reagan’s birthday. We’ve been up all night setting up a bounce house, hanging streamers, baking peanut butter filled cakes, filling kiddie pools with water, installing strobe lights. Ok, that last one was for us though…

Today she is one years old! How did that happen? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were googling what type of puppy food to buy? Now she is a strong, independent, one year old. Before we know it, she’ll be off to college where she’ll be swept off all four feet by some hunky German Shepard whose going for his degree in Criminal Justice. Then they’ll move to the city together, start a life, and we’ll only see her on holidays. GREAT, NOW WE’RE CRYING…

Time seriously is moving so fast. I think some of you warned us about this. It has been an absolute blast watching this little fur baby grow up and into her own self over the last year. She has no idea the impact that she has made on us or the happiness she has brought. What we do for her doesn’t even skim the surface for what she does for us. Okay, now we’re actually crying…

How Reagan is celebrating today:

Reagan is turning up at her doggie daycare today.. She’s getting a little bit of pampering at the spa and then spending the rest of the day with her furry friends at Canine Clubhouse! After that, we’ll be picking her up for a swim at Skaneateles Lake. Swimming is her absolute favorite! One of Reagan’s mom’s birthdays was yesterday, so they had an early birthday celebration this previous weekend with a cabin trip and endless amounts of swimming! We’ll share some photos in another post of our little gold fish, I mean golden retriever, because she had a blast. After a dip, we’ll head back home to hang out before cake! You can find the recipe we used here. By that time, Reagan will be WHOOPED! But its her birthday and she can sleep if she wants to…

We hope you’ll take some time to check out some of our previous posts so you can see just how much Reagan has grown in the last year! Be sure to wish her a happy birthday too! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to stop by our page in the past! We always appreciate your kind words and genuine interest in the love of our lives, Reagan Blue. Here is a collage of some of our favorite pics (sappy music not included).

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How to cope with puppy fever

If your life is anything like ours, all of your friends are getting puppies and you’re not handling it very well at all because you want one. Now we know how other people felt towards us when we brought Reagan home almost a year ago- WHAT? So yes, she is still a puppy, but not REALLY. Long story short, we have puppy fever. And we have it bad. Does it ever really go away though? We don’t think so. Here’s how to cope…

1. Stalk all of your friends with puppies. And I mean, you need to go all in on this. Really commit or don’t even bother. Beg your friend to hang out 24/7, offer to dog sit, ask if you can borrow something from them (like a shirt) but then take their puppy instead. Let us know how the last one goes….. Check out Rae’s newest friend Mila on her mom’s blog Pints of Life and this cute shot of them from this weekend!


2. Search the web. If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you’ve typed “golden retriever puppy” into your google search bar before. But don’t stop there. Exhaust all options: Pinterest, Instagram, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YOUTUBE! The only thing better than golden retriever puppy pictures are golden retriever videos. Uh, so we’ve heard. Warning: this suggestion may back fire and increase puppy fever. View at your own risk. This is one of our favorites you HAVE to see if you haven’t yet.

3. Excuse our shameless plug but for immediate relief check out our Instagram @the_golden_rules. Guaranteed cute puppy pics. Just sayin.


4. Set an alarm clock. This should help deter some feelings. Just go ahead and set your alarm for 2AM, 4AM,6AM, etc. and remember that’s the time you’d be dragging yourself out of bed every day to tend to your little pooch! Who likes sleeping? Guilty. Your puppy will set out each and every day to make sure a good night’s sleep isn’t in the cards for you. Nighty night…. NOT!


5. Forget everything you just read in this post. Throw your caution to the WIND, forget everything we just said, and get a puppy. I mean come on, 2 is better than 1 after all, right? We’re already talking about a sister for Reagan. It’s in our three year plan (wah- I want her now though.) But we are being “responsible” and waiting because she still is a puppy herself. For those of who can and are able to give a pup a home, DO IT! We support you! No, we encourage you! And then be sure to send us pictures. It really is like Happy Hour- 2 is always better than 1! Who’s thirsty?

So if you’re like us, you always want a puppy but you know the times not right. Hopefully these tips helped you or at least made you laugh. It’s a hard life but we know the time will be right again one day just like it was when we brought Reagan home… In the meantime, can we borrow a T-shirt?

Tips for choosing a dog daycare

We’re currently looking into doggie daycares in the Syracuse area to take Reagan for some socializing and less days she has to stay at home. After digging into some research, we realized there are so many things to look at before choosing which facility best fits you and your pup. Here’s what we found:

Application Process
Filling out forms can be a pain but when it comes to doggie daycare it’s a must. Make sure the daycare you’re interested in screens all dogs prior to attending. There should also be specific requirements such as: proof of vaccination, dogs are spayed and neutered and on a flea/tick preventative. We also recommend choosing a facility that has trial periods where they evaluate the dogs before they attend. This allows them to check the temperament of each pup and ability to socialize with others.

Safe, clean environment
This is an obvious requirement when choosing the facility that is best for you pup but their are specific things to look out for when visit each daycare. Here is a list of necessary facility requirements:

  1. Tall fences
  2. Look for double gates
  3. Separate areas for small and big dogs
  4. Clean water bowls available
  5. Shaded areas outside
  6. Heat & Air conditioned inside areas
  7. Clean inside with minimal odor
    1. Should be proper cleanliness and process to clean up pet accidents
    2. Should do multiple deep cleanings to ensure this


Affectionate, Well-trained staff
Leaving your pup with someone you don’t personally know can be a scary thing. That’s why it’s important you take time to research the staff at the daycare you want to use. Online you should be able to find out the basics: number of people on staff, their training, etc. If they have a Facebook, check out the comments, likes and reviews others have left on their page. Finally, once you have it pretty narrowed down, when you take your pup in for the trial visit observe how the staff treats the dogs. Look for positive reinforcement rather than specific red flags including use of: pushing/jerking and strong physical or verbal reprimands on the dogs.

Unfortunately there are no actual accreditations for dog day care owners.However, look for individual accreditations of the staff. Also, word-of-mouth can be the best testament to choosing a daycare you’ll love. If someone you trust recommends their daycare facility it’s definitely worth checking out.

Additional Features
If you’re having trouble selecting between two or more place, you should definitely look into the features of each daycare. Looking into the different accommodations of each facility can really set one place apart. Some extra services we have seen include: grooming, doggie hotel, and our favorite, live stream footage all day!


Syracuse Dog Day Care Options:

Barks and Rec

Location: Cicero, NY


  • Full day: $24/day
  • For multiple days within the same week: $23/ day
  • Half day: $14/ day

Special package pricing:

  • $384 (20 full days)
  • $216 (10 full days)
  • $252 (20 half days)

Requirements: Not listed online


  • Doggie Hotel:
    • $25/ night per dog ($14/night for a second dog. $7 for a third dog per night.)
    • Offers the option to choose a “suite” or a “family suite” for multiple dogs


  • Offers special pricing for families with more than one dog
  • Dog wash packages are available with all bathing supplies provided (shampoo, conditioner, ear cleaner, drying stations.) If you choose the package your 10th bath is free!
  • Pricing for dog wash:
    • 25lbs and under: $10
    • 26-50lbs: $15
    • 51-100lbs: $20
    • Over 100lbs: $25


Canine Clubhouse

Location: Camillus, NY


  • 1 Day = $28.00
  • 5 Days = $130
  • 10 Days = $250
  • 25 Days= $550
  • 50 Days= $1000
  • Unlimited Monthly= $600
  • Half day= $14


  1. Application must be completed either online or in person
  2. Shots:
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies (every 3 years after second shot)
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
    • Fecal exam
    • Flea and tick medication (monthly)
    • Heartworm preventative (monthly)
  3. Spayed/ Neutered
  4. Must pass a thorough 2 hour K9 Behavioral Test
  5. Minimum age to attend daycare is 12 weeks


  • Luxury boarding
    • 1 Night (also includes day of daycare)= $39
    • For multiple dogs= second dog is $33, third dog is $30
    • 10 Day Boarding Pass= $360


  • Puppy Play Days
  • Pet Portal
    • an easy, online scheduling portal for customers to book appointments
  • Professional Grooming & Spa Services
    • Pricing for spa treatments:
      • Nail trim = $12
      • Nail grind = $15
      • Nail painting = $15
      • Nail trim and pad trim = $15
      • Teeth brushing/ breath freshening = $8
      • Ear cleaning/ plucking = $8
      • Blueberry facial/ scrub = $10-$18
      • Whitening/ tidy ups= $10
      • Shampoo and blow out only = pricing varies
  • Photographer on site to take photos of the action throughout daycare for the owner’s enjoyment
  • Training Services
    • “Sit Means Sit” dog training program available
    • Pet First Aid and CPR classes available ($100/person)
  • Full retail store coming soon


The Barking Orange

Location: Syracuse, NY


  • Full Day = $27
  • Half Day = $16 (4.5 hour max)

Package pricing:

  • 1 Day a Week Pack (6 Visits): $156
  • 2 Day a Week Pack (10 Visits): $243
  • 3-5 Days a Week Pack (20 Visits): $452
  • Unlimited Day Pack (20 Visits): $495
  • 10 Half Day Pack: $155
  • 20 Half Day Pack: $295

*A late fee of $5 will be charged for every five minutes your dog is not picked up by closing. The late fee increases to $50 after 30 minutes, + $2/minute.


  1. Application & screening process (includes an interview with owner and dog)
  2. Spayed or neutered unless they are under 6 months
  3. Proof of up to date shots (including Kennel cough)
  4. Well socialized

Overnights: Not available


  • Three Webcams so you can watch your dog enjoy his day
  • Training Classes
    • Obedience Classes: $143
    • Puppy Class: $114
    • Agility Class: $143
    • Canine Good Citizen Prep and Test: $143
  • Easy online payment, application, and scheduling system
  • Photos posted of the action on their website
  • Grooming services
    • Brushing, shampoo, hair cut, nail trim and and ear cleaning.
    • Pricing not available online.


K-9 Kamp

Location: Baldswinville, NY/East Syracuse, NY


  • Full Day: $26.00
  • Half Day $16.00 per day


  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
    • Spayed or Neutered
  • Other Medical
    • Flea and Tick treatment required all year round
  • Dogs must be in good overall health to attend: includes coat, ears, eyes, mouth.
  • Newly rescued/adopted dogs and puppies need to provide clean fecal test from their vet/shelter
  • Scheduled visit to ensure no aggression issues

Overnights: Only boards at East Syracuse Location

  • $38.00 (includes daycare)
  • $24.00 for the Full Day
  • $14.00 for the Overnight


  • Live web cams (Only East Syracuse Location)
  • Includes self serve dog wash for extra cost
    • $18/plus tax
  • Triple door system
  • Will contact and drive your dog to your personal vet in case of emergency.


Canines Unleashed

Location: Liverpool, NY


  • 1 Day per week = $27.00/day
  • 2 Days per week = $25.00/day
  • 3 – 4 Days per week = $23.00/day
  • 5 Days per week = $19.00/day
  • Half day (morning only) = $17.00/day


  • 12 weeks old
  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
  • Scheduled evaluation visit to ensure no aggression issues and in good health
  • Spayed or Neutered


  • Only for daycare customers
  • Price not listed online


  • Live web cams
  • Grooming available
    • Prices depend on breed, size and coat condition
  • Training
    • Extra cost


Blue Prints Dog Studio: Currently a wait list

Location: Syracuse, NY

Cost: Pricing not online


  • Initial screening and 4-hour trial ($14)
  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Must be on flea and tick preventative.

Overnights: Not available.


  • Daycare sessions incorporate positive reinforcement methods we use in training.


We want to hear from you? What were your requirements when choosing a doggie daycare? What services do you use for dog boarding?

5 reasons we’re glad our dog can’t talk

You’ll always see memes and posts about how owners wish their dog could talk. This got us thinking… what would Reagan actually say? Would she tell her friends about all the weird things she’s caught us doing? Would she scold us for staying out late? Here are our top 5 reasons why we’re glad Rae can’t:

1. The Crap She’s Heard Us Say

Maybe you have a friend who lives for social media, whose posts are always questionable but always worth gasping over. Say you’re sitting at home after work, scrolling Facebook, and you’re all like“Oh my God she did NOT post another selfie!” It’s okay though because the only ears to hear your disbelief are those crimpy, furry ones on the other end of the couch. Then the next day that same friend comes over. Dun, dun, dun… Imagine your pup being like. “Mom, I thought you said Ashley was embarrassing and annoying. Why is she here for dinner?” Yeah. I’m already uncomfortable.


2. The weird things she’s witnessed me doing

Have you heard the phrase “if these walls could talk?” We are starting a new movement to change the phrase to “if this dog could talk.” You know what I mean. You get home from work, kick your pants off, throw your hair up into a high bun that bees might potentially swarm if you step outside. In this state, you avoid the mailman and your own reflection. Maybe you cheat on your health cleanse and sneak some ice cream (still pantless). Maybe you only get off the couch on Sunday to grab more food and change into a new set of pajamas. Are you sensing a theme here? The best part is having your dog to hang around when you’re at your lowest. You don’t care cause she can’t make fun of you. Even though sometimes her judging eyes say it all:


3. She can’t tell me to go away

Okay we know you “aren’t supposed to hug your dog” but are people really strong enough to follow that rule? We’ve tried, we’ve failed. Those faces are too cute to not hug. Sometimes maybe the hug lasts too long, I’ll admit. If she could talk she’d probably be like, “okay mom. That’s enough. Get off me,” and we’d be devastated! But she can’t talk! That’s the beauty of it. She has to just sit there in our loving arms and let us hug and nuzzle for her five minutes too long. Or five hours. It’s been a long week okay…

dog Hug

4. She can’t beg for anything/everything

I think if Reagan was going to talk her first words would be, “you going to finish that?” During dinner. And she’s pretty stubborn and pushy so I feel like she would just continue to badger for food. She’d probably also ask to go to the dog park every hour of every single day. In fact if she learned how to use a cell phone (she hasn’t been able to figure out the touch screen on her iPhone yet) she’d probably call us nonstop and beg us to come home to play with her! And we obviously wouldn’t be able to say NO! What kind of people do you think we are? We’d be forced to come home, cater to her every need, quit our jobs, and lose everything. Do you see where we’re going with this?


5. She communicates in her own, natural ways

The special bond between human and dog comes from that unspoken communication with each other. You learn about your dog’s wants and needs through their body language and habits. You pay attention. You take the time to train and teach them and in return connect with them on a level where words aren’t needed. It didn’t take us long to learn Reagan’s every move. Sometimes she’ll whine at the door and we’ll know she just wants to go outside and play. Other times she’ll whine and we can tell she has to use the bathroom. Without the shortcut of being able to use words to communicate her wants and needs, both parties pay more attention to one another. That unspeakable bond is special in itself and one of the reasons why dog is woman’s best friend!