For working pet parents, getting the right kind of daytime dog care can be tricky. Some dogs can stay home all day, but most need at least one trip outside and some exercise during normal work hours. There are a few different solutions, including daycare. This can be a great idea, but it all depends on the facility and your pet’s temperament. Doggy daycare facilities range greatly in terms of set up and style. One singular type of daycare doesn’t fit all—a large active breed like Dalmatians, for example, wouldn’t do well in a space that didn’t have an outdoor area. The right doggy daycare environment depends upon the breed and your dog’s individual temperament.
What is Doggy Daycare?
Most doggy daycares offer dogs supervision, companionship, exercise, and playtime, making them good alternatives to basic dog walking.
The most common doggy daycare services include:
- Administration of meals and any necessary medication
- Physical activity
- Break times for relaxation
- Constant supervision by a trained human
- Playtime and socialization with other dogs
- Extras like grooming, training, and bathing
Is Doggy Daycare Right for My Dog?
As noted above, if you’re considering daycare for your dog, you need to take their needs and preferences into account. Consider these questions when determining if daycare is right for your pet:
- Is he comfortable in big groups?
- Does he tire easily, or get too riled up with extra stimuli?
- Does he prefer one-on-one attention?
- Does he have special needs that necessitate one-on-one attention?
For some dogs, a day of playtime with dogs might be the best day ever, but for other dogs, it might be stressful and traumatic. Take time to honestly assess your animal’s needs and personality to determine if this is the right choice.
Find the Right Facility
For the most part, daycare for your pet is a good idea if it’s a high-quality facility that can meet your dog’s needs and your standards. If you are considering this, you need to do thorough research as well as in-person vetting. Spend some time on a search engine reading reviews to narrow down your options. When you have a shortlist, take your dog on a few site visits. Observe the behavior of the other dogs and the staff and take note of cleanliness, noise levels, and equipment quality.
Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions. You need to be comfortable with the facility and team if you’re going to trust them with your dog’s safety and wellbeing. You can ask questions like:
- What is the ratio of dogs to staff?
- How many dogs are in each group?
- Is the staff trained? If so, how?
- What is the typical schedule? How long are playtimes and breaks?
- What kind of toys are available?
- What is the discipline process?
- What vaccinations are required?
At the end of the day, doggy daycare is only a good idea if it’s the right environment—and only you and your dog can make that decision.