How does someone pick a doggy daycare anyway? And once they have picked one, how do they make sure it is the right one for their dog, er family pet, er child with fur? The fact of the matter is that dog daycares have been around the US for over 20 years with the goal of providing families that didn’t want to leave their pup at home alone all day with an outlet. Doggy Daycare can be a great outlet for the anxious dogs or the ones that simply get bored and need to burn off some energy. With all of these options, how is one ever to choose the right one?
Now I hear what you are saying, “This is all great information but what about those pointers she promised”? By following these 10 steps, you can ensure you have found the right daycare (read: The Dog Den) for both you and your dog. Here they come ((are you ready?!)):
- The best doggy daycare will know your pup by name when you walk in the door and greet them with as much enthusiasm as your dog’s wagging tail.
- They will know your pups so well that they are able to notice when something is wrong. Something as simple as a dog sitter or as complex as adding a new ((furless)) family member can provoke different behaviors in your furry friend.
- The staff should be skilled in dog language and behavior, as well as dog training. The goal of the facility (read: The Dog Den) should be to send your dog home with better manners than they came with.
- The best doggy daycares will separate dogs into groups either by size, age, or play styles (or best yet a combination of all three!). This will show that they have a great understanding of pack management and breed tendencies.
- You should be able to ((and request)) to visit the daycare during their open hours without making an appointment. Be mindful however of the busiest times of the day for most daycares (between 7:00 and 9:00 am and 4:00 and 7:00 pm) as they may not be able to dedicate the desired time to your tour during those hours.
- You should also be able to watch the dogs playing and how the staff interacts with them. The dogs should look one of several ways: “EXHAUSTED”, “SUPER PLAYFUL HAVING A GREAT TIME” or “CONTENT, RELAXED, AND OVERALL HAPPY”.
- After a great day at doggy daycare, your pup should come home dog-tired. No joke the “sleep-all-night-I-missed-dinner-?” kind of tired.
- Just like any human starting new exercise, you should expect that your pup will have sore muscles and paw-pads (but they will make enough new friends to get over that). A great daycare will make you aware of these things, and help you and your pup adjust to all of the fun.
- You have found the right daycare if they help you set a schedule for your pup. Just like humans, dogs form friendships and look forward to seeing the same friends each time they come.
- A great doggy daycare will help you ((while helping you set that schedule)) settle on a good number of days per week that will work the best for your family. Too much daycare with a dog-tired dog can sometimes cause them to be cranky–and no one wants a cranky friend (at daycare) or a cranky kid (at home).
10.5 (BONUS!) A great dog daycare will make sure your dog and the daycare are a good fit. Not all dogs like daycare and daycare isn’t meant to make a nonsocial dog a social butterfly – its to allow your dog to play with other dogs and people ((if they want to)) while you’re busy bringing home the kibble!
Well, there you have it, all of the steps to picking out the ideal doggy daycare for your pup. Keeping these things in mind will help you pick the best doggy daycare (read: The Dog Den) for your pet.
Since I am human (not canine), I may have missed some tips –Do you think I missed anything? What kinds of things would you like to see offered at the PERFECT dog-care facility?