Dog ownership is a commitment for life, but as pet owners we sometimes
experience busy periods where work takes us away from the home, or for
whatever reason we just can’t give our dogs the attention they need. That’s why
doggy daycare is a popular solution.
It works in the same way that it does for children – you drop off your beloved in
the morning to a centre where she can socialise, play, and nap and then you pick
her up in the afternoon. She will be happy, relaxed and ready to snooze at your
feet that evening.
Doggy daycare facilities aren’t all the same – some offer half-day or full-day
stays, some can groom or even train your pet, others will pick up the dog from
your home. It’s worth thinking about what you want and what the dog needs
when selecting your daycare facility. Some dogs just won’t be suited to daycare.
But there are many benefits of doggy daycare for your pet – and for you. Doggy
daycare relieves the boredom and loneliness that comes with sitting home alone
all day, and the behavioural problems that this loneliness can cause. Your dog
will learn to become a better socialiser, with people and other pets, and get some
exercise. If your dog is a chewer, or gets destructive when bored, you’ll know
your couch or shoes are safe while your dog is out of the home.
Is your dog ready for daycare? Well, she must be healthy, well socialised and
desexed. If your dog is happy down at the dog park she should be fine in daycare.
Dogs who are aggressive, unvaccinated, on heat or too young won’t be suitable.
When looking into daycare centres, be sure to find out if the staff are properly
trained and if there are adequate staff numbers. Check out their vaccination
policy. Check the fences are adequate and that the facilities are clean. Find out
how they go about introducing new pets and what their policy is on potentially
aggressive pets. If you check out the centre, look out to see if it looks
overcrowded. If it does, perhaps look into another facility. Other warning signs
are if the facility tries to limit your access (by not letting you see the whole
facility or asking you not to drop in during your lunch break), if they seem
unwilling to meet your dogs needs, such as a special diet or medication, if the
customer service is poor or if dogs are left unattented. If anything just doesn’t
seem right, avoid that centre. After all, you want to ensure your pet is happy and
safe while you’re at work.