When Considering Daycare....
A very common question related to pet care is: “is doggy daycare good for my dog?”
The short answer is yes, most of the time. The long answer goes something like this:
Think about it this way. The world we live in is very different from the world of a dog, but we naturally push our dogs to adapt and live in our human world. This is fine, but all too often we see owners who end up with dogs that have issues such as separation anxiety, chewing, and other destructive behaviors simply because the dog is bored and the owner is too busy with work and other life events (we’re only human after all).
Here is a list of reasons daycare may be beneficial for your furry friend:
Have you ever sat in front of a computer or studied for so long that your first interaction with another person felt uncomfortable or weird? The same can happen with dogs. Dogs are generally very social creatures, and like us, rely on interacting with others to prevent loneliness and anxiety. Putting your dog in the right daycare can actually alleviate destructive behavior around the house as well as separation anxiety!
Sure, your dog probably seems like it is happy as can be to play with you, but let’s face it. You probably don’t want to roll around in the dirt acting like a dog, so leave that to the other pups.
Less Pressure On You
Have you ever had a stretch of days that you were so busy you weren’t able to give your dog the exercise and attention you knew it needed and the feeling of guilt you felt as your pup looked up at you in the hope that the time for a long hike has finally come? I sure have, and daycare can be a great place during those periods to take the pressure off of your shoulders knowing your dog is getting the proper attention and socialization it needs to be happy and ready for a rest at the end of the long day by your side.
Learning The Ropes
Enrolling your dog in daycare can also help your dog increase its "street smarts". This is VERY important in puppies and adolescent dogs. Allowing them to socialize with a large group and learn healthy behaviors from other dogs will help set your dog up for success in the future. This isn’t to say that if you have an older pup daycare isn’t helpful, daycare can always be helpful in sharpening the social skills of your dog.
This can probably go without saying, but the right daycare center provides dogs with the exercise they need during the day. A day spent playing with friends running around and socializing makes a tired dog, and a tired dog at the end of the day is a good dog.
It is also important to understand that all dogs are different, and all daycares are not made equally. Before enrolling your dog into a daycare, consider the following:
Is your dog dog reactive or people aggressive?
If your dog exhibits these traits, you should reach out to a local trainer to help you work with your dog before allowing them to participate in daycare.
Is your dog very anxious/nervous around other dogs or in large groups?
This question has many levels, but regardless of the severity we recommend that you seek advice from your trainer/facility before considering daycare.
Does the daycare you are looking at provide proper supervision?
Close and careful supervision is equally important as the dogs’ behavior. Do you have any childhood memories of a preschool playground that was left unmonitored, leading to bullying and swing injuries? We sure do, and the same applies to dog groups.
Is the facility clean and well kept?
Ask for a tour of the facility and make sure you believe it to be a well-maintained, healthy environment for your dog.
Is your dog perfectly happy at home?
Sometimes your dog simply just does not desire a daycare environment. This is usually the case with low key or older dogs who love the couch potato lifestyle. If your dog is healthy and just likes the couch, great!