As a pet parent you know the importance of keeping your dog active. The list of activities seems to go on and on; from dog socialization, doggie daycare, agility training, all the way to good citizen training. The options seem endless and many question if these are things they truly need to do for their dogs. A big dog activity that is often questioned is Doggie Daycare, as many wonder if it is truly necessary and is it safe?
Opinions differ with this question. Many experts encourage pet parents to enroll their dogs into daycare programs, other are opposed seeing it as a risky. All and all it comes down to personal preference, if you feel this is the best option for your dog or not. To determine if Doggie Daycare is the best option you should ask yourself some of the following questions:
How Do I Know if My Dog Will Like Doggie Daycare?
Look at your dogs personality when trying to determine if he will like doggie daycare. Answer these questions in regards to your dogs personality:
- Does he enjoy the company of other dogs?
- Does he like to be around other dogs?
- Does he play with other dogs, and how well does he play with other dogs?
- Does he go to the dog park and love it?
- How active is he?
Doggie daycare is not suitable for all dogs, some do not enjoy it or have the activity level needed to keep up with the other animals. Some dogs do enjoy the company of others, but are more low key and rather their companionship just not to rough house. You know your dogs likes an dislikes.
Is Doggie Daycare Safe?
Safety is a big issues for all pet parents sending their dog to a daycare program. When choosing a Doggie Daycare it is important to ask the following questions to ensure your dogs safety:
- Do they do a screening process?
- Do they have proper supervision and staff on the floor at all times, and the dogs are never left unattended?
- How well is the staff educated?
- Do they have security measures like double gates to outside entrances, no electric cords in play areas and safe, non-skid surfaces in the play areas?
- Do they have emergency procedures in place and what are they?
How many dogs are in each class?
According to The Pet Care Services Association, a national organization that’s involved in daycare, boarding and other pet services; they recommend one staffer per 15 dogs. However there are often exceptions of a more active group have one staffer to every 10 dogs, or for a less active group having one staffer to 20 dogs.
Are The Dogs Separated By Size or Activity Level
Size is not the biggest concern when choosing a daycare class for your dog. It is important to look at the activity level of the dog. For instance, puppies are small but may be a higher activity level than a small breed dog. The doggie daycare will help to determine the appropriate class for your dog.
Temperament testing is important for the safety of all animals and people within the Doggie Daycare. Many people think their dogs are great with other animals and people, however when put into a situation where there is a large number of dogs running around playing it can be overwhelming and cause a nice dog to become protective of themselves, risking the safety of others. Temperament Testing is also used match your dog’s personality with appropriate playmates so your dog is placed in the correct playgroup.
ALL dogs entering into a Doggie Daycare should be fully vaccinated a minimum of two week prior to their start date. Common vaccination requirements are Rabies, Distemper/Parvo and Bordetella (Kennel Cough). Dogs may also be requires to be tested for Heartworm disease, placed on heartworm and flea prevention medications.
Is Your Dog Enjoying Daycare?
When your dog comes home from doggie daycare he should be tired, but happy and relaxed, not agitated. You will notice a difference in your dog coming home because he was tired from playing and having fun or tired from being stressed by the other dogs. If your dog seems happy, is wagging his tail about going to the daycare the next morning, you know he is enjoying his time there.