What To Look For In A Doggie Daycare
Only dog people can relate to how important it is to find the right doggie daycare for your fur baby. There are lots of reasons why your pup would need to go to doggie daycare: perhaps you’re away all day, or maybe your dog needs some socialization skills, or you just feel better when your dog is being taken care of by caring people. Whatever your reasons are, there is some homework involved in finding the right doggie daycare for your pooch.
There are a range of doggie daycare facilities to choose from. Vets and groomers offer day boarding, as do well-known pet stores, retailers and open-space facilities. There are even people offering their own doggie daycare from their homes. We’ve put together a few tips for you to watch for when picking out a doggie daycare.
There is some homework involved in finding the right doggie daycare for your pooch.
- Initial assessments: Not all dogs are a good fit for a particular facility. Because dogs have different temperaments, always insist that your dog receives an initial assessment to see if it’s a suitable environment. The other dogs that hang out at that doggie daycare may have a totally different energy than your dog’s – during your first visit, introduce your pooch to the group slowly and safely.
- Cleanliness is next to dogliness: You can’t expect a doggie daycare to be so clean that you can eat off the floor (ick), but it should be tidy and shouldn’t smell like a dog bathroom. Take a look around and make sure accidents (because they do happen) are cleaned up quickly and the other dogs are healthy looking.
- Supervision and Staff: Someone needs to be the pack leader, even when dogs are playing. A good doggie daycare will have proper supervision to ensure proper doggie manners are present at play. A live body should be with the pack at all times – lazy dog sitting by glancing now and then through a window or gate isn’t going to cut it. A good rule of thumb is there should be one human to every 10 to 15 dogs.
- Size does matter: Is there enough room for your dog to play, both indoors and out? Inside, your dog should have about 70 to 100 square feet of space to run around off leash. As for outdoor space, it should be more than just a place for your dog to do his business. Being inside all the time is boring, even for a dog. The doggie daycare you choose should have a large, secure space to play and get some fresh air (and of course, have a pee break).
- Experience and Control: You don’t want to leave your best friend with someone who has no experience working with dogs. Ask questions and find out how long the doggie daycare has been in business, who is in charge and how experienced they are when it comes to working with dogs. Ask around at the dog park or at a local dog club to see what businesses come highly recommended. And see what kind of control measures the daycare employs. Look for positive reinforcement training rather than a doggie daycare that uses aggressive or physically tactics.
Do you put your dog into a doggie daycare program? Would you recommend it? Leave your comments below. And if you are on the hunt for a doggie daycare, make sure to go to more than one business before making your decision – it’s not all about convenience or locale, it’s about your dog’s safety and comfort.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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