Dog daycare is a great option for many dogs, but it’s important to make sure your dog is happy with the experience. Look for a facility that doesn’t use physical punishment, aversives, or dominance-based training methods.
Also, make sure the facility is clean and that the dogs look healthy. Finally, find a facility that separates dogs based on play style and energy level.
1. Look for a facility with a lot of space
The right Recommended Daycare For Pets Here should have a large amount of outdoor space for dogs to roam and play. The facility should also have plenty of indoor space for kennel storage and employee workspace. Additionally, the daycare should be properly dog-proofed and sanitized to reduce illness transmission between dogs.
Look for a daycare that provides regular on-leash walks for potty breaks. Also, ask if they have multiple play areas that the dogs are separated into based on their energy level and play style. This can help prevent overstimulation and physical injury among high-energy dogs.
This type of setup is a good fit for social dogs who enjoy running and playing. However, cautious dogs who are nervous around high activity might do better with a different setup. The staff in this type of daycare should be experienced with recognizing signs of physical and emotional stress, and they should be able to keep the dogs in a healthy balance.
2. Look for a facility with a lot of experienced staff
A reputable daycare will assess your dog’s temperament and personality to determine whether they’re the right fit for their group. They should also separate dogs by size, play style and energy level. This is especially important because illness is spread through close contact and a lot of it is airborne, says Ryan Getwright, owner of Philly Dog School.
Look for a structured daycare that provides time for both play and rest. This is great for a dog that may find free-for-all groups overwhelming and can help them build their comfort levels in group play over time while providing ample opportunities to cool down and avoid overstimulation.
Ask how often the daycare area is cleaned and what products they use to sanitize. Also, make sure they’ll take your pet’s vaccination records and titers, and encourage you to use a flea and tick preventative regimen before dropping them off. Also, look for a daycare that has floor-to-ceiling walls, as these are essential in stopping the spread of illnesses.
3. Look for a facility with a lot of safety features
In addition to safety features like fencing and staff to dog ratios, look for how a daycare deals with conflict between dogs. Do they watch for resource guarding or other signs of aggression and if needed, break them up immediately? They should also have a clear process for how to notify pet parents and communicate with veterinary offices in the event of an injury.
Another important feature to look for is a facility that requires all dogs to be vaccinated for rabies, DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus), and bordetella (“kennel cough”). Since dogs are in close contact with each other illness can spread quickly. Look for a daycare that is willing to discuss their vaccination protocols openly.
4. Look for a facility with a lot of activities
Most dogs need plenty of physical exercise to reduce anxiety and restlessness. They also benefit from mental stimulation to avoid behaviors like chewing on your favorite leather couch or getting too antsy and destructive while you are away from home.
Find out how often the daycare space is sanitized using products that are safe for pets and effective in preventing the spread of disease and infection. Also ask how the facility deals with accidents and dog fights that may occur in the play groups — they should use positive reinforcement and never rely on punishment, shock collars or other dominance-based training methods.
Most dog daycares will separate the dogs into groups based on size and play style to prevent inappropriate interaction and aggression between the pups. This is especially important for rambunctious dogs who are not well-suited to large group play. They may benefit from a more intimate setting with smaller dogs who have the same energy levels.