It seems like everybody is jumping on the doggy daycare bandwagon these days, and for a good reason. Your dog gets exercise while you’re at work and gets to play with other dogs. New puppy owners also don’t have to worry about their puppy sitting alone in a crate all day.
However, it’s a good idea to research any daycare facility you plan on using. Not all doggy daycare centers are created equal.
First of all, make sure the facility is just that—a building designated for one specific purpose—and not someone’s house. While someone can run a successful doggy day care out of their house this is the exception and not the rule. There are certain limitations and restrictions that must be applied when many dogs are put together, and this can be difficult to accomplish without a lot of space.
Think about it. Would you want a bouncy Labrador Retriever playing with your Chihuahua puppy? Probably not. Not that the lab would mean any harm, but he might hurt a smaller dog on accident. Make sure your dog is only allowed to play with dogs of similar size and temperament.
Now, a Jack Russell terrier is pretty small, but he would probably do OK with the bigger dogs. It all depends. A knowledgeable staff would know how to handle this accordingly.
Also make sure you take your dog to a facility that only accepts dog friendly dogs. This may sound like common-sense, but many places will accept any dog just to get the money. There should be some kind of socialization test your dog has to go through before being accepted.
Do not take your dog to any doggy daycare center that does not require all dogs to be current on vaccines and fecal examinations.
Find out what kind of activities your dog will be participating in. Will he just be standing around or is there some kind of interaction with the staff? Some dogs would rather play with people than other dogs.
Go and check out the place in person. Does it look like a safe environment? Do the dogs seem relaxed or stressed out? Are they allowed to take a time-out and nap?
Does the staff know what to do if a dog fight occurs? Have they been trained to recognize the signs of animal aggression? What level of experience does that staff have?
What’s the policy if your dog hurts another dog and vice versa? Do you have to pay for any medical bills or is that the responsibility of the daycare? Ask questions!
Doggy care should be a positive experience for both you and your pooch. A little research can go a long way!