Are you a working dog parent who’s away from home all day? Your dog gets lonely and probably doesn’t enjoy being locked in the house or apartment for hours at a time with no one to talk to. So, consider doggie day care. For a fee, you can be sure your best friend has dog friends and is getting the social stimulation, companionship and exercise she needs.
However, not every day care facility will be appropriate for the needs of your particular pooch. So, you should first do some research.
When considering doggie day care, look for the following.
Smell is a great way to determine the cleanliness of the day care. If the smell of urine and feces overpowers you, you might want to think twice about using their services. Yes, it’s really hard to keep up with a lot of dogs who may have to frequently relieve themselves but that’s just part of the business. Make sure that the staff quickly cleans accidents when they happen. Remember, an unclean environment can make your best friend sick.
Communication between you and the staff
You want a staff who openly communicates with you by giving you a complete description of your dog’s day at their facility. Even if your dog was a bad girl and picked a fight, you’ll want to know about that.
Appropriate control measures include intervening when there is a potential conflict between dogs and redirecting them toward more appropriate behavior. Don’t use a day care where the staff controls dogs by yelling, punishing and physically manipulating them. Look for a staff who utilizes positive reinforcement techniques.
What’s the staff’s level of experience with and dedication to dogs? Make sure to ask questions like how long the daycare has been in business. Find out who’s in charge and their experience with dogs and running a business. Ask other people, like those you meet at the dog park, if they recommend a particular day care.
When it comes to doggie day care, size indeed matters. Is there plenty of room for your pooch to play both inside and out? On the inside, she should have about 70 to 100 square feet to run around off leash. Outside, there needs to be more room than just space for pooping and peeing.
Playtime & Rest Time
It goes without saying that one of the most important reasons you take your dog to a day care is so she has plenty of playtime. Conversely, she also needs plenty of rest time. Further, make sure they don’t kennel her during the day unless you request it.
One thing to look for are double barriers to separate areas, so that when a gate is opened, it must be closed before opening the second one. Also, make sure these are inspected and are in good working order.
The facility should separate small and large dogs and they should acclimatize new dogs slowly. The daycare you choose should have proper health protocols in place as well.
Also, make sure the facility is able to provide your dog with immediate veterinary care should the need arise. Ideally, they should be able to take her to your regular veterinarian.
A good daycare facility maintains a staffing goal of one person to no more than 10 to 15 dogs depending on the size of the dogs and the experience of the staff.
Make sure your dog gets to interact with her doggie pals!
All dogs should be required to have proof of vaccination before they are allowed on the premises.
A doggie day care is a major choice you make for both you and your dog, so take time to shop around and ask the right questions.
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