What is Doggy Daycare?
In the simplest terms, dog daycare is exactly what it sounds like: a place where your pup is cared for and supervised while you are at work or have errands to run all day. Funny enough, it’s not much different than daycare for children. It provides companionship, stimulation, physical activity, socialization, and supervision. Some daycares even offer training services.
It may have seemed like just a fad when doggy daycares started popping up all over, but now it’s relatively common to know someone who has a pup they take to daycare. With the hectic lives we lead these days, it’s the perfect solution to pet ownership and having a busy work and personal life. However, daycare doesn’t just benefit you and your schedule; it is good for your dog as well. There are many advantages to sending your dog to daycare daily, or even just a couple of times a week.
Socialization with Other Dogs
Dogs are naturally social animals. In the wild, they will actually seek other dogs out and live in groups. If you have a very social dog, it can feel like a punishment for them to be stuck at home and inside all day. If their instinct is to play and socialize, it can be detrimental to keep them from having those experiences regularly. Allowing them to interact with other dogs and even other humans at daycare will help them thrive and maintain good behavior.
On the flip side, perhaps you have a dog that isn’t very social. Since dogs are inherently social animals, if you have a dog that isn’t, it is likely because they weren’t properly socialized from an early age. When they are puppies, dogs should be frequently handled by many people and allowed to socialize with other dogs. If this doesn’t happen, it can teach them to fear or feel anxious around other humans and dogs. If you have a pup that is anti-social, start by taking them to daycare just once a week to build their social skills back up. However, if they are aggressive, some daycares might not allow them to attend. Check with your local doggy daycare first. They may offer special services or training to help your dog, or likely know someone who can help.
An Outlet for All of That Canine Energy
Have you ever come home to your dog bouncing off the walls or to a mess that they made while you were out? It could be that they aren’t getting the exercise they need to burn off energy. Even if you take them for walks or have a yard for them to play in, it’s still not the same as getting to rough house and romp around with other dogs at daycare all day. High-energy dogs need to have an outlet; if they don’t, they will often start acting out.
Even if your fur baby is on the opposite spectrum and seems to be content sleeping around all day, they too can benefit from exercise at daycare. Just because your dog has adjusted to your lifestyle and is used to sleeping all day, does not mean they like it or that it’s good for them. Dogs should naturally want to play and run around, so if they don’t, it might be a sign that they aren’t healthy and are possibly even depressed from being stuck inside all day.
Helps Combat Your Dogs Boredom and Anxiety
If you frequently come home to your pup having chewed something up, this is a sign that they are either bored or have separation anxiety. Even though you come home every day on schedule, your dog doesn’t understand. When you leave for the day, they can sometimes get separation anxiety and worry that you won’t come back. When this happens, they tend to chew on things the same way humans bite their nails or chew on a pen when they are nervous or anxious.
Your dog might not naturally be anxious, but if left home too often, they can become bored and anxious and will start to chew on things in the house as an outlet. Either way, whether they are bored or experience separation anxiety, taking them to doggy daycare will alleviate these feelings.
Things to Know Before Taking Your Dog to Daycare
Taking your dog to daycare for the first time can potentially be a little worrying if you’ve never done anything like it before. Just like a parent dropping their kid off at school for the first time, you might stress and worry about them. A few of the tips below are some good things to keep in mind to help the transition go a lot smoother:
- Get them vaccinated. Pretty much any dog daycare out there is going to require you to have your fur pal fully vaccinated.
- Prepare for an adjustment period. Depending on the dog, it may take a few visits before they are comfortable and acting normal at daycare and home as well.
- Don’t overreact. If your dog occasionally comes home with a minor injury like a scratch or with kennel cough, don’t freak out. When you have a lot of dogs in one room playing together, sometimes accidents happen. Don’t get mad and blame the staff. When a kid falls and scratches their knee or picks up a cold from another kid, you don’t blame the school, do you? It’s normal and is not the fault of the daycare.
Choosing the Right Daycare for Your Dog
From daycares at someone’s home to traditional dog daycares and pet hotels, there are a variety of options out there. When it comes to choosing the right one, it can be helpful to do your research online or visit in person. Many dog daycares will happily offer you a tour and walk you through their facilities and general day to day activities and procedures. No two daycares are the same. Depending on your dog’s individual needs, it may take trying out a couple of different places until you find the right fit.
Safe Journey Dog Boarding
At Safe Journey Dog Boarding, we strive to provide a safe and happy place for your pet to stay. Our home-style dog daycare facility allows your furry friend to roam free, play, and socialize in our comfortable Victorian home. We also offer specialized care for dogs who are elderly or have special medical needs. We even provide overnight daycare for those who work graveyard and late-night shifts. Call us today to set up a tour and see everything that we have to offer!