Doggy Day Care – Pros and Cons

Convenient as they are, doggy daycare centers are the top place for bad behaviors to show themselves and really settle in. It’s vital that you have a well-educated staff to make sure your pet is safe, healthy, and learning while you’re away.

If you’re like me, then the idea of your dog home alone all day while you’re at work is almost painful. Not to mention, when you get home, you know it’s necessary to take your dog out for exercise – and a lot of it after 8 or 9 hours cooped up in the house – but other obligations may get in the way or make this a task more difficult than it should be. 

In an attempt to be the best pet parent you can be, you’re considering a doggy daycare for your furry friend. Good thinking! Day cares are a great way to let your dog have fun all day while you’re at work, even if it’s just a couple times a week or so. He’ll play, have new adventures, meet new people, and get lots of exercise and treats.

You can see the lasting effects of a great day at the daycare for two or three days after a day-long visit. It gives you peace of mind, and helps your canine friend stay balanced and happy.

There are some things though that you should be aware of when searching for a good doggy day care for your dog.

  • Make sure the staff is well-educated. I’m not saying we need PhD grads here, but people who have experience with dogs, their behavior, and their training is vital to your daycare experience. Trust me. Without a solid background in behavior and training, a lot of dogs can get mixed together who shouldn’t be. And this will lead to fights, injury, and trouble for your pup. Ask lots of questions of your daycare attendants! Background, fight history at the facility, and hygiene procedures are all important.
  • Check out reviews of local daycares! Ask around at the dog park if anyone there knows of a great doggy daycare to use. Dog-people like to talk about what’s been good for their pup, and what hasn’t. While we can’t base everything off of hear-say, it is a pretty good indicator of where is good and where you may want to pass on.
  • Is your dog ready for daycare? While most dogs love a daycare, not all of them find it to be a fun and pleasant experience. If your dog is not very social, has past trauma with other dogs or strangers, or doesn’t play well with others — obviously a daycare is not the ideal place for him.
  • Be sure to keep your pup home if you notice he or she isn’t feeling well. Like elementary school, daycares can be a place where sickness can spread fast! So keep an eye on your pup while attending day classes. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it’s better to contact the daycare and report it, and see your vet. Dogs get common colds, infectious diseases, and parasites from each other – just like us – so be alert!

If I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to bring my dog to work with me, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have him enrolled in a daycare at least once or twice a week. He’s an only dog, and while I try, I can’t give him all the socialization he needs just through me. He needs to run and play with other dogs to be happy and balanced, and it’s my job to ensure that he has that. I would just make sure that I know and trust my daycare before signing up, and you should too!