Our pups’ desire for mental stimulation is just as strong as it is for physical stimulation. For many dog owners, our 9:00 -- 5:00 job prevents us from spending forty-plus hours a week with our pup. Over the course of one year, that’s over 2,000 hours. Imagine being home alone with no one to talk to or interact with for that long? That is not even taking into consideration the hundreds of other hours we are away from home for other responsibilities. A solution that millions of American dog owners found to help keep their fur-legged friends happy is doggy daycare. These daycare centers continue to become more popular because they really are beneficial to dogs for many reasons.
What Exactly is a Doggy Daycare?
A doggy daycare is a professional facility that welcomes your pup when his owner is away at work, on vacation, or just in need of some downtime. These facilities generally have a daily sitting fee, and their staff will show your pup the attention he’s looking for. The dogs that attend these daycares spend hours of time interacting with each other and forming bonds with other dogs. From playing fetch to walking to just snuggles, the facility staff treats your pup as their own for the day.
They’re Not Just for When You Are Busy
Although there are many good reasons to allow your dog to visit a doggy daycare, here are the three most important reasons.
- To build your pup’s socialization skills. Many pups don’t have other dogs to play with or interact around. Although they love their human best friend, they do well around other dogs. By introducing them to other dogs at a doggy daycare, they tend to show less aggression, lower rates of anxiety, and less fear towards dogs outside of the facility. Your pup will actually look forward to seeing other dogs as socialization is a very natural desire for your pup. Beginning socialization at an early stage in your dog’s life is highly recommended.
- Exercise! We all know the importance of getting your pup’s thirty minutes of daily exercise time in, but after a long day at work, sometimes we are just too tired to take that brisk walk with our dog. Doggy daycares will provide plenty of off-the-leash exercise time for your dog, which will not only make him happier but your evening more relaxing.
- It’s fun for your pup. Remember as a kid the enjoyment you would get going to the playground and burning off steam? It’s the same for your dog.
Are All Dogs Meant for Doggy Daycare?
Most dogs are; however, some should not based upon a few things. If your fur-legged friend is overly anxious, very nervous, or sensitive to sounds, such as barking, this may not be a good idea. As noted above, it’s similar to the playground we went to as children. There’s a lot of action and excitement there, and overly sensitive or older dogs may not find this fun. If your dog tends to be of an aggressive nature, this is not for him. Some dog breeds naturally are more aggressive than others. If your pup can’t play nice, he will have a hard time fitting in with the other pups.
What to Bring
Many doggy daycares will want you to provide them with your pup’s food and broken down into individual serving sizes. Any daily medications that your dog takes will also need to be brought along. Before they accept your dog, you will need to show vacination records and or other documentation which will help them assure your dog is healthy and safe to be around other dogs.
How to Tell if a Particular Doggy Daycare is Safe.
When you tour the facility, inspect the areas for cleanliness. Inquire about their licensing and speak to other dog parents who are dropping off or picking up their dogs. It is also a wise idea to look online and read reviews and comments about the facility. Have there been any major issues? One of the best tell-tail signs (no pun intended) is to look at the other dogs. Are they excited and happy while at the facility?
At The End of The Day At the end of the day we are really doing this to make our fur-legged friend happy. The social interaction and playtime he will receive is something that he will love you for. Our pups are truly a part of our family and when they are happy we are happy. If you have considered a doggy daycare take the time to find the right one for you and your pup. Your dog will thank you for it!