Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Many of my clients struggle to find the time to balance between their busy lives and ensuring that their dogs needs are fulfilled.
I often get the question:
Should I send my pooch to a doggy daycare?
My answer: YES! However, selecting one that is well run and suitable is important. Otherwise, the experience could do more damage than good to your well trained and balanced dog.
Here are my 5 TOP TIPS in finding the right doggy daycare for your pooch.
The environment your dog will be placed in should be clean and properly sanitized. Find out about the safety pre-cautions that have been put in place. Key things to look out for are:
Floors with sufficient grip
2. A daycare with guided activities
Every dog is unique, differing in mental and physical fulfilment needs. A good daycare would be able to provide guided activities suitable for your dog. Segregation of dogs based on temperament would be key in ensuring that your dog socialises in a controlled environment.
For example, look out for daycares that offer packwalks, guided activities and enforce structured downtime. Structured downtime as a pack teaches the dog to accommodate and give space when it is required to, which is an important social skill that balanced dogs display.
Your dog should return home mentally and physically stimulated.
3. Staff to dog ratio
A suitable staff to dog ratio is important. This ensures that your dog would be properly cared for and monitored. The recommend safe standard is a ratio of one staffer per 8 dogs. Note that allowances are often made for more active groups, where a ratio of one staffer per 4 dogs is desired, or less active groups, where 12 dogs per staffer is adequate.
Look out for a daycare that has experienced staff who are able to highlight possible health issues or behavioural changes in your dog. This would allow you to address any potential issues that you may not have been aware of about your dog.
4. Toy and treat policy
Toys and food are often an excitement trigger that could lead to dog on dog conflicts. Ensure that the daycare staff have experience in managing these triggers to prevent unwanted injuries that may arise during the daycare sessions.
Some dog daycares use treats to reward good behaviour, and some do not. Enquire about their use of treats and be sure to tell them if your dog displays possessive behaviour around food and toys or if it is on a special diet of any kind.
5. A daycare that also offers boarding
At some point, boarding your dog is something that many people need. It is always going to be easier for a dog to acclimate to an environment that it is familiar with. It would not be as stressful for your dog to spend the night if it has already been there before.