Your furry friend needs a lot of love, attention, interaction, activity, and stimulation. Maybe you’re feeling guilty about not spending enough time with your pet. Destructive behavior while you’re away can also be a sign that doggie daycare might be a good option. Enrolling your pooch in dog daycare may offer some peace of mind, and it may cut down on destructive tendencies at home.
Like any loving parent, though, you also have to consider your pet’s welfare and happiness. Is your pet’s personality well suited to a daycare environment? You also have to put forth effort to find a reputable, safe facility. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, your veterinarian, your groomer, your pet store clerk, and others. Look online for reviews and visit potential spots in person.
If you decide your pet is compatible with a daycare environment and you find a location you’re happy with, here are some benefits dogs (and their owners) enjoy with use of a dog daycare service:
1. Your dog gets more attention. Doggie daycare staff interacts with your pet when you can’t. This provides much-needed stimulation and socialization. Plus, it will ease your conscience and help your dog become better at interacting with strangers.
2. Your dog makes canine friends. Dogs are social creatures who usually like to play with each other. When necessary, professionals in the daycare environment help dogs learn to interact positively with other animals.
3. Your dog exercises more. Dog daycare offers plenty of physical activity. This improves your dog’s health and mood and it’s an essential part of maintaining a healthy weight and muscle tone. Exercise also promotes longevity and helps prevent many diseases.
4. Your dog has an outlet for her energy. Instead of tearing around the house all day—especially when she’s alone or being ignored—your pet can burn off all that energy at daycare. This goes a long way toward stopping destructive behavior.
5. Your dog has somewhere fun and familiar to go when you need her out of the house If you’re hosting a large party, doing a home improvement project, or have another situation where it will be helpful to have your dog elsewhere for a while, drop her off at daycare, rather than lock her in a room or outside all day.
After giving your dog time to adjust to daycare, evaluate whether she’s enjoying it. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior when you drop her off; is she reluctant or enthusiastic? Ask the staff about how she’s doing. Your dog should come home tired, happy, and relaxed. If you’re picking up an agitated, stressed, or otherwise upset animal, something isn’t working. It may be something specific to the facility, or it may be that your dog isn’t well suited to daycare. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her; not all dogs appreciate the experience. Discuss concerns with the staff to see if you can figure out whether a change of venue is worth pursuing. Hiring a dog sitter may be a better alternative for your pet.