Choosing a daycare or overnight boarding place for your dog is no easy feat! There is a lot that goes into creating the best experience for your dog, from both an operational and parental perspective. Make sure to pay attention to these factors when determining the perfect place for your pup.
Know Your Dog
The most important thing is knowing your dog’s personality. If they love humans and other dogs, they will probably love daycare! If your dog is aggressive around other dogs and humans, you should not bring them to daycare. And if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, daycare will not necessarily cure it.
Luckily, daycare is not the only option available. Read on to learn about alternative daycare activities!
How to Choose the Perfect Daycare for Your Dog
Make sure that there are dedicated play areas for dogs based on size. It’s important to be able to separate the big dogs from the little ones to prevent any discomfort or anxiety.
It’s comforting to know that your dog will only be interacting with playful dogs. Do some research and see if the daycare does any temperament testing on dogs before allowing them to visit.
Check out the daycare play space to ensure that there is plenty of room for your pup to run around. Your dog will feel anxious and nervous if they’re cooped up in a small playpen all day.
Find out if your dog will be taken on walks while visiting – this is especially important! Your pup will get some fresh air and a temporary change in surroundings.
Dogs need at least 16 hours of sleep to be fully functioning and rested. Ask about the play and rest schedule at the daycare to ensure your pup will get the rest he/she needs!
It’s always a great idea to meet the workers. These are the people that will be interacting with your dog all day – meeting them can help put your mind at ease while you’re away.
If overnight care is what you’re looking for, see to it that your pup will have a private place for eating and sleeping.
Lastly, dogs need to feel loved. You really want to find a facility that really loves dogs. (And that’s harder than you think.)
Some Dogs Need More than Daycare
If you have a super high-energy pup, working dog, or intelligent yet mischevious fur baby on your hands, daycare might not be the best option. These dogs need high-intensity exercise and mental stimulation to feel tired and satisfied at the end of the day. Since daycare is essentially open play, it doesn’t always provide enough structure or stimulation, and dogs end up acting out.
Hiking and Enrichment Classes have been shown to help these pups, and spending time in nature has been proven to improve dog’s wellbeing. If your dog comes home still wired after a day of daycare, then you may want to consider alternative activities.
With these tips on hand, we trust you’ll pick the right daycare for you and your dog. If you have any more questions, anyone at Fitdog would be happy to assist!
Updated from original Nov 18, 2015 post on Jan 14, 2020