10 Tips For Choosing A Doggie Daycare

November 10th, 2009 by Dan

Is your dog giving you those puppy-dog eyes each time you leave? The ones that make you feel *so* guilty? Dogs are social animals and if you have a busy schedule and a pooch with the right temperament, doggie daycare may be an excellent option for you. However, like every other service available, all doggie daycares are not created equal. This article will give you some hints and tips on how to select a facility where you’ll know your dog will be in capable hands!

Daycare Yawn

Photo by Doggie Oasis Day Care

* Visit the daycare setting and make sure it appears clean. It shouldn’t have a strong “doggie” odor and any accidents that happen should be dealt with right away. You should be able to drop in and take a look unannounced and expect to be welcomed. If you aren’t, look for another facility.

* Health should be a priority for the facility, meaning that proof of vaccinations or titers must be shown before your dog can attend daycare. Ask the management how they handle a situation where a dog becomes ill while it is at the facility. Make sure they have a place where a dog that is under the weather can be isolated until its owner arrives to pick it up.

* If the daycare provides transportation, make sure to inquire about the process. Find out if the vehicles are climate controlled and how your dog is secured for their trip (as opposed to being placed into the back of a van with an assortment of other dogs).

* Supervision should be hands on, meaning there should always be a trained staff member in the rooms with the dogs. Watching the dogs interact through glass or gates is not acceptable as it takes too much time to reach the dogs in case an emergency arises. *Dogs should NEVER be left alone – not even for a second*

Slide Dogs

Photo by monstermutt

* While some daycares separate dogs by size, it’s more important that they are grouped by play style. For example, feisty little terriers often don’t like to play the same way more mellow breeds do, so pairing the two together could lead to issues. The daycare staff should have an understanding of canine behavior and body language and should be able to assess your dog’s personality on their intake appointment.

* Make sure that the dogs are given a period of rest throughout the day. Everyone needs a break. However, most of the day should be spent socializing with other dogs.

* The daycare should be large enough to accommodate the number of dogs attending. Each dog should have approximately 75-100 square feet of space. If the daycare is mostly outdoors, make sure there are shady areas for your dog to rest. If the daycare is in an urban area, check out the space to make sure it is heated and cooled for the changing seasons.

* Ask for references! The daycare should be happy to supply you with some email addresses of other owners who are happy with their services.

Tug Of War

Photo by Paws on the Run

* The majority of the staff should be trained in canine first-aid and CPR. Find out what they do in case a dog is seriously injured. What emergency protocol are in place to handle the situation?

* Finally, ask about the financial details. Some doggie daycares have strict cancellation and late scheduling policies. You’ll want to understand them all completely before you schedule your dog for his visits.

Remember, your dog will tell you if he or she is enjoying their daycare experience! If they come home tired but leap out of the car each time they see the entrance to the daycare building, you can bet you’ve made a good decision. Do your research and it will pay of for both you and your dog!

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One Response to “10 Tips For Choosing A Doggie Daycare”

  1. Spencer Montgomery Says:

    I’m leaving for a few days, and I want to make sure I find the right doggie daycare for my pets. I appreciate how you mentioned that supervision should be hands on. This is definitely a factor I highly consider, as I’m a hands-on pet mom. Thanks for sharing!

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