Dog daycares have become a mainstay for pet owners across the USA, growing in popularity given that they first popped up in the mid-1990s. For most dog owners, dog daycare gives their dog a safe place to exercise throughout the day while they’re at the job and provides essential mental enrichment and companionship that dogs wouldn’t be getting independently at home.
But how will you know which daycare to choose? With increased popularity, more and more people are getting in on the trend, and there are several options and styles available, from the top franchised “brand-name” daycare to your dog daycare your neighbor were only available in their home.
Your dog daycare and boarding industry is under-regulated, so it’s important you discover a daycare where your dog will be safe, happy, and well looked after. There are a few things to consider when interviewing different dog daycares, including the style of daycare, staff to dog ratio, staff experience and training, cleaning procedures, dog handling and training methods … and even more!
Before exploring different daycare options, first think about whether your pet will in actuality enjoy going to daycare. Check out this article to find out more on how to tell if dog will love and do well in your dog daycare.
Continue reading to learn what to look for and what things to ask a potential doggy daycare.
THE MAIN Thing to consider in a Doggy Daycare
While there are many best-practices to look for when choosing a daycare, I believe the most important quality is transparency. This means that daycare staff is willing to reply to your questions thoroughly, openly discuss their policies, speak about pack management and training philosophy and methods, and become honest when discussing your dog’s behavior in the daycare environment.
An established dog daycare could be more than happy to discuss that they do things along, and can also enable you to “tour” their facility so you can easily see it for yourself, whether personally or nearly through webcams, videos, or photos. You shouldn’t be surprised when a daycare will not allow in-person tours while daycare dogs can be found – the frequent coming and going of new people can cause unneeded stress in a pack. Instead they could have you take a tour beyond operating hours, have a live webcam to view, or videos and photographs of just what a typical daycare day appears like for their doggy clients.
Want to find out more on your dog’s behavior and get some good training tips? We have 101 more for you here!
Different Styles of Dog Daycare: Which is most beneficial For YOUR PET?
There are many different types of dog daycare, and you’ll want to choose the style that best matches your dog’s temperament, physical and mental stimulation needs.
Dog Park Style
This type of dog daycare has large open spaces which is often indoor/outdoor or outdoor only. The space provides energetic dogs the room to perform, play fetch with staff, meander around and catch through to pee-mail, or watch all the activity from the sidelines.
Because it usually includes yard, if you reside in an area with bad weather, be prepared for a wet and muddy dog by the end of your day. You’ll also want to be aware of the facility’s plans for scorching or winter.
Daycare staff is disseminate throughout the play area to ensure safety and polite behavior between dogs (think “zone defense”). Make certain the ratio of staff to dogs is kept at a safe level in this type of daycare (more on staff to dog ratio further down in this article).
Which dogs do best in this style of daycare? Social dogs who love to run prosper in this kind of daycare, as they may have the space to essentially stretch their legs. More cautious dogs, or those who might be overwhelmed while surrounded by high activity would do better in a new set up. Dogs who prefer to play “catch me when you can” or who are scared to be touched/led by the collar should avoid this type of create because of the difficulty of corralling them for grab or in other situations.
dog-play-daycare-with-staffSeparated play area style
These kinds of daycares act like dog park style setups, except they have got smaller, usually either indoor-only or outdoor-only play areas.
Dogs are separated into play groups usually predicated on vitality, play style, or size. Groups in this form of daycare are usually smaller due to space limitation. Typically each group has between 10-20 dogs per area, but this is determined by size of the room and number of staff.
Which dogs do best in this form of daycare? Dogs who are a little more cautious and scared of high activity might prosper in this setup because they could be sectioned off into an appropriately-matched band of dogs. Visit: http://healthyhoundplayground.com/dulles-kennel-boarding/
A home style daycare is within someone’s home and a familiar environment for dogs that could be overwhelmed in a dog daycare yard or room.
These daycares will often have only a few dogs that attend daily due to space available and allowances by local municipalities regarding kennel/boarding facility licensing requirements for residential homes.
Combined with the familiarity comes the everyday dangers of a home, so make sure the house has been properly dog-proofed which is properly cleaned and sanitized to lessen illness transmission (more on cleaning protocols further down in this specific article).
Which dogs do best in this style of daycare? Dogs who exhibit signs of separation anxiety have a tendency to do best in this form of daycare. Dogs who benefit from the company of a couple dogs at the same time are also good candidates.