Everywhere you look there is another daycare popping up.
Franchising has made it a rapid land-grab for many companies. The question is, are daycares good for dogs?
As a behavioral training school, our focus is to not only solve problems that pups are causing their owners but to establish environments where pet owners can prevent problems from occurring and escalating.
That means the answer is…YES, Doggy Daycares are incredible prevention tools for naughty behaviors, plus an especially paw-
Why Doggy Daycare is important
Dogs, especially puppies, NEED socialization for a successful life. A lack of socialization leads to anxious and weariness around the things they aren’t socialized to. We’ll address how unsocialized dogs should be worked with later in this article.
Many dogs are pretty active with high energy. Even if your dog is a couch potato, the playtime in Daycare once a week is great for his/her health. If your dog does have a lot of energy, being left home alone for the day might not be the best environment for them. They will simply transfer that excess energy into destruction. Instead, bring them to daycare to play off that drive, and take home a calm (or at least calmer) pup!
Much like playtime helps channel that excess energy, many daycares (like Partners Doggy Daycare) offer training with daycare. This teaches your dog how to be obedient even in distraction-filled environments. Additionally, if the daycare staff is taught correctly, they will teach your dog how to play appropriately. This doesn’t mean they can’t roughhouse, but there is a line that should be monitored carefully.
4. Gives YOU a break!
Of course, we all love our dogs more than life itself. However, they can be a bit overbearing at times. Doggy Daycares give both you and your dog a much-needed break. Plus, with the physical and mental stimulation, your daycare should provide, your pup will come home calm and a joy to have around.
How to select your Daycare:
Despite what many franchises will tell you, the staff and owners of a doggy daycare should have thorough experience in animal behavior. Daycares are high energy environments, if your staff can’t read dubious behavior and either de-escalate or address it effectively, your dog could be involved in a fight and possibly injured. Now, injuries are not 100% preventable, they can happen, but they can be seriously reduced with the right training.
2. Dog to Staff ratio:
Daycares have the potential of being extremely lucrative. Unfortunately, that rewards the wrong practices of many daycares. As owners try to improve their profit margin, they start to cut down the amount of staff on duty. Many daycares assign 25+ dogs to 1 staff member, making it completely impossible to monitor effectively. This can lead to an increase in dog fights, injuries, and even deaths. You want to choose a daycare with at most a 10 to 1 dog to trainer ratio, such as Partners Doggy Daycare.
3. Health Protocols
While this can be a hassle for owners, assessments ensure your dog is going to be a good fit around the other dogs and staff members. If they show large amounts of pushiness, reactivity, anxiousness, or other behaviors that are more difficult to manage in daycare, you might want to start with a bit of training. Now, your dog might be great in a daycare setting, but if this isn’t checked with every other dog, your pup could be at risk. Again, this requires the staff members to be trained to read and understand dog behavior. That’s an advantage of working with a dog school that also has a daycare like Partners Dog Training.
4. Clean and safe
Of course, cleanliness is critical. However, safety is usually overlooked for “pretty play equipment.” When you tour a daycare, the safest ones usually are fairly bare. They shouldn’t have toys that can be ripped apart and digested, they shouldn’t have play equipment that limits too much visibility, or could topple over and hurt a pup, and they shouldn’t have a pool that’s too deep where a small dog could drown in.
What if my dog is anxious or dog aggressive?
Daycare might not be the best place for you to start. While many people think the socialization alone can cure these problems, there is a certain amount of training and foundation that has to be established first. While it might be an option in the future, it’s better to work with a professional trainer and let them assess if your dog will be a good fit in these high-energy environments.
So, there you have it. Daycare is an incredible tool for socialization, exercise, and fun! However, the daycare you choose should be the right fit for you and your pup. The guidelines above give you the best chance at finding a great daycare for your pup.