How to Choose a Doggie Daycare
Doggie daycare is becoming more and more popular as some dog parents feel guilty about leaving their four-legged family members at home for long periods. Some parents don’t choose doggie daycare out of guilt – they make the choice because they believe their dogs need socialization, exercise, and a routine.
The PAW report suggests, “Dogs should not be left alone for more than four hours a day depending on their age. However, the survey revealed that 23% of respondents left their dog alone for more than five hours a day on a typical weekday.”
As much as we would love it if our offices allowed us to bring our dogs to work, that isn’t usually the case, unless you are lucky enough to work from home. When dogs are left alone, problems arise. Dogs may have potty accidents or act out due to boredom or stress. Doggie daycare can minimize these issues.
No matter what your reasoning is for sending your dog to doggie daycare, it is important to take your time to find the right one for your fur baby.
Ten Things to Look for When Choosing a Doggie Daycare
Today, it is easy to search online for dog boarding, dog walkers, and doggie daycare. However, you should never commit to one of these without seeing the facility and the people in person. When it comes to sending your dog to a facility for hours several times a week, you need to tour the facility and be on the lookout for the following things:
1. Cleanliness: If you visit a doggie daycare and notice it smells or is dirty, or you see piles of dog poop that aren’t being scooped, it’s probably a sign that it is not the right place for your four-legged family member. Since dogs can pick up illnesses just like humans, it is important to choose a facility that prioritizes cleaning and sanitation.
2. Safety Precautions: Pay attention to safety precautions for dogs, such as secure fences and doors. The facility should also be clear of hazards, such as cords. It is also wise to ask the tour director about what safety precautions are in place.
3. How Dogs are Grouped: Take notice of how dogs are grouped in the daycare. Are they all together in one space or all they group based on size or temperament? Are there separate play spaces to minimize the number of dogs in one space at a time?
4. Staff-to-Dog Ratio: Just as there are student-to-teacher ratios in human classrooms, there also should be staff-to-dog ratios in daycare facilities. According to Better Homes & Gardens, “International Boarding and Pet Care Services Association (a national organization that’s involved in day care) recommend a ratio of 15 dogs per one human as a safe standard. The IBPSA also notes that allowances are often made for more active groups, where a ratio of one staffer per 10 dogs is desired, or less active groups, where 20 dogs per staffer is adequate.”
5. The Routine: Many people send their pups to a daycare because they want their dogs to get some exercise or have a routine. It is wise to ask the directors about the routine. What will the dogs do each day? Does the facility offer any training during camp hours?
6. Requirements: When you board your dog, you are required to present proof of current vaccinations for Rabies, DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus), and Bordetella (“kennel cough”). A doggie daycare should require the same. Additionally, be sure to ask about spay and neutering requirements.
7. Staff Training: When you drop your dog off in the morning, you want to trust they are in good hands. The best way to confirm this is to find out about what sort of training or certification the staff members have received. Do they know pet first aid? Have they been trained in animal behaviors?
8. Emergency Procedures: Accidents happen. The best doggie daycares will have emergency plans in place for animal injuries and natural disasters.
9. Weekly Reports: Some dog parents may like the idea of perks, such as receiving weekly report cards to see how their pup is behaving and what he is learning. Others want a facility that has webcams or shares photos of dogs throughout the week.
10. Boarding Options: If you plan on boarding your dog at any time in the near future, it is a good idea to see if the daycare also offers boarding. It will make it much easier to board your dog if it is a place you feel comfortable with that your dog loves.
The Ultimate Deciding Factor When Choosing a Doggie Daycare
Ultimately, you know your dog better than anyone else. Choose the daycare that seems like the best fit for your pup and pay attention to his behavior after he starts attending. You’ll know if he loves it or hates it. The American Kennel Club suggests, “The best sign is a dog that comes home tired, but happy. Is he relaxed or stressed at the end of the day? Does he seem eager to head out each morning or do you have to drag him through the door?”
Super Scoopers doesn’t provide a doggie daycare, but we do offer safe poop scooping for residential homes and commercial properties. Sign up for service today!