Daycare for Dogs: Supervision, Socialisation & Stimulation
Daycare for dogs would’ve been a strange concept a decade or so ago, but today it’s a growing commercial service that’s benefitting dogs and owners.
The concept of paying for dog supervision might seem strange, but if all the pros are weighed up, it really starts to make sense.
- Your house and garden remain intact
- Your pup gets attention while you’re away
- You get assistance with housetraining/potty behaviour
- Socialisation continues to become easier and more natural
- Separation anxiety (and your accompanying concerns) can be reduced
- Playtime is fun, stimulating and happens in a safe, supervised environment
Playing with others, just being a dog, and using up some energy before you get home from work will make such a difference in both your dog’s and your life. Stimulated, exercised dogs tend to behave better and live happier, healthier lives.
CHOOSING A DAYCARE
You should choose a daycare that’s right for you and your pup. Besides regular supervision, you might be interested in training, grooming, pick-up and drop-off services. Depending on the company, veterinary visits can also be arranged.
That’s not all. Some doggy daycares even offer massage, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy treatments. Photos of play sessions, special events for dogs and owners, class outings and products for purchase, are all things that could be offered. It all depends on where you go and what you need.
MAIN BENEFITS FOR DOGS AND OWNERS
Two of the greatest benefits of doggy daycare are regular exercise and the opportunity to frequently socialise with other dogs. Exercise is great for working off extra energy and being around other dogs is great for your pup’s social skills.
Your dog also gets to interact with different humans and probably never gets bored (which at home could have led to destructive behaviour). It’s also a great opportunity for Bella or Buster to just have fun. Plus, as an owner, you won’t feel as guilty as you did when you had to leave your furchild at home.
INSIGHTS FROM DAYCARE OPERATORS
- Find a daycare with caring, clued-up and trustworthy staff members who are capable of supervising your beloved pet.
- Generally, one person should not be responsible for more than ten dogs and a backup team member should also be on the premises.
- Make sure the daycare is safe, clean and that vaccinations for all dogs is a requirement (proof of a screening may be required).
- Check that your training and handling methods are aligned with the staff’s practices.
- Daycare is there to offer socialisation and stimulation under supervision. There’s no point in dropping your pup off at a place that will just place him in a crate or kennel and ignore him.
- Your dog may not like or be suited for daycare (food bowl aggression; anxiety and other factors may cause issues).
- From the daycare’s side, overcrowding should be avoided.
- Visit the daycare to see if there’s enough space, toys, obstacles and hiding places. The environment should be fun, but also safe in terms of cushioned areas and places to rest.
- Trust your gut: if it doesn’t look or feel 100% right, keep looking.