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Dog Day Care

Updated on June 12, 2013

Doggie day cares are a booming business, and for good reason.  People love their pets, and they want to make sure that when they are working, their dog is being taken care of, given stimulation and companionship.  Dog day cares may not be for everyone dog, but here are a few measures you can take to make sure you choose the right type of day care for your dog.

Is Your Dog Right for Day Care?

The best personality a dog can have is a submissive dog who is altogether easy-going.  An alpha dog would be too overbearing on other dogs and may cause fight, and any dog that isn’t easy going is either going to cause trouble for the day care or be miserable in a corner until you come home.  We want our dogs to be happy when we take them to day care. 

A dog having fun.  Keep your dogs mind active with dog day care.
A dog having fun. Keep your dogs mind active with dog day care.

Alternatives to Day Care

If you don’t think that day care is right for your dog, you may want to consider a dog walker. There are different types of dog care professionals out there, including dog walkers, dog runners, and dog sitters. If you’re worried about your dog being alone for too long when you’re at work, you might want to consider a dog sitter who will stay with your dog for a while and give him a walk. If you have a large dog who needs more exercise, there are dog runners who will jog along side your dog rather than walking. The most important thing you can do for your dog is give them exercise during the day, which will give him stimulation and exercise without the stress your dog might have with being in a day care. There are, however, many choices of day care, and you might want to try some others if you’re worried about socialization.  Another choice you have is buying a dog kennel or dog run.  You should take care when purchasing one, and you won't want to leave your dog in there for two long, especially if it's a small kennel.  You'll want to buy multiple dog kennels if you have more than one dog, to avoid fights or accidents when your dogs play.

Types of Day Care

There are home based day cares which would naturally limit the amount of dogs the person can take in.  This is a nice environment as it’s a comfy home for your dog.  There is also day cares that take your dog on dog park excursions with other dogs.  They often have a pick up and drop off service, and your dog usually gets to exercise in a pack, depending on what program the walker has for the dogs.  One service in my area owns private hiking grounds, where it takes packs of dogs on all day hikes.  Then there are the facilities that house the dogs for the day.  They offer different services and allow dogs to do certain things, and some may have walking services available for the dog.

Dog Day Care Facilities

For those who have actual day care and/or boarding facilities, you will want to take a tour of the area. Make sure it’s not overcrowded, there are small play groups, and that dogs are assorted accordingly in size and temperament. Ask about what kind of reinforcement they use on the dogs when they exhibit bad behavior. Make sure your dog is vaccinated against kennel cough, though the day care should require vaccinations. For a more extensive list on what to look for in a dog day care facility, visit here.

There are a few extras you might want with your dog day care, including dog training, dog grooming, and dog boarding.  These would of course cost extra, and if you aren't familiar with the groomer or trainer, you may not want to take advantage of it.  Be sure to check out the groomer thoroughly, as dogs can be injured or even killed by improper grooming methods.  If in doubt, don't use them.  Find a groomer you trust.

Hopefully with a little research, you can find a solution that is appropriate for your situation.  Remember, it's your dog's well being at stake here, so don't be afraid to ask questions.  And good luck with your search for an appropriate dog day care.


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