We seem to be working longer hours at places that send us farther away from home these days. This type of lifestyle may not seem compatible with having a furry friend, but many people can’t imagine being without a dog. So what is one to do? One option is pet daycare — or more specifically, doggy daycare! Daycare for pets allows you to go to work or be away for the day without worrying about your dog getting lonely, anxious, bored, or hyperactive (and no one likes to come home to a torn up house). A pet daycare will feed, play, and take care of your dog while you can’t be there. This can be especially good for puppies — puppies anywhere from eight to 12 weeks old need around four meals a day and a lot of training, which isn’t ideal if you have to be away during the day.
How Does Pet Daycare Work?
The United States has more pet dogs than any other country in the world — over 75 million! Yet, we also get less vacation time than many developed countries in the world and work long hours. Pet daycare centers address this issue and work to provide dogs with a safe and fun environment to stay while their owners are away and provide owners with peace of mind that their furry best friend is being well cared for.
It works rather similarly to child daycare — you drop your dog off before work in the morning and pick him or her up at night. Dogs who are more social tend to do better in pet daycare, or who require more exercise, but it can be a good place for younger dogs to learn “dog etiquette” and get used to playing nice with other dogs.
What’s the Difference Between Doggy Daycare and Dog Boarding?
With dog daycare, you’re not leaving your pet overnight, unlike with dog boarding. Since dog boarding tends to be for a longer period of time, you’ll likely need to bring more things with you — the dog bed, some toys, food, etc. — for his or her comfort, whereas with daycare, those things generally aren’t needed.
Both provide social time and exercise for your pup, with boarding just presenting an extended time frame.
What Should I Look For In Pet Daycare?
You want to make sure that the facility is kept clean and tidy (that can also indicate the level of care they have for the dogs). Climate control is also a big factor, especially if you live in an area that runs especially hot or cold. If the daycare doesn’t ask about vaccinations or wants to see that your dog has had specific shots, that should be a red flag.
You should ask about how many handlers are on staff overseeing the dogs at any given time (an ideal ratio is one handler to every ten dogs, or 1:15 on the outside).
Some daycares may also offer grooming services, as-needed veterinarian care, and training, though this tends to be more specialized.
What Are the Benefits to Having Your Dog in a Pet Daycare?
A bored, anxious, or lonely dog does not bode well for your home, furniture, or down time. If your dog is displaying behavioral issues, it may be because they’re not getting enough attention, discipline, or stimulation. A dog daycare can help fix those issues, as well as make sure your dog is regularly exercised. Just like with humans, obesity in dogs can lead to other healthcare problems now and down the line.
And, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your dog is in a safe, warm, and loving environment with plenty of things to do and other dogs for company. If you have to stay late for a meeting or go in early, you don’t have to stress about who is going to walk or feed the dog, or that he or she has been left alone at home for hours on end.