Many of us are faced with the fact that after a year+ working at home, that it’s time to go back to the office. But what’s going to happen to your pup who likes the routine of being around their human 24/7?  A doggie daycare might be a good option for Fido.  How will you select the right environment for your dog?  Here are some tips on choosing a doggie daycare:

Doggy Etiquette

dog playing doggie daycare

Before you even begin your search for choosing a doggie daycare, let’s evaluate your dog’s personality.  Your canine’s temperament is essential to making his/her daycare experience fun. Does your dog truly enjoy interacting with unfamiliar dogs or do they simply tolerate being around other dogs? Many dog moms and dog dads think that their dog will enjoy being in a daycare with other dogs simply because they’re a dog,  it’s what dogs do! While our intentions are good and we want to make sure our furry friends have a well-rounded and fulfilling life, putting a dog who doesn’t truly enjoy group play into that environment can cause fear, anxiety, and stress. If you’ve taken your dog to the dog park, you might have a good idea of how well your dog does around others.  Make sure your dog is social and will truly enjoy a daycare environment.

Meet ‘N Greet

dog and owner doggie daycare

Do your research beforehand and get advice from other dog lovers in your neighborhood. No matter what city you live in, it’s important to tour the daycare that your dog will be hanging out at.  Make an appointment to see the facility.  When you first walk in the front door, your first impression is everything.  You want the daycare to be clean and sanitized properly.  Ask the manager if the facility is bonded and properly insured. If something happens to your dog or your dog causes damage while in their care, they need to have coverage to pay for damages. Examine the gates, fences and flooring to make sure it’s all strong and well-maintained and no chance for escapees.

Proper Doggy Daycare Staffing

dogs and person doggie daycare

Ask about the staff to dog ratio.  Some states have a regulated dog-to-human ration for daycares, others do not.  The International Boarding an Pet Care Services Association recommends a ration of 15 dogs per one person as a safe standard.  This number can vary according to the pack of dogs.  For instance a pack of senior small dogs (less active) might only need one staffer per 20 dogs.  Whereas a rambunctious group of big mutts might necessitate a ratio of one human per 10 dogs.

Size Matters

dogs at doggie daycare

Larger dog daycares typically have different playrooms/yards for dogs based on their size and temperament. It’s important to know your dog’s style of play and convey that to the staff.  Even if your dog is 100+ lbs, but is more “zen” in their play style, i.e. would rather snooze than run, jump and tackle, let the daycare know.

Doggy Daycare Activities

dogs at doggie daycare

Most good daycares don’t just have a doggy free-for-all.  Guided activities for your pup will keep them entertained and busy throughout the day. In addition, many facilities offer training for dogs.  You might notice a marked improvement of their behavior as they become “regulars” at doggie daycare.

Toys & Treats

dogs playing

Even the most mild mannered dog can react negatively to other pups when they are given toys and treats. Protecting a toy can lead to dogs being aggressive.  If you know your dog has these tendencies, make sure you convey this important information.  In addition, treats can also cause negative behavior.  Also, if your dog is on a special diet, please tell the daycare.

Say Cheese

dogs taking a photo

When you do choose the best doggie daycare for your pooch, ask how the facility communicates with you during the day.  Some daycare businesses actually have live camera feeds so you can check in on your dog and watch them play.  Others will snap a pic or two to let you know they are having lots of doggy fun.  Be prepared to pick up a an exhausted and worn out pup at the end of the day.  Mental and physical exercise will have your dog snoozing the whole car ride home!