Are you considering enrolling your dog in daycare? Our veterinary team in Westminster shares the benefits of doggy daycare, what you can expect, and how to make the experience as positive as possible for your dog.
Daycare for Pets
If you have to be away from your dog for the day while you work or have other obligations, you might have a few options to consider between a pet sitter, family members to care for your four-legged friend, or leaving your pup on their own for a short time.
That said, doggy daycare is a growing trend across the United States for many dog owners who are concerned about leaving their canine companion alone for too long, or who are aware their pet needs physical activity, mental stimulation, and socialization time. In this post, we discuss the purpose and benefits of doggy daycare, and the stress factor. We also offer tips for reducing any stress your dog might feel at daycare.
What do dogs do at daycare?
Dogs that don’t have an outlet for their energy and curiosity can become bored, which may result in depression, stress or acting out in ways that can get them into trouble .
While your dog is at daycare facility, you can be sure they’ll be getting in some valuable playtime, experience socializing with other dogs and physical exercise that will allow them to run off all that pent-up energy.
Often at doggy daycares facilities they’ll enjoy a group or individual play times in a large, enclosed outdoor play area, treats and lots of love, attention, friends and toys to play with. Dog are often divided into small, medium and large dogs and kept separated by size for safety reasons.
The Importance of Pet Stress Relief
Beyond the convenience factor, booking your dog some time at daycare not only makes it easier to get that much-needed exercise time in, but it also helps your animal relieve stress that’s built up from everyday events and larger factors, from car trips, being left at home alone, your recent move, visits to the vet, changes in routine or maybe even the death of a family member.
Just like us, physical activity and time with their dog friends is an important stress reliever for our pets. Pet parents often find that their dogs are less likely to be hyper or destructive after a day of activity and play. After they arrive home, they’ll be ready for snuggle time with you, and a good nap!
Tips for Reducing Stress While Your Pet is at Daycare
Naturally, if you’ve never been separated from your pet, you might be nervous about leaving them with someone for the day.
Some dog owners have wondered if it’s stressful for their pet to attend animal daycare, either because of the separation or all the new smells, people and other dogs they’ll be interacting with. While there is usually an adjustment period for dogs who are new to the daycare experience, most settle in and enjoy their time with us. That said, here are some steps you can take to reduce any stress your pet may feel during their time at any daycare facility:
1. Assess the facility before booking.When you speak with staff at the facility, how do you feel? Are they warm, caring and passionate about pets? Do they have experience in running pet daycare? Ask for a tour. Does the facility appear clean and organized? Are there comfortable places for your dog to play and relax? Are staff there to answer questions and concerns?
2. Be honest about behavior and other issues.Just like people, each dog is an individual. Some have quirks or behavioral issues these can affect which daycare facility will be the best fit for your dog.
3. Leave your contact number and clear instructions.
Just like with human children things can go wrong at daycare. While the staff should be professional and able to handle most issues it is still comforting to know that if there is a problem they will call you.
As pet parents become more aware of their pets’ need for mental stimulation and regular physical exercise beyond what they may be able to provide, daycare for pets has become increasingly popular across the United States since the mid-1990s.
More and more owners are looking into pet daycare services as life gets busier and we become more aware of the benefits of regular mental and physical activity for dogs. We are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have as you choose the best place for your four-legged friend.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.