When choosing a doggy daycare, there are some important things to consider before trusting your dog to a facility and its staff. Today, our Orlando vets share some questions to ask before making your final decision.
Which questions should I ask a doggy daycare?
Every pup parent wants their dog to get the attention and exercise they deserve while they are at work or away from home for the day. But, if you can't bring your dog into the office, what's a busy dog owner to do? You can bring your pooch to a doggy daycare for the day.
Before you decide whether a doggy daycare is right for you and your dog, here are some questions you should ask:
- How is eligibility determined (ex: is there a temperament test)?
- What are the vaccination or health requirements at this facility?
- Is the business bonded and ensured?
- How are dogs grouped at the facility (size, age, activity level, etc.)?
- What is the ratio of dogs to staff members? Is there enough staff to ensure safety?
- How is dogs' behavior managed within the group?
- What type and level of training do staff members at the daycare have (first aid, CPR, dog behavior)?
- What happens if there is a medical emergency? What's the procedure? Will you contact my vet, and me?
- If my dog misbehaves, how will this be addressed?
- Do you send daily report cards to pet owners?
- What kind of play will my dog be allowed to engage in while here?
- What else is on the schedule for the day?
- Will my dog have access to safe areas both indoors and outdoors?
- How much time is spent outdoors vs. indoors?
- What is the cost of daycare? Can you provide me with an estimate?
- Is there a webcam left on so I can see my dog play throughout the day?
- Do you offer other services, such as grooming?
In addition to asking these questions, we also recommend meeting the staff and asking them to take a tour of the facility. Pay close attention to how the staff interacts with one another and the animals. Are the staff members patient, compassionate and warm — both with you and with the dogs in their care? Also, check that the facility and areas where dogs play are clean. Take the time to watch your dog interact with the other dogs there on this and throughout this and future visits, and do not feel obligated to leave him if you don't feel comfortable with what you see.
Once your dog has become familiar with his new routine, you'll be able to tell if he's enjoying daycare. Ideally, your pup will be tired but happy and relaxed at the end of every day — not stressed. Since you know your dog best, take note of whether he seems happy heading out in the morning or hesitant. If all is well, you know you can be confident your pup is getting the attention and socialization he needs while you're at work.
The Benefits of Doggy Daycare
When your pup visits a doggy daycare, they will get the exercise, stimulation, and socialization they need to allow them to use up that extra energy, so they'll be much less likely to be hyper or destructive after a day of vigorous play. Your dog should be ready for snuggle time by the time you come to pick him up.