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Daycare is a great way to socialize your dog, especially if you have a puppy or a shy dog. Puppies are very impressionable and the more they are socialized the more likely they will grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. If you have a shy dog, daycare can be a great tool to help your dog build his or her confidence and adjust to other dogs and people. Just remember it can take time for a shy dog to get used to daycare and really enjoy themselves.
Daycare is an excellent way to exercise your dog, although we do not recommend having your dog participate in daycare every day.
Daycare is very exhausting and your dog needs some time off to catch up on sleep. Additionally, doing daycare every day can lead to guarding behavior in some dogs, which is not something we want to see in a daycare environment.
Even those dogs that are mellower and do not enjoy non-stop play, benefit from the mental stimulation they get from daycare. There is always lots to watch and new smells to check out in daycare.
Daycare can help dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. It gives your dogs a place to go during the day when you cannot be with them and provides both mental and physical stimulation which will make them tired and more receptive to the training you do at home to overcome their anxiety.
Daycare is really no different than sending a child to school. Every child catches a cold or the flu at some point and some children have better immune systems than other children. The biggest difference between your dog and a child is that your dog cannot tell you a day or two before they are showing signs of being sick that their throat feels a little scratchy and often it is the days before they “act or look sick” that they are the most contagious. When we do know of something going around we will post a notice in our lobby and try to verbally notify all parents of dogs that we think might have been exposed. We also ask for help from the parents, as you are more likely to notice the subtle changes in your dog that indicate they might be feeling a little off and if you notice these signs we ask that you refrain from bringing your dog to daycare. However, even with all of us being very diligent in trying to prevent the spread of a virus or bacteria that makes our dogs sick it still cannot be completely prevented. Please refer to our separate handout for more information.
Daycare is similar to a contact sport for humans, except these participants are playing the game with their teeth and claws. The more active of a player your dog is the more likely they will get scratches and other marks on them. There is a playgroup supervisor in group with the dogs at all times and we monitor each group to keep play levels as safe as possible, but sometimes things do happen. If we notice anything, we will point it out to you, but remember, they are covered in hair and we will not see everything. If you do find a mark you feel may be concerning, please let us know.
Some dogs experience tender paws until they adapt to all the activity and our outdoor park areas. Often times they do not let us know that their feet are sore because they are too busy playing and having a good time and only start limping once they get home. If your dog has sensitive feet let us know and we can restrict the amount of time your dog plays outside.
The closer a dog is in contact with other dogs the more likely they are to come into contact with fleas or doggy lice. If you are concerned about your dog picking up one of these critters, please speak to your veterinarian about putting your dog on a preventative.
After a day of daycare, your dog will most likely go home hungry, thirsty, and tired. This is normal. During play, dogs might not take the time to stop and drink as much as they should. We always have fresh water available but many dogs are too distracted with playing. Do not be surprised if your dog goes home eats and passes out. This too is normal and is probably one of the primary reasons you bring your dog to daycare. Because dogs in daycare often do not take the time to take a break, we do nap rotations in the middle of the day. The naps are an hour long and give the dogs a break from play and each other, but they are still going to need some extra sleep at home.
We love feedback, so please communicate any questions or concerns that you may have. At the end of the day we want daycare to be an enjoyable experience for you and your dog!