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Dogs are great and we love them, but if you’re a dog owner, how often have you found yourself in a situation where you have to go somewhere, but in the back of your mind you know you can’t because you have nobody to look after your dog?
Even if it’s for a weekend or just a long day. This, unfortunately, happens to most dog owners. You’re very limited in what you can do unless you’re able to find someone to look after your pooch. And even if you have great family members or neighbors that are willing to look after your dog, you don’t want to just leave them with the responsibility of caring for your dog every couple of weeks.
It’s rude and inconsiderate. Having a dog is a big responsibility and one that shouldn’t be left for your loved ones to handle every time you feel like leaving the house for a night or weekend. With that being said, have you considered taking your dog to dog daycare? If you’re unfamiliar, dog daycare is the same concept as daycare for kids, but it’s for dogs.
How Dog Daycare Works
So dog daycare has piqued your interest and you naturally want to learn more. You may have questions such as, what kind of dog daycare is right for my dog, is my dog even ready for dog daycare, or how much does dog daycare cost?
The first and most important part of dog daycare is understanding and determining whether it’s right for your dog. Some dogs may be better off left at home, lounging around on your couch or sleeping in their crate while you’re gone.
Typically when it comes to a standard dog daycare facility, they are larger buildings with plenty of free room. These facilities will typically house 5-20 and even as much as 60+ dogs at the same time. Most of these facilities will have a large open area indoors where dogs are able to run around and play with one another. They’ll also have separate rooms in which crates or kennels are stored. This is where dogs can be taken in order to get some quiet time for themselves in order to calm down and relax. To go along with an indoor area, standard dog daycares will also have a large outdoor fenced-in area where dogs can go to the bathroom, run around, play on different obstacle courses, and just enjoy being outdoors.
Enrolling Your Dog Into Dog Daycare
As with regular daycare, there is a process for enrolling your dog into dog daycare. The first step involves registering your dog, which can usually be done by filling out a form online. Here you’ll provide all of your dogs’ information, such as their breed, gender, age, tendencies, behaviors, as well as shot and vaccine information, so that the daycare knows what to expect.
Once you’ve completed that, you’ll typically receive a call from the daycare during which you can answer any additional questions that they might have regarding your dog. During this call, you’ll schedule an appointment to bring your dog into the daycare for an hour-long session to see how well they acclimate to the daycare and how well they get along with other dogs.
If the trial run goes well, you’ll receive feedback from the daycare staff on how your furry friend did. Depending on the results, you may be able to move forward with a couple of half days to further integrate your dog with the rest of the pack, and eventually, if all goes smoothly, you’ll be able to leave them there for a full day if you’d like.
Some daycares even allow you to board your dog, which means leaving them at the daycare for an extended period of time, whether it’s overnight, for a couple of days, or even up to a week. If dog daycare is something your dog enjoys and gets benefit out of, then boarding them in order to go on vacation or travel for business is a great option.
The Cost of Dog DayCare
When it comes to most things, it all sounds great until you hear how much it costs and you become turned off and uninterested. This isn’t the case for dog daycare. Although it can be, depending on where and what you’re looking for. There are some very fancy dog daycares that can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars a month, but only because they have the most high tech facilities and pamper your dogs to a great extent.
If you’re looking for something like that, then yes, you might have to break the bank in order to send your dog to daycare. But typically, that isn’t the case for most dog owners. Most dog owners simply want their dogs to be taken care of while they’re at daycare, and not necessarily pampered. Now, this doesn’t mean that the staff at the daycare doesn’t know what they’re doing or won’t properly care for your dog. It just means they won’t be doing anything over the top.
Benefits of Dog Daycare for Both Dogs and Owners
Surely the benefits of dog daycare for owners are quite obvious, right? Free time! You finally have the free time you’ve been begging for and you no longer have to worry about whether your dog is being taken care of, what they’re doing, whether they’ll have an accident in the house, who will take them outside to go to the bathroom, when they’ll be fed, etc. But what kind of benefits does your dog receive from attending dog daycare? Here are some of the main benefits.
- Physical exercise and mental activity for your dog during the day while you’re at work/away from home
- Beneficial alternative if your dog doesn’t like to be alone
- Decreases rowdy behavior in your home
- Decreases barking tendencies
- Some daycares will provide dogs with behavioral training, so you get a two for one deal — daycare and training
- Playing all day will exhaust your dog and they’ll want to sleep when they come home (a tired dog is a good dog)
- Learning and developing social skills, which will make your dog more friendly with others
- Daycare is good for puppies who need multiple bathroom breaks throughout the day and socialization with other dogs at an early age is beneficial