Doggie Daycare Questions Answered

DogsPlayingDoggie Daycare is becoming quite popular for a variety of reasons. You may be wondering what to look for if you’re considering it for your dog.

Q: How will I know if my dog would like doggie daycare?

A: Look at his personality first. Does he enjoy being with other dogs? Does he play with other dogs or just tolerate them? Does he enjoy going to a dog park? Is he an active dog? Some dogs enjoy just being with other dogs even if they don’t play a lot and for others, the activity with other dogs is good for them. You just have to know your dog.

Q: What’s a safe number of dogs per class? Is there a staff-to-dog ratio I should look for?

A: It depends on the experience of the staff person and the activity level of the dogs. Some states have mandated minimums, like Colorado, where it’s a requirement of one staff person to every 15 dogs. The Pet Care Services Association, a national organization that’s involved in daycare, boarding and other pet services, recommends one staffer per 15 dogs, although allowances are made for more active groups, where a ratio of one staffer per 10 dogs is preferred, or less active groups, where 20 dogs per staffer is acceptable.

Q: Should the dogs be separated by size?

A: It’s not just size, because small dogs and young puppies are the same size, but they’re not appropriate players. So I would also look at the activity level, the play style of the dogs. Look at the size and also the dogs’ personalities. For instance, Jack Russell terriers don’t play well with little poodles, although they’re roughly the same size.

Q: How long should my dog spend in daycare? Is all day too long? How often should he go?

A: It depends on the dog. Some facilities require a set number of visits at first to incorporate a dog into the group. A good facility will let you know if your dog needs a break.

Obviously, younger, more active dogs need it more, otherwise they can get into trouble at home. Older, less active dogs might only need it occasionally. Take your cues from your dog.

Q: Should all dogs in daycare have their shots?

A: Oh, yes. The facility should require proof of vaccinations, so they have the records of the shots and records of each dog’s veterinarian.

Q: How can I choose the best kennel for my dog if I’m leaving on vacation?

A: Don’t wait. Start checking the facilities out now, not right before you have to leave. Ask your friends or veterinarian for references. Visit the facility you’re considering and get a tour. What kind of services do they offer? Are there structured daily activities? Can you bring your own dog food to keep your dog on the same diet? What are the sleeping quarters like and who provides the bedding? What’s their veterinary care? Just overall, how do they handle the dogs and what’s the cleanliness of the place?

Q: How can I tell if my dog is enjoying doggie daycare?

A: He should come home tired, but happy and relaxed, not agitated. There’s a difference between coming home tired from having fun and coming home tired from being stressed. So it depends on how the dog is acting. If he seems happy, his tail is wagging and he’s eager to go in there in the morning, then he probably is enjoying it. But if when you get there he puts on his brakes, he doesn’t want to go through the door, that’s a bad sign. He’s either going too often, or going to the wrong doggie daycare.

Source: WebMD




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