Dog daycare is a great option for pet parents who are regularly away from home or who just can’t be the best playmate to their pups during the day. Veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough explains the benefits of dog daycare, and how to know if it’s right for your pup.
On your busier days (at, or away from, home), doggy daycare can ensure that your pup is entertained and in good care. Some of the main benefits for your pup are:
Dogs attending daycare should be up-to-date on vaccinations when going to doggy daycare, but there’s always a risk that your pup may catch a cold or get injured during playtime.
If you want to feel confident that your pet is getting the best care, make sure the dog daycare you’re interested in has these must-haves:
Adding a new activity to your dog’s schedule can be overwhelming. To make sure you’re learning all about your dog’s new hangout spot, here’s a list of things you should ask the daycare about before committing:
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To ensure that your dog, and other dogs at the daycare, are safe, there are some steps you can take the week before to prepare your pup.
Socialize your dog
It’s important that your dog is good around other dogs and humans (you should start socializing dogs at a young age). If you haven’t yet, start bringing your dog to unfamiliar places so they can learn how to adapt to new social settings. Doggy daycares often require a temperament test, where they introduce your dog to other dogs to see how they interact before agreeing to watch them.
Introduce your dog to the daycare
Ask the staff at the doggy daycare if you can bring your pup ahead of time to familiarize them with the facility. It may be helpful for them to see the space before being dropped off for a full day.
Make sure your dog is healthy
If your dog is showing any signs of illness and injury, it’s not a good idea to take them to daycare. Stay home if they have these symptoms:
Ask your vet about dog medications and vaccinations
Talk to your vet about the vaccinations your pup needs for doggy daycare. Make sure your dog is on regular heartworm medication and flea and tick preventives, too.
Give your dog extra attention
The big day is here! Before you take them in, continue your usual routine. Take them on a longer walk that morning to get some quality bonding time and work off any extra energy they may have.
Talk to the staff about your dog’s diet
If your dog has any food allergies or is on a special diet, be sure to let the doggy daycare know. Most places won’t pass out food, but it’s still a good idea to clarify.
Pack your dog a bag
Just like a child goes to school, you should pack a bag for your dog, too. Have your dog’s medical history handy in case there are any questions. Here’s a quick list of things to include in their daycare bag:
With this guide, you can find a hangout that you and your dog can feel good about. Dog daycare isn’t only a new adventure for your pup — it’s a change for you, too. Make sure to keep them on a routine, give them lots of water and reward them with love and affection when they get home.
Photo by Anthony Duran on Unsplash