How to find the right facility for your beloved canine(s).
Daycare for dogs is one of the greatest pet inventions of all time. A place where you can leave your dog all day when you’re at work where he can play and burn energy? Who could ask for more?
It’s not surprising that doggie daycare facilities have been popping up all over the country during the past several years—they are becoming more popular every day. Owners find them to be the answer to keeping their dogs exercised when they are too busy to do it themselves.
With all the daycare centers out there asking for your business, how do you know which one to choose? How do you know if you can trust a daycare center to take good care of your dog, keeping him safe and happy while he’s interacting with other dogs? Here are some tips to choosing the best daycare facility for your dog.
The best way to find out about reputable doggie daycare facilities in your area is through personal referrals. Ask people you know if they have ever taken their dogs to a daycare center. You can also use social media to inquire; if you have a lot of local Facebook friends, post a question asking for experiences with the daycare facilities in your area.
Thanks to social media, you can find reviews on just about everything these days, and that includes doggie daycare centers. If you look on Yelp, for instance, you’ll get a good idea of what kinds of experiences other dog owners have had with a particular facility.
Pay a Visit
Don’t just take other peoples’ word for it. Visit the facility yourself, and do it without an appointment so you can see what it’s like when visitors aren’t expected. Ask for a tour of the facility, and keep an eye out for cleanliness, and secure fencing and gates. Do the staffers seem happy, and do the dogs look like they are enjoying themselves? Do the dogs have water available at all times?
Find out how many staffers will be supervising your dog’s playtime. Ask how long the facility has been operating, and how dogs are evaluated. You want to make sure dogs are properly screened for aggressiveness before being allowed to interact with other dogs. Find out about the qualifications of staff members (do they have experience with dogs?) and how they handle emergencies, such as injuries incurred in a dogfight.
Gauge Your Dog
A good facility will request that your dog do a trial visit so staff can evaluate his behavior with other dogs. You shouldn’t be charged for this evaluation, which is usually an hour or more. If the facility accepts your dog as a daycare participant, see how he feels the next time you take him there. He should be happy and excited. If he cowers or shows any reluctance to leave you and go with the staff, he’s either not a good candidate for daycare, or his daycare experience was not good. Ultimately, your dog will be the one to let you know if this is the right facility for him.