Before leaving your precious pooch in the arms of a stranger, it is important to considered the Pros & Cons of Doggy Daycares, and review a list of questions to ask the care service provider. Upstanding Doggie Daycare companies will welcome your inquisitiveness with transparency and patience, having a sincere desire to set your worries to rest. If someone is impatient, agitated or just wants to get to the bottom line, your dog would perhaps be better suited elsewhere.
One great way to tell if the care providers have your dog’s best interests at heart is to ask them how many days a week a dog should be kept in daycare. They should say a maximum of 2-3 days weekly, and if they push for 5-6 days then they may be more interested in profit than your dog’s wellness and development. Here are some ways you can figure out if the day care service will meet you and your fur-baby’s needs.
Questions to Ask the Daycare Provider
- How are the staff members trained? Many pet parents forget to begin with this crucial question. Owning a couple of dogs is one thing, but caring for, monitoring, and breaking up squabbles among of big groups of dogs takes special training and qualifications. Ideally, the staff workers should at least be Certified Dog Behavior Consultants (CDBC), or Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAAB), or possessing other comparable certifications that signifies their devotion to working with animals, and their ability to do so effectively. If a staff member is training for one of the above qualifications, this should be sufficient as long as a supervisor is present.
- How many caretakers work with the dogs? Find out that the worker-to-dog ratio is. Ideally, there should not be more than 10 dogs to one care provider. In areas where 10-20 dogs swarm one person, all hell could break loose, and putting your dog in that kind of environment would be irresponsible.
- How is a new dog integrated into a group of regulars? If they play to just add your dog the mix, there will be negative dynamics and potential anxiety for your pup. Make sure you choose a facility that introduces a dog to a group one pup at a time so as to make the transition seamless and unthreatening.
- What are the health and sanitation policies and vaccination requirements? Only entrust your dog to care centers that prioritize keeping the floors, beds, toys and even the eliminating area clean. Keep your dog away from providers that are lax about pee puddles, or do not insist that all pets have the proper up-to-date vaccinations.
- Will the staff notify you if your dog seems unhappy or isn’t having a good time? More than making money based on the head count of dogs present, the staff members and managers should be concerned about your dog’s experience. If they are unwilling to discuss the day’s events in detail with, or your dog seems depressed and unhappy in spite of the staff’s report, you should be wary of returning.
- How many dogs are put in the play pen together? Do they separate big and little dogs? No matter how amicably dogs may be playing, when large dogs closely associate with small dogs, there can be instances of Predatory Drift (where a big dog views a smaller animal as prey). Putting dogs of vastly different sizes together can be dangerous on a practical level as big dogs can accidently hurt small dogs. Dogs at daycare centers should be separated based on size if possible.
*NOTE: The dogs should also not have any collar or bandana on, as these can get caught in games, twisted or can be pulled by other dogs, thereby endangering your pup.
- What products and food brands do they feed the dogs? Make sure you do your research about the product, since many mainstream pet food companies add fillers and ingredients which are only fit for the trash. Poor nutrition can severely affect a dog’s health, so find out what your dog will be given while he is in daycare.
- Do the dogs have solitary resting time? When dogs attend daycare groups for long hours, they can easily become worn out and in need of a rest. Some pups will run around high-energy all day if they are not given a designated resting time. For a balanced life, make sure your pup will have a chance to recharge and rest daily.
- How do they settle disputes or fights between dogs? Find out how they deal with barking, nipping, pawing, growling, or fighting over toys. It is ideal if they use spray bottles of water, or tools like Direct Stop in the midst of heated disputes. For merely “annoying” behaviors (like barking, howling or jumping up) the caretakers should merely interrupt them, without resorting to physical punishment or yelling.
A good rule of thumb is, if you feel uneasy about a doggy daycare provider, then listen to your gut instinct. Dogs cannot verbalize when things are wrong, and need their humans to protect them by researching and finding out if they will be well cared for and safe. Don’t find out the wrong way that this was a mistake!