Happiness is a warm puppy. – Charles Shultz (cartoonist, Peanuts)
We think that Charles Schutz was on to something with this quote. Dogs and puppies are our personal beam of sunshine, and it is terrible to even think about staying away from them.
However, with the corporate world opening and workspaces filling up again, many pet owners are making their way back to their offices, leaving their fidos behind. While some leave them at home, many prefer daycare facilities.
Maybe you are considering sending your pet to dog daycare and kennel services and want to ensure that you make the right choice. Since they are just pets but your four-legged family members, they deserve nothing but the best!
What can help you choose the best dog daycare and kennels for your pet?
These tips, right here!
1. Check Out the Facilities
As a pet parent, you have to ensure that your pet is being accommodated in a safe and hygienic place.
Request the dog daycare owner or the supervisor for a tour and check the surroundings with a fine-tooth comb. Check for the activity areas, their carriers, safety precautions, and first-aids.
Also, keep an eye on hazardous objects in the vicinity. This will give you an idea about the preparedness and vigilance of the dog daycare workers.
Some of the features that are an absolute must for a good dog daycare are:
- Gating: The daycare should have a play area with compartmentalized gates that allow the dog to get accustomed to the area first and then join the other dogs.
- Rubber Floors: Rubber flooring is very important when it comes to the safety of your pets. Does your daycare have rubber or epoxy floors? Give them a check!
- Fencing: Many dogs are restless and adventurous, always up for something new to do. To keep them in check, your daycare should have strong fencing that can resist the weight of a heavy dog and should be set up high enough to prevent the jumping jacks from escaping.
- Light and Ventilation: The brighter and ventilated the place, the better it is for your pooch!
2. Check the Staffs’ Training and Skills
Many dog daycare centers do not hire people with appropriate training skills. Ask your supervisor about the training offered at the daycare and the capabilities of the staff that will handle your pet.
3. Have a Checklist
While every dog is special and has different requirements, few mandatory elements should be available in every dog daycare. Some of the elements are:
- Opportunity to socialize: Dogs are social animals and require the company of their fellow members. Check if your daycare has the scope to let dogs meet and play together.
- Routine for Separation Anxiety: A daycare might not bode well with every dog. If your dog might be one of those and whines constantly, you need to check whether your dog daycare provides help for dogs through boredom and separation anxiety.
- Ample Exercise: It is important for the dog’s well-being and necessary for their post-day care rest. A dog with a day’s worth of activities and play-time will return home relaxed and happy. After a long day, you both can snuggle and watch a movie.
- Mental Simulation: As much as dogs love their physical activities, they are also intelligent beings with a thirst for mental stimulation. An unstimulated dog is a bored dog, and a bored dog can often turn into a destructive dog.
- Temperature: Dogs are very susceptible to heatstroke and extremely sensitive to very cold temperatures (unless they are bred for cold climates like the husky). Keeping this in mind, keep an eye on the temperature of your dog’s daycare and ensure that it is optimum for his health and safety.
4. Ask about the Staff-Dog Ratio
States like Colorado have mandated staff dog ratio as 1:15. While a lot depends upon the staff member’s experience, there is only a number of dogs a person can handle.
Even the Pet Care Services Association recommends 15 dogs per caretaker. Keep these facts in mind, ask your daycare about the ratio, and check how many dogs are under the care of a single trainer during your facilities tour.
The number can vary between 15 to 20, no problem.
5. Take Your Dog on a Tour to the Daycare
Dogs are instinctive and know what they like and don’t like. With the manager’s permission, bring your dog on the grounds and see his reaction.
Is he excited to see so many other dogs? Does he get eager to jump into the play area? Or does he stay put and show little to no interest in the ongoing activities?
These subtle cues will help you understand whether he likes the daycare or not, and you’ll have your answer then and there!
6. The Enrollment Process
A legit daycare run by an experienced manager has a protocol for including new dogs on the premises. The daycare enrollment process should consist of questions about your pet’s health, vaccination, behavior, and mental history.
In order to ensure that their license remains intact and the safety of the staff as well as other dogs, the daycare management might put your dog under assessment, checking their temperament and adaptability in the new environment.
They are most likely to check for separation anxiety, timidness, resource guarding, excessive barking, and aggression (if any). These assessments are long, and you might need to clear your whole day for the same.
7. Ask about the Emergency Services
Injuries are common in dogs, and it is especially plausible when they are playing and ruffling around with other dogs. In such cases, ask about the preparedness of the daycare staff members and the health infrastructure in place.
A good dog daycare will have an emergency plan in place and a veterinarian available for all working hours. It’s better if the daycare is located near a vet’s office.
8. Final Takeaway
The dog daycare is your pet’s home away from home, and you need to ensure that your furry baby is under the best care and in the hands of those who know how to love and take care of the adorable pooches.