8 Tips for Preparing Your Pooch for Doggy Daycare

8 Tips for Preparing Your Pooch for Doggy Daycare

Picking a dog daycare is an important decision. After all, you want your pooch to be in the best hands possible. We have rounded up 8 tips to make the search as seamless as possible for you and your pup.

1. Have your pup’s medical history ready to go

Any good daycare will require proof of current vaccinations ahead of time. They’ll also want to know if your pet has been neutered or spayed by the time they’re 6 months old, if not they will be unable to attend until they are. While daycares are unable to check if you are using flea, tick and worm preventative care, they expect that you are. If you don’t have your dog on a flea, tick and worm regimen now, start before you bring him/her to daycare.

2. Ask about safety certifications

While the daycare is not a vet, the attendants should know how to respond to health emergencies and how to provide basic first aid to your four-legged buddy. Your daycare should always have one person on duty who is first aid and CPR certified.

3. Look into cleaning protocols

Your dog is at a higher risk of illness with so many pets in close proximity. Because of this, you want to make sure the daycare has strict daily cleaning procedures in place.

At Wagz, the play areas are spot cleaned throughout the day, and then thoroughly cleaned at the end of the day. If something like kennel cough—which is equivalent to the human cold—is identified, the staff will take even bigger precautions. The sick dog will be placed in isolation (until collected) so the other dogs won’t get sick.

4. Prepare for an assessment

Before you consider daycare, the daycare staff should give your dog an assessment before coming into daycare to check for suitability.  An Orientation day will then follow on their first day of attending to ensure an in-depth assessment without you present is done, this will help assist blending this dog into the pack environment and keeping everyone safe, happy and healthy. Just like at children’s daycare, you won’t be there during the day, we need to see how your dog will react without you there. It’s our chance to learn as much about your pet as possible so we can give him the best care while you’re at work.”

While every dog daycare will have a different assessment format, a good one will look for some of the following things: how your pup responds to a dog crate, what parts of his body he doesn’t like to have touched, and how your pet gets along with other dogs of different energy levels, temperaments, genders, and sizes. Staff should then share with you at the end of their day.

But remember: Daycares aren’t training facilities. Your dog may be a wonderful pet, but he/she may not be a good fit for open play, If that’s the case, we’ll recommend you socialize your dog and enrol him in training, and then come back in six months to get re-evaluated.

5. Practice, practice, practice

Daycare is basically an indoor dog park, so we suggest bringing your dog to the outdoor version before you consider daycare. If your dog doesn’t like it, he/she won’t enjoy it at daycare.  

It’s also a good way to see how your dog interacts with other animals. Many dogs who have never been in open play don’t know dog language. But when they hang around other dogs for a few days, they begin to learn it. Then, when dogs approach your pooch in the daycare, he’ll know the proper way to react.

6. Ask about what’s included

Some dog daycares operate with a grooming facility and offer discounts on grooms if a regular attendee.

7. Ask what a typical day is like

Schedules vary dramatically from daycare to daycare. Some are very structured, while others are looser. Choose a facility with a daily timeline that best suits your dog. However, make sure there’s plenty of time for both play and relaxation included. If you don’t allow for rest, dogs get clumsy or grumpy because they’re tired.

And they will get tired. Daycares should encourage dogs to play with one another under supervision for the majority of the day. Some facilities will offer indoor outdoor agility equipment for your dog to climb up and slide down. Some smaller daycares will take dogs for walks in small groups. Your dog will be active and busy. He’ll burn calories, he’ll run around.  He’ll be wiped out when he gets home.

8. Inquire about meals

Since both food allergies and food aggression in dogs are common, daycares should take precautions at meal time. Some facilities, don’t allow dog food at all. Dogs are given plenty of water throughout the day.  If there is a situation where your dog needs to be fed during the day, you will need to discuss this with the Manager prior to attending.

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