How to find the best dog daycare for your dog
Dog daycare isn’t just for pet parents who work long days away from home. It’s also a great tool for socialization, exercise and overall dog happiness.
Taking your dog to daycare for even a few hours per week is a great way to help them engage safely with other dogs and to get in the exercise they need to stay fit. It can also be used as a reward for dogs who love to play, and as an option for helping dogs who need help with their dog-to-dog interactions or separation anxiety.
For dog parents who do work all day, the best daycare might mean convenience over everything else. Here are some tips to help you find the best dog daycare for your dog and your peace of mind. Just try to find a clean place that has a good attendant to dog ratio, so you can be sure your dog is safe and well taken care of.
Tips to find the best dog daycare service
Ask for referrals
It's great to ask for referrals from the people you trust the most. If they recommend a dog daycare, ask your friends why they like the place. If your friend’s dog attend the daycare, it can help ease your dog in to have a friend there.
Online reviews aren’t always the most accurate, but you should be able to get a good initial idea from Yelp or Google. Look for red flags—consistent mentions of fights, bad management, or poor sanitation should encourage you to look elsewhere.
See for yourself
Make a list of two or three dog daycares that seem solid. Call or go online to see if they require a temperament test or just stop by. Keep an eye out for:
- Overall cleanliness and appearance. How does it smell? Is there good ventilation? Is it dark and poorly lit?
- Does it seem secure? Are the dogs completely hidden from view?
- The behavior of the staff. Are they knowledgeable, friendly, and communicative?
- Training methods and room control. What techniques do they use to keep the dogs under control?
Activities for dogs in daycare
Ask to see if the dogs do any activities when they are at daycare. Some daycares for dogs provide games, activities, and training to help keep the dogs engaged.
Keep track of your dog’s progress
Once you select a daycare for your dog, make sure to stay involved. Don’t hesitate to ask for updates, and to check on your dog’s progress. Do they seem more social outside of daycare? Are they less anxious when you leave them home? The staff should know your dog well enough to give you regular updates and tips on how to reinforce good habits at home or out and about.
Just because you can have your dog at home with you all the time, doesn’t mean you should. Just like humans, dogs need stimulation and regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Taking them to dog daycare can be a great way to get their energy out and help you get more done during the day. When you pick them up after daycare, they’ll be excited to see you and ready to relax at home. Use these tips to find a dog daycare that you and your dog will love.