While I believe the very safest place for your fur-kids is in the comfort and security of their own environment at home, I also respect the fact that there are those who prefer a “doggy daycare” option. If you are considering using a daycare take a look at the list of questions below. Use them as a reference to ask the day care facility that you are looking at to make sure it’s a safe, reputable spot for your fur-kid.
I think daycare is great – conceptually – I think it helps the dogs socialize, get some energy out, make friends, and get used to strangers – but you need the right facility and it’s hard to know what is “right.” Having said that, I feel compelled to warn you that not unlike sending your human kids to day care, stuff happens. Even at the best places, your fur-kid could get attacked/bitten or pick up a nasty bug like an upper respiratory or GI infection or even fleas. Even if your dog has been vaccinated it can still contract those illnesses. So proceed with caution, and if you find that Doggy Daycare isn’t right for you we are still here for you!
TOP 13 QUESTIONS TO ASK A DAY CARE FACILITY
(in no particular order)
1. How are dogs grouped in day care (age, size or activity level)?
2. What type of training does the day care staff have (dog behavior, CPR, first aid)?
3. What is the staff to dog ratio?
4. What methods are used to manage dog behavior within the group?
5. What type of play are dogs allowed to engage in?
6, Will I receive a daily report card?
7. What happens if my dog misbehaves?
8. What is the procedure if there’s a medical emergency? Will my vet be contacted? Will I be contacted?
9. What will my dog be doing throughout the course of the day?
10. Will my dog have indoor/outdoor access?
11. How much is day care? Do you offer any packages?
12. How do you determine eligibility (e.g., temperament test)?
13. What are your vaccination/health requirements?
We also recommended that you ALWAYS tour the facility, meet the staff and the pay close attention to cleanliness. Take the time to observe the day care group and how the staff interacts. Don’t leave your dog if you aren’t comfortable with what you see, and make sure to take the opportunity to watch your dog in the playgroup on the first visit and randomly on subsequent visits.
By Beth Green, Owner
Paws Pet Care Pet Sitting & Dog Walking