Doggie daycares have become more prevalent in recent years. With more people having dogs in their family’s, it’s only natural for the industry to grow and evolve. I personally take CeCe to doggie daycare twice a week for some extra socialization and attention. She loves it so much that she will start whining down the street and barely lets me park before she wants out of the car. So what are the pros and cons to taking your dog to daycare and what do you need to know? Well, let me tell ya!
Pros to doggie daycare
Depending on the breed, dogs need lots of exercise. When we leave them for work, our pups don’t get much exercise or mental stimulation. Taking them to daycare solves this problem! They get all the exercise and stimulation they can with the added bonus of being tired when they get home. This allows you to relax and not worry about wearing them out before bed.
2. Energy Release
There are days when I just can’t get CeCe to settle down. She just has so much energy and the last thing I want to do after a long day at work is play ball nonstop with her. Daycare is awesome in that respect because I don’t feel guilty about not wanting to play. She and I are both tired and I can have my glass (or bottle if it’s Friday) in peace.
While we may like that our dogs are attached to us and love being with us, it can cause issues when we have to leave them home alone. Taking them to daycare shows them that being away from you is not always bad and eases their separation anxiety.
Dogs learn best around other dogs. They are less likely to develop bad behaviors including biting, aggression, fear and other problems. It also helps them to learn social cues and how to stay out of dangerous situations around strange or aggressive dogs.
(CeCe’s first day at daycare!) (Playing with friends!)
Cons to doggie daycare
Taking you dog to daycare can really hit your bank account depending on how many days you take them. I’ve seen daycare rates starting at $12 and up to $35 a day. That seems crazy to me! You always want to ask if they have any deal or packages though. There is one daycare place around us that gives discounts to teachers and another that has daycare packages where you buy 9 and get 1 free. If you plan on taking your dog a lot it is beneficial to look into the deals!
I love my sleep y’all. I try not to get up until it is an absolute necessity. So when I take CeCe to daycare, it can get tough when all I want to do it hit the snooze button! The daycare that I take her to is across town and with traffic can take 30 minutes to get to/from my house. Thankfully, it is somewhat close to 2 of the schools that I go to so I have it worked out in my schedule that I can take CeCe twice a week. I try to get the most out of her time there too and will take her as earliest as possible and take my time picking her up. When looking for a daycare, distance to/from your house or to/from work should go into the decision.
What to look for and ask when deciding
As stated above, the distance from your house or work plays a role into your decision but what else should you think about? Overall cost for sure. Think about the price of the daycare as well as the gas it could take you to get there.
You want to make sure you make the right decision for your dog and their personality. Some daycares have the dogs all play together throughout the day while others take them out in stages. I have a friend that brings her dog to a daycare that have the dogs play together all day with no scheduled rest time. I take CeCe to a daycare that separates the dogs by size and by personality. The dogs don’t play as much throughout the day but they are guaranteed to go out 5 times during the day depending on when they are dropped off and picked up.
When looking at daycares, you want one that has lots of play toys and agility equipment. This helps to engage their brain cells and help create socialization opportunities. Along with the equipment, what does the yard look like? Is there grass on the ground? Rubber tiles? Make sure you ask why they chose that for the dog yard.
Talk to the staff about protocols when a dog is injured or gets too aggressive. Make sure that they have enough staff to attend to all the dogs and to make sure that your dog is having a fun time with his/her friends. The staff should be able to engage with the pups as well to create positive play.
Check and see if the daycares have video cameras set up so you can watch your dog play throughout the day. The first few times I took CeCe, I paid the fee to watch her but whenever I watched the cameras I couldn’t actually find her. I gave up trying after that but since she was coming home tired and would get so excited on our way, I knew she was having a blast.
Whatever you decide, make sure its a decision you can stick with. I can tell in CeCe’s behavior and personality when she doesn’t go to daycare
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