Why should your dog attend daycare??

I am often asked why does my dog need daycare. I am told they are taken for walks, has another dog at home to play with or a neighbor dog, or my dog plays with my children.

Dogs like people, need outside stimulation.  They need to be exposed to different environments, different people, different dogs. Being able to adapt to different situations and people helps to keep them social in all aspects.  Daycare is absolutely amazing for getting out that excess energy and socializing, but it also helps to combat separation anxiety as well as keeping them comfortable with adjusting to different situations. As with daycare, they meet different people, and dogs regularly, but in a secure environment.  If you never expose your dog to outside stimulation, once you try to, some dogs will be fearful.  They become so accustomed to the routine that you provide for them, it can actually cause them anxiety and stress when you break that routine.   Often times when people are looking to board their dog, if they have not become accustomed to it, this is a very stressful change for the dog. All of a sudden they are broken from their routine and the people they know and are put in a strange environment. They become anxious and this can be traumatic for your dog.

Finding the right daycare is equally important.  Always choose a daycare that does entry evaluations.

Ask lots of questions, such as are play corrections being made, how many accidents have they had, what is their staff to dog ratio. Make sure you choose a daycare that is safe and secure.

Starting your dog as young as possible is best.  If this is not possible, and you have an older dog or adopt an older dog, it is important to be honest about your dogs socialization when signing him/her up for daycare. Start will small interactions, then move to small groups. If your older dog does ok with this, then group daycare may be a possibility. It is extremely important to go slow and use a reputable daycare provider or trainer to make sure they are ready for this environment. Throwing a older dog with minimal socialization into this setting without easing them in, can be overwhelming if not done correctly.

Positive reasons to use daycare:

Socialization, outside stimulation, combating routine based separation anxiety, exercise, combatting boredom & destructive behaviors, structure, & follow through with your training.

Kathy Pawlik