You’ve made a decision to send your pet to day care, you’ve spoken to relatives and buddies, you’ve shopped around, and today it’s time to produce a decision. What next?
Here’s our definitive guide to the most notable four things to consider whenever choosing doggy day care.
1) Check it out
Think about doggy day care as a children’s nursery. You wouldn’t dream of sending a kid along without visiting first.
So plan a visit, and not merely to reception, to see exactly where your pet will spend their day, who they’ll be with, and what they’ll be doing.
Timing is key. Make sure you complement when it’s at its busiest & most productive so you’re seeing it at full throttle. The center of your day – 11am to 1pm – is the often best. Don’t hesitate to turn up unannounced, so again you’re seeing the real action. In the event that you ask to start to see the dogs and there’s a delay, be wary!
Here’s a checklist:
Will be the dogs friendly and social and happy together?
Is it calm and quiet or noisy and chaotic?
Would you enjoy a your pet mixing with every type of breed there?
Do the staff look like they love the dogs and their jobs and are they actively engaging with the dogs?
What’s the indoor and rest space like?
Is there enough open space for the dogs to disseminate or are they cramped? Way too many dogs in close confines leads to scuffles and boisterous dogs, which is able to overwhelm quieter or older dogs and puppies.
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2) Ask questions
While you may be met by a more senior employee, it’s important to also chat and ask questions of the dog carers themselves as they have direct day-to-day contact with the dogs.
And don’t hesitate to pose difficult questions:
What is the staff-to-dog ratio? As helpful information, Bruce’s Doggy Day Care operates on the ratio of 1 dog carer to twleve dogs (at a complete maximum).
How often do dogs get injured and what happens?
Have they expelled dogs and exactly how often does this happen?
Is there certain breeds they don’t accept?
Do they throw balls/have toys/etc? While this sounds fun, in an organization dynamic many normally placid dogs become competitive and could nip.
Are the dogs transported if so for just how long versus time spent in the fields?
Do they take un-neutered (entire) males that are over twelve months old? The response should be no. That is generally the case for experienced day care centres, however, not so for inexperienced or new operators who need to fill spaces. In a group dynamic, testosterone is wii thing!
Will my small dog/puppy be bullied by bigger dogs? If there is enough space in support of friendly social dogs are accepted this isn’t a concern. Some day care centres divide dogs by size, but this seems rather unfair as small dogs can form natural bonds with larger dogs. For instance, at Bruce’s Doggy Day Care we’ve a border terrier whose close friends with a labrador and retriever!
3) Anticipate to commit
Exactly like children’s nurseries and schools, you must anticipate to commit with regard to the child.
Many doggy day care centres offer an completely random booking system labelled as offering total flexibility for the client. But be warned. Flexible booking and fees available to constant change equals clients and dogs that dip in and out of day care. This isn’t best for the dogs as their group dynamic thrives on familiar friends.
At Bruce’s Doggy Day Care, we ask that all client sends their dog to us for at least 1 day a week. This means regular customers bring regular dogs resulting in a happy and established dog group dynamic. When people see our dynamic and how well the dogs interact, they realise that investing in at least one session weekly makes absolute sense.
4) Understand the result of grab and drop off times
Most doggy day care centres collect and fall off your dog; it’s all area of the service. But just how long does your pet spend travelling? Longer opening hours doesn’t indicate more playtime.
If your pet is collected and returned during peak times – say 9am and 5pm – it’ll be in heavy traffic for considerably longer than at off-peak times.
Therefore, consider earlier starts. We gather at 7 – 8:30am and return between 3:30 – 4:30pm. So a 10 minute journey takes ten minutes not 20 or 30 or more…
And make sure they use dog-friendly air-conditioned vehicles with vet-approved crates. You might not exactly like the thought of your dog being in a crate, but safety in confined numbers is paramount. The dogs should not be altogether in a single space – for example a Golden Retriever in the same space as a Chiuaua isn’t a great idea of clear reasons! The crates also mean the driver can open each crate individually when the relevant dog is safely home, rather than opening one door with the chance of all dogs escaping.
Overall, choosing your selected doggy day care provider should be fun and rewarding, for both you and your dog. They’ll certainly many thanks for it!