Adoring pet parents who work long shifts, or have to travel for their jobs often try to find a means of helpful support for the pups kept at home. Instead of leaving their pet pals to fend for themselves (and potentially destroy the house) when they are gone, many caring parents have considered bringing their pooch to a doggy daycare provider. While this prospect might seem like an exciting opportunity for the dog to socialize, and fill his days with happy activities, there are pros and cons to the recent institution of the doggy daycare. Review some of the below considerations before you sign your dog up for a day away!
Pros of Daycare for Dogs
- The pet day care option offers a safe and constructive place for your dog to have fun running and playing while you are indisposed.
- The dog will be surrounded by people who are generally passionate about animals, and will arrange constructive games, bring toys, and plan activities for the animals to make the most of their hours at the facility.
- Being in doggy daycare a few times a week will keep your dog mentally stimulated, and physically active, meaning he will be less likely to get into destructive problems at home. Your pooch will also be relaxed and exhausted by the time he is picked up, meaning an evening walk will be less necessary.
- As the dog owner, you get peace of mind knowing that the dog is receiving care, without worrying about him digging through the trash, or barking all day, or looking for an escape route.
- It allows healthy opportunities to socialize dogs with other pets of various sizes. Good socialization generally helps mellow a dog’s temperament.
Cons of Daycare for Dogs
- Not all doggy daycare providers can be trusted, and you may be paying for an overcrowded and chaotic environment for your dog to be trapped in, if you haven’t researched properly. The visiting dogs may not be getting healthy food, enough rest or sufficient attention from the workers.
- You may have no way of knowing if your dog is unhappy, or if he is being neglected in any way. There might be lose rules or a lack of attention to the hygienic conditions in which dogs play. If you have landed at a care provider whose staff does not seem to be completely honest with you, then you should be concerned about the conditions of the facility and what goes on when no customer is present.
- Your dog might develop bad behaviors (such as dominating other dogs, or “marking” his territory to gain some sense of boundaries. He might also begin barking more for attention if he feels neglected.) If this is the case, you might next have to invest in a trainer that can work on basic obedience skills again.
- While being around other creatures is believed to strengthen the immune system, when canines are kept in close quarters, diseases, infections and viruses spread rapidly. Though most daycare centers ensure that the dogs are up to date on their shots, illnesses like the Kennel Cough may go around, possibly infecting your dog. It’s not just his respiratory system that will be susceptible to illnesses, but your dog’s whole immune system will be vulnerable. (Imagine a scenario where a regular attendee finds out his dog has fleas, but he doesn’t have the time to get them treated or find a pet sitter, so he just brings the pup to the daycare as usual. Suddenly the unsuspecting masses of dogs are all at risk.)
- Not every dog personalities work well with daycare scenarios. Some might develop not only negative behaviors, but also emotional problems as well. They may become fearful, fidgety and nervous, or even mistrusting, defensive and aggressive based on their experiences at the doggy day care center. When you leave your dog in daycare, you relinquish control of his rearing.
While daycare might be a great escape for many, it can also prove detrimental to the dog, so be sure to research potential care providers, asking for referrals from friends, and reading online reviews. If your dog is going to be spending hours away from you each day, you want to be certain it is a wise investment of both your money, and your dog’s time.