Tips For Finding The Best Doggy Daycare!

If you’re thinking that your dog could benefit from going to a doggy daycare there are several times you should consider. Let’s face it, dogs are pretty much children in pawrents eyes and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s why picking the right doggy daycare is important and should not be taken lightly!

When Max started doggy daycare we vetted a few before picking on based on several reasons.

What Are The Benefits To Dog Daycare?

It’s important that if you’re looking to take your dog to a doggy daycare that you do so when they’re younger. Dog daycare offers several benefits for both dogs and their owners:

  1. Socialisation: Dog daycare provides opportunities for dogs to interact with other dogs and people in a supervised environment. This helps improve their social skills and reduces the likelihood of behavioural issues such as aggression or anxiety around unfamiliar animals or humans.
  2. Exercise and Mental Stimulation: Most dog daycare facilities offer structured play sessions and activities to keep dogs physically and mentally active throughout the day. This helps prevent boredom and provides outlets for excess energy, reducing the risk of destructive behaviours at home. They are also nice and tired when they get home so you and your dog can relax after a busy day!
  3. Relief from Boredom and Loneliness: Dogs are social animals that thrive on companionship and stimulation. Dog daycare provides them with company and entertainment while their owners are away, preventing feelings of loneliness or isolation.
  4. Supervision and Safety: Dog daycare staff members are trained to monitor dogs closely and intervene if any conflicts or health issues arise. This ensures a safe environment for dogs to play and socialise without the risk of injury or harm.
  5. Routine and Structure: Dog daycare often follows a structured daily routine, including playtime, rest periods, and meals. This can be beneficial for dogs that thrive on consistency and predictability, helping to reduce anxiety and stress.
  6. Convenience for Owners: Dog daycare provides a convenient solution for pet owners who work long hours or have busy schedules. Instead of leaving their dogs home alone all day, owners can drop them off at daycare knowing they will receive care, attention, and exercise.
  7. Peace of Mind: Knowing that their dogs are well-cared for and supervised at daycare gives owners peace of mind while they are away. They can focus on their work or other responsibilities without worrying about their furry friends being lonely or getting into trouble at home.
  8. Training Opportunities: Some dog daycare facilities offer training programs or enrichment activities to help dogs develop good manners, obedience, and social skills. This can be especially beneficial for puppies or newly adopted dogs who need extra guidance and socialisation.

Overall, dog daycare provides a safe, stimulating, and social environment for dogs to thrive while their owners are away, enhancing their physical and emotional well-being. A doggy daycare is also a prefect place to find a dog sitter as many staff members will also dog sit and if you have a favourite member of staff that you dog gets on with, it’s a match made in heaven.

What To Look For When Picking A Dog Daycare?

The doggy daycare that Max goes to all of the staff are DBS checked and some even had dog CPR training so make sure your daycare also has this, you want to be able to trust who is looking after your dog and ensure they can care for them to the best of their ability!

When choosing a dog daycare for your furry friend, there are several important factors to consider. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Safety Protocols: Ensure that the daycare has strict safety protocols in place to prevent accidents, injuries, and the spread of illnesses. This includes secure fencing, staff training in canine behaviour and first aid, and procedures for handling emergencies.
  2. Supervision: Check how closely the dogs are supervised during playtime. There should be knowledgeable staff members present at all times to monitor interactions, intervene if necessary, and ensure that all dogs are safe and comfortable.
  3. Health Requirements: Ask about the daycare’s vaccination requirements for dogs. A reputable daycare will require proof of vaccinations for diseases such as rabies, distemper, and bordetella (kennel cough) to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses.
  4. Cleanliness: Take a tour of the facility to assess its cleanliness and hygiene standards. The daycare should be well-maintained, with clean indoor and outdoor areas, fresh water available at all times, and proper waste disposal practices.
  5. Play Areas: Consider the size and layout of the play areas where dogs will spend their time. Ideally, there should be separate play areas for small and large dogs to prevent conflicts and ensure the safety of all dogs.
  6. Enrichment Activities: Inquire about the types of enrichment activities offered at the daycare, such as interactive toys, agility equipment, and supervised group play. These activities help keep dogs mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day.
  7. Staff-to-Dog Ratio: Ask about the staff-to-dog ratio to ensure that there are enough employees to provide individual attention and supervision for all the dogs in their care. A lower ratio typically means more personalised care for each dog.
  8. Client Reviews and Recommendations: Read online reviews and ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your veterinarian. Positive feedback from other dog owners can help you gauge the quality of care and customer service provided by the daycare.
  9. Trial Day or Visit: Before committing to a daycare, schedule a trial day or visit with your dog to see how they interact with the staff and other dogs. This allows you to observe the daycare environment firsthand and determine if it’s the right fit for your dog’s needs.
  10. Communication: Choose a daycare that prioritizes communication with pet owners. They should be responsive to inquiries, provide regular updates on your dog’s activities and behaviour, and be transparent about any incidents or concerns that arise during their stay.
  11. Prices: It’s important to check the prices of several daycares in the area. Some daycares will charge more and it’s important to find out why. If they are providing the same care as a lesser priced daycare, we would be inclined to go with the cheaper option but that also depends on any commute time.

By considering these factors, you can select a dog daycare that provides a safe, stimulating, and enjoyable environment for your furry friend while giving you peace of mind while you’re away.

What To Avoid From A Dog Daycare

It’s important to remember that some companies are in it for the money and don’t really care about your dog. Make sure you look for any red flags that might be visable and ask all the right questions!

When selecting a dog daycare, there are certain red flags and warning signs to watch out for. Here’s what to avoid:

  1. Lack of Supervision: Avoid daycares where dogs are left unsupervised or where staff members are not actively monitoring their interactions. Proper supervision is essential for preventing accidents, conflicts, and injuries among dogs.
  2. Overcrowding: Be wary of daycares that overcrowd their facilities with too many dogs. Overcrowding can lead to stress, anxiety, and aggression, as well as an increased risk of disease transmission. Look for daycares that maintain reasonable staff-to-dog ratios to ensure individual attention and care.
  3. Poor Hygiene: Steer clear of daycares that are unclean or have strong odours of urine, faeces, or disinfectants. Dirty facilities are breeding grounds for bacteria and parasites, posing health risks to dogs and staff members alike.
  4. Inadequate Vaccination Requirements: Avoid daycares that do not require proof of vaccinations for all dogs. Adequate vaccination protocols are essential for preventing the spread of contagious diseases and protecting the health of all dogs in the facility.
  5. Negative Reviews or Reputation: Take heed of negative reviews or reports from other pet owners about their experiences with the daycare. Common complaints may include issues with safety, cleanliness, communication, or the treatment of dogs by staff members.
  6. Lack of Transparency: Beware of daycares that are not transparent about their policies, procedures, and pricing. Reputable daycares should be forthcoming with information and willing to address any questions or concerns you may have about their services.
  7. Unsafe Play Areas: Avoid daycares with unsafe or poorly maintained play areas, such as broken fencing, sharp edges, or hazardous materials. These conditions increase the risk of injuries to dogs and should be addressed promptly by the daycare management.
  8. Limited Enrichment Activities: Be cautious of daycares that offer limited opportunities for mental and physical stimulation. Dogs thrive on enrichment activities such as interactive toys, agility courses, and supervised play sessions, which should be a priority for any reputable daycare.
  9. Untrained Staff: Steer clear of daycares where staff members lack proper training in canine behaviour, first aid, and emergency procedures. Knowledgeable and experienced staff are essential for ensuring the safety, health, and well-being of all dogs in their care.
  10. Unwillingness to Accommodate Special Needs: Avoid daycares that are unwilling or unable to accommodate dogs with special needs, such as medical conditions, behavioural issues, or dietary restrictions. A reputable daycare should be flexible and willing to work with you to meet your dog’s individual needs.

By being vigilant and avoiding these warning signs, you can select a dog daycare that prioritises the safety, health, and happiness of your furry friend while providing you with peace of mind while you’re away.

Questions To Ask A Doggy Daycare

Asking the right questions will help you get an overview of any dog daycare. If they are unable to answer these questions then it’s a big red flag and we’d suggest avoiding the daycare.

When choosing a doggy daycare for your furry friend, asking the right questions can help you assess whether it’s the right fit for your dog’s needs. Here are some questions to consider asking:

  1. What are your hours of operation?: Make sure the daycare’s hours align with your schedule and needs.
  2. What is your vaccination policy?: Ensure that all dogs attending the daycare are required to be up-to-date on vaccinations to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
  3. What is your staff-to-dog ratio?: Inquire about the number of staff members relative to the number of dogs to ensure proper supervision and individualised care.
  4. How do you handle emergencies?: Ask about the daycare’s protocols for handling medical emergencies or incidents involving dogs, including whether staff members are trained in pet first aid.
  5. Can I tour the facility?: Request a tour of the daycare to see the play areas, sleeping areas, and overall cleanliness of the facility.
  6. What types of activities do you offer?: Inquire about the enrichment activities provided to keep dogs mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day.
  7. How do you handle dog introductions?: Ask about the daycare’s process for introducing new dogs to the pack to ensure a safe and positive experience for all dogs.
  8. Do you separate dogs by size or temperament?: Find out if the daycare separates dogs into groups based on size, energy level, or temperament to prevent conflicts and ensure compatibility.
  9. What is your policy on nap time and rest breaks?: Ensure that the daycare provides opportunities for dogs to rest and recharge between play sessions to prevent overstimulation and exhaustion.
  10. How do you communicate with pet owners?: Inquire about the daycare’s communication methods, including how they provide updates on your dog’s activities, behaviour, and overall well-being.
  11. What is your protocol for cleaning and sanitation?: Ask about the daycare’s cleaning procedures to ensure that the facility is kept clean and free of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
  12. Do you offer additional services, such as grooming or training?: Find out if the daycare offers any additional services that may be beneficial for your dog’s overall health and well-being.

By asking these questions and discussing your dog’s needs with the daycare staff, you can make an informed decision about whether the daycare is the right choice for your furry friend.