As much as you might love to have your dog accompany you to work, the grocery store, and other places, sometimes the idea just isn't practical. But you don't want to leave your beloved friend sitting at home alone and unsupervised, either. Dog daycare can provide an ideal answer to this dilemma, but only if you've given the matter the proper consideration beforehand. Here are three questions to ask yourself while you're investigating dog daycare options for your pet.
1. How Professional Does the Facility Look?
Much of what you need to know about a dog daycare center will present itself to you the moment you first lay eyes on it. Is the outdoor area spaciously arranged and securely fenced, with no gaps or damaged points in the fence material? Do you see a fully functioning wading pool for quick dips on hot summer days? Do the indoor playrooms have rubberized floors (to help prevent slips) and separate areas to accommodate dogs of different size, age, or temperament? Does the center look and smell well kept? Little things mean a lot, so pay attention.
2. How Many Dogs—and Supervisors—Do You See?
Just as schools vary widely in their student-to-teacher ratios, dog daycare centers may have more or fewer supervisors for a given number of dogs under their care. The staff-to-dog ratio isn't just a matter of giving individual dogs more attention; it's also a critical factor in ensuring the safety of the entire group. Make certain that whatever daycare center you select obeys the safe standard of 15 dogs per human recommended by the IBPSA (International Boarding and Pet Care Services Association).
3. Is Your Puppy Ready for Daycare?
Puppies are a handful even when they're being watched, not to mention the trouble they can get into if they're left on their own. But while it might seem only natural to leave your little friend at a puppy daycare center, stop first and consider whether they're ready for the experience. Puppies younger than 6 months of age may be overwhelmed or exhausted by the sudden exposure to so many playmates and so much activity. On the other hand, older puppies can benefit greatly from the socialization opportunities offered by puppy daycare. Ask your veterinarian's opinion on the matter before proceeding.
The right kind of dog daycare, introduced at the right stage of life, can give your pet a wonderful experience while also ensuring their health and safety while you're going about your daily routine. Just take the time and effort to make sure your pet is in the ideal place for their needs!