Doting pet owners who want to ensure their pets’ health and happiness do many of the same things: purchase a pet insurance policy, buy their pups lots of toys and treats, and shell out money for doggy daycare. A doggy daycare enables your pet to be in a safe, enriching, and loving environment while you’re away at work or vacation. And, let’s face it, any dog would prefer company and relish walks and treats over being alone. That’s why we’re going to walk you through how to pick the perfect doggy daycare. We’ll start by providing you with some suggestions on what to look for in a good doggy daycare and what kind of information you will need to get your dog enrolled in order to start living their best life at doggy daycare.
Make Sure the Doggy Daycare Has a Friendly and Professional Staff
Before committing to a doggy daycare, ask for a tour of the facility. Engage the staff to make sure they are friendly and show sincere interest and care for your pet. Look around to see if the dogs are active and happy and if the staff is genuinely concerned about their well-being. Don’t be shy and make sure to ask questions such as:
- Do any of the staff have behavioral training?
- How do they handle pet emergencies?
- What does the daily schedule look like for pets at their facility?
In short, seek out an establishment with employees that are well educated on pets and will treat yours as if it were their own.
Does the Doggy Daycare Pay Attention to Pets’ Health?
The doggy daycare you choose should require vaccination records for every pet, no exceptions. If they don’t ask for your pet’s records, they’re probably not getting them from anyone else. They should also ask what should be done in the case of a pet health emergency or if your pet has any special conditions like allergies, chronic health conditions, or any prior health issues they should be aware of. In the event something does happen in your absence and your pet requires medical care, pet insurance can help to reimburse you for covered veterinary costs.*
Does the Daycare Have Wide Play Areas and Accommodations?
Remember that we’re talking about dogs. They don’t care about marble counter tops or spa-like atmospheres, but it is important they are well taken care of. Make sure you choose a doggy daycare with ample space inside and outside for the dogs to play and lounge. Most doggy daycares will put dogs in playgroups based on size as well as temperament. Many facilities now include a webcam so that you can watch your best friend while you are away. Ask the daycare staff how often the following are cleaned and sanitized:
- Food and water bowls
- Shared activity spaces
Paying for Doggy Daycare
Many doggy daycares offer free half-day trials to be sure your pet is friendly and is a good fit. In addition to offering a warm-up session for your pet, it ensures the buddies he’ll be staying with are also well-behaved. Once you’ve chosen a place, you should inquire about competitive pricing, discounts or rewards when you purchase multiple days or refer a friend. The amount you should expect to pay for doggy daycare will vary by region and the services you purchase.
When deciding on a doggy daycare, it’s important to follow your intuition but also listen to your pet. They might not be able to talk, but their reaction to people and situations can tell you a lot. If you leave them at doggy daycare, are they excited to see their canine friends again? Are they stressed, scared or uncomfortable when you pick them up? By being diligent and making sure you’re leaving your furry family member with the right person, it’ll make the time away from your pet more productive and less stressful.