Activities For Dogs In Daycare

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Introduction

Wondering what your dog could do in daycare? Stop wondering and check out this insightful guide! Turns out there are many activities for daycare dogs, everything from socializing and mingling, to playing fetch and Frisbee, or even getting groomed. Some daycare centers even offer obedience classes and agility training, if you're so inclined! The only limit here is your imagination. So, let's check out some of the things that daycare centers love doing with dogs, shall we?

Individual Attention Time

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description
Individual attention time is the time of day when the dogs get lunches or snacks, and individual affection from the staff. This encourages socialization, making your dog more tolerant of strangers, without getting overly excited to meet and greet everyone. This is also when individual needs are given attention. For instance, if food aggression is an issue for your dog, the staff works on training and seek to resolve the issue. Of course, you'll only really see impactful changes in behavior if you keep visiting the doggy daycare center. But at the very least, you can get some feedback and insight on the issue, maybe even some advice moving forward.
Step
1
Feed the dogs
This is when the staff reads any careful notes regarding food and your individual dog's nutrition. Dogs requiring special medication or needs are taken care of. Normally these daycare centers purchase very good food, all organic, and grain-free for your dog, which is what you want. No by-products or anything. But feel free to ask them, or offer to bring in your own for the staff to feed your dog.
Step
2
Attend to individual needs
Obviously, all dogs need love and affection, which is given by the staff during this time. Praise, rewards, treats and pats are given. But more than that, critical individual needs are also met at doggy daycare. Things like basic obedience training, food aggression, or other "bad manners" are resolved. Of course, this mainly applies if your dog is a frequent visitor, otherwise, the staff will do the best they can in the time frame given.
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Climbing Play Equipment

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Any Day
Moderate
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Treats
Leash
Activity description
This is an exciting activity for any dog. Many doggy daycare centers have play equipment indoors, things such as seesaws or slides, and stairs. It's a lot like taking your child to the park and watching them use the slides or swings, but with dogs. Also, dogs can't get on swings, as unfortunate as that may be. But still, the activity is enjoyable, especially because staff usually walks around coaxing shy dogs to participate more, helping them come out of their shells. They also offer treats for jobs well done, and encourage mingling with other dogs, which in turn helps with socializing.
Step
1
Let the dogs run free
This activity is super easy, and really only involves one major step, which is to let the dogs be dogs. They will naturally be curious about the equipment. And because there are many dogs who frequent these daycare centers, they already know what to do. This in turn helps shed light on what's going on to the dogs that may be new. Note, the staff is also there, helping the dogs, preventing accidents, and offering treats as rewards.
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Pool Splashing

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Activity description
Most doggy daycare centers have a special, shallow pool, kind of like those for children. They tend to use them on sunny days when the dogs can really enjoy being in the water. They get offered a variety of floating toys, like inflatable balls, or floating squeaky bones, and they get to just play and hang out. This is a good activity for dogs of all sizes, since the pool is so shallow, it's safe for even small dogs. Also the daycare staff ensures that all the dogs are separated by size, so the little guys can't get trampled stepping in and out of the pool.
Step
1
Separate dogs by size
This is an important step, because it prevents any major accidents. This is mainly to ensure the safety of the small dogs, which would likely be trampled by the bigger dogs stepping in and out of the pool. It also helps to keep play time cheerful. Tiny dogs have aggression issues toward bigger dogs a lot of the time, and will be quick to defend themselves. But when paired with other tiny dogs, they'll let their guard down more.
Step
2
Set up the area
Now that you have groups, it's time to set up the area. Start by appointing two to three mediators to the pool area. These mediators will be there to break up any issues over toys, reach for more toys if necessary, pull out any dogs that are wearing themselves out, and just keep the area safe and happy for all of the dogs. This is also the time when the staff picks out toys that float very well, and fill the pool up with a few of them so the dogs have some interaction aside from each other.
Step
3
Enjoy pool time
Now that the area is ready, it's time to bring in the dogs! Ease them into the room one by one to prevent any accidents caused by rushing dogs. Let them swim, play with the floating toys, mingle, and enjoy the pool. Step in anytime as needed. Normally, this activity is harmless, but it's always a good idea to have staff on hand who can mediate or get more toys, or just show the dogs even more attention.
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More Fun Ideas...

Nap Time

People always seem to forget that dogs love naps too. It's not just cats! Dogs will burn a lot of energy running around, playing, going for walks, exploring or even swimming, so nap time is welcome. Most daycare centers offer an hour and a half of designated nap time, and it's during this time that the dogs can all just unwind and sleep. This also gives the daycare center staff a moment to grab some lunch and pinpoint which of the dogs requires some extra training or attention.

Fetch

Sometimes a classic game of fetch just can't be beat. At most daycare centers, the staff will divide up the dogs into groups based on size, so no dogs get run over or harmed. Then they proceed to throw a variety of toys like tennis balls, rope toys, and squeak toys out to get the dogs to bring them back.

Conclusion

As you can see, daycares offer a variety of activities for dogs. Everything from run-of-the-mill games we all know, like fetch and Frisbee, to training the dogs. Some even offer excursions to the beach, or the swimming pool. And let's not forget the always favorite doggy play time, where they can mingle and make new canine friends!