By Tim Falk
Published: 12/17/2021, edited: 12/17/2021
For many pet parents, work gets in the way of something we’d much rather be doing: playing with our pups. But when you’re working 9 to 5 (or potentially much longer), leaving your dog home alone all day long without any sort of entertainment or interaction would be just plain cruel.
And that’s where, for some dogs, doggy daycare is the perfect solution. Dog daycare centers offer a place for your dog to exercise, get mental stimulation, and indulge in some good old-fashioned fun while you’re at work. But while it’s a great fit for some pups, doggy daycare isn’t always the best option for all dogs.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of doggy daycare to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your fur-baby.
No more long days at home alone. Can you imagine what it must be like for your dog spending all day at home, alone, with no one to talk to or play with? This can make some dogs completely miserable, but the problem can be easily solved with regular daycare visits.
Socialization. Dogs are social creatures and staying in a daycare facility gives your pup a chance to play and interact with other dogs. This teaches them essential social skills and also offers wonderful mental stimulation.
Exercise. Instead of sitting at home all day not getting any activity, daycare gives your dog a chance to play as much as they want with other pups. This not only helps them stay in shape, but it’s also essential to their mental wellbeing.
No more destructive behavior. Bored dogs can turn to destructive behavior (like chewing your furniture) to relieve their boredom and use up excess energy. But when your dog spends time at daycare, they’ll hopefully come home tired and happy.
Some also offer training. If your pup has some behavior issues you’d like to address, some daycare centers also offer one-on-one training services. So while you’re at work, your dog can be hard at work becoming a better-behaved family member.
Wide range of facilities available. If you live in a city, chances are you’ll have several daycare facilities to choose from. As well as specialist doggy daycare facilities, you may also find some people offering in-home daycare to provide a more personalized touch.
Flexibility. Doggy daycare centers are also flexible enough to fit in with your schedule. For example, you could book your dog in for a half day of care instead of a full day.
Overwhelming. Going into a noisy and unfamiliar environment where there could potentially be 10 or more other dogs can be overwhelming and even downright intimidating for some pups.
No personalized care. Some dogs need one-on-one care to be completely happy and comfortable. But when they stay at a doggy daycare facility, they’re just 1 dog in a room full of them.
The level of supervision varies. The professionalism and attentiveness of staff can vary from one daycare facility to the next. You’ll need to compare a range of daycares to find one where your pup will receive a high standard of care.
Some dogs find it overstimulating. The constant excitement or stress of a busy daycare facility can be a little too much for some dogs to handle. For those dogs that are naturally nervous or a little highly strung, daycare will often not be the best choice.
Risk of illness. While reputable daycare facilities have strict health and vaccination policies in place, there’s still a risk of illness — for example, kennel cough or fleas — spreading at a daycare facility.
Developing bad behaviors. There’s a chance that your dog may pick up some undesirable behaviors from their doggy daycare peers. While you can prevent these becoming a problem with regular training, it’s still an issue worth considering.
Expensive. Another factor to consider is the cost of doggy daycare. If you book your dog in for a visit 5 days a week, you’ll be faced with an expensive care bill.
Now that we’ve run through the main pros and cons of doggy daycare, is it suitable for your pup? The answer really depends on your dog, their personality, and where they’ll feel happiest and most comfortable.
So take some time to ask yourself a few questions:
How well does my dog get along with other dogs? Do they have good social skills?
Are they comfortable in group settings, or do they get intimidated easily?
How active is my dog?
Will they cope well with all the noise, activity, and excitement of a daycare facility, or will they find it overwhelming?
Do they have any special care needs that require careful management?
If your dog is confident, comfortable in groups, and doesn’t require one-on-one care, doggy daycare could be a viable option. Start comparing facilities near you to find the best weekday care for your pup.
If a doggy daycare environment isn’t the right fit for your pup, or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your dog at daycare all day long, don’t despair. There are other ways your dog can get the care, exercise, and mental stimulation they need during those long workdays.
If you want your dog to get a little more exercise and human interaction throughout the day, book them in for a stroll with a dog walker on Wag!. With 20-, 30-, and 60-minute walks available, plus the convenience of real-time GPS tracking, it’s a “pawsome” way to help exercise your dog’s body and mind to keep boredom at bay.
Another way to keep your dog occupied while you’re at work is to book a Wag! drop-in. During a drop-in visit, a trusted Pet Caregiver checks in on your dog for 20 minutes during the day. They can take care of whatever special care needs your dog has — a potty break, play time, or just a quick cuddle — and send you real-time updates so you can keep track of your pup’s activities.
It’s a simple, convenient, and affordable alternative to doggy daycare, so spoil your pup with a Wag! drop-in visit today.
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