Just like every new parent gets a knot in their stomach the first time they drop their child off at daycare, dog owners are often less than comfortable leaving their best friend with some strangers and a pack of other dogs for the day.
"It's important to remember that daycare is not for every dog," says Charlotte Reed, author of The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette. "Dogs who go can develop behavior problems because being with other dogs and playing so much leads to them constantly barking at home."
A good dog daycare will recognize this and do their best to accommodate your dog’s personality and whatever special needs he may have. Feel free to share these tips with the people who are watching your beloved pooch.
First make sure your dog is healthy
The basic requirement is for your dog to have vaccines for rabies, Bordetella, distemper and parvo virus. They should also be spayed or neutered and at least 12 weeks old. These requirements aren’t just unique to doggy daycare, but are general guidelines for taking your dog out in public.
Dog boarding tips
These guidelines will help ensure your animal has a great day:
- Have an evaluation and consultation. Before you drop off your dog for the first time, the daycare should evaluate your animal’s temperament to see how it will play with the other dogs.
- Bring the dog in on a leash.
- Be aware of any health issues. If your dog appears to have something that might be contagious, it’s best not to expose it to other animals until a vet has confirmed it’s well.
- Bring along snacks and food for your dog in marked zip-lock bags.
- While most places have sleeping areas, you might want to bring your animal’s special pillow or sleeping mattress.
- If your dog takes medication, bring it in the original prescription containers with directions included.
After a day or two at doggy daycare, it’s likely that your dog will be very tired, sore and rather thirsty. This is perfectly normal. Most animals are so excited by all their new friends that they don’t take time to rest during the day. It’s also likely that they’ll end up losing weight over the course of a few weeks. Give them some extra TLC during the first few days, and they should be back to their usual self soon.
Pets can turn into different animals when they leave the confines of your house. By keeping the tips in these posts in mind, you’ll be able to help your pet stay happy, safe and well-behaved whenever he or she leaves home.