If you work long hours, no doubt you feel bad leaving your dog home. Imagining them home alone all day without you can be heartbreaking. And for Doodles, this can start a wave of new separation anxiety. You might be considering using a dog daycare. But there are so many questions and worries that go into sending your puppy off to daycare. But don’t worry, we will go over everything you need to know. And we will answer an essential question. How do I know if my dog likes Dog Daycare?
Benefits Of Dog Daycare
The first question that you may have is, what are the benefits of day daycare? After all, you want to make sure that your money is well spent before trying something that might not be beneficial. So we will go over a quick pros and cons list of daycare. You might find that the pros outweigh the cons in every situation.
- Dog daycare can help your dog if they suffer from separation anxiety. This is the number one reason most people put their dogs in daycare, to begin with. Being around people and other dogs will help them forget that you are at work. You will notice that when your dog is home alone, they react much better than before. Your dog won’t display their anxieties through destruction or other negative behaviors anymore.
- Another benefit is that daycare can teach your dog some degree of manners. They will start to understand how to greet other dogs and read body language better than before. However, daycare shouldn’t be the first time socializing your dog.
- Companionship with other dogs is another immeasurable benefit of dog daycare. Your dog will form close bonds with specific groups of dogs. And you might hear staff referring to other dogs as their best friends.
- And finally, dog daycares provide a second home for your pup. Daycare will be a safe place where they make friends and get love. In a great daycare, the staff will even form close bonds with your dog. They will love your dog for years to come.
- There is a small risk of fleas, ticks, and illnesses from daycares. We always recommend using a flea preventative on your Doodle and keep updated on vaccines.
- Fights are possible. Dogs have personalities of their own and don’t always like everyone. The occasional scuffle will break out, so injuries can happen.
- And our last con is that your dog might be too tired to play with you after daycare. They have spent their days running and playing all day and will be exhausted by the time they get home.
Qualities Of A Great Dog Daycare
So if you are looking for a daycare, you might be wondering what precisely to look for. You don’t want to leave your dog into just anyone’s hands. That is why we have a few things to check during your tour.
- Make sure all dogs are separated by size.
- Staff to dog ratio is no more than one person per 15 dogs.
- Play areas are clean and free of waste.
- Indoor/outdoor play is available weather permitting.
There are also a few questions to ask dog daycare before signing up.
- What vaccinations are required?
- Do all dogs pass a socialization test?
- Do the dogs have a “nap time” or lunch break?
- And do they keep a scorecard of your dog’s behavior throughout the day?
All of these can help you choose the best daycare available to you.
Dog Daycare Tips
Many people are under the impression that their dog will do fine from the beginning. And while that may be the instance for some, it’s not always the case. If your dog has high anxiety, there might be a few things you can do to help them transition. You might want to follow these dog daycare tips.
- The biggest tip we can give you is to socialize your dog before trying daycare. But does dog daycare help with socialization? While yes it can help hone in on being friendly with all dogs, it can also be scary. If your dog has never been around other dogs, you are setting them up to fail. Take your dog to the dog park or a pet store to socialize with other animals.
- Teach your dog a few commands that they know well before dog daycare. Commands like sit, stay, and leave it can help your dog acclimate better and make the staff’s job easier.
- Don’t feed your dog an hour before drop off. Doodles especially can be prone to bloat. Feeding within an hour of drop off increases the chances of bloat and nausea.
- Don’t bring toys or leave any personal belongings with your dog. Daycares are often also boarding facilities and groomers. If you bring items to leave for your dog, they likely won’t use them. There is also a good chance that your items will be lost. Only bring medication if needed or lunch for your dog.
How Do I Know If My Dog Likes Daycare?
After the first week of daycare, you might be wondering. How do I know if my dog likes daycare? You don’t want to keep sending your dog if they aren’t acclimating well to the change. But what signs should you look for? Next, we will talk in-depth about how to read your dog for the positive signs.
A dog tired after daycare is the number one sign that they had a fantastic day. They have spent all day running and playing with new friends. Exhaustion might be overwhelming at first, but they will get used to the new activity level. Some dogs will fall asleep on the way home. Others make it back and pass out without even eating dinner. A tired dog is a sign of a happy dog.
Excited On The Car Ride
How do I know if my dog likes daycare? He gets excited every time we leave the house. The car ride to the daycare is almost unbearable with anticipation. And when we finally pull into the parking lot, he explodes with excitement. These are all a great indication that your dog loves his new daycare.
You know your dog loves dog daycare when they get excited to hear the name. It will spark joy in your dog’s eyes, and they will run to the door to wait for you. Name recognition with a positive reaction is substantial evidence that they love it.
If your dog is happy to see the staff and other dogs when you walk in the door, you know she’s in love. Jumping up to say hi and tail up and wagging is all excellent body language. A dog isn’t happy to see the people and animals that cause her anxiety.
After a while, your dog will know your routine. They will come to expect going to daycare in the mornings. You will notice that your dog starts to “get ready” for his day just like you. Your dog will meet you at the door because he is happy and knows where he is spending his day. And on days that you don’t go to daycare, your dog might seem thrown off. They will be excited to leave only not to go.
Scorecards are like reviews of how your dog did throughout the day. If your dog only has comments about playing or lounging around with his friends, he is happy and content.
What If They Don’t Like It?
So what should I look for if my dog doesn’t like it? Dogs have varying personalities, just like people do. Not every dog will like daycare, and that’s ok. There are other options like a sitter or dog walker to try. Here are a few things to look for before determining your dog doesn’t like daycare.
When you are at the dog daycare, shaking is a good indicator. Your dog could be shaking in fear of being around crowds or in loud areas. There are many reasons for shaking, but it’s reasonable to believe it is fear in this situation.
Hiding When Leaving
If your dog runs and hides when you are supposed to be leaving for daycare, you should stop going. It is like when a dog runs and hides to avoid a bath. The situation makes your dog feel uncomfortable, and they want protection from that. Dog’s are also very receptive and shouldn’t be tricked into going to daycare.
Another sign that your dog doesn’t enjoy daycare is a tucked tail. A tucked tail is a sign of being uncomfortable and scared. You can expect a tucked tail at first. But if it continues all day and never gets better, daycare might not be for you.
Once in the playroom, your dog should warm up and make friends. If your dog sits in the corner all day and doesn’t interact with the other dogs, they probably don’t like it. You will know from your dog’s scorecard if they attempted to make any friends throughout the day.
And finally, if your dog is resisting going into the dog daycare, they shouldn’t be forced. If you push a dog into something they don’t like, you could get a reactive dog. A dog anxious at daycare is likely to lash out at people and dogs because they are uncomfortable.
Is Doggy Daycare Worth It?
If your dog loves daycare, it is entirely worth it. There are so many excellent benefits to daycare. It will make your dog happy all the time and give them a boost in confidence. Having a home away from home is a comforting thing, not only to your dog. But its also comforting to you.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!!