No one wants a restless or needy dog. Animal behavior experts mentioned time and time again, that dogs, especially high-energy dogs require mental and physical exercise. Dogs also enjoy running, playing, and most dogs enjoy joining a pack of dogs to interact.
The problem is some dog owners work long hours. By the time they return home at the day’s end they’re too exhausted to take dogs for a walk. But at the same time, the people benefit from having pets (stress relief, companionship, and bonding time which might occur mainly on weekends and time off from work).
Dog (aka) doggy daycare provides a solution for busy pet owners and in a way resembles daycare for children. There are even kindergarten for dogs in Japan (look for the videos on YouTube). There are varying types of dog daycare from the old fashion kennels and an indoor play area and an outdoor play area to dog ranches, dog farms, and with Mo’s Mountain Mutts’ a school bus that transports the dogs to the Alaskan wilderness (also seen on YouTube).
Depending on your country or region, prices and scheduling for dog daycare vary. Shop around, visit the facilities, and see if you can watch the staff in action. Ask if you can schedule a visit with your dog to determine if that’s the right daycare for him or her.
As far as benefits, they are numerous. To keep this article short, I’ll list 5.
This is an obvious one. We all know what happens when a dog doesn’t get enough exercise. That usually sweet tempered fellow turns into a frenzied beast. But exercise provides more that physical stimulation. Exercise allows the dog to spend time in a natural environment, breathe fresh air and to take in all the scents of the neighborhood.
While enrolling your dog in daycare isn’t the only way for him to get exercise (dog walkers and dog sitters can provide this), you get more for your money because the dog daycare takes care of more needs than just exercise.
Depending on the daycare staff and philosophy, some daycare staff provide the dogs with puzzles or allow dogs to roam and play in packs where they resolve problems. Some daycare staff provide training for dogs too which also works their brains. Dogs enjoy learning something new and you might even call them lifelong learners. They also enjoy pleasing the trainer when they learn something new.
Companionship with Dogs and Other Humans
When you’re away at work, wouldn’t you feel better to know your dog isn’t sitting alone waiting for you to return. Most dogs will find ways to entertain themselves though and you might not be happy with the results. Dogs are pack animals and even if you think your dog is a loner, you might reconsider that after watching your shy dog open up to new adventures with companions.
The daycare provides each dog with opportunities to forge relationships with staff and other dogs. Just like human children, dogs can have best buddies too and their lives are enriched by it.
Studies have shown that dogs prefer structure as in having a schedule. This isn’t just true for feeding and walking times. A chaotic life free of structure might seem alright to a freewheeling human, but it’s not the same for dogs. They feel more safe and secure when they know what to expect during the course of their day and to know what is expected of them. Dog daycare provides structure as the day is usually divided into playtime, nap time, lunch time, etc…
The Bus Ride
Not all daycare centers provide a pick up service in the form of a bus or a van, although this trend is catching on. And given the cost of fuel, more than likely, this is an extra perk with a price tag (but then, I don’t really know). However, before you load your dog on the bus or van, ask if you can ride on the bus to see if safety and common sense are practiced. Do the dogs behave? Are they secured properly? How long is the bus ride? Can they handle nervous dogs? And is there a meet and greet or training involved to get the dogs to ride without incident (such as picking fights with other dogs)? Whose driving the bus? What’s this driver’s experience driving a bus?
As always, research daycare facilities and the offerings. Ask for testimonies, ask other dog owners (you know) where they send their dogs during the working hours. Look for press coverage, ratings, and visit the facilities to have a guided tour. Since dog daycare is becoming a competitive field, you might be able to negotiate a fair price or put together a package depending on the days of the week and hours your dog requires.
The dog daycare isn’t for everyone, but the dogs who stay at them tend to be happier and better adjusted. They are less likely to tear up your couch, dig holes in the yard, or become runners and escape artists. It’s like that Cyndi Lauper song with a change in lyrics, “Dogs just wanna have fun.”
Do you want to know what’s on your canine’s mind? Sign up for an animal communication session with me. Or would you like to share the benefits of relaxing Reiki with your dog? Sign up for a Reiki session with me. Be Zen together and bond more deeply with your pet. All my sessions are remote.
Don’t forget to check out my video on Doggy Daycare.