You’ve decided to send your dog to day care, you’ve spoken to friends and family, you’ve shopped around, and now it’s time to make a decision. What next?
Here’s our definitive guide to the top things to consider when choosing doggy day care.
1) Check it out
Think of doggy day care as a children’s nursery. You wouldn’t dream of sending a child along without visiting first.
So plan a visit, and not just a chat on the phone, to see exactly where your dog will spend their day, who they’ll be with, and what they’ll be doing.
Are the dogs friendly and social and happy together?
Is it calm and quiet or noisy and chaotic?
Would you be happy with your dog mixing with every type of breed there?
Do the staff look like they love the dogs and their jobs and are they actively engaging with the dogs?
What is the indoor and rest space like?
Is there enough open space for the dogs to spread out or are they cramped? Too many dogs in close confines leads to scuffles and boisterous dogs, which can overwhelm quieter or older dogs and puppies.
How many dogs do they have together in one space?
Are there any children / cats on the premises? Please bear in mind that any establishment with young children will not be insured or licensed, its a standard clause for obvious reasons.
2) Ask questions
It’s important to also chat and ask questions of the dog carers themselves as they will have direct day-to-day contact with the dogs. And don’t be afraid to pose difficult questions:
What is the maximum amount of dogs you may have at any one time?
How often do dogs get injured and what happens?
Have they expelled dogs and how often does this happen?
Are there certain breeds they don’t accept?
Do they throw balls/sticks etc? While this sounds fun, in a group dynamic many normally placid dogs become competitive and may nip. Sticks are also very dangerous.
Are the dogs transported and if so for how long versus time spent in the fields?
Do they take un-neutered (entire) males that are over 6 months old? The answer should be no. This is not so good for inexperienced or new operators who need to fill spaces. In a group dynamic, testosterone is not a good thing!
Will my elderly / shy dog be able to have some quiet time or are all the dogs together?
Where will my dog spend its time? Will he be left unattended and if so how long for? Where will be be left? Will he be crated or shut in a confined space? Will he be left with other dogs unattended?
What is your average daily routine?
ASK TO SEE A COPY OF INSURANCE AND HOME BOARDING LICENSE
They will be proud to show you their documents. This is the law! Please see our previous blog post for more info. https://www.teddysdogs.co.uk/single-post/2017/05/20/Licensed-Home-Dog-Boarding-Day-Care-Northampton
Other things to consider: