What About Doggie Day Care?
Doggie day care facilities are popping up all over the place to provide dogs with nonstop canine fun. Active dogs enjoy wrestling and playing with other dogs, and they get lots of attention from the human staff. Day care a few times a week or every day can make a huge difference in the hours you spend together at home and on the weekends. Most working people come home too tired to exercise an active dog for two hours. With doggie day care, however, that same owner could spend those two hours enjoying life with her dog in some other way.
Day care is a great way to give an active dog an outlet for all his energy, a shy dog an opportunity for new experiences, and a boisterous dog a chance to meet all kinds of dogs. It can help all types of dogs learn how to adjust their play style to be more compatible with their playmates.
The following are some tips for identifying the right doggie day care:
The dogs should have their own water bowls to prevent the spread of viruses.
The dogs should be separated into groups according to age, personality, and play style, with no more than 10 to 15 dogs per group.
An enhanced rest time via crates, separate mats, or runs should be part of the day. This ensures that active dogs learn self-control and shy or playful ones get a break from the other dogs.
There should be one attendant for every ten dogs.
Day care attendants should be adults who have been properly trained in normal (and abnormal) dog behavior, including how to safely break up a dogfight.
A strong disinfectant and anti-viral solution should be used to clean up accidents.
All dogs should be required to be vaccinated or titered and spayed or neutered.
All dogs should be in good health and not have symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, eye discharge, or coughing.
Dogs that are aggressive toward people or other dogs should not be allowed at day care for the safety of everyone.
Go in person to meet the staff and see how they run their day and make sure the indoor and outdoor facilities are clean and secure.
What is a vaccine titer?
A vaccine titer is a blood test performed on a vaccinated dog to determine his level of immunity to a given disease. In general, if a titer is positive, the animal has immunity to that particular disease. If the animal does not have a positive titer, consult your veterinarian before having your pet revaccinated.
The best candidates for day care are puppies and young adult dogs. If you are unable to get your dog out to lots of different places to play with other dogs, day care may be a great option for you.
Most doggie day care facilities will interview you and your dog, which gives you the opportunity to see the facility and ask questions. Go with a checklist and be sure you are comfortable with the style of the day care facility before leaving your dog there. Interview at several places and talk to other dog owners before you make your decision.