(by Andres Rojas)
Now that the pandemic is getting a little bit better, pet daycare options are back on the table again.
Thanks to a growing demand from pet parents, you can find many daycare options where your pup can stay entertained for long periods of time so you can go out for groceries or work without coming back to find that your living room is destroyed.
Where to Start?
Pet daycare options are everywhere these days. So it’s really not a matter of “can I find a daycare for my pup” but rather of “what’s the best option for my dog.”
To avoid buying into a business’s marketing, celebrity vet Dr. Jeff recommends that you, “talk to your friends that may have dogs and do go to daycare.”
By getting word-of-mouth reviews from customers who you know and trust, you can gauge whether a daycare you’re interested in is worthy of taking care of your pup or if you should look for doggy nanny services elsewhere.
Safety First and Foremost
Even if we’re getting closer to a post-pandemic world, your four-legged child has health risks of its own that you must consider when making your pick.
Vaccines, in particular, are extremely important when choosing a daycare. As Dr. Jeff says, “I would not trust one that doesn’t at least require bordetella and, now in many cities, canine flu influenza vaccine as well.”
In addition to these vaccines, many safety-minded daycares might require that dogs be vaccinated against:
- DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo and Parainfluenza).
Remember that while some states, like California, don’t have mandatory vaccination requirements beyond rabies, your pet could still contract a disease from another dog.
So make sure that you skip the run-of-the-mill daycares that disregard safety and look for the ones that make your pet’s health their absolute top priority.
Pet Daycare Options that You Should Check out
Dog Park Daycare
If your pooch is young, full of energy, or obese, then a dog park-type daycare is the place to go.
The extra running space and high turnover of new friends you can find in these places will keep your dog too busy to feel separation anxiety.
Plus, by the time you are back your dog will be more tired, docile, and happy than when you left it. Meaning that you and your fluffy companion can lay back on your couch or bed and enjoy an afternoon filled with movies and plenty of cuddles.
Play Area Daycare
More common in urban areas, these types of pet care facilities are divided into smaller areas where dogs can play, exercise, or rest.
Although these daycares have outdoor play areas of their own, dogs aren’t typically free to run around from dusk till dawn. Instead, they are divided into small groups of 10-20 dogs per area based on their size, age, and temperament.
A lot of these centers also offer obedience and behavior training. So if you’ve told your pup “this is the last time you destroy my house!” more times than you can remember, play area daycares might just be your solution.
Not all dogs are social butterflies that can’t wait to play. If your pooch is older, timid, or suffers from a serious case of separation anxiety, a home-based daycare environment will soften up the transition.
Home-based daycares will typically have a higher dog-staff rate than larger centers. Without dozens of dogs to juggle, the staff will have more free time to walk, play, train, and care for your pup.
Moreover, the smaller but more managed groups of dogs make it easy for your pet to socialize or withdraw at its own rhythm.
Finally, if you are considering a daycare as a long-term option, make sure you find a place that offers boarding options.
Dogs who spend the night at a daycare can feel more relaxed the next time they return.
In this way, boarding daycares make for a seamless transition between your home and the daycare. But more importantly, offer a place where your furry friend can get all the attention, love, and supervision it deserves while you’re out taking care of business.
Visit Dr. Jeff Werber’s Instagram account (@werbs_dvm) to view and submit questions and answers on weekly AMAs – or call and leave a voicemail at 424-835-0576. Your call will be returned posthaste.
For emergencies, download Dr. Jeff Werber’s app Airvet, a video-chat option for veterinary needs at any time of day or night!