We’ve all driven by the play yard full of dogs and thought to ourselves, “wow, that looks like a lot of fun!” But there’s definitely more to a well-run dog daycare than the mere presence of a whole lot of dogs running around.
Dog daycare facilities are becoming increasingly popular as a source of socialization and exercise for modern dog owners, particularly in circumstances when canines are otherwise left home alone for the whole of the owner’s workday. And who wouldn’t like a tired out pup to chill with when they come home? “A tired dog is a good dog,” we’ve all heard it, but there’s a big difference between a dog sleeping because he’s tuckered out and comfortable and a dog sleeping because he’s fatigued from a stressful day. A healthy balance of supervised play and rest periods will make sure you have a pup who is tired for the right reasons.
The right daycare program will utilize a structure that not only makes sure pup’s are matched in appropriate play groups, but give those groups ample space to play, with rest periods to reduce the risk of stress, fatigue and injury.
From the start the right program will perform a daycare evaluation to help determine how your pup likes to play and the best, safest group for them to play with. Deciphering your pup’s body language is an important part of their daycare evaluation. Your pup’s use of posture, facial expressions, and other cues give important information into what sort of play environment they enjoy. As they are introduced to different pets, and daycare counselors, they are assessed on levels of relaxation, fun, and appropriate play behavior. After that, dogs more socially inclined are gradually introduced to the pack. In addition to a social pack, a good dog daycare will have a private play option for pups who enjoy more exclusive play.
Throughout the day a dog doesn’t always know when they need to take a break. They already rely on us for many reasons, and this is just one more of them. Well trained staff will facilitate group “nap times” for periods of the day that are the hottest, to help the pack energy come down to safer levels, and just routinely to ensure proper restoration, hydration, and rest.
Always remember, no two dogs have the same needs or preferences. The right dog daycare program will provide customized fun to keep your pet engaged and looking forward to the next playtime.