Making the decision to put your pup in doggie day care can be a tough one – we’d all prefer to just stay home with our furry friends, right? But, sometimes the need arises and choosing the right doggie day care is vitally important. Whether you drop your baby off for a playdate once or twice a week, or take him to day care every day that you’re away at the office, use these tips from Tails-A-Wagging.com to pick a doggie day care that’s right for you and your pup!
Choosing the Right Doggie Day Care
You should expect to have a fully trained and certified dog trainer on staff at all times… anything less is just unacceptable. We all love dogs….of course we do, we would not be in this business if we did not. To operate a quality doggie day care you have to have extensive dog training experience, pet CPR and first aid training, multiple qualified and trained staff, great customer service skills and lots of patience!
First, talk to local pet professionals; your vet, your groomer, pet stores, people at the dog park, friends who have dogs. Talk to them about their experiences.
Call the facility. Ask general questions about their services and fees. Get a feel for the staff on the phone. Ask to speak with the dog trainer on staff and ask them a specific dog training question. How do they answer you? Are their training methods all positive reinforcement or old school corrective training? Remember if there is not a certified trainer on staff you cannot be assured the dogs are properly screened and appropriate for day care.
Then visit the facility unannounced. If you cannot just show up at any time this should be a HUGE red flag, there is a reason they do not want you to show up! Visit the facility at least twice: first mid day (unannounced) when the dogs should all be playing and having a great time. Ask for a tour. Then have your second visit be during their peak drop off or pickup times (also unannounced). Stand back and watch the flow. How are the dogs treated? How are they handled? How are the humans treated? Is there a routine or does it seem a bit hap-hazard?
Ask very specific questions and demand detailed answers.
How many certified dog trainers do they have on staff, physically, at the day care, AT ALL TIMES?
What is the dog to person ratio? (It should be 1 person for every 11 dogs and NEVER less than 2 people on at all times)
* The dogs should NEVER be left alone… Not for 1 minute. If only one person is on staff what would they do if there was a doggie emergency and a dog had to be taken to the veterinarian? What if that one staff member had to go to the bathroom?
How do they screen the dogs?
Are big dogs separated form small dogs?
How do they handle dog fights?
What type of training does the staff undergo?
If they offer dog obedience classes, what type of methods do they use?
* If they use old school training like choke chains and pinch collars… be forewarned, they will be using corrective responses to the dogs at day care too. If they contract their dog training out… then be very worried… this often means they do not have the training experience necessary to conduct classes on their own.
Can you drop in on their classes?
* Again… big red flag if you cannot!
Do they offer grooming?
* Does the groomer follow positive reinforcement with the dogs too?
What types of doggie medical concerns do they not allow?
Do they discriminate against any specific breeds?
* If they mention things like “we do not allow any aggressive breeds” be assured they are extremely uneducated people who do not know the difference between temperament and behavior.
Choosing a day care facility for your dog can be like picking the best school for your human children. Take the time and energy to do it right…. your dog will appreciate it!
Read more from Tails-A-Wagging here. If you’re taking your precious pup to day care, you’re surely determined to find a facility with well trained, experienced staff, high quality care, and a safe environment. Choosing the right doggie day care is important for the well-being and safety of your dog. Does your dog go to day care? Tell about it below!