5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Doggy Daycare

0 Comments


Doggy daycare is a facility where you drop your dog off for short-term care during the day. While it once was viewed as a frivolous activity for a pet, it is now seen as a much needed social outlet for our furry family members. When you have to go to work, chaperone your child’s field trip, or meet up with your friend who’s in town visiting, how do you decide what doggy daycare is the best for your dog? With over 300 million pets in America, doggy daycares are a booming business, but that doesn’t mean that all daycares are equal. We’re going to give you the top five things to look out for when choosing the daycare that’s right for your pooch.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Doggy Daycare

 

Nothing is better than a personal testimony from someone you know and trust. Put the word out in your social circles that you’re looking for a doggy daycare. Like picking a preschool for a child, you want to find the best program for your furry child. Glean from other’s experiences by getting details, listening to reviews, and asking lots of questions.


Do Your Research

Don’t be afraid to cyberstalk! In a day and age where you have instant access to websites, reviews, and social media, make sure you do your due diligence as a pet parent to research and narrow down your search. Look for a professional web presence, transparency in policies and pricing, strict health and safety guidelines, and verified reviews and ratings. And don’t be afraid to search social media and see what people are saying. If you don’t get a good vibe online, move on. You don’t want your beloved dog in the care of a company who isn’t going to take the time or money to put their best foot forward online.


Set Up A Visit

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, plan on making some time to go visit the daycares and asking to take a tour. Like with online shopping, it’s one thing to take another person’s word or see something online, but you won’t get the true vibe until you see it in person and ‘try it on,’ so to speak. We recommend stopping by unannounced during the day as opposed to setting up an appointment. You don’t want to see a manufactured tour, you want to see the operation in full action so you can determine if it’s a good fit. A good facility will have someone who is willing to take you around when you stop by, and if you get a rude response or the cold shoulder, it’s probably not somewhere you want to bring your pet anyway!


What to Look For

Of course, nobody knows what your dog needs like you, so keep your eyes open for if and how the facility will meet your dog’s needs. And don’t be afraid to probe or ask lots of questions, this is part of your family we’re talking about and you deserve to know exactly how things operate and what to expect. And remember, at this point you’re playing investigator… You’ve already cyberstalked them (which they don’t know), so here’s your chance to make sure what you read or saw online matches what you are seeing and being told in person! Here’s a few things we recommend looking out for or asking about:

  1. Establishment - You want to know how long they’ve been around for, what their experience is, and what their credentials are. And don’t forget to ask about employees and their training and credentials as well—you want to make sure that whoever is handling your dog is top-notch and uber qualified!
  2. Safety - Look for check-in/check-out protocols and employee supervision that ensure your pet’s safety. You’ll also want to make sure there are adequate gates (and double-gates) where necessary. Pay specific attention to how they seperate dogs of different size, breed, and temperment. It might not be a bad idea to ask if they use video cameras. And lastly, you want the peace of mind knowing that you’re covered in case of an unforeseen dog-fight or accident where you dog (God-forbid) destroys property, so don’t forget to make sure the facility is insured and bonded.
  3. Cleanliness - Arriving unannounced will give you a good idea of where the facility stands when it comes to cleanliness. Look around and use your judgement and your senses as you scope the place out. Make sure floors are clean and hair-free and ensure that the space where the dogs relieve themselves is sanitized and well-maintained. If the place smells or feels dirty and you get the heebie-jeebies, definitely cross that daycare off the list!
  4. Space - This could easily be the deal breaker! You want to make sure that there is adequate space for both play and rest—both indoors and outdoors. If the facility is mainly outdoors, note whether or not there is enough shade throughout the day. And along those lines, pay attention to temperature and ask any questions you might have about weather and heating/cooling. You’ll also want to make sure there are kennels or individual spaces where dogs can have rest and alone time (and take naps) when necessary.
  5. Supervision - You want eyes on your dog at all times! Ask questions about supervision and the human to dog ratio. A good rule of thumb is one human to 10-15 dogs. And it’s not only about the supervision and eyeballs, it’s about the love, so make sure to pay attention to the level of care and nurture you’re witnessing as the staff interact with the dogs. Watch to see if the staff is using positive reinforcement and make sure they aren’t mishandling dogs. Ask questions about routine and their policy for administering medication if necessary. And don’t forget to inquire about toys, stimulation, and opportunities for engagement. Remember, you could leave your dog alone at home but you are choosing to put them in an environment where they’re receiving human love, interaction, and engagement.

Trust Your Gut

After you’ve done all the research and visited all the locations, go through your options and make the choice based upon what’s best for you and your dog. You know what you need AND what they need. If necessary, start by giving it a trial run. No matter what, go with where you sense the peace is, trust your gut!




Also in The Blog

The Connecting Nature of Pets
The Connecting Nature of Pets

0 Comments

Even today, in our seemingly polarized society, you could put on silly YouTube videos of pet bloopers on the TV and everyone in a room would unite and laugh despite their varying political or societal beliefs.

Read More

Inside Petology: A Beauty Wellness Company for Dogs
Inside Petology: A Beauty Wellness Company for Dogs

0 Comments

I founded Petology Products in 2011 because I’m passionate about dogs and their quality care. Prior to 2011 I was focused on selling cosmetic specialty ingredients to the largest personal care companies in the world. 

Read More

Trending: Millennials and Their Furry Babies (Pets)
Trending: Millennials and Their Furry Babies (Pets)

0 Comments

With Millennials there are a lot of firsts… Millennials are the first generation to have their childhood and coming of age in the midst of the digital revolution and Millennials are also the first generation more likely to see pets as more human than animal. 

Read More