It wasn’t too many years ago that most pet owners would laugh or roll their eyes at the idea of doggy daycare. Today, though, pet owners of all stripes are discovering the benefits of doggie daycare. 

Whether you’re looking to give your dog an afternoon away from home while you deep clean and run errands, or are looking for sustainable socialization and enrichment for your pet, doggie daycare has a lot to offer and can provide tremendous benefits for your four-legged friend

The Benefits of Doggie Daycare

Doggie daycare offers a multitude of benefits for your dog, including:

Human interaction – Most dogs crave human interaction, after all they have evolved alongside us for over 15,000 years (some estimates are closer to 30,000)! Being home alone for long periods of time can lead to depression and behavior issues. In a safe daycare setting in the company of trained and loving personnel, dogs can continue to enjoy the company of humans while their families are away.

Socialization – Dogs are pack animals, and most enjoy the opportunity to mingle with others of their species. Playing with other dogs also provides important mental and emotional stimulation and feedback, and is a great opportunity to hone social skills. Keep in mind that daycare is NOT the place to socialize an adult dog who didn’t receive adequate socialization as a puppy – if your dog is aggressive or fearful of other dogs further training or behavioral therapy are needed.

Exercise – Regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, good muscle tone, and for burning off excess energy. Most modern dogs are lacking in this department, especially if their owners are gone all day. Remember, a tired dog is a happy/better behaved dog!

Etiquette – A good doggy daycare is staffed with employees who understand canine body language and are trained to foster a safe environment. All dogs can benefit from reminders about acceptable behavior around humans and other dogs, and many pet owners report better behavior overall after a few weeks or months in daycare.

Peace of mind (yours!) – Dogs are valued family members, and knowing that they are happy, safe, and cared for while you’re at work is priceless! The playtime, exercise, and interaction with people and other dogs ensure that there’s never a dull moment and that your pet will return home to you exhausted and content.

Considering Your Options

Just like with people, not all dogs play well with others. Dogs who are aggressive, overly shy/fearful, or anxious are not good candidates for a daycare setting, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo giving your pet much-needed attention and exercise while you’re away. Consider hiring a dog walker or enlisting the help of a neighbor or family member to come by and get your dog out for some fresh air and stimulation during the day.

If you’ve decided that daycare is right for your dog, take the time to research your options before committing. Take tours of local daycares and make sure they are clean and secure, the dogs look happy, there is plenty of fresh water available at all times, and that small and large dogs have their own separate play areas.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Blue Valley Animal Hospital with your questions and concerns about your pet!