Benefits of Daycare and Boarding

Benefits of Daycare include:

  • Daycare is a great way to socialize your dog, especially if you have a puppy or a shy dog. Puppies are very impressionable, and the more they are socialized, the more likely they will grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. If you have a shy dog, daycare can be a great tool to help your dog build his or her confidence and adjust to other dogs and people. Just remember it can take time for a shy dog to get used to daycare and really enjoy themselves.
  • Daycare is an excellent way to exercise your dog, although not every dog has the personality or stamina to participate in daycare every day.
  • Daycare is very exhausting and most dogs need some time off to catch up on sleep. Additionally, participating in daycare every day for most dogs can lead to guarding behavior, which is not something we want to see in a daycare environment. If we start noticing this behavior, please note we will let you know and advise you to either take a few days off, or maybe try to not come as often. If further help needs to be had, we can guide you to the best trainer and/ or a behavioralist.
  • Even those dogs that are more mellow and do not enjoy nonstop play benefit from the mental stimulation they get from daycare. There is always lots to observe and new smells to check out.
  • Daycare can help dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. It gives your dogs a place to go during the day when you cannot be with them, and provides both mental and physical stimulation, which will make them tired and more receptive to the training you do at home to overcome their anxiety.

The inherent risks of daycare or boarding include:

  • Daycare and boarding are really no different than sending a child to school for the day or overnight summer camp. Every child catches a cold or the flu at some point, and some children have better immune systems than other children. The biggest difference between your dog and a child is that your dog cannot tell you a day or two before they are showing signs of being sick that their throat feels a little scratchy, and often it is the days before they act or look sick that they are the most contagious. When we do know of something going around, we will post a notice in our lobby and try to verbally notify all parents of dogs that we think might have been exposed. We also ask for help from the parents, as you are more likely to notice the subtle changes in your dog that indicate they might be feeling a little off. If you notice these signs, we ask that you refrain from bringing your dog to daycare and or boarding if possible. However, even with all of us being very diligent in trying to prevent the spread of a virus or bacteria that makes our dogs sick it still cannot be completely prevented. (Please refer to our separate handout for more information.)
  • Daycare or boarding with group play are similar to a contact sport for humans, except these participants are playing the game with their teeth and claws. The more active of a player your dog is, the more likely they will get scratches and other marks on them. There is a playgroup supervisor in group with the dogs at all times and we monitor each group to keep play levels as safe as possible, but sometimes things do happen. If we notice anything, we will point it out to you, but remember, they are covered in hair and we will not see everything. If you do find a mark you feel may be concerning, please let us know.
  • Some dogs experience tender paws until they adapt to all the activity. Often times they do not let us know that their feet are sore because they are too busy playing and having a good time and only start limping once they get home. If your dog has sensitive feet, let us know and we can regulate more breaks in between play time.
  • The closer a dog is in contact with other dogs, the more likely they are to come into contact with fleas and/ or ticks. We do require all our guests to be on a flea and tick preventive but unfortunately some seem to work better than others from season to season. If we notice any guests having fleas or ticks, we will notify the parent of the guest(s) immediately. We will then advise an immediate pick up and/ or do a flea and tick bath that will need to be paid at the time of pickup. If you are concerned about your dog picking up one of these critters, please speak with your vet on the best preventive option for the specific season. We do get our yards treated with pet safe granules and spray multiple times a year to keep any critters from making our space their home.

Other things to know about daycare and boarding include:

  • After a day of daycare and or a night(s) of boarding, your dog will most likely seem extra hungry, thirsty, and tired. This is normal. During play, dogs might not take the time to stop and drink as much as they should. We always have fresh water available, but many dogs are too distracted with playing.
  • On the other hand, do not be surprised if your dog doesn’t eat right away after returning home. This too is normal. Some dogs need some extra time to decompress from the hustle and bustle of daycare and get back into the routine of being home from boarding.
  • Dogs in daycare and group play while boarding often do not take the time to take a break. We do nap rotations in the middle of the day; the naps are for close to an hour long and give the dogs a break from play and each other, but they are still going to need some extra sleep at home.
  • Some dogs could even experience diarrhea once returning back home. Have you ever had an upset tummy because of excitement, anxiety, or being a little overwhelmed from a different environment since you’re not at home? A similar phenomenon can affect our pets too, and if your dog has diarrhea when they are boarding or when they first return home, this could be due to the change in routine they are experiencing. It is very unlikely that they have picked up a stomach virus or anything during their time at the facility. (If your dog does experience diarrhea for more than 48 hours, we advise you contact your vet for an appointment).
  • Some dogs may even show signs of being clingier after boarding. There are a lot of dogs that can develop a mild case of separation anxiety if they are not used to being away from their owner. Getting back to their normal routine and exercise should help this pass within a day or two. Bringing your dog’s bed/ blanket from home may help. It has your scent on it, and will make them feel like you are close to them even while you are away.

We love feedback, so please communicate any questions or concerns that you may have. At the end of the day, we want daycare and boarding to be an enjoyable experience for you and your dog!