How to choose the right doggy daycare

Doggy daycare can be an overwhelming and stressful subject for you and your dog. Today, our Enterprise vets explain what to consider when selecting a dog daycare in order to find the best option for your pet. 

Do Your Research

The first step you can take in finding the right doggy daycare for your pup is to gather as much information as you can about as many facilities as possible. Below are a few ways you can gather information to help narrow down the perfect daycare for your dog.

Online - At Home

Start with a few simple Google searches. You will be able to find all of the dog daycare services within your area and compose a list of the ones you approve of based on your initial thoughts.

Visit each facility's website, social media page etc., and if nothing jumps out at you like a deal-breaker, add them to the list of daycares that are worth finding more about.

Tour the Facilities

Reach out to each facility via email or phone call to schedule a tour of their facilities. An in-person tour will give you and your dog a chance to scope it out and get an idea of what their day would be like. It’ll also give you the opportunity to ask more detailed questions.

While you’re there, be on the lookout for:

  • Safe floor surfaces
  • Solid fencing: Something strong and tall enough to keep dogs (especially your dog) contained.
  • Proper gating: A staging area for dogs to adjust before entering the play area.
  • Good ventilation: Lots of windows and doors or some sort of fresh-air exchange system.

Look for References/Feedback

While looking online you should notice some reviews or feedback from previous owners who have or are currently leaving their dog in that facility's care. These comments could help you make a decision as they may note some complaints or components they lack.

Asking your friends and family who own dogs can be helpful as they may have more insight and be able to refer you to a daycare they have used.

Ask About The Staff

Staff-to-Dog Ration

The International Boarding and Pet Care Services Association recommend 15 dogs per 1 human ratio as a safe standard to practice. There is also some give when it comes to the groups of the dog at hand. Some breeds may require more supervision due to higher activity. This can be a more important factor than it seems depending on the energy level of your dog in addition to the other dogs that would be there.

Staff Training

The staff at the doggy daycare you choose should have experience working with or training dogs. The daycare itself should require or provide extra training on how to handle dogs safely in a group environment.

While most doggy daycares take extra steps to ensure they’re providing and enforcing a safe environment for every dog, they should still be prepared and capable of handling a scuffle if one were to occur.

Staff must also be trained for a medical emergency and be comfortable administering first aid if need be.

Find Out About Their Operations

How Are the Dogs Grouped?

Do they group the dogs based on size and/or age? Are they separated based on their energy level, temperament and play style? Or both? This can make or break the safety of your dog, and if the division methods aren't to your liking, or if there isn't any division at all, it might be a good idea to continue your search elsewhere.

Is There Structure?

Make sure the doggy daycare you select is well structured. You want your pup to be on a daily routine while they are there, but it would also be ideal for the facility to develop a schedule to help your dog adjust to the new routine.

You should also make sure that there is some structure to playtime. If playtime consists of an absolute free-for-all, your dog may not get the exercise they need and may even get injured.

Remember, selecting the right doggy daycare will take time. You don't want to rush into it when your pet is the one who will be spending their time there on a daily basis. Take the time to ensure your dog will happy and safe when they aren't in your care.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have more questions on selecting the right doggy daycare? Contact our Enterprise vets who would be happy to help you select an appropriate facility for your companion.