Dog daycare has become very popular, and facilities are popping up everywhere. Daycare for dogs can be wonderful for exercise and socialization. But, how can you be sure that your dog will be safe and have fun?
Here’s a list of must-haves for dog daycare:
- Supervision – Staff members should physically be with the dogs at all times, not observing through window or on a camera. Appropriate conflict control measures such as separating dogs when needed or time-outs for inappropriate behavior. Staff should not be yelling, hitting or manhandling dogs.
- Safety – Small and large dogs should have separate play areas. New dogs should always be evaluated before being allowed into play groups. Dogs should play “naked” – no collars or harnesses. Although the goal of daycare is to provide dogs with plenty of playtime, there should also be scheduled rest periods as well. Puppies, especially, need down time to prevent over-arousal.
- Staff – There should be enough staff on hand to make sure they can handle the number of dogs in the facility. 1 person per about 12 dogs. That number can vary depending on the training and experience of the staff, but no more than 15 dogs per person.
- Space – The facility should be large enough to accommodate the number of dogs accepted per day, about 70 – 100 Square foot per dog of play area, or should limit the number of dogs per day.
- Housekeeping – The facility should be clean and relatively odor free. Cleaning supplies and disinfectant should be immediately available to clean up accidents as soon as they happen. Drinking water should be changed at regular intervals during the day.
You should be able to visit the facility and take a tour before you book your dog in. Ask questions and observe – are you happy with what you see, smell and hear??