Doggy Day Care: What to Expect
Having a dog is a rewarding experience. Dogs are very loyal and loving. When you live with a dog, there’s always someone around who will protect you and guard your property. He’ll give you plenty of kisses and always remain a trusted companion. That’s why some people consider their dogs their children. However, many pet owners also have very busy schedules, and leaving dogs alone for long periods of time doesn’t expose them to socialization with other animals and they may develop separation anxiety. If you need to go to work or have other things to do that keep you away from home for hours on end a day, you might not want to leave your dog alone. The good thing is that there are doggy day care centers—just like there are for human children—that will take care of your dog while you can’t. If you’re considering letting your dog make new friends at a day care center a few days a week, read on to learn more about what to expect.
Types of Doggy Day Cares
In choosing a doggy day care, there are various types of facilities that can meet your needs. The most common include the following:
Commercial Doggy Day Care: This is the most common type of day care facility for dogs, and you can usually find these in larger pet stores. Commercial facilities have a larger staff whose members are trained to help and to provide care for all dogs. What is nice with commercial doggy day care facilities is that they’re often larger and have many more amenities, including separate areas for smaller and larger dogs, extra toys, and time for private training lessons with a staff member.
Private Doggy Day Care: Another common facility is a private doggy day care. At this type, your dog can interact with other dogs usually in the comfort of someone else’s home. You may appreciate the fact that this is a more personalized type of service, and if your dog is quieter, he might prefer it as well. Private day cares are better at handling things like dispensing medication and feeding. The only downside is that there are fewer private doggy day care facilities around. Plus, the space is also limited and there aren’t as many people to handle the dogs.
If you want your dog to stay comfortable in his own house instead of taking him to a facility, you can choose pet sitting by hiring a trustworthy, reputable sitter who can come to your house and take care of your dog while you’re away. Some dogs prefer this kind of one-on-one attention. Just be careful when hiring a pet sitter, especially because the person will have access to your home. For security purposes, you should check references first. It also helps if the person comes recommended by a friend.
How Much Does It Cost?
When taking your dog to a day care facility, you need to plan to spend some money. The rates widely vary depending on the kind of service that you want. For low-end facilities with fewer toys and staff members, the price can be as low as $6 per day. But there are facilities that charge around $40 a day, too. The cost also varies depending on your needs. For instance, if you only need to take your dog to a facility for a few hours, the rate is usually hourly—but you may have to pay $15 per hour. You might have to plan a larger budget allotment to afford the day care you want, but it’s worth it.
What Happens at Day Care?
If you’ve never taken your dog to a day care, it’s important that you know the usual things that happen inside. Doggy day care facilities enable your pet to be exposed to different things, including new breeds of dogs, play styles, and environments. Your dog receives proper care while you’re away, but the day care can also be a good training ground if your dog hasn’t been around other animals much.
When you arrive, you have to check in your dog at the front desk. After that, you and your dog get the chance to see and greet friends who are also in the center. From there, usually you can just leave your dog and let the staff handle the job.
If you take your dog in the morning, there is normally a scheduled play session. This is perfect for dogs because it’s a time of day when they’re full of energy. They get to have fun and participate in different activities. From ball chasing to socialization, your dog can enjoy plenty of exercise. Every doggy day care has its own set of activities, so make sure that you do some research. Some centers have dog swimming pools, for example, and you’ll need to plan for that.
After the morning play session, it’s time for your pet to wind down and have a nap. With some music and a comfortable bed, your dog can relax and take the time to get good rest. Once naptime is over, your dog is ready for another activity. Unlike the morning play session, in the afternoon session dogs will play at a slower pace. After an afternoon of fun and playing, your dog gets to have his own quiet time waiting for your arrival to ensure he’s calm on the way home. At that point, you can pick him up and head home for dinner.
Is It Worth the Price?
Doggy day care facilities can be quite expensive, especially for those who are working on tight budgets. However, if you really need to be away and if you have important things to do throughout the day, it’s strongly recommended that you take your dog to a day care facility. Dogs, just like humans, feel lonely and sad if you leave them by themselves day after day. As a pet owner, you won’t have to worry about what’s happening with your pet if you decide to take him to a facility. You’re guaranteed that there are professional people there who will take of your dog’s needs. Prior to deciding which one to pick, you should compare choices, read reviews, and check prices. Ultimately, it’s a smart choice because socializing and playing keep your dog healthy and improve his well-being, which is invaluable to you as a loving owner.