Is Doggie Daycare Right for You

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Is Doggie Daycare Right for You

by Joanell Hutchinson



If you have ever had qualms about leaving your dog at home alone when you head off for work or errands or a day out with friends, doggie daycare may be right for you. While the benefits to you might be obvious, the pluses for your dog can also be great.

Think of it this way: It can get pretty lonely at home alone. It is much easier to get into mischief if you are bored and have trouble occupying your time. Socialization is a healthy part of life ? without it you become a loner and can develop all kinds of neuroses. How would you like to spend your day in a crate with only bedding and a couple of toys to keep you occupied?

Your dog is no different. The premise behind doggie daycare is easy to understand. A qualified facility provides a safe and healthy environment with lots of human and dog interaction. Group play, toys, treats, activity and rest periods are all part of the mix, and ? in most cases ? day care businesses are operated by dog lovers who think that spending their days with a bunch of dogs is the next best thing to heaven.

It is generally believed that doggie daycare started in California in the mid-80s. This is entirely believable since Californians are often at the forefront of major lifestyle trends. Its popularity grew quickly and there are multiple doggie daycare centers in virtually every city.

Doggie daycare centers offer a broad range of services, limited only by the imagination of the operator. Some offer overnight boarding, training programs and grooming, as well as massage and other health treatments. Often they are housed in buildings with large open spaces that can be separated for large dogs and small to medium-sized dogs, and quiet areas for use when things get too raucous. As with kennels, they also have outdoor areas for exercise and to assure that housebroken dogs remain that way.

Depending upon the vision of the owner, some of these facilities have special furniture, tunnels and other play equipment and toys. Not so dissimilar to a daycare facility for human children.

Just as you evaluate a daycare center for its staff and facilities, the center will also evaluate your dog to assure that he or she is not too aggressive or has other socialization issues. Medical inoculations must be up-to-date, and many businesses require that dogs be spayed or neutered to attend. Dogs must be comfortable with strangers and strange dogs and there must be good chemistry between the newcomer and the dogs that already enjoy the daycare activities.

When choosing a daycare center it is important to consider the same aspects as you might for any other service business.

Is the facility clean and odor free? Is it convenient to your home and/or work? Has it been recommended by someone that you know and trust like a friend or your veterinarian?

Is it staffed adequately with well-trained caregivers who seem to enjoy their jobs? What is the staff to dog ratio.

Is there an emergency evacuation plan and a plan for any illness or injury emergencies? Where will your dog be taken in such a case?

Has the operator asked you the right questions about whether your dog is current on all vaccinations, is parasite free and in good health?

Does the facility seem over-crowded?

What is the practice for ?time out?? Is there a place where the offending dog is taken and how is that dog treated during his punishment period?

Is there a fenced security area outdoors and adequate provision to maintain housebreaking?

Is there an outdoor play area or are dogs walked on a leash?

Before making any commitment, visit the daycare facility several times ? at least once unannounced. If you do not have a good comfort level with the facility or the staff, continue to look for the right place for your pet.

As to cost, expect to pay between $15 and $25 per day per dog, sometimes more based upon the geographic location and the services provided. Half days usually range between $10 and $17 per day per dog. Discounts are generally applied for multiple dogs.

Article written by JD Hutchinson http://www.dogbreedcenter.com

For more information regarding Doggie Day Care or for pictures and information about the different breeds of dogs please visit my website http://www.dogbreedcenter.com

Copyright ? 2007 Is Doggie Daycare Right for You? This article may be reprinted on the condition that the writer?s name and web address are prominently displayed, and left intact.



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