What Your Dog Can Expect at Doggy Daycare
You may still remember your very first day of school and the anxiety you felt as you faced a new world of people, set to begin a new life of responsibilities. If your dog is heading to their first day of doggy daycare, perhaps that anxiety hasn’t set in quite yet—and your existential dread is one thing you won’t have to worry about. But daycare does represent a major change in your dog’s routine, one that can pose some challenges—along with the rewards of exercise, socialization, and fun that dogs miss out on when they have to stay home alone. Here’s what your dog can expect at doggy daycare—along with what’s expected of your dog.
Expect To Meet Prerequisites
This part is on you, not your dog. Before enrolling in a doggy daycare program, your dog will have to be up to date with their vaccinations, including the kennel cough vaccine that vital for dogs who spend time with one another in enclosed public spaces. In addition to a clean bill of health, your dog may have to pass evaluations and satisfy basic obedience requirements in order to be admitted.
Playing With Other Dogs
Positive socialization is a key component of doggy daycare—if it weren’t, there’d be little reason not to keep your dog at home. Your dog will engage in supervised play with other dogs, which acts as excellent exercise and social development. Because not all dogs are compatible with one another, most doggy daycare facilities will break dogs up into groups by size and temperament to avoid unhealthy or aggressive interactions.
Just as you balanced classes with recess, daycare faculty will usually combine unstructured play with basic training. While you’re hard at work or simply enjoying a respite, your dog may be able to work on their tricks and commands under the supervision of animal lovers with a knack for teaching. This is important in keeping your dog sharp mentally—something that’s not possible when they’re sitting alone in the house.
After a long day of training and play, dogs at doggy daycare will be allowed to kick back and decompress in a comfortable kennel. While physical activity is necessary for dogs, it’s important that no owner picks up an overexerted dog at the end of the day, too. Even puppies need their rest.
Pack a Lunch
While doggy daycares do keep food on hand, you’ll likely find it advantageous to pack a lunch, just as you would sending a child off to school. Different dogs have different nutritional needs, and they may also value their routines. Additionally, coming to prefer daycare food could lead them to reject meals at home. You may want to consider providing food for your dog. Either way, they won’t go hungry.
These are just a few aspects of what your dog can expect at doggy daycare, but keep in mind every facility isn’t for every dog. Cosmic Canine’s doggy day school provides individualized and small group attention for dogs who won’t thrive in large group settings. This way, any dog can get the stimulation and structure they need while you get your work done or enjoy time alone.