Friendships, Fun, and More: The Benefits of Doggie Daycare
Socialization, the process by which your dog learns how to live peacefully in human and animal society, is an extremely important component of pet ownership. Properly socialized dogs are more confident, happier, and pose less risk to others and to themselves. Dogs who understand the social cues of humans and other dogs can respond appropriately, are easier to control, and thus able to enjoy a wider range of experiences with their human family members overall.
Much of your dog’s socialization happens naturally as you move throughout life together, but in today’s hectic world many dogs end up without adequate time and energy spent on this important aspect of life. Doggie daycare can be enormously beneficial in shaping and enhancing a dog’s social skills while also providing valuable exercise and entertainment.
What Is Doggie Daycare?
It wasn’t too many years ago that the term “doggie daycare” would have been met with blank stares, and possibly even an eye roll or two. Nowadays, many pet owners turn to daycare services to provide their dogs with companionship, exercise, and fun during the day, rather than have them sit alone at home while everyone is at work or school.
At a doggie daycare, dogs typically spend time in a cage-free environment, interacting with other dogs under the supervision of trained staff members. Depending on the facility, dogs may be indoors, outdoors, or both, and may spend part of the day interacting with other dogs and part of it in a kennel or run by themselves.
How Doggie Daycare Can Help
As long as your dog is comfortable with other dogs and does not suffer from separation anxiety while away from you, daycare may be the perfect opportunity for:
- Socialization – Being part of the daycare “pack” allows your dog to practice his or her manners and social skills during the process of interacting with the other dogs. Daycare offers dogs a chance to pick up on social cues from other dogs and learn manners and proper self-expression.
- Mental stimulation – A quality doggie daycare offers games, obstacles, or agility courses aimed at stimulating a dog’s natural hunting and seeking instincts. Regularly engaging these ancient instincts allows a dog to fully express his or her uniquely “doglike” tendencies without taking them out on the family shoe, pillow or garbage collection!
- Exercise – The rising obesity rates of American pets is proof that our dogs simply aren’t getting enough exercise. Doggie daycare is an opportunity for your dog to burn off excess energy, and calories, in a supervised and controlled setting.
- Behavior & Medical Cues – often times, our pets are on their best behavior when they are supervised by their parents but trained staff members can help identify any underlying or budding problems (varying levels of food/toy aggression, affection-jealousy, over-stimulation, etc) and alert-pet parents. Similarly, regular daycare attendance and a trained staff can even help identify minor behavior, mental or medical changes before they become more of a problem.
Vaccinations For Daycare
It’s important that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations before regularly attending daycare. Most practices, and those worth using, will require full vaccination records prior to pet admittance in order to best protect both your pet and all other pets in their care. Especially true as of late is the Canine Influenza vaccine which can protect your pet from the rapidly contagious and serious illness that is cropping up all over the United States. Though often masked by the same symptoms as the more minor Kennel Cough (Bordatella), Canine Influenza can severely impact your pet and can be especially dangerous for puppies, immuno-poor and elderly pets. We proudly offer this vaccine and require both the vaccination and subsequent booster for admittance to boarding & daycare.
Doggy daycare may be the perfect solution for busy professionals struggling with providing adequate exercise and attention for their best pals. For some pet owners, having their pooch come home and pass out is an effective method in lessening bored and destructive behavior. Some breeds need a job to do, others rely on canine-friendships and others just need to expel some of that natural energy!