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3 Reasons to Try Doggy Daycare & How to Get Started

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Doggy daycare is becoming more popular as owners prefer an option other than leaving their dogs home alone. After all, we take our children to daycare, so why not take our four-legged children as well? Daycare has several benefits for dogs and can improve their quality of life, while also taking stress off you.  

If you have cats, note that some places do have daycare for them as well. However, daycare for cats is usually based on individual rather than group play. 

1. New Experiences

Daycare gives dogs new opportunities for play that they may not have at home. Many daycares have equipment such as slides and other structures to climb. On hot days, they might relax under sprinklers or in small pools. Having access to different toys and play areas is exciting and provides mental stimulation for your dog. 

Some daycares consist of all-day play, while others may only have dogs together for short periods at a time. It is important to consider how your dog likes to play with others. Is he the life of the party? He would probably enjoy all-day play. Does she prefer to lay around and sunbathe? She might be happier with a daycare program that includes breaks between play, or a partial day of play. Some daycares may also offer individual daycare sessions for those who are less social and prefer the company of people over other dogs. There is something out there for every dog!


2. Socialization

One of the best parts of daycare is all the friends your dog can make! This is especially great for dogs who don’t get to socialize much at home. Learning to be comfortable around other dogs is important, particularly when they are young. Your dog will play with other dogs of all different ages and breeds, so he’s sure to find a new best friend!

One important consideration may be if and how the dogs are separated during daycare sessions. Are big dogs and small dogs kept separate? Are there other factors involved such as age and temperament? No one knows your dog better than you, so asking these questions before taking him to his first session can help avoid unnecessary problems.

3. Releasing Energy

When you come home from work, you want to sit down and relax for a while. Your dog, on the other hand, has been alone all day and just wants to play! The dog who has been at daycare all day would rather rest next to you – for a little while, at least.

Having a healthy outlet for getting all her energy out at daycare also means also means she hasn’t been tearing up your house while you were at work. Whether due to boredom, separation anxiety, hunger, or any number of other factors, leaving your dog alone for long periods may mean coming home to disaster. Letting her run around at daycare gives her something to do besides eating your couch, and she has constant supervision, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

Having a healthy outlet for getting all her energy out at daycare also means she hasn’t been tearing up your house while you were at work.

It may be worth saying that puppies (younger than 2 years old) especially benefit greatly from daycare. This is the age they typically experience the most separation anxiety and have the most energy. Not only is it great for helping your pup get her energy out and lessen the blow of being separated from her human, but she will also learn social cues that will be an asset to her for the rest of her life.

Getting Started

You’ve decided to give daycare a shot, but how do you go about it? There are several places in the Louisville area that provide daycare services, and it can be difficult to find the one that works best for your pet. Many daycares offer the first day free, so your pup can try it out before you commit.

All daycares have vaccine requirements, but they vary. Be sure to check these requirements well in advance to ensure your pet is up to date. Your veterinary office can provide a list of your pet’s current vaccinations for you to give to the facility. 

Several places also conduct an evaluation with your dog before mixing them with other dogs to make sure they will get along well with the group and not show signs of aggression or anxiety. Evaluations may need to be scheduled in advance. Ask about their evaluation policy before taking your dog for his first day. 

Most kennels and daycare facilities are more than happy to give pet owners a tour on request. Your best friend will be spending a lot of time here, and you deserve to know what her experience will be like. Ask for a tour so you can see the play areas – both indoor and outdoor, if applicable. 

Daycare can be great for your dog in many ways, and it’s great for days you know you’ll have to stay at work late, run errands, or hit happy hour with your two-legged friends!

Daycare can be great for your dog in many ways, and it’s great for days you know you’ll have to stay at work late, run errands, or hit happy hour with your two-legged friends! 😉 You’ll have more freedom and won’t have to worry about your pup being home by himself all day. Try visiting some local daycare and boarding facilities to see what they have to offer for your best friend.