Dog daycares are increasingly becoming a necessity for many pet parents in Canada. As housing options now offer less backyard space for pets to enjoy their free time, parents find it hard to socialize and exercise their furry friends. Plus, there is more pressure to ensure a proper routine, healthy lifestyle and training for your little pup. If you’re spending too many hours away from your home, a dog walker might offer one or two hours of comfort and ensure your dog’s food and bathroom time is taken care of. However, it can be difficult for a social dog to spend 10-12 hours alone. In such cases, a dog daycare can be a highly valuable option for many pet owners.
One of the best ways to find the right dog daycare is to ask for references from your friends or your vet. Once you have narrowed down a few options, pay them a visit and check for the following points to ensure you’re leaving your beloved dog in good hands:
1. Dog to Adult Ratio – Just like in childcare, you’d want lesser dogs to be handled by an adult so that they get personalized attention. According to canine experts, the dog to adult ratio shouldn’t be more than 15:1. The smaller the ratio, the better care and love your dog will receive.
2. Qualifications of the Caregivers – Ensure that the staff members at the daycare are properly educated on dog behavior, play styles, canine CPR, body language and behavioral management techniques. Normally, it is better to choose a facility that has a certified specialist that oversees the staff and dog management.
3. Check It Out from A Dog’s Perspective – Think about the fact that your dog will be spending quite a few hours here and ensure that it is safe, has a secure fencing and check if the dogs around are having a good time. Also, make note whether there are plenty of spaces to rest and how long are dogs kept in their cage/crate per day.
4. Educational and Development Programs – Many daycare centers also offer various training programs so that while your dog is there, he doesn’t just get physical exercise but is also stimulated mentally and emotionally as well.
5. Consistent Schedules – It is better to opt for a service that has a fixed schedule for cleaning, feeding, play and education for the dogs and this must be well-communicated to the staff members as well as the pet owners.
6. Undesirable Behavior Management – Always ask about the management policies in a daycare for undesirable dog behavior. The answer should be related to positive reinforcements and force-free solutions. Never enroll your dog in a daycare that uses harsh methods or water hoses to discipline their dogs.
7. Group Size – An ideal group size is about 10-15 dogs in every group with each dog getting about 75-100 sq. ft. of the play area. Having enough of space for every dog will lead to lesser behavioral problems and ensure a happier and healthier time for all the dogs inside the facility.
Some questions to ask the daycare center:
Before you finalize a dog daycare for your pooch, ask some good questions to know how your dog’s days will be spent there. These can include:
• What is their screening technique to evaluate new dogs?
• Do they have a sound behavioral temperament evaluation system in place?
• Will they let you know if your dog is not adjusting to the daycare?
• What will they do if your dog gets injured during playtime?
• What will they do if your dog looks sick?
• Do they have a veterinarian in case of any emergency?
• How do they prevent fights amongst dogs?
• Is the play time supervised?
• Are there enough toys and activities for your dog?
Remembering these points and doing a thorough research will give you the peace of mind required to drop off your beloved friend at the daycare center every day!
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