Monday, November 26, 2007

Is Doggie Day Care Right for Your Pet?

Years ago dogs stayed home either tied outside, in a pen, or in the house while people were at work. The options of doggie day care, or dog walkers were not available. Pets had to stay at home, isolated and bored, waiting for their masters to come home.

Today, this has all changed. Doggie day cares have sprung up in most cities and towns. Most of these day cares are operated by people who really care about animals, but there are always a few bad apples.

I visited a combination doggie day care/pet shop in my area and was saddened by what I saw. The day care room had no toys, mats, or even blankets for the dogs. Each dog was tied with a leash to a different section of the room. There was no interaction of any kind between the dogs, or with people. They lay on the concrete floor, looking bored and lonely.

I'm sure this is not what the owners of these poor dogs had in mind when they brought them to day care. What would be the point?

If you are considering doggie day care, make sure you research the facility and the programs offered. The last thing you want is to enroll your dog in doggie day care and find he/she is more miserable than when he was home alone.

What to look for in a doggie day care:
  • Both indoor and outdoor play
  • Socialization – play time among the dogs and interaction with people
  • Exercise – a regular exercise routine with real people (not tied to a treadmill for 20 minutes
  • Ask if there are certified dog trainers on the staff to deal with any aggressive behavior.
  • Is the staff certified in Red Cross pet first aid and CPR?
  • Does the facility offer obedience training programs? These can be a lifesaver for hard working pet owners who find it hard to spend time training their dogs.
  • Check the sleeping areas. Does each dog have its own personal resting space?
  • Are staff members available and supervising the dogs at all times?
These are just a few of the many questions to ask when looking for a doggie day care. Your pet's care is the most important thing to consider. A friendly, stimulating environment is what every dog needs to have a happy, fun-filled day while you are off working to earn money for those expensive vet bills, dog toys, and pet food.

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