Getting Your Dog Ready for Daycare

Doggy daycare is an increasingly popular choice for owners who, for one reason or another, want to avoid leaving their pup alone at home for extended periods of time or feel they could benefit from this type of environment.

A puppy or dog prone to chewing their way out of boredom while mom is at work is likely to be better off burning that energy through lots of supervised playtime with other dogs. It could be important to have the dog fed and taken for potty breaks and certain times when dad isn’t able to. It can be a great way to maintain socialization skills or ensure a senior dog gets stimulation from just being in the vicinity of fellow canines.

But you can’t just drop Max or Maxine off one morning and expect everything will be fine. Before introducing a dog to that environment you need to prepare ahead of time:

  • First and most importantly, get current on all vaccines and get your dog dewormed if that hasn’t happened already. Most reputable doggy daycares will require this anyway, but you don’t want any unpleasant surprises the day you’re expecting to drop them off for the first time.
  • Consider other measures to head off any other issues that could crop up, such as a flea/tick/intestinal parasite preventive and anything else your vet recommends basedon your pet’s age and what seems to be getting passed around the canine community.
  • Learn just how well your dog does around unfamiliar people and dogs. If you’ve had them for a while this probably isn’t an issue but with a puppy or newly adopted canine, there are ways to find out before signing them up for a situation they may not enjoy.

Puppy classes are good for much more than just the adorable “graduations.” For older dogs you can try a well-supervised trip to the dog park or see how they do in vet’s offices or pet stores (like Whiskers Barkery!) that welcome dogs and their owners. Some daycares have attendants fill out detailed assessments of how a dog interacts with dogs and people when their human is NOT in the room. If you aren’t willing to do this you’re clearly not ready for doggy daycare, no matter how well-adjusted your pet might be!

  • Relax as much as you can the day you’re taking your dog to daycare for the first time. Any parent of any kind of kid is going to be a little anxious about trying something like this, but adult dogs can be better than human toddlers at sensing and absorbing that tension.
  • Make sure your dog gets a chance to pee just before you go inside!