Below I’ve listed some basic areas of dog daycare you should enquire about, and my advice so far as what answers you should be looking for.
1. What exactly are your vaccination requirements for dogs that attend?
Dogs are in close contact with other dogs at daycare, and illness can spread quickly if dogs are unprotected. A responsible daycare facility will demand all dogs showing proof current vaccinations for Rabies, DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus), and Bordetella (“kennel cough”). Some daycares additionally require vaccination for Canine Influenza (the doggy flu).
One thing to bear in mind is the fact even with vaccination some illnesses can still be caught, such as kennel cough (Bordetella). However, if your dog is vaccinated and contracts kennel cough, the severe nature is often significantly less than if they’d been unprotected. Consult with your veterinarian about their suggestions for vaccinations beyond those required by the daycare facility. Just click here to find out more on what vaccines your puppy needs before attending places like doggy daycare, training classes, or your dog park.
2. What exactly are your spay and neuter requirements?
Most dog daycares have a minimum age requirement of spaying or neutering dogs that attend their playgroups, usually between 6 months to 1 1 year of age. This is due to pack management safety – they have nothing to do about if it’s “better” to fix your intact dog (we’ll leave that debate for a later date). Altered dogs can react differently to intact dogs, and vice versa. A responsible daycare would want to keep these kind of flash points to the very least in their pack, which means they must ask non-altered dogs never to attend after they reach sexual maturity (usually between 6 months to 1 1 year of age). It’s about setting the finish off for safety and success.
3. What’s your daycare trial process?
A dog daycare must have a protocol for accepting new dogs to their pack. A daycare trial should include asking for health insurance and behavior history so staff knows any issues that might affect a dog’s behavior in a fresh environment. Find out what behaviors would preclude your dog from attending daycare, and ensure you are comfortable with the daycare’s behavioral requirements for daycare attendance.
If you know that your pet struggles with a behavior that may lead to them being dismissed from daycare or not passing the trial, be upfront with staff to allow them to better set your pet up for success and keep themselves and the other dogs safe. Some behaviors that can be tough to control in a daycare environment include: resource guarding (of food, space, or toys), sensitivity to handling by humans, shy/timid, nipping and mouthing, jumping on people, excessive humping, excessive barking, separation anxiety, excessive herding behavior, and much more. You can ask the daycare facility what behaviors are hardest to allow them to manage in their setup and environment to be sure you’re establishing your pet for success rather than creating unneeded stress for your pet, the current daycare dog pack, and daycare staff.
A trial should focus on your pet meeting staff and being evaluated how well they accept being handled by someone other than you, their owner. When being introduced to the dogs, the process should allow ample time for a slow introduction in to the pack. This may mean your pet starts in a kennel beside the play area, is introduced one-on-one with other dogs before being out with the whole group, or starts in a low-energy play group area before getting into a lot more action-packed rooms. Ask what the facility searches for as far as indications whether a dog is enjoying their trial or if they desire a break. With regards to the daycare, the distance of an daycare trial might range from a few hours to a full day.
4. What is the ratio of staff to dogs?
There must be at least one well-trained employee for each fifteen dogs (1:15), however the smaller the ratio the better! I like to visit a staff to dog ratio of just one 1:7-10 in the high-energy play groups to help maintain appropriate play between your more rambunctious dogs.
5. Just how many dogs are in each group?
This will depend on the design of daycare. A puppy park style might allow thirty to forty dogs in one group; you want to make certain that there surely is an appropriate ratio of staff to range of dogs, that the dogs in the group are well-matched temperaments and play styles, and that there surely is enough room for the dogs to move freely about without feeling crowded.
sookie-with-wilson-daycare-small-dog-with-big-dog6. Are dogs separated by size?
That is also dependant on what style of daycare your pet attends. A home style daycare will most likely not separate dogs by size, and instead might determine which dogs can attend predicated on their vitality and play style. A daycare with separate play areas gets the best capacity for separating by size if you are worried about your smaller dog using larger dogs.
Some daycares specialize in small dogs only or large dogs only – find the one which separates dogs predicated on what you are feeling preferred with for your dog. My small Corgi (seen in inset photo) did the best playing around with the medium/large band of Labrador Retrievers at her daycare because they matched her play style and high energy.
7. What fencing and other safety features does the facility have?
A daycare must have fencing that is clearly a the least 6-feet tall to assist in preventing dogs jumping within the fence to go on adventures, and dogs shouldn’t be left unsupervised. When you have your dog that loves to dig under or climb the fence, let the Dog day care know and ask what their management plan is ideal for dogs that make an effort to escape enclosures.
Double door entry is another safety feature to consider in a daycare. Dogs shouldn’t have immediate access to a door leading directly outside – there must be a second doorway or gates that prevent door dashing or escapes by daycare dogs, similar to the airlock gate system seen at many dog parks.
8. What goes on if my dog is injured while at daycare?
Injuries happen in your dog daycare environment, from ripped paw pads, to sprained ankles, to scratch and bite wounds from other dogs. Dogs play with their mouths and teeth, so ear injuries are normal during wrestle play when they get chomped on somewhat too hard. You will want to be sure the daycare has an idea of action that you will be comfortable with in case your dog is injured during their stay.
How do they determine injury severity and treatment plans? How soon is the dog owner notified of any injury? What injuries do they believe require a veterinary visit? Does the daycare have a veterinary office near by they have an agreement with for needed non-emergency vet care or do they take your dog to the owner’s veterinarian? Does the daycare make an effort to contact the dog’s particular veterinarian before taking these to an emergency vet clinic? Are they adequately staffed so that when there is an emergency, there is certainly someone to take a dog to the vet and you to definitely stick with the other dogs in the pack?
Your dog daycare will perhaps you have complete forms that authorize those to take your pet to the veterinarian if needed and clarify what medical decisions these are permitted to make in your absence. That is very very important to those to have in case there is an emergency. It’s a good idea to provide something similar for your pet sitter or dog walker – here is a download free of a Treatment Authorization Form so anyone watching your dog has the information they need.
9. What recognition and training does the daycare staff have?
As the industry continues to be under-regulated, anyone can decide that they want to open up your dog daycare. However, loving dogs isn’t the only real qualification someone needs to keep dogs physically and behaviorally safe and looked after. As the industry grows, more daycare operators are buying applying for documentation through the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC), a 501(c)(6) non-profit created by well-known and respected skillfully developed that holds their members to high standards. Even if a prospective daycare is not professionally certified by a business like PACCC, you can still use their standards to decide whether it’s the right place for you as well as your dog.
Ask the daycare facility what training staff has received when it comes to pet medical and CPR, reading dog body language, how to control dog play, preventing and split up dog fights, and training methods they use with daycare dogs. Daycare staff should be current on a pet medical certification, and given continuing education in these topics. Having a qualified professional dog trainer on staff is ideal, not only for dog training and behavior management for pack dogs, but also for staff education and training.