If you’ve made the leap and did your research on sending your dog to doggy daycare– there’s nothing left to do except watch the web cam and ooh and ahh. And even though that never gets old, there’s still some prep work that can be done to make sure that you know what to expect after a day of play!
Play harding & mingling requires hydration. It is not uncommon for puppies that go to daycare even for just a half day to engage in more mental and physical activity than they are used to. They may be sniffing new behinds, watching the passers by out of the window, lounging on a comfy couch and playing with a new bud. Regardless, hydration is a must! Be sure to leave fresh water out for him or her and let your dog daycare staff to refill the bowl if it’s a drop off at home.
It can take some time to make friends. Dogs are social creatures- each with varying levels of sociability. Some are naturally social while others can take time to warm up or are pickier about their doggy playmates. Some have grown accustomed to the laps of humans so much that other dogs aren’t as much interest. Regardless, being around other dogs in a calm, relaxed environment can help your dog increase their confidence on walks, with you and both of your social networks. The key is to really discuss your goals for dog’s socialization needs with a doggy daycare professional! Don’t forget to share your own lifestyle as well so they can help pick a package/plan that is a win all around! Once a week is a great start, and many daycares offer half days for those parents who work from home. Remember the key socialization periods for puppies are 5 and 8 months, however, regular interaction can have tremendous benefits no matter the age of the dog. It’s never too late too start.
Walk your dog before daycare. Remember that kid in school that always smelled like pee? Don’t put your dog in that position of having to hold it or go as soon as they get into daycare. Everyone is busy with their commute to work, but give your dog a chance to eliminate before getting to daycare. This will make for a healthier potty training habits for your pup, his peers and the dog daycare staff! Set your dog up for success!
Start your day off calmly, together! Dogs reflect and even can enhance the stress of their owners. Nervous about bringing your dog to daycare for the first time? Not a problem. Every parent goes through this, so some anxiety is a little normal! Remember to breathe and relax. Your dog takes cues from your stress levels and everyone can relax and have a good time, when mom/dad is relaxed too! Also a fully ampted up dog who is stressed from a rushed morning commute carries this energy to daycare and needs some time to let off that tension!! A calm dog is a respected dog in the pack, so do your dog the favor of ushering him off calmly!
This article was written by Cynthia Okimoto.