Top 10 Benefits of Doggy Daycare
Socialization is important for dogs, and doggy daycare can provide that and much more!
For many, if not all, dog owners, our dogs are like our babies and must be cared for as such. Dogs require lots of love and attention, and not all of us can provide that all of the time. And that's OK. That's why there are services out there like doggy daycares. They provide you and your pup with a multitude of benefits, all of which I can personally affirm from my experience working at a doggy daycare.
Dogs are descended from wolves which means they are pack animals. They have an innate desire to be around and interact with others. This is important because it actually affects their whole dynamic around other dogs and even people. Socializing teaches them how to behave properly, including not jumping on or nipping strangers, being gentle around babies and kids, and not being aggressive towards other dogs. It gives them confidence to enter new situations and react appropriately to different stimuli.
Getting the proper amount of exercise is hard for ourselves and for our dogs. Dogs rely on us to give them the exercise they need, and when they don't get it, that energy gets transferred towards bad habits. Lack of proper exercise can lead to excessive barking, destructive behaviours, and health issues (most common as weight gain). Doggy daycare provides that exercise and expenditure of energy to keep your dog calm and happy at home. After a day at daycare, your dog will come home ready for a quiet evening.
3. Peace of Mind for the Owner
Many dog owners, including myself, worry about our dogs being home alone all day, whether they roam freely around the home or if they have to be kennelled. It is common for most working people to be away from the home for a minimum of 6 hours at a time, more commonly around 8 hours (a full work day). We feel guilty about leaving them home alone. Doggy daycare can relieve that guilt and put your mind at ease, knowing your dog is being well cared for by professionals while you're at work, or even if you are running errands.
For those people that allow their dogs to roam freely around the home, there is always that concern for the dog's safety, whether they are getting into the trash, chewing on electrical wires, or destroying personal belongings, and no matter how mad we get, we are always relieved to find them okay. At a daycare, the staff keeps a close eye on your dog to make sure that they are safe from both themselves and anything else. The daycares are designed in such a way to prevent as many problems as possible.
5. Relieves Boredom and Anxiety
This point relates back to exercise and safety. A bored dog becomes destructive, their energy transferring into chewing, ripping, and just generally destroying anything they can get their mouth on. An anxious dog can defecate/urinate in the house, bark excessively (which can be a problem with neighbours), and can also defer to destructive behaviours. At daycare, they are provided enough mental and physical stimulation to dramatically reduce, if not eliminate, negative behaviours associated with boredom and anxiety.
6. Relieves Loneliness
Loneliness tends to be a major concern for many owner that leave their dogs at home during the day. Again, dogs are pack animals, and are inherently social creatures. Loneliness can affect them in the same way it affects humans; it can lead to depression. A depressed dog has a lack of energy, becoming withdrawn and inactive, and can even have a loss in appetite and will sleep more than usual. Depression in dogs is very similar to humans. By attending a doggy daycare, your dog can make friends that they can come back to see and play with on a regular basis, allowing them to create social bonds.
7. Lots of Affection and TLC
The attendants at doggy daycares are there to love your dogs when you're away. They would not be in the job if they didn't. They don't mean to replace you, just stand-in for a few hours to keep your dog busy and happy. The attendants will play with your dog, entertaining them and using up all that pent up energy. They will cuddle with them and baby them if they aren't into playing as much as others, and they will help them interact with the other dogs safely.
8. Provides Routine
Like humans, dogs do better with structure to their lives. Dogs are creatures of habit and having a routine allows them to satisfy that habitual need. A daily routine of walks, playtime, and interactions gives them something to look forward to and makes them feel safe. Dogs feel more secure when they have a sense of predictability to their day. A quick word of caution: not all dogs can handle going to daycare every day. They can get tired, stressed, and cranky. Dogs like this would do well going to daycare only a few times a week, but still on a schedule.
When I first heard of doggy daycares, my first thought was it was too expensive. But that is not true. Many doggy daycares offer very affordable daily/weekly/monthly rates. You also don't need to take your dog to daycare every day, which can also make it more affordable.
10. Variety of Services Available
Depending on what doggy daycare you go to, some provide other services outside of regular daycare for an extra cost. This can include grooming (ranging from very basic services to full grooms), shuttle service (will pick your dog up from your home and drop them off), training classes, veterinary services, and boarding. They may even have a shop where they sell pet food and supplies. Some doggy daycares can be your one-stop shop!
If this article doesn't convince you to even just consider doggy daycare, take a look online to see what options are available and what services they offer. Give it a try. The benefits for your pup will be apparent after their first visit!