Doggie and Puppy Daycare
Doggie and Puppy Daycare: Why Structure is Necessary
Gab Jimenez, B.A.
Doggie daycare is a relatively new business that is increasing in demand and not just in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area. People are working more with longer hours requiring their furry friend to endure long periods of being home alone. Doggy daycare has provided a solution for many working people and their bored lonely canine companions. It is a great way to keep your best friend happy while you are at work all day. The increase in demand for dog daycare facilities means more people starting their own daycare businesses in Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati area.
Unfortunately, not all of these dog daycares are created equally. Many people are simply taking the opportunity to profit from the demand for such businesses; this includes people that know little to nothing about dogs, and self-proclaimed dog lovers who think they know a lot about dogs. Finding a good doggie daycare can be hard these days, but with a little research you can find one near you.
The main difference found in a quality daycare is structure. Most daycare facilities are a free roam style that has your furry friend active all day long usually with large amounts of other dogs (30+ is not uncommon in the Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati area). This style may seem great, after all you put Fido in daycare so he wouldn’t be bored and alone; however, this style of daycare has numerous problems. The number of dogs to staff is extremely high, with 30 or more dogs under 1 or 2 staff member’s watch, and is a disaster waiting to happen. Now add the fact that the dogs don’t have any rest time and you have multiple ticking time-bombs just waiting to go off and start a chain reaction.
A quality daycare will instead have a highly structured schedule that provides organized
exercise and stimulation for dogs in their care. This schedule should always include multiple nap times to allow the dogs to relax and rest between play times with their friends. Not only does this rest time help prevent conflicts from overly stimulated dogs, but it helps ensure the dogs are getting enough rest knowing that dogs need to sleep between 18-20 hours a day (even more for puppies and senior dogs).
To get an idea of the importance of structure think of children’s daycares. The best ones have trained and educated staff, a set schedule of activities including snack and nap times. These same qualities should be present in a dog’s daycare. The staff should be educated on dog behavior and body language and daily routine should be followed. Also, like a child’s daycare you want the staff to encourage good behavior so Fido doesn’t start to learn bad habits. Minor disagreements will happen in both human and doggy daycares, but neither should experience serious fights with major injuries. If your child came home injured from the daycare would you return? Unfortunately this happens all the time at free-roam dog daycares, because serious fights will happen when there is no structure to prevent it.
When it comes to finding a way to keep Fido happy, while you are at work all day, a structured daycare is a great opportunity for him to get safe mental and physical exercise. If your daycare is run like a child’s daycare then congratulations your pup is in great hands, but if the facility lacks structure Fido may be better off staying at home getting a head start on his 18 hours of sleep for the day.
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