In much the same way that daycare helps to socialize children to other children, doggie daycare helps to socialize dogs to other dogs. Daycare also provides an outlet for high-energy dogs who need a lot of activity–sometimes more than their owners (or parents as we call them) can provide. In Minnesota, where the weather doesn’t always allow for a dog to exercise outside, daycare provides a nice, warm option.
Dogs who are very social but also know how to respect other dogs’ boundaries will do well in a group daycare environment. Just as with people, however, there are dogs who are happier to be alone than in a large group. Picture a school playground with all of the different personalities and play styles, and you’ll get a pretty good feel for what goes on in a typical doggie daycare. When choosing a doggie daycare, it’s important to find one that can work with all dog personalities – from very social to total wallflowers.
One great benefit of bringing your dog to doggie daycare is that he may be very tired at the end of the day! Let’s be honest, we all work hard and often come home worn out. At the end of a busy day, you might not want to entertain a dog who has been home all day by playing fetch for an hour or going on a long walk. Doggie daycare gives a dog the opportunity to get a lot of energy out so that when she gets home in the evening, she’s ready to curl up by mom or dad and snooze the night away.
You can’t really talk about doggie daycare without also talking about boarding. Boarding provides peace of mind that when dog-free travel is necessary, the dog is well-cared for in a safe environment by people who take that responsibility very seriously. When I was in the corporate world, I traveled frequently and often out of the country. It was always easier to leave when I knew that my dog, Frannie, was in good hands.
Daycare and boarding aren’t only for when parents are away from home or traveling. Sometimes a pooch cannot be at home for family reasons or a family member who isn’t a “dog person” visits from out of town. In such instances, daycare and boarding provide a safe place for a dog. And, of course, families grow. At Downtown Dogs, more than a few customers have boarded dogs with us for a few days while welcoming a new baby into the family.
For whatever reason you might consider doggie daycare, never feel guilty because you have to leave your dog – for the day or overnight. That’s exactly why doggie daycares exist and why we all love what we do!
Written by Ralph Bernstein, owner of Downtown Dogs.
All photos provided by Downtown Dogs.