Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility
Honestly, I’ve not used a dog daycare before. The closest I came to it was when my dog was a puppy and I took her to a small dog/puppy playtime at a dog daycare facility.
The half hour of what I was lead to believe to be a friendly and safe environment for my puppy to burn off energy and socialize did not turn out how I imagined. Within 5 minutes of being there I walked out never to return again. The staff’s only question to me was “Oh, leaving so soon?” No concern about WHY I was leaving so soon.
What was supposed to be a “small dog, puppy only” session, turned out to be anything but. There were dogs of all sizes and ages permitted. Not to mention, there was no dog daycare staff supervision anywhere to be found. Even though this facility had been recommended to me, I should have stopped, turned around, and got back in my car the moment I smelled the facility from the parking lot.
I’m sure my experience, at least, I hope my experience, is few and far between. But it got me to thinking about what we should look for and what questions should we ask when choosing a dog daycare facility.
To help us out, I’ve asked Evelyn of Just Fur Kids Dog Daycare what questions dog parents should ask and what we should look out for when choosing a dog daycare.
Questions to Ask & What to Look For
When Choosing a Dog Daycare
Cleanliness – Cleanliness, parasite protection, and upkeep is at the top of the list when choosing a dog daycare. If you can smell it and it’s dirty, that’s what your dog will be in contact with all day.
Dog to Person Ratio – The higher the ratio of dogs to attendants can mean inadequate supervision of dogs and not catching misbehaviour between dogs.
Where Do The Dogs Go Potty? – You have trained your dog not to relieve themselves indoors and the same should be said at the dog daycare. Potty trips should be taken outdoors.
Viewing Facilities and Daycare Rooms – You should be able to view the dog daycare room without an appointment.
Furniture , Bedding and Toys – Furniture and playground pieces in the room should be non porous and cleanable. Dog beds and toys should be either washed in soap and water, or sprayed with an enzyme cleaner daily.
Regular & Structured Activities – Does the dog daycare offer regular activities that are in line with your expectations and the comfort level of your dog? How rambunctious are the dogs permitted to get?
Crated/Integrated/Segregated – Will your dog be crated? Are all dogs integrated and allowed to do as they like? Will the dogs be segregated at any time?
Atmosphere – Are both the dogs and the staff calm and relaxed? An energy charged room can be stressful for calm dogs and a problem for excitable dogs.
Additional Points To Consider At Dog Daycares
Walls, Flooring, Drains and Sanitation
Wall Surfaces – Walls clad in FRP -(fibreglass reinforced plastic)- used in restaurant kitchens that’s waterproof, scratch proof & nothing sticks to. Impenetrable, easily cleanable and non porous.
Solid Surface Floors – Concrete with a sealant- a non porous surface. Glazed tiles are non porous but unless grout lines are sealed regularly, urine soaks in. Same with hardwood and rubberized surfaces that cannot be fully cleaned.
Floor Drains and Sanitization – Floor drains are helpful for efficient cleaning. Floors should be sanitized nightly with pet safe products. Separate mop buckets for cleaning up pee versus just mopping. Sounds silly, but even though mop heads are changed daily it doesn’t make sense to drag a pee mop around to clean.
Air Return System – Dogs radiate as much heat as humans so it’s important to have proper air circulation to remove the heat and create airflow. A hot, muggy and/or smelly room is a sign of insufficient circulation.
Not Every Dog Daycare Is Right For Every Dog
You are trusting and putting your dog in the hands of the people and dog daycare to look after your beloved dog for a big part of their day. Don’t ever feel like you can’t ask and have your questions answered. Ask friends for referrals. If the dog daycare staff can’t answer your questions sufficiently, if you don’t like what you see, smell, or feel, walk away! Not every dog daycare is right for every dog.
A big thank you to Evelyn from Just Fur Kids Dog Daycare for sharing these important tips and information on what to look out for when choosing a dog daycare!