If you’re returning to work this fall and that means you’ll be leaving home, your dog might experience some separation anxiety after spending so many quality hours together at home during the quarantine.
One option to consider if you’ll be away from home for many hours or, if your dog needs a lot of attention is a dog daycare facility. There can be many benefits of dropping your dog off at a dog daycare, including socialization with other dogs, interacting with humans, regular walks and attention, and even some new toys to play with!
Before you start searching for a “dog daycare near me” online, keep these best practices in mind when it comes to using a dog daycare that will suit your needs and discover what you need to know about dog daycare facilities during the pandemic.
6 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Dog Daycare
Do some digging
Just as you might ask friends, family and neighbors to recommend a local physician or contractor, ask around to see if you know anyone who uses a dog daycare near you and is happy with their services. Review local online forums and discussion boards to do some research and then check out reviews on a few websites to get an idea of options in the “dog daycare near me” category.
Observe the facility
Once you have a few dog daycare businesses to check out, pop in during the day and ask a manager or representative for a tour. You should see staff that loves interacting with dogs and greets them by name, pups playing with each other and a well-run establishment.
Look for cleanliness
In this COVID-19 era, every business needs to make sure they’re regularly disinfecting surfaces and your pup’s potential dog daycare is no different. The staff should be wearing masks and requiring that of customers as well to minimize COVID-19 exposure. It goes without saying that a daycare for dogs should always be paying special attention to cleanliness. Look around and make sure the cages or crates appear clean, floors are being swept and mopped often and that the facility looks like it’s maintained regularly.
Inquire about security
Make sure the doors lock well and there aren’t dogs off of leashes that could run out of the building. Ask if there are cameras used to monitor the dogs. Inquire about dog cameras that you have access to online to watch your pup play during the day. Find out if they have a protocol in place to prevent lost pets and a response plan.
Ask about the dog’s schedule
When you’re interviewing a dog daycare, inquire about how often your pooch will be walked, how frequently they’ll be taken out to relieve themselves, playtimes, meals as well as how long they’ll be crated. Puppies younger than six months shouldn’t be crated for longer than three to four hours so if you need a dog daycare to help out with your puppy, ask them about any special policies for young dogs.
Inquire about the hours you’ll be away
Depending on your job and commute, you might need a dog daycare that’s open at 6 a.m. and lets you pick your pup up around 6 p.m. or later. Inquire about drop-off and pick-up times as well as any late fees you might incur if you’re delayed. It’ll also be helpful to know what will happen to your dog if you get ‘stuck’ at work and if someone else is allowed to pick your dog up.
Leaving your fur baby under the care of strangers can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully, you can find a dog daycare service that puts you at ease and is a fun experience for your pet. Once you pick your dog up at the end of the day, be ready to show them how much you love them with tasty dog treats.