Instead of leaving their pet pals to fend for themselves during the day while at work, many pet parents bring their pet to a doggy daycare provider. While it might seem like an exciting opportunity for the dog to socialize and fill his days with seemingly happy activities, there are pros and cons to the concept of doggy daycare. Did you know that your family, including your beloved dog, can be considered part of a pack? A pack is a group with a cohesive structure, rules and hierarchy. By dropping your dog into a group, the concept of who is in charge is challenged. Yet, if you chose well, your dog will be surrounded by people who are generally passionate about animals, and will arrange constructive games and activities for the animals to make the most of their hours at the facility. Going to doggy daycare a few times a week can keep your dog mentally stimulated, and physically active, leaving him relaxed and exhausted by the time he is picked up, meaning an evening walk will be less necessary.
However, doggie day care can be a high-stimulation, high-stress environment for some dogs. Dogs that do well in day care tend to be those who are under two years old and are well socialized, easy going types who like to play. Usually the most adaptable breeds to this environment are the sporting breeds -- retrievers, spaniels, pointers etc. They seem to acclimate easily and gain the most from the experience mostly because they are generally friendly, social, happy-go-lucky types with high exercise requirements. While young dogs will do well, many older dogs who are naturally more relaxed, might also enjoy playing with new canine friends and actually have fun. Like an older sibling, these dogs are an asset in regards to fairly and appropriately managing the younger dogs and teaching them good doggie skills. However, some older, grumpier or less tolerant dogs might find the daycare environment just too stressful and/or annoying. If there is a place for them to chill out and relax and get away from the teenagers for a while, they will do much better.
Aside from age, some breeds are just not often fond of crowds. The herding breeds for example, need specific, structured activity. They tend to spend the majority of their time at day care trying to control the other dogs and their activities. Some herders even have a tendency to be overly toy protective in daycare. Unfortunately for this type of dog, the daycare environment usually has t too much chaos in it for him to deal with. The high stress dog with high-arousal tendencies will probably also not be thrilled with a daycare setting. Pit-bulls, Rottweilers, Boxers, and some terriers (and their mixes), are the dogs who will be most often in need of a time out. They are the ones that will go after anything in their path when there is any kind of disruption in the routine or change in the environment, especially the arrival or exit of any other dog or human. Some of them will do perfectly fine if crated or put in another room when someone new comes in, but would you like this for your furry friend?
If your dog has true separation anxiety, he is not going to be a happy member of the daycare. Many owners of these dogs believe that the solution is to have them with other people and dogs when the owner cannot be around. This dog is usually attached to one specific person and displays severe anxiety in day care such as panting, pacing, or whining. He will not be easily consoled or distracted by other people or dogs and will seem blind to the activities around them, while being focused on finding an escape route.If your dog is going to be spending hours away from you each day, be certain that it is a wise investment of your money, and your dog’s time. Be sure to reward him when you get home with a healthy snack like VIAND’s real meat venison dog treats made with 95% real meat, and the finest free range, farm raised, natural venison. Because they will be spending time with other furry friends, do be sure to keep them healthy by adding a supplement to their diet such as Activator, a natural canine supplement that includes Glucosamine, Omega-3's, pre-biotics and DHEA which are all known to enhance your pets' well-being. A high quality dog supplement like Activator will give your dog greater stamina, better and longer levels of concentration, increased vitality, and will support a strong immune system. This canine supplement provides needed nutrients to deal with the stress of daycare or if he is recovering from sickness or surgery. Remember, a happy dog, is a healthy dog.