These days doggie day care is becoming more and more popular as people want to provide the best for their dog when they are out at work. I know that for myself it is difficult to find someone that you trust to look after your dog. There are things that you need to look out for when choosing which day care to look after your dog.
Here are a few of my tips:
- Check out the website and facebook page and get a feel for what goes on. If there are things that make you feel uncomfortable, then move on to the next one. Look at people’s comments or reviews.
- It is important to look at the about us section as that can give you an idea of what they do, but also about what approach they take to dogs and their behaviour.
- Look out for words like force free, positive reinforcement, boundaries. Take note if anything seems ambiguous. It may be that they simply didn’t write everything, or it may be that they don’t want you to know what really goes on. You can always ask.
- It is a good idea to know whether you want your dog to go somewhere small such as an individual/small business, or somewhere more commercial where they employ staff.
- Make sure to go and visit the place before you book them in.
- Take notice of the general condition of the house/building and the surrounding areas.
- Take note of how many dogs there are, where they are and how they appear.
- With groups of dogs that don’t know each other, it is very important that they aren’t left unsupervised either outside or inside to play or wander around. Disagreements can quickly escalate.
- If dogs are to be left unsupervised, make sure they they are separated by stair gates/doors in small groups and that food or toys are not left around.
- Make a note of how many dogs there are in the amount of space. For example, if there are 15 dogs in one room, then that would ring alarm bells.
- Ask about whether shock/spray/choke collars are used as some do use them.
- If they crate the dogs, ask how long they are crated and why.
The MOST IMPORTANT things to ask about or look for:
- CONTRACT – Make sure they offer you a contract and read ALL the terms before signing.
- INSURANCE – Ask to look at their insurance, they shouldn’t have a problem with that.
- VACCINATIONS – Whether you vaccinate you dogs or not, a day care license requires the company to ask for proof of vaccination. If they don’t ask, they either forgot, or they may be hiding something.
- BEHAVIOUR – Your dog’s behaviour can’t lie. If there are any changes to behaviour that you are concerned about, first get a vet check. But also ask yourself whether the day care may not be suitable.
Usually your gut instinct will inform your decision. But sometimes, people can be lovely and the place look really good, but then once you get started, you start to see things aren’t as they seem.
You can never be too careful!