Picking a daycare for your fur baby isn’t always an easy decision, as you want them to be in the best hands possible when they aren’t with you. Since there are so many doggy daycares for one to choose, all with different things to offer, we decided to give some helpful tips of things you want to watch out for when choosing the daycare that works best for you. 

It’s always important to first ask about safety certifications. While the daycare doesn’t employ veterinarians, the workers should know how to respond to health emergencies and how to provide basic first aid if needed. Don’t feel bad about asking about their qualifications –your dog deserves to be in the best hands possible! Make sure that there is always at least one person on duty at the daycare that is CPR certified, just in case. 

Make sure to ask about cleaning protocols. Your dog will be around plenty of other dogs, which puts them more at risk for illness due to exposure to germs outside of just your home. Because of this, it’s really important for doggy daycares to take careful, strict, daily, cleaning procedures to make sure that bacteria are killed the best they can be. Before committing to a daycare, ask about their cleaning process. If they don’t spot clean the high exposure areas at least once a day, your dog may be at risk for common daycare illnesses such as kennel cough. 

It never hurts to ask what’s included in the price package, either. Some doggy daycares operate on an à la carte basis, meaning that anything besides the simple “dog-sitting” costs extra money. If you want your dog to be taken on a walk, that may be an additional fee. If you want your dog to be given one on one playtime, that may cost extra. It’s good to figure out what the price includes, as different daycares will offer different things, and you want to make sure you get what you’re looking for without breaking your bank. 

Ask what a typical day at the daycare is like. Some locations offer really loose schedules, and some are very structured. You want to make sure that your dog is getting what it’s used to so it isn’t stressed out or under stimulated. If your dog is used to being home alone all day and you’re looking into daycare as a way for them to get a little bit more playtime, a more loose structured daycare is probably for you. 

Asking about scheduling also includes meal time. Some daycares don’t allow food inside at all, due to food allergies, and just give the dogs water throughout the day. Other places allow you to bring a dog’s food and for them to have “private” meal times a few times a day –it really depends on the place and what your personal preferences are. 

If you become interested in a daycare, you should then prepare for your dog to have a full evaluation. This is to make sure the dog fits all of the qualifications, including being healthy (bring its latest vaccination records) and won’t be a harm to themselves or others. If the daycare for some reason does not conduct evaluations, you probably want to steer clear, as letting just any dog into a doggy daycare without a proper evaluation and check of medical records can be harmful toward your dog. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.