Below I’ve listed some basic areas of dog daycare you should ask about, and my tips so far as what answers you should be looking for.

1. What exactly are your vaccination requirements for dogs that attend?
Dogs are in close connection with other dogs at daycare, and illness can spread quickly if dogs are unprotected. A responsible daycare facility will demand all dogs showing proof current vaccinations for Rabies, DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus), and Bordetella (“kennel cough”). Some daycares additionally require vaccination for Canine Influenza (the doggy flu).

One thing to bear in mind is that despite having vaccination some illnesses can still be caught, such as kennel cough (Bordetella). However, if your dog is vaccinated and contracts kennel cough, the severe nature is often significantly less than if they’d been unprotected. Consult with your veterinarian about their tips for vaccinations beyond those required by the dog day care facility. Just click here to find out more on what vaccines your puppy needs before attending places like doggy daycare, training classes, or your dog park.

2. What exactly are your spay and neuter requirements?
Most dog daycares have the very least age requirement of spaying or neutering dogs that attend their playgroups, usually between 6 months to 1 1 year of age. That is due to pack management safety – it offers nothing to do about if it’s “better” to fix your intact dog (we’ll leave that debate for a later date). Altered dogs can react differently to intact dogs, and vice versa. A responsible daycare would want to keep these types of flash points to a minimum in their pack, this means they must ask non-altered dogs never to attend after they reach sexual maturity (usually between six months to 1 12 months old). It’s all about setting the finish off for safety and success.

3. What is your daycare trial process?
Your dog daycare must have a protocol for accepting new dogs to their pack. A daycare trial will include asking for health insurance and behavior history so staff knows any conditions that might affect a dog’s behavior in a new environment. Find out what behaviors would preclude a dog from attending daycare, and be sure to are more comfortable with the daycare’s behavioral requirements for daycare attendance.

If you know that your pet struggles with a behavior that may cause them being dismissed from daycare or not passing the trial, be upfront with staff to allow them to better set your dog up for success and keep themselves and the other dogs safe. Some behaviors that may be tough to manage in a daycare environment include: resource guarding (of food, space, or toys), sensitivity to handling by humans, shy/timid, nipping and mouthing, jumping on people, excessive humping, excessive barking, separation anxiety, excessive herding behavior, and even more. You can ask the daycare facility what behaviors are hardest to allow them to manage in their setup and environment to ensure you’re establishing your pet for success rather than causing unneeded stress for your pet, the current daycare dog pack, and daycare staff.

A trial should focus on your pet meeting staff and being evaluated how well they accept being handled by someone apart from you, their owner. When being introduced to the dogs, the procedure should allow ample time for a slow introduction in to the pack. This may mean your dog starts in a kennel beside the play area, is introduced one-on-one with other dogs before being out with the entire group, or starts in a low-energy play group area before getting into a lot more action-packed rooms. Ask the particular facility searches for so far as indications whether a dog is enjoying their trial or if indeed they desire a break. With regards to the daycare, the distance of an daycare trial might range between a couple of hours to a complete day.

4. What is the ratio of staff to dogs?
There should be at least one well-trained staff member for each and every fifteen dogs (1:15), however the smaller the ratio the better! I like to visit a staff to dog ratio of just one 1:7-10 in the high-energy play groups to help maintain appropriate play between your more rambunctious dogs.

5. How many dogs are in each group?
This depends upon the style of daycare. A puppy park style might allow thirty to forty dogs in a single group; you want to make certain that there surely is an appropriate ratio of staff to number of dogs, that the dogs in the group are well-matched temperaments and play styles, and that there is enough space for the dogs to go freely about without feeling crowded.

sookie-with-wilson-daycare-small-dog-with-big-dog6. Are dogs separated by size?
This is also determined by what design of daycare your pet attends. A home style daycare will not really separate dogs by size, and instead might determine which dogs can attend predicated on their vitality and play style. A daycare with separate play areas gets the best capacity for separating by size if you come to mind about your smaller dog using larger dogs.

Some daycares specialize in small dogs only or large dogs only – find the one which separates dogs predicated on what you feel preferred with for your pet. My small Corgi (observed in inset photo) did the best playing around with the medium/large band of Labrador Retrievers at her daycare because they matched her play style and high energy.

7. What fencing and other safety features does the facility have?
A daycare must have fencing that is clearly a minimum of 6-feet tall to assist in preventing dogs jumping within the fence to be on adventures, and dogs shouldn’t be left unsupervised. If you have a dog that loves to dig under or climb the fence, allow daycare know and have what their management plan is designed for dogs that try to escape enclosures.

Double door entry is another safety feature to look for in a daycare. Dogs shouldn’t have immediate access to a door leading directly outside – there must be a second doorway or gates that prevent door dashing or escapes by daycare dogs, similar to the airlock gate system seen at many dog parks.

8. What goes on if my dog is injured while at daycare?
Injuries happen in a dog daycare environment, from ripped paw pads, to sprained ankles, to scratch and bite wounds from other dogs. Dogs play with their mouths and teeth, so ear injuries are common during wrestle play when they get chomped on a lttle bit too hard. You will want to be sure the daycare has a plan of action that you will be comfortable with in case your dog is injured throughout their stay.

How do they evaluate injury severity and treatment plans? How soon is the owner notified of any injury? What injuries do they believe need a veterinary visit? Does the daycare have a veterinary office near by that they have an agreement with for needed non-emergency vet care or do they take your dog to the owner’s veterinarian? Does the daycare try to contact the dog’s particular veterinarian before taking these to an emergency vet clinic? Are they adequately staffed so that when there is an emergency, there is someone to take a dog to the vet and someone to stick with the other dogs in the pack?

Your dog daycare will perhaps you have complete forms that authorize those to take your dog to the veterinarian if needed and clarify what medical decisions they are really allowed to make in your absence. This is very important for those to have in case there is an emergency. It’s wise to provide something similar for your pet sitter or dog walker – here is a download free of cure Authorization Form so anyone watching your pet gets the information they want.

9. What recognition and training does the daycare staff have?
Because the industry continues to be under-regulated, anyone can decide that they would like to open up your dog daycare. However, loving dogs isn’t the one qualification someone needs to keep dogs physically and behaviorally safe and cared for. As the industry grows, more daycare operators are buying applying for recognition through the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC), a 501(c)(6) non-profit created by well-known and respected industry experts that holds their members to high standards. Whether or not a possible daycare is not professionally certified by a business like PACCC, you can still use their standards to choose whether it’s the right place for you as well as your dog.

Ask the daycare facility what training staff has received in regards to pet medical and CPR, reading dog body language, how to control dog play, preventing and break up dog fights, and training methods they use with daycare dogs. Daycare staff should be current over a pet first aid certification, and given continuing education in these topics. Having a qualified professional dog trainer on staff is ideal, not limited to dog training and behavior management for pack dogs, also for staff education and training.

There must be no reliance on aversives (such as shock collars, shaker cans, or water hoses) to punish dog behavior. Choose a daycare that uses positive reinforcement (praise, petting, and play) to reward dogs that behave in daycare, and negative punishment (time outs, or forget about fetch play) as consequences for unwanted behavior.