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Is Doggy Day Care Appropriate for Your Dog?

In today's fast-paced world, balancing a professional career with the responsibility of dog ownership can be a challenge. For many professionals who are dog parents, the concept of doggy day care has emerged as a popular solution to ensure their furry companions receive the care and engagement they require while they are away at work. But is doggy day care the right choice for your beloved canine friend? Let's delve into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.


Companionship With Other Dogs


Luke & Laura, who run Amity Pet Care, along with previous dog, Juniper, and tiny old dog Bear, a Chihuahua cross.
Dedicated & Knowledgeable Day Care providers

One of the key benefits of enrolling your dog in a day care facility is the ample opportunities to form bonds with other friendly dog. Dogs are naturally social animals, and interacting with other dogs in a supervised setting can help foster positive behaviour and improve their social skills. If your dog has not been socialised with other dogs, or if they are the slightest bit worried, day care is not the place to resolve this! A day care setting will very likely flood your dog (ie, overwhelm them), and can cause distress, and further issues which you will need to unravel.


Physical Exercise & Mental Stimulation


2 dogs, enjoying the day care outdoor space, next to a caterpillar brightly coloured tunnel.
What enrichment does your day care provide?

Doggy day care often includes play sessions and structured activities that keep dogs physically active and mentally stimulated throughout the day. This can be particularly beneficial for high-energy breeds or dogs that may otherwise become bored or exhibit destructive behaviour when left alone for extended periods.


Amity Pet Care have a big focus on enrichment, with a monthly activity calendar, featuring challenges for clients to participate in with their dog, scent games, fun training, licking mats, proprioception activities, pool & bubble parties, etc!


Professional Supervision & Care


Small curly dog resting on a comfy grey armchair
Providing comfy resting spots for the dogs

Leaving your dog in the care of trained professionals at a reputable day care facility can offer peace of mind. It ensures that your dog is looked after, receives necessary attention, and is in a safe environment while you are at work.


As one of the higher standards to meet the requirements of our five star Home Boarding license, Amity Pet Care hold at least a level 3 Ofqual regulated canine qualification, which in our case, is a National Diploma in Animal Management, achieving triple distinction, and an Outstanding Achievement Award, and we spend many hours doing CPD each year, including Canine First Aid!


Alleviates Separation Anxiety


2 dogs, a medium curly dog, and smaller terrier, exploring together around some big logs.
Allowing bonds between social dogs

For dogs prone to separation anxiety, being in a stimulating environment with other dogs and caregivers, away from their home environment, can help alleviate distress and provide a sense of companionship, reducing the anxiety that might arise from being home alone. Doggy Day Care will not resolve their separation anxiety in their home setting, as this needs to be worked through carefully with a specialist behaviourist, so do bare that in mind, and let us know if you would like a recommendation - Amity Pet Care often work closely with other canine professionals, from vets, trainers, behaviourists, and other therapists.


Convenience, Routine, & Reliability


2 dogs, a medium curly dog, and smaller terrier, exploring together around some big logs.
Allowing bonds between social dogs

Doggy day care provides working professionals with convenience and reliability, eliminating the need to rush home during lunch breaks to toilet their dog. Most day cares allow you to book set days each week, so your dog will have guaranteed care arranged.


Curly dog sitting on the dog walk
Enjoying low-level fun agility

For familiarisation and routine, clients of Amity Pet Care reserve a minimum of 2 set days each week for their dog, so they have these days guaranteed, and may book additional days as needed.


Potential Stress for Some Dogs


While many dogs thrive in a social setting, some may find the bustling environment of a day care facility overwhelming. Dogs that are shy or anxious may not fare well in such an environment and may become stressed as a result. We've heard of dogs who sadly cowered in a corner, at day care (not ours, don't worry!), which is a big indicator that the environment is perhaps too overwhelming for them, and a smaller facility, such as Amity Pet Care, or a one to one dog walker might suit them better. Day Care certainly does not suit every single dog, and whilst there is a settling in period, if a dog continues to feel unsettled, or display inappropriate behaviour (eg, during play), it likely isn't the best fit.


Individualised Attention


Chihuahua cross in a little dog teepee
Beds to suit all shapes & sizes!

In a smaller group setting, Amity Pet Care provide more tailored care and attention, however, in larger, commercial facilities, this is tricky, as handlers have more dogs to keep an eye on!


Amity Pet Care give the dogs their meals/snacks on an individual basis, and because we only accept 6 dogs a day, between myself and Luke, we know our dogs inside and out, can instantly spot any subtle changes, and have adequate time to facilitate individual play and attention.


Implementing Rest Periods


As you are probably aware, rest is incredibly important for dogs, to allow them to recover from activity, reset, and not be in a state of constant arousal. In a smaller day care setting, we can easily implement rest times, and the dogs adore snuggling up in our many comfy beds, which is something we have as part of the dogs' routine, particularly before and after lunch/snack time, to allow for digestion, and avoid the risk of bloat.

3 curly dogs enjoying rest time together on a range of dog beds
Enjoy social resting time

In larger facilities, this is understandably much harder to implement, particularly when there are larger groups, perhaps with mismatched energy levels, and some aren't as keen on settling down!


Amity Pet Care want a healthy balance of activity and rest, so we wouldn't want to send our dogs home in a state of arousal (ie, still over excited, and not having the ability to shut off!), but equally, we wouldn't want to send them home completely exhausted! We always let new clients know, that we expect their dog to be quite tired for the first couple of weeks, whilst they settle into our environment and routine, but after that, they should become more balanced.

Elderly dog cocooned in a blanket!
Amity dogs are treated as part of the family!

Conclusion


In the end, the decision to enrol your dog in a day care facility should be based on your dog's individual needs, temperament, and lifestyle. While doggy day care offers numerous benefits in terms of supervised interaction with other dogs, exercise, and professional care, it is essential to weigh these against potential drawbacks like suitability for your dog.


Ultimately, choosing the right doggy day care facility that aligns with your dog's needs and preferences is crucial. Do get in touch with Amity Pet Care to discuss our facility and routine, practises, and values.


So, is doggy day care appropriate for your dog? The answer lies in understanding your furry companion's personality and requirements and selecting a solution that complements their lifestyle while accommodating your own.


Remember, a happy and well-cared-for dog makes for a happier pet parent and a more seamless work-life balance!

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