How to Evaluate a Dog Day Care Center

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img_1682All dogs require attention and supervision. The drawback is that it's not always possible to provide the care yourself, especially with a busy work schedule. Leaving your dog alone at home is one option, but this can lead them to become stressed and anxious; dogs are social animals that need environmental stimulation, just as humans do. Dog day care centers are a great solution to this problem. The way it works is just as you might expect: you drop off your dog in the morning at the center, where they get to play and socialize with other dogs until you pick them up after work.
  • Doggie day care offers the following benefits:
  • Prevention of destructive behavior at home
  • Much-needed exercise and playtime
  • Socialization with people and other dogs which leads to better behavior overall
  • Relief from loneliness
Some centers even offer training, so if you can afford it and your pet is a good candidate, dog day care is an excellent option. Here is what to look to choose the right one. Qualified Staff Members Knowledgeable staff members are crucial to ensuring a safe environment for your pet. Ask if employees have received training from a knowledgeable behaviorist, some centers even have a behaviorist on staff. By understanding animal behavior, staff members can pick up on body language and social communication and avoid potential issues. The Facility You would never drop off your child at a day care center without first seeing the facilities, so why would you drop off your dog without doing the same? Take a personal walk-through of the center and note your first impressions. Is the area sanitary? Is there plenty of space? How well do the staff members interact with the dogs? Is the place well ventilated? These are all critical questions to consider when choosing a doggy day care center. Safety Policies Safety is always a top priority, especially when you place groups of dogs together. Many day care centers conduct initial behavior assessments to gauge the temperament of their new doggie visitors. Usually 15-minute evaluations are conducted.  Although one can tell if there is going to be an immediate issue of aggression within 15 minutes, it usually takes a little longer to get to know a dog.  That is why new dog day care centers are doing away with charging customers an initial evaluation fee for a brief 15 minute evaluation, and instead are conducting a day long evaluation on their first day of daycare, provided the dog has been socialized before with other dogs in a daycare or dog park setting. This is necessary so that staff members get an in depth understanding of how well your pet interacts with other dogs. Other important considerations when looking at the facility itself are the layout and the security features of the location. Fencing around play areas should be in good condition, without rust, holes, or other flaws. When looking for a great doggy day care, ask about these things and more to ensure that your best friend is in good hands at all times. If you happen to be living or staying near Sterling, VA, then come visit our day care center at Healthy Hound Playground to see why it's the best around!
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