Is Daycare a Good Idea for Dogs?
Ever heard of the term ‘blowing out the cobwebs’? There’s something to be said for working from home all day, barely leaving the house and then finally going out to stretch the legs and get some fresh air. And that’s for us humans.
Dogs are far more active than us, genetically. So a day indoors for a dog, without fresh air and socialisation can be quite harmful to both their mental and physical health.
We know it can be difficult juggling a busy 9-5 with an active dog. Sometimes there’s just not the time for that walk your dog is craving at the end of the day. Especially as we head into winter and 5:00pm marks a dark and dreary start of the evening, when all you really want is to curl up with a book and a wine.
That’s why doggy day care could be a GAMECHANGER for your dog’s health, your lifestyle (and your best pair of shoes…)
In this article we dive into some of the benefits of doggy daycare, some key considerations and costs involved.
When You Should Consider Doggy Daycare
If you work long hours and you have a social, active dog, it would make sense that you might want to consider leaving him at a dog daycare, where your dog can also be walked during the day, rather than at home alone all day.
Did You Know: The most common cause of destruction caused by dogs is due to the dog being bored! Often, your pooch is simply looking for something to ‘do’ when they’re chewing your shoes or digging out the flowerbed. And notice it always happens when you’re out. Because theyre not finding stimulation elsewhere.
What Are the Benefits of Dog Daycare?Burns off Excess Energy
Dogs need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy – but with a busy schedules it’s sometimes not possible to walk your dog each day. Dog daycare takes the stress out of the situation by providing the care and facilities for exercise and playtime. Our daycare services are equipped with a fully supervised indoor playground with equipment, treats and toys – allowing your dog to stay active, run around and burn off excess energy.
An hour at the leash-free dog park is great. But a session at doggy day care is a next level good time for pooches. And the benefits go well beyond fun.
- Vet Nick Emerton.
Dogs are highly social animals. Whilst they adore the companionship of their human family, people are busy and can’t be around all the time. Besides, dogs need and enjoy the company of other dogs on a regular basis. The opportunity to socialise through playful interaction and sniff new friends is a very enriching experience for any dog.
Socialisation is crucial for dogs of all ages (and particularly important in early puppy stages to prevent the development of anti-social habits).
What Doggy Daycare Can Help With:
- Improving their overall social skills with dogs and humans alike;
- Reducing anxiety and aggression in social situation; and
- Building resilience in new environments.
There are some dogs that struggle with being left alone. Separation anxiety is not only distressing but can lead to panic and escape-driven behaviour. Doggy day care is a safe and stress-relieving environment for dogs that worry.
Did You Know: Separation anxiety is a common problem amongst dogs who spend large portions of the day on their own, or dogs whose owners work full time. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety are more likely to engage in undesirable behaviour – like excessive barking, toileting inside and destroying furniture, floorboards, carpets or other household items.Keeps Your Dog Supervised and Safe
Have you ever come home to find your dog has dug their way out of the backyard? Or gotten past a puppy gate or doggy door? It happens! Dog daycare offers a safe environment where your dog will be supervised all day – meaning they can’t engage in any Houdini-like exploits, and you have peace of mind throughout the day.Maintains a Routine
Dogs, like humans, thrive on routine and structure, which can be maintained at a daycare. This includes regular feeding, exercise, and playtime. By maintaining a routine, your dog is less likely to experience stress or anxiety, and they are better equipped to adapt to changes in their environment.
‘There’s nothing I love seeing more than a happy tail wag and excited bark when a pooch walks through the front door at Le Wag, because they’re excited for a play, ample pats and treatos throughout the day. It means I’m doing my job well!’
- Claire, Le Wag Doggy Daycare Supervisor
Unlike a lot of our London-based doggy daycare competitors, at LeWag we actually provide a pickup and drop off service for our clients if it’s within a 30-minute walk from the daycare. Perfect for busy dog owners!
FAQs - Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat Are the Negatives of Dog Daycare?
Doggy daycare is not for every dog. Here are some suggestions on which dogs should avoid doggy daycare.
- If your dog is elderly or sick
- If your dog is under 16 weeks old
- If your dog seems tired and overstimulated or anxious
- If your dog is typically aggressive or reactive
There is no uniform answer to ‘what age is best for dog daycare?’ It’s true that socialising young dogs early is good for their social development, but it’s also true that older dogs can be brought into daycare later in life and still benefit from the experience. One thing you will need to make sure of, is that your puppy is fully vaccinated prior to bringing them in, just like when you bring them in for a groom at Le Wag. So this is around the 16-week-old mark.What Dogs Do Best in Daycare?
Socialization is CRITICAL for young puppies. If they don’t get lots of positive exposure to other dogs in an off leash environment, they can develop anxiety, fear or aggression toward other dogs.High Energy Breeds
Labradors, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Jack Russells and so many other hyper active breeds need to RUN! You will never tire these guys out with a walk or a few minutes of tug.
The nonstop action of daycare is just about the only thing that will satisfy their exercise needs and help them be better behaved at home.Working Dogs
Dogs that were bred to do a specific job need to be doing something or they feel unfulfilled which can present itself in a number of behavioral issues. These guys need a job and you don’t want to have an unemployed working dog.
Daycare is a great way for them to do something constructive. Left idle these guys go a little bonkers.Adolescent dogs
Teenage dogs can be about as fun as teenage kids. And just like kids they need stuff to do or they will find stuff to do. If you don’t provide constructive uses for their time, they will find something to occupy themselves and it’s more often than not a destructive outlet.
Let these young punks run around at daycare and drain all that energy and come home satisfied and tired. You and your furniture will thank us.How Much is Dog Day Care?
At Le Wag we offer options for busy dog parents with daycare. 1 hour of dog sitting, for a quick play and pamper is £15. For 2-4 hours, we charge £25. You can rest assured that after this much play, your pooch is going to be pooped! For a half day we charge £40, which gives you time to run your daily errands, and then some. For a full day of car (above 4 hours), the rate is £60.Can You Take Your Dog to Daycare Every Day?
Again, there’s no set rule here. Spending every day at daycare is perfect for some dogs, but it can be stressful for others. Ultimately, it's up to you to watch out for the signs that your dog is feeling overstimulated or overtired, but don't be afraid to reach out to us and check in about your dog's behaviour regularly.