Dog Daycare: How to Prepare Your Pooch?


It is an important decision, almost as important as picking a daycare for your child. How will you know if your pooch is being taken care of? 

With around 5000 privately owned doggie daycares across the country and only five chains, there is not a lot to choose from. With no proper standardized regulations and rules, it might be difficult to figure out which one is the right one for you and those adorable pups you just adopted. 

Let us look at what you can do to prepare yourself and your best friend for their first day!

Visit the Facility

Before taking the plunge and committing to a specific daycare, it is important to physically visit the facility. There is only so much you can tell by their website or Facebook page. You need to experience the daycare yourself before you commit to it. 

If you can take your dog with you, even better. Make sure you jot down some important questions before you plan your tour so that you can be ready with questions. It is important to ask the facility about any specific needs your dog might require. Also, if your dog likes certain activities, ask the staff at the facility if they will cater to that. 

Some important questions to ask before your first day:

  • What do you need to send with your pup
  • What kind of fun physical activities do they offer so your dog is getting exercise
  • What are the sleeping arrangements for the animals? Will your dog have its area to nap?
  • What precautions is the facility taking to make sure pets do not pass on viruses to each other?
  • What is all included?
  • What does a typical day look like?

Make sure you call from beforehand as most facilities will not allow walk-ins. 

Check Hygiene and Cleanliness

When you are taking that tour of the facility, it is important to check hygiene and cleanliness. You want to make sure the facility is sparkling from top to bottom. 

Some daycares use professional equipment to make sure that floors and kennels are spotless. They may have it cleaned multiple times during the day. You need to make sure that they are using pet-friendly products and that the facility is being cleaned thoroughly. 

Many pet diseases can be spread through daycares if the facility is not putting in the extra effort to clean properly.

Take All Necessary Paperwork

Once you have decided on a facility, it is important to ask them what necessary paperwork they will need. You then need to collect all of these important documents to take with you on your first day. 

Some facilities require you to fax over the paperwork before the first day. It is a good idea to send them before, as some daycares will require certain vaccinations before the pets are allowed to enter the daycare. 

For example, some daycares require:

  • Bordetella
  • Distemper
  • Parvo
  • Rabies 

Do check before what vaccinations are required so you can get them done before your pup’s first day.

Prepare Your Pup for An Evaluation 

Some facilities will require a proper evaluation of your dog before they agree to admission. This pet evaluation is for the safety of other animals in the facility and a good idea. It will give staff some sense of your pet’s personality, and you can see how your dog is interacting with staff and with the new surroundings. 

Some facilities will do this evaluation without you being present so that they get a good idea of how your pet will react with you are not around. 

They may also check and see how your dog reacts to staying in a crate, to general touch, energy levels, and how your pooch interacts with other dogs in the facility.

Prepare Your Furry Friend to Be Around Other Dogs

If it is your dog’s first time in daycare, then it is a good idea to acclimatize them to being around other animals. A great way to do this is by making them do a dog park for several weeks before you decide on doggie daycare. 

The dog park will allow your pooch to socialize with other dogs, and it will give you a good sense of their personality. If you have a dog that is aggressive and tries to attack other animals, then you may need to address that issue before you decide on doggie daycare. 

Another great way to prepare your dog to be around other animals is to arrange pet playdates. You have friends and neighbors that have pets, right? Why not set up a day where they can spend some time with each other. That will give your dog some time to just be around one animal, which will be less scary than many animals at the dog park. 

Other Options besides Doggie Daycare

At the end of the day, if doggie daycare just does not work out, then you do have other options. It may be the price or that your dog just does not feel comfortable being around so many other animals. 

If this is the case, do not despair. You just need to find what is right for you and your pooch. 

Some other facilities you could take a look at are:

  • Neighbors you trust who may want to watch your dog 
  • A professional pet sitter
  • Take them along if your work allows it 

At the end of the day, you want a place that you and your dog feel comfortable with. You do not want to put your pet for long periods where they feel frustrated and uncomfortable. 

Getting Your Pup Ready for Doggie Daycare

There you have it. Now you can feel confident and comfortable when getting your pup ready for doggie daycare. With a few precautions and research, you will find the perfect place for your furry friend. 

Preparing them to be around other animals is an important first step to a successful first day of doggie daycare!