If your busy schedule prevents you from spending as much time with your Great Dane as you would like, you might want to consider daycare. That’s right, I said daycare. Doggy daycare can be of huge benefit for animals that are left alone for more than 5 or 6 hours a day.
ADVANTAGES OF DOGGY DAYCARE
1 ) Exercise And Socialization – Opportunities to meet and play with other dogs may be few and far between for your Dane, especially if you are often pressed for time. A good daycare will provide many opportunities for supervised socialization and play.
2 ) Human Interaction – Like most dogs, Great Danes are super social creatures and they genuinely enjoy human interaction. A well run daycare will provide your Dane with the attention he or she craves.
3 ) Regular Bathroom Breaks – While your Great Dane may be exceptional at ‘holding it’ for several hours while you are away, doing so is likely uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy. While at daycare, there will be plenty of potty breaks.
4 ) Relief From Boredom And Separation Anxiety – A bored Great Dane is an unhappy Great Dane and many Danes suffer from separation anxiety when their humans leave them for long periods of time. Doggy daycare relieves your furry friend of these discomforts and keeps them engaged throughout the day.
5 ) Supervision – While playtime and socialization are great, these activities require supervision. A reputable daycare will provide that oversight and be prepared should your Dane need medical attention or rest.
HOW TO CHOOSE A DOGGY DAYCARE
Now that you know how doggy daycare can benefit your Great Dane, here are some tips on choosing a reputable daycare for your four-legged buddy:
1 ) Do Your Research – Depending on where you live, there may be several daycare facilities in your area. Research all of them online. Check online reviews, go to their company website, and visit their social media pages. Are they active online? Does their online presence instill confidence? Do they have excellent reviews from past customers?
2 ) Visit Perspective Facilities In Person – Once you have narrowed your choices through online research schedule appointments to visit perspective daycare facilities. You will want to leave your Dane at home during these visits so that you are not distracted. According to the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC), here are some things to look for:
- Is it clean and organized?
- Does it have secure fencing?
- Is the area free of hazards, like electrical cords, wires or broken toys?
- Does it have minimal odors and a comfortable temperature?
- Is there enough for staff to ensure safety?
During your visit you will also want to watch both dog to dog interactions and human to dog interactions. Are playtimes well supervised? Are there a variety of toys and activities available? Is there fresh, clean water available for the animals? Do the animals respond well to the staff? Remember, you will be leaving your fur baby with these people. You want to feel comfortable in doing so.
3 ) Ask Relevant Questions – Do not be afraid to ask important questions of the daycare providers. A reputable daycare will be proud of their facility and level of care. They will be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Some important questions that you will want answered are:
- Do they do temperment tests and/or behavioral analysis? A reputable facility will do temperment tests on all animals before they are admitted to the facility. This is not only to ensure a safe environment, but also to customize care for individuals with special needs.
- Do they verify vaccination records? The last thing you want is for your four-legged buddy to come back from daycare with Bordetella (Kennel Cough) or some other contagious disease.
- What kind of training does the staff have? All staff should be trained in basic care and safety procedures and there should be staff members with first aid training . Staff trained in animal behavior, canine body language, and warning signs of stress or illness is ideal.
- What happens if there is an emergency? Are there procedures in place to deal with natural disasters or unexpected injuries? How will they communicate with you in the event of an emergency?
- Will they notify you promptly of changes in behavior or well-being? How will they notify you? Do they have webcams or some other means by which you can check in on your pooch?
- Are there activities designed for different personalities, ages, and energy levels? Are there designated rest areas or safe zones where your dog can escape should the play get too rough?
- Is the business bonded and insured?
4 ) Consider A Trial Run – Many facilities will allow you to drop your pet off for a few hours on a given day to see how he/she reacts to the environment. This is a great time for them to analyze your pets needs and temperament and a perfect opportunity for you to evaluate how your pet reacts to daycare.
5 ) Does Your Dane Enjoy Daycare? – Once you have found a facility that you are comfortable with and your Dane has had a trial run, pay close attention to their behavior. Are they happy, but tired when they arrive home? Do they seem unusually clingy, or somewhat dejected? On subsequent visits, are they eager, or reticent to go to the facility?
These are all good indicators of whether or not your pet is a good candidate for daycare. If they come home happy, but tired, they likely enjoyed the experience. If they are unusually cling or acting dejected, they may view the experience as a punishment or rejection. You know your Dane better than anyone and you should be able to tell within a couple of visits whether or not your pooch likes the daycare experience.