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14 Things You Should Know Before Taking Your Pup To Doggy Day Care

by Alicia Barron

More people than ever before have pets, and there’s a very good reason the term “fur babies” now exists.

That’s because a lot of us have very consciously chosen to have a dog and treat him or her like a human baby. What that means is a lot of us like to pamper our furry friends.

We know dogs require a ton of love, care, and affection, but we often have to leave them home alone. If you have a job that requires you to be out of the house for hours on end, you might worry about your pup.

That’s where the increasingly popular “doggy day cares” come in. They are staffed with trained professionals who care for your pet when you can’t.

Read below to find out the 14 things you should be aware of before you decide to trust any of these doggy day care facilities with your beloved fur baby.

1. What Is Doggy Day Care?

1. What Is Doggy Day Care?
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First things first: What is doggy day care? Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like — a day care for dogs.

Most of these places offer a number of services, from half-day care and full-day care to overnight boarding.

2. Why Do People Take Their Pets to Doggy Day Care?

2. Why Do People Take Their Pets to Doggy Day Care?
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When pet owners leave their four-legged best friend somewhere, they want to know their dogs will be well taken care of. Doggy day cares are a good option, since they have trained professionals who can watch your pup. And besides taking care of your dog, many facilities also offer other services, like grooming and spa treatments.

3. Do Some Research

3. Do Some Research
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It’s important that you do some research before you drop off your pup at doggy day care. That way you can learn about the staff and ask any questions you might have about the facility. This will make you feel more at ease.

4. Take a Tour

4. Take a Tour
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Many doggy day care facilities offer tours for potential customers — if this is the case, you should definitely take them up on it. Touring the facility will give you a chance to meet the staff, hang out with the other dogs, and see if it feels like the right place for your dog.

Some doggy day cares even require a screening “interview” with new dogs to ensure the dog’s temperament is a good fit for the staff, facility, and other dogs who come there.

5. Reserve a Spot Early

5. Reserve a Spot Early
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Doggy day cares are known to fill up fast, so book your pooch’s spot in advance. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect place only to learn it can’t take your fur baby because you didn’t reserve a spot in time.

6. Ask About Staffing

6. Ask About Staffing
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Don’t be afraid to ask about the staff. A lot of pet owners want to know, for instance, if someone is there 24 hours a day, if there’s a vet or vet tech on-site, and if the doggy day care offers other services, like grooming. The more you know, the more you can take advantage of the visit.

7. Bring Reminders From Home

7. Bring Reminders From Home
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Being separated from your precious pooch is tough; there’s no way around that. But there are ways to make it a little easier when dropping pups off at doggy day care. It’s recommended you bring along some reminders from home, like perhaps a favorite toy, a special blanket, or just something that smells like you.

8. Make Sure Your Pet Has All Required Vaccinations

8. Make Sure Your Pet Has All Required Vaccinations
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It’s important you keep your dog completely up to date when it comes to vaccinations — especially because most doggy day cares won’t accept pets if they’re not fully vaccinated. You’ll definitely feel more confident if you know the facility has a strict rule when it comes to keeping all of its short-time visitors current on their shots.

9. Explain Any Extra Care Your Dog Needs

9. Explain Any Extra Care Your Dog Needs

If your dog needs some extra care or attention, let the staff know. Maybe your pet has certain allergies, reacts poorly to thunder, or gets scared of delivery men — this is all vital information you should communicate to your preferred facility.

10. Bring Medications

10. Bring Medications
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Is your pooch on any medications that the doggy day care should know about? If so, let the staff know exactly what to give your pooch and when. You can even organize the medications for the staff so it’s easier for them to administer.

11. Check if the Facility Is Up to Date

11. Check if the Facility Is Up to Date
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Make sure your doggy day care is up to date on all its regulations. Are they up to code, so to speak? Do they have any negative complaints against them? Most of these facilities are required to maintain a certain standard, so make sure you’re getting what you pay for.

12. Make Sure to Keep the Goodbyes Short

12. Make Sure to Keep the Goodbyes Short
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Once it’s time to drop off your fur baby, it’s helpful not to make too big a fuss as you say your goodbyes. Your pet can sense your anxiety, so the smoother the drop-off goes, the smoother your pup’s approach to the doggy day care will be.

13. Bring Your Own Pet Food

13. Bring Your Own Pet Food
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Make sure to bring along your pup’s preferred pet food. You can even portion out the kibble in little baggies if that makes it easier for you to pack. That way there’s no guessing game when it comes time to give your pooch lunch or dinner.

14. Pack Extra Everything

14. Pack Extra Everything
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One of the most important things when taking your precious pup to doggy day care is to pack extra. You never know what they’re going to need, so you might as well pack extra stuff just in case. Isn’t it always better to be safe than sorry?