Benefits Of Doggy Daycare

Benefits Of Doggy Daycare
Besides Oliver's raging birthday parties, I haven't really talked about dog care in a while. Something that was very important to me when moving back home was to find a good daycare for my pup. I know that sounds insane... daycare? For a dog? If you're a dog owner then you know how important it is for your pup to get a lot of exercise and that can be kind of hard when you work 40+ hours a week. Daycare is a great way to make sure your dog is being taken care of throughout the day, making new friends, and getting all of that energy out of him. I never knew doggy daycare was a thing until I worked for dog daycare and boarding facility. Now, though I will never board my dog, I will say that daycare has been a fantastic experience for Oliver. It's important to research and find the facility that works best for you, your schedule, and your pup.

So what is doggy daycare? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a facility where they watch dogs. Dogs play together all day long, take a nap/lunch break, play some more and go home at the end of the day. Daycare can be a really great thing for your dog, especially if you start them off young. (NOTE: Every dog is different, and sometimes being in large facilities with multiple dogs can make other dogs anxious or aggressive. Please watch for signs of this if you start to take your dog to daycare). Daycare can be a great way for you to not have to worry about your dog being home all alone and to know that he's being taken care of while you're at work. It can also help with socialization and being less territorial. It's literally all of the same benefits of taking a child to daycare, except it's for your dog.

Every dog is going to be different and every doggy daycare center is going to be different as well. Oliver is actually a pretty laid back husky, but he gets his moments where he runs around the living room like a crazy dog. I work a straight 8-4 Monday through Friday and Omar's work hours range, but he also works 40+ hours a week and he's going to school full-time. On days where Omar gets off early (sometimes he's off around 11 a.m.) we won't take Oliver to daycare, because one of us will be home to take care of him and walk him. On other days where Omar and I work ALL DAY, we will most likely take him. We also tend not to take him on the weekends (again, I'm home all weekend, why take him when I can hangout with him), but if we have something to do that day (like this Friday, we're moving and we don't want him to go crazy while we open and close the door and move all these boxes, so we're just going to take him to daycare for the day) then we'll take him. It's important to really get your schedule down before wasting money on days where you could and should be watching him. We try to take Oliver to daycare 1-2 a week, but again it just varies on our work schedules.

Once you know about how many times a week and what hours you'll be taking your dog, you should research doggy daycares in the area. See what time they open and close and know that when a facility closes and you haven't picked your dog up yet, they will usually board them for the night. Not only is that more money out of your pocket, but now your dog doesn't get to go home for the night. Make sure you are able to pick your dog up in time before they close. Also compare prices. In North Carolina a day of daycare was $18 for all day play (5:30 a.m.-6 p.m.). In Northern Virginia, it's $20-$40 a day, depending on the facility. We personally LOVE Dogtopia. Dogtopia reminds me a lot of the place that I used to work at in North Carolina and I love it. They're really flexible with hours, they take notes about your dog and put him with the right playgroups, they require the basic shots, but not the extra ones (like the flu shot), and they have multiple play areas so your dogs aren't restricted to just one room. Dogtopia has flexible prices depending on what you're looking for. You can do $20 for a half day (5 hours) or $35 for all day. You can even buy packages and use your "passes" on which ever days you want, resulting in the every day price to drop. For instance, you can buy a $500 package for 30 days.. making each day $17 a day. Make sure it's in your budget, because going 2-4 times a week definitely adds up. Another thing is to make sure it's convenient for you to get to. Most people, like me, are taking our dogs to daycare on our way to work. It's not worth it if the daycare facility is on the other side of town. Some places (at least in North Carolina and in Virginia) offer a bus service though for an additional fee. You can also take tours of facilities and see if this is the place your dog would enjoy. Is it clean enough? Is it big enough? Do they have enough staff? Make sure you're comfortable with it. Another reason we love Dogtopia is because of the webcams. I can actually watch Oliver playing all day long (except during nap and lunch time when he goes into his own crate). It's the best thing ever and I can see that my dog is not only having fun, but he's having fun in a safe environment. Some facilities will even offer other services such as boarding and grooming, which is great when Oliver is just a little too smelly and I need him to be bathed before I pick him up. Some places will even let you do a free first day to make sure that you and your dog are completely satisfied! Basically, just research, research, research. Make sure you look through all of your options so that you and your pup are happy.

Benefits Of Doggy Daycare

Once you have the place picked out, you're good to go. Just fill out the contact form or stop by for a tour! I will always brag about Dogtopia and how happy Oliver has been since we've started taking him to daycare again. If you decide to take your dog to Dogtopia let me know I sent you their way ;)! I also love that they print out pictures for me, write report cards, and even feature Oliver on their Instagram page. Doggy daycare has truly helped us out so much, and Oliver loves it!

xoxo, Michele