When I adopted my dog, I had no idea how much my life would change. I knew that it was a lot of responsibility and that I would need to make some changes to my life, but from the second Penny stepped into my world I have never been the same. She completely stole my heart and there is nothing I won’t do to give my fur baby what she needs. So when my hours changed at work and she would be home alone for almost 12 hours per day, I decided to sign her up for Doggy Daycare.
I thought it would be really simple. I figured that I could just pick one, take her in and pick her up at the end of the day. Penny’s the most amazing dog ever! The doggy daycare I picked would be thrilled to welcome her to their pack. But when I started to look into it, I found it was much more complicated than I thought. The were lots of requirements, different structures for the day, and many other things that I hadn’t considered. I had no idea what questions to ask or what to look out for when I was trying to find the perfect doggy daycare for Penny.
After a long and eye opening search, I found a doggy daycare that fit my schedule, budget, and met all of Penny’s needs. To help you with your search, I’ve put this list of questions along with a brief explanation of why each question is important.
What happens if I am running late or need to drop my dog off early?
Life happens and sometimes you might be late to pick up your dog. Each daycare handles late pick ups differently, so it’s important to know whether or not there is a fee and what they would do if you were unable to pick them up. Likewise, it’s good to know if early drop offs are available if you have an early meeting or flight.
What is the ratio of dogs to handlers during the day?
Before I select Penny’s current Doggy Daycare, I considered one that was closer to my work. When we went on the tour I noticed no one was with the dogs. The gentleman giving us the tour was the only person there and over 30 dogs were left completely unattended. I immediately disregarded this Doggy Daycare when I saw that. The dog’s safety is the most important thing and the Daycare should have sufficient staff to watch the dogs and run the front of the house.
What kind of training do your employees receive before they work with the dogs?
Any good doggy daycare has a training program for new employees and they should be willing to tell you about it. If they do not have one or won’t talk to you about it, you may want to look elsewhere.
What is the daily routine for the dogs?
I looked at several places when I was looking for a doggy daycare and each one had a unique schedule for the dogs. Some had required rest periods while others have nonstop play. There are outdoor areas at some and others only have indoor play areas.
Do you give the dogs treats? If so, which treats are they?
This seems like a strange question but it’s important to know what your dog is consuming. Any changes to your dog’s diet may upset their stomach. I recommend buying a bag of the treats before your dog’s first day and gradually introducing it to them to avoid any tummy troubles.
What does it cost per day for doggy and do you offer any specials or bundles?
Cost is an important factor so of course, it made the list! You can usually choose to pay a daily rate or buy a punch card but there may be other offers available. The doggy daycare Penny goes to has a VIP package and 2 dog discounts so ask about special deals when you are on your tour.
What vaccinations are required?
If they do not require Rabies, Distemper (DHPP), and Bordetella vaccinations RUN FOR THE HILLS.
How do you handle aggression between the dogs?
A good Doggy daycare will have a specific plan for when dogs get into a scuffle. Have them explain the process to you to make sure you’re confident that they will be able to handle a difficult situation.
Is there an application or interview process before the dog can attend this Doggy Daycare?
You should expect for there to some form of an application and an interview or trial day. This helps them to get to know the dog’s temperament and to see if they would be a good fit.
What are the procedures if my dog is injured while they are in your care?
This is another question to make sure the daycare has their crap together. If something happens to my baby while she is in your care you better have a plan. I ultimately chose Penny’s doggy daycare because they answered this question so well.
How do you handle when a dog gets sick?
The question might seem similar to the previous question, but they should have very different answers. I would not expect them to take a dog with a cough to an emergency vet, but there should be a plan for how to avoid a cough spreading to other dogs.
Are there any other services you offer in addition to daycare?
This question is optional, but I recommend knowing the full spectrum of services that the doggy daycare offers. Penny’s doggy daycare offers boarding, grooming, training, and they have a small pet store. I love that it is a one stop shop for everything Penny needs!
I hope these 12 questions help you find the perfect doggy daycare for your fur baby!