Monday, July 09, 2012

Before you send your dog to day care...

One of the things I did when I was planning to get a dog was start looking for internet forums that I thought would be of help to me. Although I have lots of friends that have dogs, I wanted to reach out to more people with more/different experiences so I knew I had a place to go when I had questions. The forums that I'm a part of have been invaluable in answering my questions or making me feel like I'm not crazy when it comes to the weird things my pets do.

Recently I saw this post and thought it was important to share with you all. The author has asked to remain anonymous, but is a former doggy day care employee and wanted to give a little insight to what things were like at the day care they worked at, and may be the case at yours. Please take a minute to read through this and keep these questions in mind before you sign your dog up for day care.

I know a lot of people trust doggy day cares because they have positive training classes and the staff are friendly always greeting the dogs nicely - but that doesn't mean your dog is treated the best when you're gone. Where I was employed a trainer was brought in to teach positive reinforcement classes, but the owner and the employees did not employ the same techniques while working with the dogs. I've talked to plenty of other ex-employees that have worked at centers and have had the same experiences I have. Here's a list of 10 questions you should ask if you're shopping around for a doggy daycare or boarding place for your pet:

1.) What experience/qualifications does the owner of the facility have? What experience with dogs do the employees that will be handling the dogs have?

2.) Do they use bark collars? (Ask specifically about bark collars, and then ask about both citronella and shock/electronic.)

3.) How do they deal with a dog that is being a bully or misbehaving? What do they do if two dogs are getting along with all the other dogs besides each other?

4.) Do they remove collars and harnesses during playtime? If they do, how will they move dogs around if they need to move a dog? If they don't, do they leave chain/prong collars on?

5.) Do their employees have rules about how to treat/correct dogs?

6.) Do the dogs ever get breaks?

7.) Are the dogs ever scruffed? Are they ever pinned to the ground?

8.) What do they do if a fight breaks out? How do they prevent fights from happening?

9.) How are dogs introduced to the group?

10.) If a dog is injured and the owner is unreachable, what do they do?


  1. Thank you for the good advice. Making sure our furry babies are well cared for makes leaving them easier.

  2. Great check list. Have a good evening.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. Ugh, this scares me. Tails & Whiskey stayed the night at a place where they didn't wear collars in the kennel and they didn't put them on when they moved them to the daycare area. :/

    I rather pay a buttload of money to my friends to come over and stay at my house.

    1. No collars at all? I actually didn't even know that existed until this post. The place we go uses disposable break-away collars. But I agree, even though I love our places, I would much rather Astrea and Ora stay with friends or family.

    2. They said they didn't have dogs wear collars in the kennel over night to prevent accidents from happening and they "forgot" to put them on when they sent them into the doggy daycare area. When I got there, they used a slip collar, which I hate since it chokes them!

  4. I had a bad experience at a doggy daycare. My dog was bitten the owner didn't seem to care. She said it was my dog's fault and that's what he gets. I asked her to pay for the vet bill and she refused until I told her that I would sue her, she paid for most of it. Ask what their policy is for a dog bite.

    1. Another good thing to think about! Hope your dog is alright and isn't fearful of socializing as a result of a bad experience.

  5. It's so nice to have feedback from the "inside". Thanks for sharing a great post!

  6. Great post! I've been thinking about bringing my pooch to a day care for a while now. This really helped out. Keep up the good work on this blog!

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