How To Choose A Doggy Daycare
Choosing a doggy daycare to care for your pet is not a decision to take lightly. Ensure that all your concerns are addressed, and that the facility is willing to be thorough and transparent in answering all your questions.
We don’t want to scare you… but we have found out first hand, with our Aussie Pet Mobile ‘Mascot’ that some daycares are better than others and the only way to know for certain if a daycare provides essential care is to ask questions, questions and more questions!
Here are some tips on how to find the right doggy day care:
The Ultimate and Most Important tip we can share with you is to utilize the power of the web, reviews and social media.
- Online Review Sites – Often if someone has a bad experience, they feel the need to share their story so that others too, won’t fall victim to a less than great experience. We can all agree mistakes do happen, but how could these have prevented? Most importantly what is the company doing to resolve the negative feedback? A few to check out are Yelp, Google, and Better Business Bureau. Do be aware that there are companies that will pay people to leave 5 star reviews and ask family and friends to do the same. Don’t get us wrong – theres nothing wrong with asking family for support – but that leaves somewhat biast feedback!
- Use Social Media – If you are on Twitter or Facebook, post a question asking your followers and friends if they have tried the daycare in question. We Guarantee you will find out what you need to know from Twitter.
- Company Website – What sort of experience do they promise you and your pet? Take notes and you can formulate questions based around this, when you make your initial inquiry call. Do they promise that they are eco-friendly? Have a certain amount of staff on site at all times to care for your pet? Do they have an intake process to ensure the safety of your dog? Have they lost a dog before? Do they emulate what they say, through all of their interactions with you?
Other equally important doggy daycare tips are:
- Take a Tour – Be suspicious if they only schedule tours by appointment. A tour should only take a few minutes and if there aren’t enough people on call to assist a potential client with a tour, then the facility might be understaffed. Another issue that bears consideration is whether the facility is hiding anything and doesn’t offer unannounced tours simply to ensure that the daycare is clean and ready for visitors.
- Human to Pet Ratio – Ideally, the daycare should have at least one caretaker to every 10 dogs. Ask how many handlers are on call at any given time. A minimum of two caretakers on staff at all times regardless of the number of animals is the bare bottom minimum. This ensures that if a pet needs individual attention, enough caretakers are available to handle its needs.
- References – What pet care certifications do they have? Have they received awards for their pet service? Ask the daycare for references. If it is a larger daycare, it may have won awards or received certification for pet care. At least one attendant at all times should have certification in some form of animal training and emergency techniques. Consult with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to ensure that a pet owner hasn’t had to go as far as request a mediator to resolve a dispute.
- Dog Screening – Do they isolate pets with an aggressive temperament? Ask the daycare about screening process. If they allow any animal regardless of temperament ensure that they have the ability to isolate more aggressive pets. Bring your pet to a daycare that allows large aggressive pets to interact with smaller weaker pets is a recipe for disaster
- Boarding Arrangements – Do they get exercise and socialize?Ask about hourly rates and how many pets are placed in each room. Responsible daycares avoid placing too many animals in a small area. Also, the pets should have plenty of access to water and receive individual attention from breeders. Pets need time to interact with humans to avoid becoming lonely. Taking good care of the pet prevents a need for the animal to lash out when it gets home by destroying furniture, shoes and other valuables. If the pet is not allowed to release energy, then the animal may become overly energetic and problem-some when brought back home.
- Transportation – What safety measures do they enforce? Does the doggy day care provide transportation to and from their location? If so, you may want to ask them what safety measures they and their employees strictly adhere to. If your pet is shy, you may also want your pet to first feel comfortable with the driver, to prevent any un-necessary stress. You may also want to ask them if any pet has successfully escaped a vehicle and whether or not the dog was recovered right away. If you have an anxious dog, you may want to consider alternative options for transportation/Taxi service or the company should have GPS collar on standby for your pet.
- Outdoor Walks – GPS collars are a GREAT idea. Ensure the right type of collar is used. Different people have different methods of training a dog, and which collars they believe to be OK for a dog that ‘pulls on leash’. Ensure the care facility uses only a friendly non-pronged collars nor shock collars that may cause pain and harm to your pet. Aussie Pet Mobile recommends harness’s that eliminate choking tension around the neck. Companies like Wagging Trails use GPS collars and provide a location of where your pet is at all times. Ensuring peace of mind, should anything happen. They even provide a map of what trails your dog has been while they are on walks.
We hope that you’ve found this read helpful. Our intent was to keep it short and sweet but due to our experience with a local Vancouver dog boarding, Taxi and training service we were hoping to lay it all out for you.
Of course, feel free to ask any questions – It’s our mission to make sure your pet is in good hands!