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I have been looking into doggy day care for Shiner lately. I was wondering how the forum feels about this. Is doggy day care a good thing? Are there any problems I may run into? Are there any problems in general I should know about? Does anyone know of any good doggy day care centers in Austin that you could refer to me? I guess I just want to know the pros and cons.
Any input?
 

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Provided that your dog does well with other dogs and that he/she has all their vaccines you should be fine.

Doggy day care can actually be a great experience for your dog, not only does this obviously keep them out of trouble at home but they also get the physical and mental stimulation they need. Good way to socialize them so that they have good responses when meeting strange dogs. Most Day Care facilities will screen your dog to make sure that he/she is safe to put in the day care with other dogs.

Cons? Well if someone bring in a disease it might get transmitted...however because most facilities will check for immunitizations this rarely happens. Also possibility that your dog has a bad experience with another dog, however this also rarely happens if they carefully asses dogs behavior.
 

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I work at a doggy daycare and love being able to bring my dogs (and working there). Its great socialization for them, great exercise and great mental stimulation too. They love going.

There are of course risks, the most common being little cuts, bruises and tufts of fur missing. That just tends to happen when dogs play. There is also the risk of a fight, they are rare in most daycares, but they can happen any time dogs are in groups. Your dog will probably get kennel cough at some point while going to doggy daycare, its just something that is bound to happen, even with the vaccine.

IMO the benefits far outweigh the risks.
 

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This is a good question. I was sort of wondering the same thing. We have a shelter dog and I'm a little afraid she's going to think we're not coming back for her since it will be a somewhat similar environment.
 

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Pro? My dogs come home dead tired. They love other dogs and they love to run and play (save for Jonas, he no longer attends day care) and if you can find one with a capable staff prepared for any thing that can happen, they're in a safe place where they can get some exercise and have some friends.

Cons? Smalls got Papilloma from day care. And ringworm. And there had been several out breaks of both and kennel cough at one in our previous town we used to attend. And though they are isolated incidents, if the staff is inattentive or unprepared, at the PetSmart I used to work at we had a day care and a dog was killed by another dog when a fight broke out. Jonas was also given a rawhide (despite my specific instructions written on his intact forms NEVER to give them treats or bones) and had an intestinal obstruction and tear that required surgery. That, however, IS NOT common at day care, but be sure to give specific instructions for your dog if you have them. Even if you seem annoying. :)
 

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I love doggy daycare for Georgia because she needs more exercise than DH and I can provide (without giving up our evenings). Plus she is an only dog, and I wanted her to be able to play with other dogs.

I worry about her picking up germs from the other dogs, but I don't want to lock her in my house for her whole life just so she never gets sick.
 

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We own a doggie day care/boarding facility and obviously I am for it. We evaluate the dogs but one rule of thumb is the dog has to be responsive to us. The first day of daycare is more of an evaluation so that we get to know how the dog will act without the owner around. Then after that first visit, the dog is allowed to interact with one or two of our regular social butterflies and we depending on how the dog is acting will depend on who they play with and in what play yard. We are always supervising and watching body language while the dogs are at play. We are very selective as to who plays with whom in so far as energy level, sizes, ages and personality. The dogs have a wonderful time and go home tired. Its a win win for the dog and the owner who has had a hard day at work.

The dog must be flea and tick free, fully vaccinated and have a recent negative stool sample. We also check the dogs each and every time even so much as looking in the ears for possible ear mites. We also have a policy that vaccinations must be no less than two weeks prior to boarding...no exceptions. We have never had a case of kc or outbreaks of anything :) Im not saying it is not possible but I do feel that we can not be careful enough in any policy that is geared toward the well being of each and every dog in our care.
 

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I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar to experience:
My dog has been going to doggy daycare for about a year now. In the past year I've slowly started to notice a change in his personality. He is a chocolate lab and very friendly and with time I'm noticing he is a lot more skittish and timid around people. When I walk him now he barks at people he sees, whereas in the past he'd run up to them and want to be pet. My neighbor was outside one day and bent down to pet my dog and he jumped off the step and ran behind me in fear of the man. It was like he was petrified of the guy. He is also a lot more jumper around the house and just timid in general.
He is almost 3 years old so I find it odd that his personality should change like this when nothing else is going on that I can associate with this.
I do board him frequently at the daycare and he does attend daycare during the day a couple days a week.

Has anyone experienced this before and do you think it's attributed to the daycare? I like to think that they are treating him properly, but you really don't know what goes on when you are not there.
 

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I wouldn't think it is necessarily from the daycare or mistreatment, but he may be learning to run and bark at people or other weird behavior patterns from the other dogs there.
 

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There are 2 daycares in my town. Option A gives you an overcrowded situation b/c they take up to 30 dogs. Which to me is an accident waiting to happen. Option B is with my dog obed trainer in her training facility. Only 10 dog can attend, is offered 2 days a week, and on a first come fist serve basis. She has everyone sign up 1 month in advance. And she works with the dogs while they are there. Since it is her and one other adult in with the dogs all day long. Whew, it is AWSOME. My dog loves to play with every dog she meets, she can adjust her playstyle to suit a particular dogs needs, and she can play all day long. She's nice and mellow for the entire evening and next day after a day care day.
 

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Both of my dogs attend daycare; the bonus for me is that the daycare offers boarding. As I have to travel sometimes for business, knowing that they're going to a place that they are familiar with and like, and will be playing nearly the entire time, is a huge stress-reliever.
 

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I wouldn't take my dog to the one around here, but for a different reason:

Daycare is held in the same room where we take agility class. Right now, Kit thinks this is *THE* place to work. She doesn't want to meet other dogs, she doesn't want to horse around and be herself. She wants to do whatever I ask her to and get fed. That's what the place is for, in her mind. Her focus is good enough there that she's been working off leash since like week two, which is saying a heck of a lot for her. I'd like to keep it that way.

Some of the dogs in her class go to daycare there, and they set up some of the agility equipment during the day to keep the dogs entertained. The problem is that the dogs run all over the equipment willy-nilly all day and they get the idea that it's great fun to run through the tunnel a million times without any direction. To make matters worse, they socialize in that room all day long. In class, their focus is not good, and they often go running off to whatever dog or piece of equipment attracts their attention at that moment, same as they do all day. In class, you can really tell which dogs go to daycare and which ones don't.
 

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My dog hasn't had major personality changes after going to daycare, but she does pick up bad habits there from other dogs and the permissive atmosphere, including barking, bullying other dogs, and jumping. Whenever she goes, I feel like she needs a few days of extra obedience training afterwards. From what I can see, the dogs get away with a lot there. They have quite a few dogs and, while they say they separate them when necessary, I'm not convinced that that the level of supervision is as good as they claim. I like it in a pinch, but I've become less and less of a fan of the concept over the past year.
 

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I think doggy daycares in theory are a great idea. We even found one that specialized in small dogs only and was willing to work with our min pin's fear issues. Unfortunately, that experience almost killed him. He was up to date on all his vaccines as all dogs had to be to enter that daycare. Somehow he ended up catching leptospirosis which is an optional vaccine not routinely offered or recommended by vets in my area, in fact I had never even heard of it before he started becoming more and more sick and I was frantically searching the internet because the vet couldn't figure out what was wrong. Don't even get me started on that vet, I filed a formal complaint.

It ended up costing us about $2,000 and he nearly died. By the time I finally took him to a new vet he was in critical condition and had to spend a few days in intensive care. After a bout of antibiotics we had to repeatedly get full blood panels to make sure there was no lingering liver or kidney damage.

Now to be fair, he could have picked up leptospirosis pretty much anywhere, and the same goes with a lot of diseases out there. But the lesson I would take away from this is to ask your vet about other vaccines they recommend for your dog before it goes into a daycare situation.
 

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I can't give an opinion of doggy day care yet, because our Sadie just had her first day yesterday. But to answer the concern about how the dogs are treated and level of supervision, our day care offers live web cam views of the whole facility, allowing owners to feel comfortable about how their dog is being treated AND to see how their dog is responding to the situation.
 
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