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So I'm thinking about bringing my puppy to doggy daycare 2-3 times a week to help manage his energy and boredom (recommended by the petsmart trainer, haha). I'm curious how anyone else feels about daycare? Any concerns I should have? Benifits? Things I should look out for? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks guys,

Bryan
 

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I work at a dog daycare and bring my dogs 2-3 days a week. Its awesome. They get to socialize with other dogs, play all day long and its just great for them. I wouldn't bring them to petsmart's daycare. At least around here, they are small, badly supervised and the dogs actually spend most of the day in kennels and are rotated in/out of the kennels and playroom. Some things to be aware of, your dog will probably be exhausted at least the first few times, we call it the daycare coma:) Some things they can get include doggy warts, which usually fall off on their own 4-8 weeks after they get them. Kennel cough, just because your dog gets kennel cough at a facility does not mean its a bad facility. Its just like us getting a cold, it happens. Your dogs pads may be sore the first few weeks until they harden up. They can get little cuts, bruises and tufts of fur pulled out during play if the dog is a hard player. They can get pink eye from other dogs and people. The benefits are huge, the dog gets socialized and exercised:) They get to just be dogs all day, its nice!
 

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I work at a dog daycare and bring my dogs 2-3 days a week. Its awesome. They get to socialize with other dogs, play all day long and its just great for them. I wouldn't bring them to petsmart's daycare. At least around here, they are small, badly supervised and the dogs actually spend most of the day in kennels and are rotated in/out of the kennels and playroom. Some things to be aware of, your dog will probably be exhausted at least the first few times, we call it the daycare coma:) Some things they can get include doggy warts, which usually fall off on their own 4-8 weeks after they get them. Kennel cough, just because your dog gets kennel cough at a facility does not mean its a bad facility. Its just like us getting a cold, it happens. Your dogs pads may be sore the first few weeks until they harden up. They can get little cuts, bruises and tufts of fur pulled out during play if the dog is a hard player. They can get pink eye from other dogs and people. The benefits are huge, the dog gets socialized and exercised:) They get to just be dogs all day, its nice!
Any suggestions on choosing one? The petsmart here doesn't have one. There are a few local ones here. The one I was looking at is the cheapest ($10 a day), but I don't really know what to look for when I visited it. They did say that they rotate them out of the kennels for play time. Didn't know that wasn't a good thing. Idk. There are a few more around town but they get more expensive.
 

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Well, as cheesy as it sounds, go with your instinct. We found our doggy daycare by getting a few recommendations from friends/co-workers, checking a couple of them out, and went with the one we liked the best. I feel very comfortable taking her there and I also feel comfortable recommending the place to others.

If the place ends up being more than you want to spend or 2-3 times/week, just go once per week. It is not worth it to skimp on a place you like less because it is cheaper.
 

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there are a lot of things to look for and consider when chosing a doggy daycare.

the rotating dogs thing?: it isnt so much a "bad" thing to rotate the dogs, but if the dogs are in pens/crates/cages, then rotated to a playing yard, lets say, every other hour, well then i just dont think you are getting a good service. i dont think anyone should pay for a full day of daycare when the dog is only out half the day. i personally wouldnt use a facility that did this, b/c its a waste of money, and the dog can sleep at home.

finding a daycare: the thing is, all the great facilities in my area (may be different in other places) do not advertise, they rely on word of mouth for business. in fact, all the places that do advertise are the places i wouldnt ever leave a dog. so looking in your phone book may bnot be the best option. the best way to find any sort of doggie business is to ask people. anytime you see a person with a dog (especially the more energetic breeds like labs, aussies, border collies, etc), ask them if they recommend any place. not only will they tell you the places they like, but they will probably tell you the places to avoid. vets are a good source too, they usually know which places are good and which are bad.

choosing a daycare: imo, i would never take my dog anywhere that didnt do 2 things before the dog stayed. first, they have you go to the facility and see it first. second, they do an evaluation on your dog. these 2 things tell you that this place does not just take any dog. with any interactive facility, you want to be very cautious, b/c some places do not have the manpower or knowledge to run the place safely. you want to make sure the place actually knows what they are talking about, when it comes to dog behavior, and supervising large groups of dogs. here are some things you want to see when visiting: no more than 10-12 dogs per staff member; no poop or pee, or any evidence of it. the only reason you should see either is if it is being cleaned up in front of you; the yards are safe (no exposed wires, nails, broken anything); and most importantly, the dogs should be having fun. every good daycare i have worked at or been too has one thing in common: no barking dogs. the only time there should be any excessive barking is right when you go in and the dogs first see you. excessive barking is proof of discomfort somewhere in the kennel. also, ask them about what sort of training they do on a daily basis, and make sure it is something you agree with. a lot of times, these places use their own training methods on dogs, and they end up confused from 2 different types of training.

well, sorry to say, price says A LOT about a place. in my area, the only places i would leave a dog at are $25 a day. the ones that are 10/day, and ones that i would never leave a dog at. it sucks, but it is really hard to find a "good" deal with dogs. if the price is low, that generally means its not a place you want to use. thats not to say all places are like this, it has just been my experiance.
 

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I agree with Purple. I got a recommendation from a co-worker, looked at the place and they did an evaluation on Daja. She did very well. It was $25/day or if you bought 10 days it was a little cheaper. It was worth the money. The petsmart near me has one but I wouldn't take her there. Not a big enough play room. Referrals are the way to go. Anyone who will take their dog to day care loves there dog...I used to think they were nuts until I had Daja (I have a doggie door and a large back yard...it wasn't enough). While I don't have Daja anymore, I would recommend that daycare to anyone. They do an excellent job.

Good luck!
 

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Doggy daycare can be expensive, but even taking them once a week makes a difference especially for high-energy dogs like Beagles! I used to come home from work to find pillows, carpet, couch cushions, DVDs, etc., all chewed up. But that plus all the late nights where he wouldn't fall asleep stopped once I started taking him to daycare just once a week! He's also much better at the dog park because he's learned how to socialize with other dogs. You absolutely must tour the facility and quiz the staff on their screening process. Some have webcams, which is nice. Expect to pay $20-25 a day.
 

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My biggest concern is my dog's safety and welfare. Questions I ask:

How high is the fence? Do they keep structures away from it so dogs aren't tempted to jump? Is it a solid fence -- no one can poke anything through or tease dogs from the other side.
How do they manage the dogs? What's the ratio of staff to dogs?
What happens if there's a fight?
Do they separate dogs by play style and/or size?
Are children forbidden to enter?
Will they give medicines and feed a special diet?
Do they do a temperament test & require proof of up-to-date shots, recent fecal and heartworm tests?
Is it air conditioned in the summer? Is there a kiddie pool or equivalent where the dogs can cool off? An outdoor play area? Are the dogs allowed to run around and play all day?
Pluses for me: grooming services, overnight boarding, & training classes.

I also ask about their training philosophy to make sure they're going to treat my dog the way I would (positive methods). And make sure they're trained to handle medical emergencies with a close vet nearby they work with.

In the end one of the most important things to me is are these dog people? Watch your dog's body language when he meets them. Do they come at him full-on and talk in a loud voice to him? Or do they act calm, let him come to them? People who know dogs will know how to make your dog comfortable from the start.
 

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I have worked at several daycare facilities and have researched them.. If I were looking into somewhere to take my dogs I would be looking for the following...
Dog to person ratio..and do the employees have control over the dogs in their care.
The building:
Does it have outdoor areas for the dogs to relieve themselves? And is secure?
Are the dogs allowed to relieve themselves inside? This can backfire and cause problems at home and also spread disease if not cleaned properly. Not to mention the smell!!!
What are the floors like? Are they rubber padded or concrete? Concrete can cause major joint problems.
Are the dogs allowed to rest away from other dogs at times during the day? Just as with people dogs can get tired of being around one another which can cause problems. Yes some people may think this is a waste of money to pay for a whole day of daycare and the dog is only out half the day, but if you think about it how much exercise does your dog get at home day in and day out...believe me your dog will still be tuckered out playing half the day.
Is it very noisy constant barking? Dogs that bark constantly are not happy dogs and can cause stress on other dogs and cause hearing problems.
Is it air conditioned?
Are the dogs allowed to get wet during the day in kiddies pools or are cooled of with a hose if the building is not air conditioned? If so are they dried of properly or just allowed to air dry...which causes hot spots.
Do they require shots to be utd and require a negative fecal check?
Are the dogs seperated by size ?
What are their cleaning practices like? What cleaning solutions do they use?
Is the owner there or is it just run by the employees?
Best advice I can give is do research ask tons of questions, see a variety of places. Good luck!!
 

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Mountaindogz -- what are hot spots? Never heard of them in relation to wet dogs. Just spots caused by excessive licking.
 

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I take my pup to camp bow wow. I think it's a nationwide chain. campbowwow.com He loves it there and he comes home tired. They also have the camper cams so you can watch your dog while he is playing from your computer.
 

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hot spots are spots that get very itchy on a dog from their coat not getting dried out properly and then taken into a cool or heated invironment. Dogs will either continuely lick or itch at the spot eventually resulting in hair loss in that area.
 

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We loved it. We did half days. If they don't give the dogs time out in a kennel for a nap, request it for your baby. All day is too long to be out and about. Also, they should you to bring lunch.

The daycares in this area have doggycams which I LOVE. I can watch from work. They have a small dog puppy area and a large dog area. The large dog area has a pond. There are people with them all of the time and they test each dog before it's allowed in.

My puppy did get sick a few times like a toddler would but it was so worth it.

Dog parks scare me. My friend's dog was attacked at the local dog park out of the blue with no warning so this was my only option.

One of the doggy daycares sprays barkers with water bottles. Mine doesn't do that. I went to the place where I felt that the people loved the dogs.

Here is a link so you can see what it looks like. Not for advertising, just so you can see what I think a good one offers.

The cameras go off at 6pm. You click on doggy camera and then you pick fast or slow computer opeion and then use your mouse to pull the large or small dog area into view. Ours is $11 a half day, $17 full day. I would worry that $10 was too low and not good but maybe not.

http://www.tailwaggersddc.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Should I be worried about him picking up bad habits from other dogs while there? I noticed this weekend that he is starting to bark at people now (something he never did).

I think I'm switching him from the one he's at to the one my vet runs. It's a little more ($15 a day), but they seems to have things better under control. The one I was bringing him too seem too overwhelmed, esp the guy running the place. When the dogs aren't rotated outside they seem to stay in a small room with a lot of other dogs, and mine always seems uncomfortable when I show up. It gives me a bad vibe.
 

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Yes they can pick up bad habits from other dogs if the dogs they are around are allowed to act out of control and do as they please.
I would strongly advise not to go to a daycare a vet runs. Yes you may think well if something happens the vet is there to take care of it, but think about it why take your dog where there are sick dogs, why take the chance of your dog picking up something. I would suggest to look into other doggy daycares or maybe get a group of friends together with their dogs so your dog can still get the socialization it needs and you know what is going on. Then maybe hire a dog walker or maybe find a trustworthy neighbor hood kid (since summer is just about here)that would like to take your dog on a walk or come over to play while your working.
I also want to add that doggy daycare isnt right for every dog if after a couple days of going your dog is still nervous or depressed it is probably not suited for daycare or not the right daycare for your dog.
 

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Yes they can pick up bad habits from other dogs if the dogs they are around are allowed to act out of control and do as they please.
I would strongly advise not to go to a daycare a vet runs. Yes you may think well if something happens the vet is there to take care of it, but think about it why take your dog where there are sick dogs, why take the chance of your dog picking up something. I would suggest to look into other doggy daycares or maybe get a group of friends together with their dogs so your dog can still get the socialization it needs and you know what is going on. Then maybe hire a dog walker or maybe find a trustworthy neighbor hood kid (since summer is just about here)that would like to take your dog on a walk or come over to play while your working.
I also want to add that doggy daycare isnt right for every dog if after a couple days of going your dog is still nervous or depressed it is probably not suited for daycare or not the right daycare for your dog.
That's all good advice, but after one day of bringing him there I am already alot more comfortable with the way they run things there. They've got a room just for puppies as well, which I think is good. I don't live in a neighborhood, I live in an apartment currently, and daycare is still the best option rather than having him sit in the crate all day long while I'm at work. We still go on walks and to the park in the evenings, but I fell better if he's got something to do 2-3 times a week rather than wait for me to come home.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
my dogs a shy one, if l bring them there. you think the supervisor would stop them if they are bullying my dog?
It will probably depend on the daycare. Be sure to check them out, and ask about their policies. Tell them your concerns, and do what I did and go check on him/her during your lunch break the first day.
 
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