Daycare: It’s not for every Dog

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As dog owners (or pet parents), we all want what is best for our dogs. We want them to be happy and healthy. We want them to enjoy playtime with other dogs. We want them to be social and well-exercised. However, the things we think are best for our four-legged pals aren’t always as enjoyable or fun for them as we’d like. Doggy daycare is one of those things.

Although most dogs enjoy being in daycare and have fun romping and playing with others, some just don’t.

Many dogs who initially dislike daycare warm up to it after a few visits and begin to enjoy themselves. Others, not so much. Some dogs just don’t want to be there: they may not be used to being around a large group of dogs (even if they play with others), may be uncomfortable with the way other dogs are playing, may experience separation anxiety being away from their owners and their familiar surroundings, or they may simply feel overwhelmed.

We often see dogs, especially ones that are new to daycare, keep separate from the pack. Sometimes, they will stay in a corner. Sometimes they are pacing, panting, and drooling. Some react with avoidance, some with aggression. But they have one thing in common: they don’t enjoy being in daycare. It’s not a good environment for them, and it’s not good for the pack and employees to have these dogs in daycare because we constantly have to watch out: Do we need to keep other dogs away from them so they can be more comfortable? Will they snap at the playful dog who keeps trying to engage them in play? Will they get sick, for example with diarrhea, from the stress of being here?

The dogs who don’t enjoy daycare will still be tired when they come home at the end of the day, but it won’t be because they spent a fun day playing with other dogs. It will be because they’re exhausted from a long, scary, and stressful day.

At Canine College, our main priority is the happiness and safety of all the dogs in our care. If your dog doesn’t do well in our daycare setting, and doesn’t seem to warm up to playing with other dogs, we will absolutely let you know that they don’t love it. We might recommend a setting that would be more appropriate for your dog. So please don’t be offended if we say, “It just doesn’t work for him. He’s not happy in this environment.” We want happy dogs – even if that means we’ll lose your money.