Updated: Sep 29
Doggie daycare can be a great way to help your dog get out of the house, have some fun and meet new friends all while you are working. They can be great tools to help your dog feel less lonely throughout the day and provide them with socialization opportunities that they may not normally have.
Dogs are naturally extroverted as they are used to being in a pack. So, leaving them at home alone for over 8 hours a day can put strain on their mental and physical health. However, by sending them to a doggie daycare they can get the care they need and have fun as well. Daycare provides them with the opportunity to get exercise, meet new friends, both human and dog, and get used to being out of the house. These are some benefits of doggie daycare and socialization for dogs.
Is It the Right Fit for You?
Before you sign up your canine companion, you need to consider whether doggie daycare is a good fit for you and your pup. Doggie daycare is not always the right fit for everyone and that is okay, but it is better to figure that out sooner rather than later. The last thing you probably want is for your dog to go and have a bad experience. So, by figuring out if it is a good option first you are eliminating the possibility of any unwanted accidents.
First off, most daycares will run a temperament test on your dog before agreeing to take them. This is their way of figuring out if your dog is a good fit for their facility and what playgroup they should be put in if they are accepted. To help them out, have some answers prepared in advance. For example, is your dog generally happy or sad, are they excitable easily, do they make friends easily, have they been previously socialized and how did it go. Questions like that will help you figure out as well what type of dog you have, and whether daycare would benefit them.
Next, consider what type of dog you have. Not their personality but the dog themselves. Are they a puppy or are they a senior? Are they big or small? Do they have health issues? Do they come from a multi-dog household? What breed are they? This can also influence your decision. If you have an elder dog that has never been socialized before, sending them to doggie daycare may not be the best option. However, if you have a new puppy, it might work out great as they are still young and learning socialization techniques.
Finally, if your dog has interacted with others before whether it was at the park, your neighbourhood, or a friend’s dog, consider how they have interacted with them. Different dogs like different things, so determining how they have interacted in the past will influence how they will interact in the future.
There are four main types of dogs when it comes to socializing:
Gets along with almost every dog they meet.
Generally, very happy and outgoing
Typical of young puppies, rare in adult dogs
Will get along with most dogs.
Good socialization and good communication skills
Common in adult dogs, and some puppies
Will get along with a small group of dogs.
Can be unwelcoming to new dogs.
Rare in puppies, normal in mature dogs
Has a very limited circle of dog friends or no dog friends.
Require assistance from humans for good dog interaction.
Extremely rare in puppies and uncommon in adults with no previous behavioural issues
Doggie daycare can be great for many dogs, it provides them with exercise, social interaction, playtime, and the opportunity to get out of the house. However, it may not be for all dogs.
Your dog may require special attention that a daycare cannot provide and that’s okay. But if a daycare will work for you and your dog it can be a great way to introduce them to new humans and dogs and help them build some social skills.
The Benefits of Socialization
Once you have determined that doggie daycare is the right fit for you, you can begin to look at the benefits they provide. Daycares provide great exercise for dogs, playtime for dogs, they help with canine behaviour, and socialization for dogs.
Making sure your dog is well socialized is an important part of their overall mental and physical health. Most dogs are extroverted due to their pack mentality. And just like extroverted people they need to interact with and see others regularly to be happy. If they don’t get these opportunities it can lead to frustration, loneliness, unhealthy habits/behaviors, anxiety and even depression. However, by getting your dog out of the house and interacting with others their mental health can greatly improve, and it can make them overall happier, healthier, and a more well-behaved dog.
Some main benefits that socialization that a doggie daycare can provide are:
Supervision while you are at work.
Companionship, from both humans and dogs
Socialization with humans
Alleviated anxiety, specifically, separation anxiety in dogs
Prevents destructive behaviour at home, jumping on the couch, chewing shoes, peeing on the floor, etc.
Eliminates your guilt over leaving them alone.
Gets them used to being away from you and home for extended periods of time.
Good for only child dogs or ones with no friends
Controlled environment, the removal of external factors like unfamiliar or untrained people and dogs
Builds confidence and good manners, especially in puppies.
When people try and oppose the benefits of socialization in a doggie daycare, they often say things like, “I bring my dog to the dog park to socialize” or “I don’t want my dog near strangers’ dogs, I don’t know where they’ve been” or “My dog has plenty of friends already”. All of this is valid and if it works for you then that is fine, however, you need to consider the other side of it. You may bring your dog to the park to meet others, but how often do you go?
All these explanations require your dog working around your schedule. They get to meet new dogs or see their friends, but they can only do it when you want to take them. Or they may never interact with strangers’ dogs, but who are they interacting with then?
Doggie daycares provide your dog with a controlled environment with trained professionals where they can meet new dogs or see old friends all day, five days a week. This is a great way for them to not feel lonely while you are away at work and see their friends, play, exercise, and be mentally challenged whenever they want.
Allowing them to socialize inside a doggie daycare will also improve their behaviour at home, as well as their future interactions with dogs at the park, in the street, or anywhere else. It also doesn’t just benefit your dog; it can benefit you as well.
Doggy daycare removes the hassle of you having to socialize your dog, whether they are a new puppy or an adult dog. By sending them to be trained by professionals you can be assured it is being done right, and safely.
On top of all the benefits of socialization for your average dog, it can also be very beneficial for what we like to call pandemic puppies. Pandemic puppies are dogs, whether they are puppies or not, that were adopted during the pandemic. They are dogs that have most likely never interacted with another dog outside of their home and have gotten very used to their owners working from home. They tend to experience higher than normal levels of separation anxiety in dogs comparatively to a dog adopted either before or after the pandemic
Because these dogs got so used to being at home all day every day with their owners it can be hard for them to gain the necessary social skills for safe interaction with other dogs. The longer you wait to socialize your dog, the harder it is. However, by sending them to doggie daycare they can learn everything they were missing out on.
First, it gets them out of the house and used to being away from you. Next, most daycares will run socialization activities for dogs. Where they can get used to different social interactions with others and begin to break out of their shells.
Finally, it helps break behavioural problems in dogs. As they are being exposed to proper training, a new environment, and new dogs that can help them form a pack and learn good behaviours from each other. Pandemic puppies can have a very hard time adjusting to the way we “normally” live our lives, and even now that the pandemic is over or ending, they are still struggling to get accustomed to it. Even if you still work from home, sending your pandemic puppy to daycare at least once a week can be extremely beneficial for their mental and physical health and greatly improve their social skills.
Doggie daycares can provide your dog will great and useful socialization skills that they need and that can improve their mental and physical health. We hope this was helpful and educational for you. If you are looking for an amazing doggie daycare, consider Debonair Dogs. If you are interested in more doggie content check out the rest of our blog page.