You wouldn't leave your toddler to play alone in your house while you go to work. You wouldn't cage your child to go on a day trip. Why do we do this to our dogs? It used to be that there was no other option for the canine parent. Now there are doggy day camps and day cares springing up all over the country. Have you explored one yet? There are many reasons to do so.
Dogs need socialization. They need to experience new places, new objects, new people, and new dogs. If they don't, their reactions to the unknown can become aggressive or fearful. At a day care, your dog enjoys the companionship of many other dogs in a new environment. Keep in mind that if your dog is already showing fear or aggression, you must first consult and work with a reputable trainer before leaving him at a facility.
Some dogs are just plain high-strung. If your Fido is bouncing off the furniture when you walk through the door – chances are he hasn't gotten enough exercise. When you bring your dog to a day camp, he spends all day tiring himself out. This can cut down on destructive behaviors, sharpen his focus in training sessions, and give you a break when you get home from work!
Separation anxiety is increasing in prevalence thanks to more and more homeless dogs being rescued. If this is your dog, first of all, thank you for adopting! You've saved a life. Chances are, though, that this dog is extremely lonely in your absence and may be engaging in property destruction, overzealous barking, or self-destructive behaviors in your absence. When you bring your dog to a day care he is extending his circle of friends to the workers and other dogs. This extends his comfort zone and gives him a place he can feel safe while you are away, instead of abandoned.
The right day camp is safe. We try our best to puppy-proof our homes, but some particularly clever canines can create chaos despite our attempts to keep hazards out of their sight. Alone all day, they try to find anything to entertain themselves. Why leave them unsupervised? When your pooch is playing at a day camp, you'll find peace of mind. Even elderly dogs are safer. Should they need emergency care there is always somebody who can be made aware of it.
You might be able to consolidate your dog-related errands at your local day care. Many also sell pet supplies, and some offer everything from training to grooming to aromatherapy! While you're away they can be in the lap of luxury or having their behavioral issues addressed. Research the options in your area and you may be surprised to see what you can get bundled together.
Whether or not your dog seems happy spending his days alone on the couch, the benefits of a day care are substantial. For his best mental and physical health, there is nothing better. Consider making this part of your regime and see the benefits firsthand with your new and improved happier (and less over strung!) canine companion.