Is My Pet a Good Fit for Dog Daycare in Limerick, PA?
Dog daycare is typically defined similarly to child daycare- it is a group setting with a collection of dogs from different households, who spend the day interacting in a formal daycare space or someone’s home, who are all cared for and moderated by one or more humans. This is a great alternative for pet parents who are away during the day, and want to give their dog companions regular interaction and socialization across the course of a day, rather than leave their pets at home alone confined in a kennel, or fending for themselves out and about in the house.
It’s not an affordable option for everyone, and there are many ways to provide for your pets needs at home when they’re alone, but it’s a good option for pet parents who can afford to provide a different level of care.
Knowing if Your Pet will Enjoy Dog Daycare in Limerick, PA
Not every dog is a great candidate for dog daycare. Dogs who are genuinely well socialized, confident, and have a good understanding of normal dog social interactions, might flourish in a group setting with new dog friends.
Is Your Dog Fearful?
Dogs who are fearful of strangers, new places, or other animals will not do well at a dog daycare setting without slow, purposeful introduction. It’s important to not “flood” a dog with novelty to force them to adapt. They’ll likely shut down and end up cowering in a corner alone, or they’ll potentially lash out in defense of themselves. Teaching a dog to adapt to a situation like this will take some time. It’s best to work with a daycare provider who understands dog behavior well and can help. Short visits as a member of a very small group of visitors is a great starting point.
Half Day and Small Group Play
The team at Limerick Veterinary Hospital recommends half day daycare sessions. Dogs that are afraid or have little to no experience with other dogs are great candidates for small group playtimes with specifically picked dogs. Small group playtimes are 15 minutes instead of an hour and makes it easier on new, shy or unsocialized dogs. These small group playtimes would continue until your dog grows more confident and can be successful in regular group play. If your dog prefers to have playtime with just one friend or are overwhelmed with too many dogs, they can stay in small groups indefinitely.
Your Dog’s Fears
If a dog is afraid of people we try to minimize the number of caretakers working with them. Let us know of any specific fears your dog has (hats, men, scrubs, etc.) and we will work around those to make sure dog daycare is not scary.
Is Your Dog Aggressive?
Dogs who have a history of aggression will never really be good candidates for daycare, unless it is on a strictly individual basis. Daycare environments typically host a variety of dogs, and for a dog who has a history of aggression can easily become triggered to lash out. This can not only result in injury to the two dogs immediately involved, but that stress and sudden rise in activity can trigger other dogs to get involved which becomes a dangerous situation for all animals and people involved.
If you’re interested in daytime care for your dog who has a questionable behavioral past, let us know and we can accommodate them on an individual basis. We have different dog daycare options such as alone playtime, cozy corner or extra walks to substitute group playtime.
Are Your Dog’s Vaccinations Up to Date?
If you have chosen a lifestyle for your dogs that involves avoidance of vaccines or routine preventative products for parasites (flea, tick, heartworm, intestinal worms) you shouldn’t bring your pet to a dog daycare provider. Just like with children, dogs who are not appropriately vaccinated are at risk for contracting contagious diseases from group facilities. They could also pass sub-clinical (undetectable) diseases to other animals if they’re shedding viruses that they’ve been exposed to but aren’t vaccinated for. This can cause an outbreak in the facility that is detrimental to the health of all involved animals and can have serious repercussions on the facility owner and staff who likely also have pets to come home to.
Dogs who aren’t on regular parasite prevention can also cause infestations and outbreaks among group populations. Fleas are extremely easy to transmit between animals. It’s essential for dog daycare attendees to be on monthly flea prevention to eliminate adult flea populations. Intestinal parasites can also be easily transmitted. Maybe not directly between dogs, but certainly from dog to environment to dog. To send a dog into a group care environment without the protection of parasite prevention is irresponsible.
Is Your Dog Immune Compromised?
Even if fully vaccinated and on preventative products, dogs with immune disease can be prone to any number of transmissible diseases and infections. Skin and wound infections, rarer respiratory or gastrointestinal viruses, and less common parasites are all things that the average dog might be able to fend off. Dogs who are immune compromised can be at significant risk for contracting these, so care should be taken before admitting them to a dog daycare setting.
These dogs are good candidates for one-on-one daytime care, whether from someone visiting your house, or enlisting the use of a person who can stop in a couple times a day.
Book Your Dog’s Daycare Stay in Limerick, PA
It is important to consider all aspects of your pet’s lifestyle before sending them to dog daycare in Limerick, PA. If you’re interested and you believe your dog is a good candidate, call Limerick Veterinary Hospital at (610) 489-2848 and book your dog’s daycare stay!