Doggie daycares are a great answer for many reasons – lack of exercise, stimulation and social time with other dogs. But many dog parents consider them the answer to all sorts of behavioral issues such as destructive chewing, nuisance barking, mouthing/biting and separation anxiety. A good doggie daycare provider can go a long way toward meeting many of those needs, but daycare is not THE answer for all needs. And, when a dog unsuitable for daycare slips through, it may create havoc on your dog’s digestive system. Then what?
First, let’s consider which dogs really belong in a doggie daycare. Not all dogs have the same temperament and behaviors as others. It’s important to honestly assess your dog’s personality and behavior to determine if he would do well at daycare. Just because dogs are a social species doesn’t mean they all get along with each other. Just like humans!
Some just don’t like other dogs, period. If your dog plays well with others, is comfortable and confident in public and doesn’t mind being separated from you, then he might be just right for the local doggie hangout. If any of those situations is questionable, then think twice before proceeding.
Several situations make total immersion with other dogs a bad and stressful experience:
- Dogs that don’t enjoy interacting with other dogs
- Under-socialized dogs or dogs that are fearful of other dogs or humans
- Geriatric dogs and those with a medical condition
- Rescue dogs that are only comfortable around a pack of dogs
- Canine bullies that are offensively aggressive toward other dogs
- Dogs who suffer from a serious case of separation anxiety
Great Candidates for Daycare
In contrast, if your dog loves to play with others and shines around other dogs, he’s the ideal candidate. It may be the perfect answer to a dog owner’s prayers. Maybe you have a friendly, active young dog and you feel guilty for not having or wanting to take a hike in the woods after a grueling day at work. Not addressing this imbalance could lead to behavioral issues like chewing. Daycare, even a few days a week, may be the perfect outlet for the play time he craves.
Most daycares will conduct an interview to assess whether your dog is an appropriate candidate for their daycare. If they don’t conduct an interview, look for another provider. Chances are that facility is accepting dogs of all temperaments which would affect your dog’s experience.
Leave it to say if all the stars are aligned just so – a well-managed, highly trained staff and a great set of playmates – everything will run smoothly at the daycare. And you hope that is the case for most days. But the chances of everything working out just so every day are practically impossible.
When dogs become stressed, they can react in a variety of ways. Some may cower away from what’s bothering them. Some may turn more aggressive as a way of protecting themselves. Others may develop digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting.
RELATED: Doggie Diarrhea – What Do I Do?
Be Prepared for Digestive Issues
At doggie daycares, it’s not a matter of if some of the dogs will develop diarrhea, it’s a matter of when. Same is true for your dog at home. When dogs do have diarrhea or vomiting, veterinarians often recommend feeding a bland diet to soothe the digestive system. Most often, they recommend cooking chicken and rice, and feeding it to your dog about 3-4 days after the stool returns to normal.
At a doggie daycare, there is no time to run out for ingredients and cook them. This is often true at home as well. A new product offered by Under the Weather™ is the perfect solution. They offer a new freeze-dried Chicken & Rice bland diet that can be stored away for just this kind of emergency. Just add boiling water and wait about 15-20 minutes and you’re ready to go. Every daycare owner and doggie mom should keep a few bags of this Chicken & Rice on hand for convenience and peace of mind!
RELATED: Need a Bland Diet for Your Sick Dog?
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