12 Dark Secrets Of Doggy Day Care

By molly atherton 11 months ago

1. A lot of the dogs are not properly socialized

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Content Source: Femanin.comWorkers say that a lot of the dogs aren't socialized properly, so this means that there are a lot of fights throughout the day. While they try to put aggressive dogs in "time out," most workers say that it's often a relatively dangerous environment for both the humans and the dogs there, sometimes resulting in injuries.

2. Most dogs don't want to be there

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Maybe you've envisioned sending your dog to doggy daycare, and your dog has a fun day of playing with other dogs and getting pets from staffers. But most workers have reported that this is not the case. They said a lot of dogs hide in the corner or cry at the door the entire time you're gone.

3. The daycares mostly care about money

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Of course, as a pet parent, no one is going to care about your pet as you do. But, employees say that daycare owners basically only care about one thing. Your money. Because of that, you often won't get a thorough report of how your dog is when there. You might never be told that your dog is stressed or anxious or sad all day.

4. Try to find one with cameras

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Not every daycare is bad, but workers say even the ones that send you photos can still have a lot of issues. Your best bet is to find a doggy daycare that has camera feeds where you can check in your dog throughout the day. Also ask them how they handle fights, separation anxiety, and staff to dog ratio.

5. Your dog will probably be exhausted

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Whether your dog loves or hates daycare, your pup will likely come home absolutely exhausted! Whether they're feeling anxious or having the time of their life, they're not getting the same amount of rest and routine that they normally are. Most dogs are much happier with a sitter.

6. Some dogs REALLY love it

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Maybe you own a little social butterfly. If you find the right daycare, your pup could end up having the time of her life. If you find a good one with cameras where the staff also update you with photos, then you'll likely get a lot of cute photos of your pup having fun. Most say that it's also easier for younger dogs to acclimate than older dogs.

7. The staff definitely have favorites

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Of course, all dogs get equal treatment, but that doesn't mean that the employees don't have their favorite pup they can't wait to get cuddles from every day. There's also the dogs that they can't wait for their parents to come get them, because they're driving everyone bananas. It's just part of the job!

8. Employees and their cellphones

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While a lot of daycares encourage staffers to have their phones to send you photos, it can also mean that they're distracted and not keeping proper eye on your dog. If they're staring at their phone, it's harder to see if a dog is in distress. So definitely ask about the cellphone policy when looking for a daycare!

9. Some daycares are really selective

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The good daycares are selective about the dogs who are allowed to attend. Most daycares require a walk-through and introduction, and if your dog shows any signs of not doing well in the environment, he won't be accepted. If a dog is ill, it will be quarantined until pick up or sent home. And if your dog has poor behavior consistently, they may be asked to leave.

10. Employees don't always have a lot of training

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You'd kind of expect that daycare employees would have some type of animal training. However, this isn't the case. A lot have no training in how to breakup or diffuse a dog fight, which results in people and/or dogs getting bit. Make sure the employees have a fire protocol and know what to do in an emergency for your pup.

11. Pay attention to your dog's behavior

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When you get your dog home, pay attention to how they're acting. If your dog prefers people to dogs, it's possible that they are the ones picking fights to "protect" the employees. The more you understand about your dog, you'll be able to make informed decisions about the best care.

12. Leave really clear instructions for your dog

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If your dog has allergies or a particular feeding schedule, be sure to let the daycare know. In reality, there are 20-40 dogs waiting to be fed in less than an hour. So if your dog needs cheese sprinkled to eat, send the cheese, if they use a slow feeder, bring it. They want your dog to eat but can't spend too much time hand feeding her. Same with medication, whatever your dog needs to take a pill successfully, let them know!

13. Try to find a daycare that does this

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According to employees, some of the most successful and well-run daycares separate their pups based on age and demeanor. You want to find a facility that has multiple rooms as well as an outdoor area. This helps your dog acclimate better in a less overwhelming environment. Employees say these types of daycares will typically not have more than 7-8 dogs together in one room at a time.

14. It opens your eyes to different breeds

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One of the biggest things employees say they've learned from working at a doggy daycare, is which breed of dog they DON'T want. The top of the list? Bernies. Apparently they can be pretty unruly, and they're pretty much always the ones trying to eat poop from other dogs.

15. It's hard work

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Doggy daycare workers said that one of the most frustrating things about their job is that a lot of people think it's "cute." They said that in reality, working at these facilities and making sure your fur babies are safe is a lot of hard work! You're constantly on the move and chasing after different pets.

16. These are the best days

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As we mentioned, employees definitely have their favorite pups that they can't wait to see at work. If you don't get assigned to a room with your fave, then your shift feels incredibly long. Some even say it ruins their day when they are separated from their favorite pups.

17. It's kinda like high school

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One of the funniest things that staff members reported is that the dogs form cliques. It makes sense as it's a social setting and everyone is just doing their best to survive. But employees said that some days it feels like high school, because there's the cool dogs that everyone else wants to be friends with. Lol.

18. The command can change everything

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One employee said that the solution to any time the dogs get too rowdy or you feel like you're losing control is to just shout "DO YOU WANT TO GO FOR A WALK?!" She said that without fail, this stops ALL the doggos in their tracks, until, of course, you actually have to walk them all.

19. They are totally open to playdates

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Employees who have favorite doggos at work tend to try to bond with the dog parents. Are they looking for a playdate invitation? Yes. Employees say that when they meet their favorite's parents, they're super open to spending time with the dog outside of work or dog sitting if needed.

20. The dog fur is never-ending

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If you work at a doggy daycare, be prepared to go home covered in dog fur. And we're not talking about a few cute strands of hair on your sweater. Employees say sometimes it feels like enough to make an entire coat with the amount of fur you come home wearing.

21. Your dog might get put in time out

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If this happens, talk to the employees. There's likely a good reason that your dog was separated from the rest. Most of the time, it's because your pup was snapping at dogs or people. If this is abnormal for your dog, you might want to consider his anxiety levels in this setting, and if it's a good fit for him.

22. A lot of dogs eat poop

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Employees say that the first thing that happens when you start your shift is being told which of the dogs are poop-eaters. Because of this, bathroom time can require up to three people. One to guard, one to scoop, and one to mop. You may never know that this is occurring, and your dog will be like "Who me?! Never!"

23. Some places have forced nap time

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This is actually a good thing, according to employees! Many have said that the places that have crates and "forced" naps see much better behavior in the dogs. It allows them to have time away from other dogs and a quieter space to eat. Seems like a win-win!

24. Be prepared to do this all day

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Outside of trying to keep dogs from eating each other's poop, most employees have said to be prepared to throw a tennis ball ALL DAY long, to the point where your arm will be sore. Another fun thing is trying to get in and out of the gated area without a stampede of puppies chasing you!

25. You will shower religiously

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Don't try to make plans after work when you work at a daycare. You WILL need to go home and take a shower first. We already talked about the dog fur, but just the dog scent in general is SO strong that you will be truly offensive at dinner if you don't shower first.

26. The small dog room is WILD

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Employees say that by-and-large the small dog room is always the craziest, regardless of what kind of facility they work at. They say that it's because the small dogs are tiny and know that they can get away with everything! As the TikTok goes, "I'm just a baby!"

27. They do their best to teach your dog

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If you send your dog to daycare, then hopefully you've put in the work of properly training your dog first. But if you didn't, the employees really try their best to help teach your dog basic commands and good manners to keep everyone safe. But it's much better for them to come into the situation already knowing!

28. They're jealous of the dog's snack list

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Many employees have said that dog parents send their pets to daycare with an extensive list of snacks that they can have, along with the appropriate supplies. They jokingly stated that it makes them wish they had the same kind of pampering and that most of these dogs eat better than they do.

29. Your pup might learn some bad habits

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Dogs are a product of their environment, and it's very likely they'll pick up good and bad habits at daycare. Especially if you have a puppy, it's likely they might start doing things they wouldn't normally, like eating poop or peeing when excited or terrorizing their environment. Make sure your dog knows the leave-it command.

30. A big part of the job is preventing humping

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While most daycares require pets to be neutered to be accepted, this doesn't mean that there's not a lot of humping going on! Employees say it's super important to have your pet fixed, but know that your female dog will likely get humped. Employees will take the dog out of the room if it gets too serious.

31. Day care doesn't work for every dog

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Day care is a great solution for many different dogs and owners, but it's not guaranteed to work for every single dog, which might surprise a lot of owners. It's not so much about the day care not being right for your dog, but your dog not being right for day care! Factors that can affect compatibility include age, socialisation needs and behavior risks.

32. And older or senior dogs may definitely struggle

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Puppies are excited about everything around them, so puppies and younger dogs are the more suitable candidates for a lively daycare environment. However, dogs hitting a few years old - and particularly much older senior dogs - are more selective about their time, and about the type of dogs around them, so they may get more grumpy about it.

33. Putting your dog in regardless can cause problems!

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It's important to understand your dog's attitude and age when it comes to day care, because some owners might not realize this and continue to put their dog into day care thinking it's for the best. While you might have good intentions, putting your dog in if day care just isn't right for it will make the situation difficult to handle.

34. It won't necessarily help your anxious dog

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It's logical to think that the more you expose your anxious dog to other dogs, and socialize it more, the more confident it will become - and while that can work for some dogs, it doesn't always work. You should never force your anxious dog to go back to day care all the time in the hope it will become more confident, if it's not working - it could actually make the situation worse.

35. It's okay for your dog not to want to be around other dogs

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In an ideal world, your pup will love every single dog it comes across, be happy to socialize, and never have any behavioral issues whatsoever. But just like humans, not every dog is the same, and not every dog is happy to socialize. It's actually okay if you have a dog that just doesn't want to be around other dogs. It's important to not force a dog like that into day care, even if you need the care option for when you're at work.

36. You can put your dog in day care TOO MUCH!

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If day care is working out for your dog, it's a great place to be, but that doesn't mean it's a 5 star luxury pup resort that you want to put your dog in all the time. The reason is because day care can be extremely stimulating to your dog that it's just going to end up exhausting them, mentally and physically, if they're in there too much.

37. Day care isn't a 5-day solution if you work all the time

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Day care is a god send for people who have no other option while they're at work, but it doesn't mean it's where you should put your dog Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. As mentioned, this is way too much stimulation and day care isn't a weekly solution. It's advised to go no more than 2-3 times a week, and look for alternative arrangements the rest of the time.

38. It can get expensive

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And, of course, there's the expense of daycare that's always a downside on top of the expenses you already have with having a dog! If you need to rely on daycare for your dog a few times a week, or maybe even overnight stays, then it's going to be an extra outgoing you need to take into account.

39. You'll want to avoid "kennel-free" or "crate free"

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No owner likes the idea of their dog going into a kennel or crate, even though sometimes it's unavoidable if you're going on vacation and need boarding for your pup. So you might think a day care advertising kennel-free is great - but actually, it's so important for your dog to have a time out space to rest from all the exertion, and that's where workers can put your dog in a kennel or crate for a nap. If the facility doesn't have this, your dog has nowhere to rest.

40. Day care isn't a substitute for dog walks

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If you're putting your dog into day care all day, and very often, you might think that covers their need for exercise and play - but it doesn't. Dog walks are about so much more than the exercise factor - it's the nose exercise and smell stimulation, as well as new sites and sounds. Your dog still needs its walks, regardless of whether it's been in day care!

41. And it could actually be anti-productive

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The thing is, your dog isn't going to tell you it still needs that dog hike, nose stimulation! If it's in day care too much, it's going to come home tired and not be energetic about a walk - you're going to think that's fine, and that your dog is telling you they don't want to go out, but actually they're just so exhausted from daycare, they can't go out even though it's important for them to still take a walk. So too much daycare can compromise their more important need of going out on regular dog walks!

42. Space matters

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When it comes to dogs, you might think the bigger the space, the better! Dogs love wide open spaces, right? So if you have a huge daycare center with a big room full of dogs, you might think you're dog is going to love this. But some dogs react well to a huge space - others don't. Some dogs might like more manageable, small rooms with less dogs.

43. Your dog's needs can change

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Some people can think that if their dog absolutely loves day care at a young age, the first time they put their dog in, that their dog is always going to love it - but your dog's needs can change as they get older, and they may start to enjoy daycare less and less. It's important to know your dog may not always like daycare forever!

44. Your daycare provider needs to give you updates

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Your daycare provider needs to keep you constantly updated about how your dog is going at daycare, so if they're not giving you a detailed rundown, you might want to find a different daycare, or ask them yourself to give you the details. It doesn't just mean "your dog has been fine today" - you need a play by play of what they're good with, how they've been with other dogs etc..

45. It's a red flag if your provider doesn't get put off by problematic behavior

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Your day care provider should want the best for your dog as much as you do - which means there may be time they have to say "this isn't working for your dog" or "we're having serious problems". If your day care doesn't flag up anything bad, or see it as a problem, it can be a sign they just want you to keep going/keep paying, so you should find another one!

46. Doggy day care has become big business

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This is a good thing in terms of business opportunity, but it can also be a bad thing because it means doggy day care is on the radar and lots of people want to give it a try, or try and make money with it. This unfortunately means you don't always get the best professionals for the job.

47. Some staff may not be able to read dog body language

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Because a lot of doggy day care staff aren't fully trained, they may not also be trained to understand dog body language. This can be problematic! It's easy to see when a dog is having a hard time if they're barking or growling, but subtle signs in body language can be easily missed if you don't know what to look for.

48. Don't go with a daycare that uses these aversion techniques

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Staff should be able to handle problematic behavior, and know how to control or break up fights in a healthy way. You don't want to use a day care that has aversion techniques that get physical, like staff using a squirt bottle, making loud noises or shaking cans with things inside to make an uncomfortable sound!

49. Making the right choice isn't always the easy choice

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The reality is that your dog may not be suitable for day care, and it's up to you to know when it's time to take them out, find a different one, or never use one at all. It's never easy to try and find a way to keep your dog cared for while you're juggling work, but sometimes the right choice might not be day care!

50. It's always a good idea to observe

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You should be able to relax knowing that your dog is in capable hands when you leave them at day care, but at the end of the day, you know your dog better than anyone, including better than the doggy day care staff. It's a good idea to go with your dog and watch them at day care instead of leaving them - at least in the early days - just to see how they're taking to it.