When our dogs are at home or around their owners, they have a “self-perceived” job to do…they must guard you, your family and your home. I say it’s “self-perceived” because in all actuality, in most cases, you’re the one providing the security, but our dogs (even our 10 lbs. Chihuahuas) believe it’s their job. This job creates a lot of anxiety for our dogs. It’s a 24/7/365 responsibility. When your dog gets to play at dog daycare – they leave all that responsibility behind and they get to play like kids (or dogs). Plus, your dog will make doggy friends at dog daycare. Just like people, our dogs tend to gravitate toward other beings based on their own personal preferences and make furry BFFs. Most guests come on a very routine basis (i.e.: every Monday, Tuesdays & Thursday even every day Monday thru Friday). Because of this regularity, dogs create very strong friendships with the other dogs. Dogs also consider the employees they see at dog daycare on a regular basis to be members of “their pack”.
Relieves Boredom and Loneliness
Mental stimulation is extremely important for your dog. When dogs are bored at home, this boredom can lead to destructive behavior. Bored dogs tend to find ways to entertain themselves which can include chewing furniture, eating unintended items or worse. When your dog attends dog daycare – they are actively engaged in many interesting activities which provides mental stimulation for them.
Getting the proper amount of exercise is not only important for humans but it’s also extremely important for our dogs. Health benefits of attending dog daycare on a regular basis range widely, but include keeping your dog at a healthy weight, helping hip joints and other parts of the body stay limber as well as decreasing the likelihood of developing other health problems. Regular exercise at dog daycare can also help reduce behavioral problems. Dogs that don’t receive enough of an outlet for their energy may develop destructive habits like chewing or scratching on furniture or doors, counter-surfing, excessive licking and/or excessing barking.
Dogs are descended from wolves which means they are pack animals which were designed to interact with others. Proper socialization requires exposure to other humans outside of your family and to other dogs. The best time to start this socialization is when your dog is still a puppy – ideally when they are 4 months old. By this age, their immune system has matured enough for them to safely interact with other dogs in a healthy way. This also coincides with the age that most doggy daycares will allow puppies to first start attending. This exposure to other humans and other dogs, showing them that others are not a threat will help boost your dog’s confidence, making them less likely to bark, jump or bite. With proper socialization, you and your dog will be able to enjoy leisurely walks in the park and relaxing refreshments on restaurant patios. Dog daycare also gives your dog the opportunity to talk “dog” with other beings and make furry BFFs that they’ll look forward to seeing the next time they attend dog daycare.
Playful pups require watchful supervision to make sure everyone is playing “by the rules”, no one is being physically dominated and there are no body-crashing bulldogs slamming into fragile teacup poodles. There are no guarantees of this if you take your dog to a dog park. Unfortunately, at dog park, most parents are scrolling through Facebook or if they are watching their dog – they don’t know what’s acceptable dog behavior or aren’t schooled in being able to read dog body language to know that a dog fight is about to break out. At dog daycares with good reputations, the safety of your furry family member is their primary concern. The best dog daycares will have a minimum of at least 2 attendants with each playgroup to ensure safety and will have a guest to attendant ration of at most 1 to 15 and keep adding attendants if the group becomes larger in size. These attendants are trained in dog behavior and dog body language and can generally react to those cues before anything injurious can happen to your dog. They have a vested interest in everyone going home healthy so they continue to come back for more dog daycare.
Lots of Affection and TLC
People who own and/or work at dog daycare facilities do it because they LOVE dogs. It’s a hard job. Up early, long days. Mopping pee and picking up poop. Why? Because they LOVE dogs. The tradeoff for all this hard work is being around the sweetest creatures on the planet – dogs! Dogs love unconditionally and the people working at dog daycare facilities return this affection in spades. Your dog will receive hugs and kisses and tummy rubs and cuddles all day long.
Peace of Mind for the Dog Parent
Dog daycares are brick and mortar businesses. A professional business owner has invested a considerable amount of time, money, and effort to open and operate their facility. They have a reputation which can be greatly impacted by poor service so most do their best job possible to keep customers happy and attract new ones. Internet-based Dog Walking Services are only as good as the individual who shows up at your home each time. Many dog walkers were baristas last month and will be folding sweaters at the GAP next month. Nothing against those companies (we love coffee and casual clothes) but an independent dog walker generally does not provide the same peace of mind as someone who has a lot of “skin in the game” so to speak.
Dogs are creatures of habit. They love routine. Uncertainty creates stress for your dog. Providing a consistent routine for your dog helps keep them calm. Having a consistent time for walk times, feeding times, exercise times and nap times all create routine for our dogs. Taking your dog to a well-established dog daycare helps reinforce these routines. Your dog will play at the same times, be fed at the same times, nap at the same times.
When compared to the cost of using a dog walking service, dog daycare is VERY affordable. Most dog daycare services include multiple play sessions spanning a full 8 to 5 day (most are open 7 to 7) and feeding breakfast, lunch and dinner at no additional cost. To hire a dog walker to come into your home and provide comparable services and time spent keeping your furry family member company, a recent survey shows it would cost well over $80 per day. Plus, most dog daycare providers also offer Frequent Player Discounts, which can make dog daycare even more affordable.
Most dog daycares do not just provide dog daycare, they also provide many other goods and services which you routinely may need for your furry family member. Most daycares also offer overnight dog boarding and dog grooming. Many others provide retail items for sale ranging from dog food, collars, and leashes up to dog clothing or even kitschy bar wear or home goods. Some Dogg Daycares which are partnered with vet hospitals even provide vaccinations.
About Underdog Kennels:
At Underdog Kennels, we Temperament Test all guests during a Meet & Greet Day who wish to play in Dog Daycare to ensure they are DOG FRIENDLY and then our guests are divided up into different play groups based on a combination of their: size, age, play style, and temperament to ensure they will be in a playgroup where they’ll have fun but more importantly, will be very safe for them.
Underdog Kennels Dog Daycare is structured based on the latest Dog Behavioral Research which shows our dogs are much like small children toddler age or slightly older. Most dogs who are left in an open playgroup with other dogs all day long will become over-stimulated. This over-stimulation contributes to aggression, stress, and exhaustion (think about a toddler who never takes a nap).
For this reason, Underdog Kennels Dog Daycare schedules it’s day so each playgroup goes out and plays together in the morning and also again in the afternoon but has restful naptimes in the comfort and privacy of their own rooms in between their play sessions. This also compliments their natural circadian rhythms (body clocks) as dogs are intended to take multiple restful naps throughout the day.
Our goal is not to exhaust your dog but to send them home calm, content, and relaxed so you can still enjoy their company at the end of your busy workday.