We know that entrusting your beloved pet to someone else is never easy. Take a look below at our selection of frequently asked questions and answers, and get in touch if we haven’t included the info you need.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A DOGGY DAYCARE?
The best way to describe doggy daycare is to compare it to a child’s nursery, we run very similarly to a child’s daycare but the price is much cheaper.
WHAT SORTS OF THINGS DO YOU DO WITH THE DOGS IN DAYCARE?
Usually in the morning when dogs start to arrive they are so happy and excited to see their friends, they socialise and play with one another, which is what we find they love the most about daycare. We also play games to stimulate them physically or/and mentally, go hunt, fetching games, sensory games. Toys are also a massive part of play time, we have a wide range of toys in daycare that all the dogs have access to, they are toys that specifically stimulate their senses e.g treat toys, squeaky toys, soft toys, chew toys, it keeps them happy and occupied throughout the day! We also love to cuddle the dogs and be affectionate with them to create a bond with each of them. With all that being said we do make a conscious effort not to have the daycare be a chaotic environment as this is not good for the dogs and floods them with sensory overload, we also make sure the dogs rest/nap in the day as they need it!
DO THEY SLEEP IN DAYCARE AND WHERE DO THEY DO IT?
Yes! Napping is very important in daycare, they need to rest when they have been active. We have many sofas and beds as well as a dedicated snooze hut for them to nap. We encourage nap time when we see the dogs are starting to slow down and become tired, we do this by sitting down with them, get blankets out and even use some calming lavender spray to help them relax and drift off. Some dogs need to nap more than others which is fine because we have areas that separate the high energy and low energy.
WHERE DO THEY GO TO THE TOILET?
Of course dogs cannot use the toilet or wear nappies like children, we have a pee/poo pen for them to use but some dogs will not go to the toilet inside so we take them out onto the front for a toilet break. When the dogs do a tinkle or poo inside it is cleaned up within seconds by staff and we use vet grade cleaning products, cleaning is a massive part of the job and we take it very seriously!
We are soon to have an outdoor area which is where the dogs will be encouraged to do their business.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF THERE IS A DOG FIGHT IN DAYCARE?
All the adult dogs have to pass behavioural assessments before they can enrol in daycare so every dog is friendly and used to doggy socialising but of course we get tantrums and disagreements within daycare. The staff are there to watch the dogs like hawks, and usually hostile behaviour is picked up on before any fighting can happen, so we separate the dogs or interrupt them before anything breaks out. We have protocols and procedures in the event of a fight but preventative work is done to best avoid any of that being needed.
WHAT ARE THE OPENING TIMES IN DAYCARE AND CAN YOU DROP YOUR DOG OFF WHEN EVER YOU WANT?
Our opening times are 8am-6pm every weekday, we have specific drop off and pick up times to keep the day organised. We have full and half day services, a half day covers upto 5hrs and drop off/pick up times are; 8-9:30,
DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LICENCE OR PERMISSION TO RUN A DAYCARE?
Yes, we have a daycare licence from the local council, we are fully insured.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF A DOG IS MISBEHAVING?
If a dog is ‘misbehaving’ we look at why they may be acting out in daycare, examples of this could be barking continuously, chewing things they shouldn’t be, bullying or pestering other dogs these are usually things dogs do to get attention and have learnt that doing them gets it, to counteract this we put dogs in time out to calm down, we do this every time to ensure the dog learns that the unwanted behaviour only gets them in timeout so they should not want to do that behaviour, because it gets them nowhere. Aswell as that we reward the good behaviour to change the unwanted habits into good habits. If a dog is acting out frequently in daycare we speak to owners, let them know what we are doing to help stop the behaviour and ask if they could carry on the same techniques at home to create consistency.
DO I HAVE TO PUT MY DOG INTO DAYCARE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF DAYS A WEEK?
Not particularly, but we do say when you enrol your dog into daycare that you book them in at least a half day a week, this is because they need to be familiar with the place and the dogs to feel 100% comfortable, if you only bring them once in a blue moon they wont be used to daycare life and being with someone else, we need to build trust with your dogs and we cant do that if we only see them now and again.
MY DOG ISN’T THE BEST WITH OTHER DOGS, AND I WANT TO SOCIALISE THEM WITH DOGS TO HELP WITH THAT, WOULD DAYCARE BE SUITABLE?
Unfortunately daycare wouldn’t be the best place to put a nervous/anxious dog because this would only make the problem much worse, dogs that come into daycare must be good at socialising with other dogs. If your dog is nervous of other dogs I would seek advice from a vet or credible trainer/behaviourist.
DO YOU TRAIN DOGS IN DAYCARE?
We do basic training exercises in daycare for stimulation of the dogs as they do enjoy it. We do ask that you teach your dogs basic obedience if you haven’t already but if your dog tends to jump up or bark and you are struggling to control it we use training techniques and work with you to stop those kinds of unwanted behaviours.
DO YOU PUT SMALL AND BIG DOGS TOGETHER?
Yes we do, if we do split the dogs into smaller groups it will be by energy levels so low energy with each other and high energy with each other. We have found that the dogs love each other regardless of size and we teach the bigger dogs to be gentle while playing with the smaller ones, we make sure to keep an eagle eye out when dogs are playing together especially when they are of different sizes. If your dog is specifically nervous with a certain size of dog, we look at this in their assessment and if its something we can work on in daycare safely we will do!
WHAT IS 'TIME OUT' AND WHEN DO YOU USE IT?
We put dogs in time out to calm down, some dogs can get over excited and anything you say or do goes right over their head, we put them in a separate area between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, we ask them to sit before they come out (all the dogs know the sit command). If dogs need longer to calm down, a member of staff will take them into a separate section with less stimulus.
DO YOU FEED THE DOGS AT DAYCARE AND DO WE HAVE TO BRING OUR OWN FOOD?
We only feed the dogs lunch (if they have it) you would feed them their breakfast and evening meal at home. We feed lunch between 11 and 12 but if your dog has not eaten his/her breakfast, you are more than welcome to bring it in and we will try them again at lunch time. You would provide their food as all the dogs have different diets.