Doggy day care

(29 Posts)
SunFleck Sun 08-Mar-20 08:17:57

Hi, I am thinking of getting a dog but I work. I would therefore need to use doggy day care to keep it occupied. Does anyone else use doggy day care multiple times per week and if so do the dogs appear to enjoy it? Are there dogs at you doggy daycare that don't look happy? Are they generally considered fun places for dogs to be once they have bonded with the staff and get into the daily routine of being dropped off? Any advice or experience you have and can share would be useful to help me make my decision.

OP’s posts: |
johnwayneisbigleggy Sun 08-Mar-20 08:28:32

Do you work full time? If you do then my answer would be don't get a dog. If not then it depends on lifestyle to be honest

BiteyShark Sun 08-Mar-20 08:49:54

Yes I do up to 4 times a week.

He loves it and he loves the doggy day carer so much. Yes as PP said you will have people who attitude is unless you can do 100% care don't get a dog but a dogs love for people isn't limited and neither can you have too many people loving your dog. Mine gets quiet time at home but has his pals at daycare and as I pick him up I see how he loves being with them. My dog also boards there so it's a home from home.

But for the negatives. We use doggy daycare where the dogs are limited as it's a dog walker that also has a few dogs as daycare. We tried a large more commercial type place that could house up to 30 dogs and he hated it. You do have to consider how to cover their holidays and illness. Also when my dog has been unwell I was fortunate to be able to work at home to cover his care.

pilates Sun 08-Mar-20 08:53:37

Is there any opportunity to work from home on some of the days? I personally wouldn’t consider it if I worked full time and lived on my own.

RedRed9 Sun 08-Mar-20 09:02:52

We don’t use it multiple times a week but we do use it and ddog absolutely loves it. If we ever walk near it he’ll start getting excited and head that way and he cries at the door to be let in.

But:
1) it took a while to find the right one. He was previously at another one and he hated it and ran away from it - it was awful. I thought he’d be anxious at all day care as he didn’t want to be away from me, but it turns out it just wasn’t the right place for him. He’s now at a breed specific day care that only takes up to four dogs.

2) it can be very tiring and over stimulating for them. Make sure you use a good day care who gives the dogs breaks from each other if they need it.

BiteyShark Sun 08-Mar-20 09:04:40

Similar experience to RedRed9 as you have to find the right one. Mine always gets opportunities to snooze as the sofa is apparently one of BiteyDogs favourite place to settle grinblush

ProfessorHasturLaVista Sun 08-Mar-20 09:16:42

I did until recently, 2-3 times a week. Our dog was quite reactive to other dogs and one breed in particular, but the place we used was excellent, the introductions good and she loved it.
I could have taken her out if she showed any sign of not enjoying it, but you only had to say the name of any of the staff and she wagged her tail and looked round excitedly grin

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adaline Sun 08-Mar-20 09:25:18

I used to and unfortunately it wasn't a great one. I would be very wary of using one again - the good ones tend to be very expensive. The only one around here that I would use costs nearly £30 a day.

The poor quality of daycares is one of the reasons I became a self employed dog walker! I don't provide daycare or boarding because you're required to have a license as well as regular council inspections and I don't necessarily think that such a regimented formal care regime is suitable for most dogs. The licensed ones around here are on big industrial estates and they just don't look like good, caring environments for dogs. Dogs should be out in the countryside or curled up by a fire, not spending 8+ hours a day in a big warehouse.

tabulahrasa Sun 08-Mar-20 09:53:08

I’ve used one for other things... they hire out their field at downtimes and also they have trainers that work with them and use their premises that I’ve worked with...

I personally wouldn’t get a dog knowing I’d need to use daycare a lot - not a judgement btw - but, if my circumstances changed and I already had the dog, I’d happily use the one I know of.

I suspect it’s like a lot of other things though and it comes down to the quality of them...

LaurieFairyCake Sun 08-Mar-20 10:16:05

Yes, twice a week and I pay £27

She adores it, has loads of friends. They have about 15-20 dogs and walk them in 3 groups. They send videos/photos every day. I've been here without them knowing (was in loo, not spying) and they talk to her as if they love her and she skips out the door happy.

There's 5 members of the same family who do it - all young and fit. There whole house is set around their business - in the simmer in the garden there's pools, cool mats, sprinklers.

JulesM73 Sun 08-Mar-20 10:21:22

My dog goes 5 days a week because we work full time. It’s been like this since he was a puppy and he is now 9. He absolutely loves it and they adore him, he also stays with them if we go away. They will only board dogs that go to the daycare so there aren’t strange dogs there. They post photos regularly and he waits for them to come during the week.
I don’t subscribe to the if you work full time then don’t get a dog, as I would argue my dog gets more attention and opportunity to play and run around than he would have if I was here all week.
You do need to take time to find the right place though, the first place I tried I knew within a couple of days that the owner was in it just for making money rather than she loved dogs. The couple that take my dog now adore dogs and that is easy to see.

Nojeansplease Sun 08-Mar-20 11:36:38

We use day care
We used one and our dog became reactive and scared around dogs. Ddog seemed unhappy going in and very unhappy and frustrated coming out and had some weird behaviour after too

I felt awful
Tried a new daycare and ddog loves it, and runs in now when we get out the car.
However they are open (with us and relevant dogs owners) about the fact they have a couple of dogs that are unhappy and pine for owners all day.

Also our dog is 6 months old, 2 half days in a row is completely is exhausting, I break up half days over the week to a max of 3 half days but more than that would wipe ddog out at this point.
But if yours is more relaxed when they go in and doesn’t play as wildly as mine they may be fine!

TeacupRex Sun 08-Mar-20 12:02:17

Not a fan of them personally, at least the one I saw.. Too many dogs in one place, left to their own devices in a muddy area while the day care staff stood around chatting. Bigger dogs pestering the smaller ones that were clearly uncomfortable.

If the dog is not used to being around a large group of dogs for a prolonged period of time, it can make them even more hyperactive and nervous once they get home. Large daycares are essentially the equivalent of throwing a puppy into the deep end of the socialisation pool.. and early experiences can make or break how tolerant your dog is with others as an adult.

I'd probably look into a smaller daycare or home boarder (they usually tend to have a maximum of 4-5 dogs at one time)

adaline Sun 08-Mar-20 13:57:07

They have about 15-20 dogs

See, for me that's utterly irresponsible. Even with five workers, that's just such a huge number of dogs. Mine would find that so stressful being in such a big group - how can earth can that be safe for anyone involved?

BiteyShark Sun 08-Mar-20 14:00:18

* See, for me that's utterly irresponsible. Even with five workers, that's just such a huge number of dogs. Mine would find that so stressful being in such a big group - how can earth can that be safe for anyone involved?*

Mine didn't like that environment as it was too busy and loud.

However, the one we tried had different segregated areas so the dogs were not all lumped together.

adaline Sun 08-Mar-20 14:03:07

However, the one we tried had different segregated areas so the dogs were not all lumped together.

I suppose it's one of those things that really depends on the dog! Mine would hate being in a group of more than 3-4 dogs for a long period of time. On a walk it would be fine, but not in a confined space.

BiteyShark Sun 08-Mar-20 14:13:32

Definitely depends on the dog and environment but crucially you don't know how that will pan out until you have the dog.

I have been very lucky that my primary daycare only takes a couple of dogs as daycare but has more dogs for normal walks of which he sometimes joins depending on whether she has slots (he always has two walks but sometimes he gets to go on three).

He was stressed and upset at the big one we tried and we had to stop after the second day as it was affecting him very badly.

I am grateful though that doggy daycare exists because the alternative is leaving him on his own which lots of people still do even though that facility is available.

adaline Sun 08-Mar-20 14:18:54

I am grateful though that doggy daycare exists because the alternative is leaving him on his own which lots of people still do even though that facility is available.

Absolutely. The good ones are fantastic but the bad ones definitely outweigh the good unfortunately.

Bayleaf25 Sun 08-Mar-20 14:30:50

Our dog goes one day a week, however its in someone’s home so she only ever has a maximum of 4 dogs (sometimes only 2). I was worried that Dog would be too stressed by lots of dogs. Dog loves it, gets a good walk, company, can crash out in the kitchen or on sofa like at home, potter in the garden etc. I’m really pleased with how it works.

I initially looked at a commercial place but once we got our dog I felt very protective and decided it would be too stressful for her.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 08-Mar-20 14:57:49

It sounds a lot 15-20 but most are small dogs. All the dogs are carefully chosen and interviewed (!) extensively beforehand. No intact dogs allowed.

And 8 of them are sausages and take up very little room grin

frostedviolets Sun 08-Mar-20 19:58:08

Does anyone else use doggy day care multiple times per week
I used to use my local (award winning) one occasionally for home boarding when we went on holiday.
I haven’t used them since seeing a few questionable reactions to certain doggy behaviours.

do the dogs appear to enjoy it?
Mine loves it there, she goes wild with excitement when the dog walker arrives to pick her up.

*Are there dogs at your doggy daycare that don't look happy?
Unfortunately, yes.
The company I use send you lots of photographs and videos which is great, but they can sometimes be utterly ignorant of certain things that in their line of business they absolutely shouldn’t be.

For example, I have seen a video where a large dog was humping a small dog who was giving out stress signals/aggression; lip curls, lip licks, growls etc.

Another video where treats were scattered and the group of dogs all push and shove sniffling around to find them.

That’s why I haven’t taken my dog since.
I don’t feel they would ever deliberately do anything stupid but things like that make me feel really uncomfortable.

With humpy dog, I am fairly sure mine would have bitten him.

With the treat scattering I think this encourages eating random things you find out and about which is dangerous and encourages resource guarding.

There are other examples that make me feel uncomfortable but those are the two that always stick with me.

Are they generally considered fun places for dogs to be once they have bonded with the staff and get into the daily routine of being dropped off?
Mine has always loved it

Any advice or experience you have and can share would be useful to help me make my decision
Be careful.
As mine shows, even award winning, highly recommended ones run by people who genuinely love and are really passionate about dogs can misinterpret or misjudge body language and situations and that has the potential to be dangerous.

RedRed9 Sun 08-Mar-20 21:38:59

It sounds a lot 15-20 but most are small dogs.

If it works for those dogs then great but I really doubt it would work for mine and he’s a mini sausage!

Small dogs often have lots of social anxieties so although they don’t take up a lot of physical room they still need to be in a low stress environment. And 20 dogs sounds very full on.

SunFleck Sun 08-Mar-20 22:36:27

Thanks everyone, your responses have really helped me to decide that her personality type would probably not suit doggy day care. She needs a calmer environment. I can see that some dogs would love doggy day care though and all the excited rough play and chasing.

OP’s posts: |
Girlintheframe Mon 09-Mar-20 05:47:08

Our dog has been going since he was 13 weeks. It's not a huge place, maybe around 10 dogs at a time. They have a different area for puppies/small dogs then another for larger dogs. Depending on my rota he goes 2-4 days a week. He absolutely loves it. It's also resulted in him being very confident and well mannered around other dogs we meet. We see pictures and videos on Facebook. I checked out daycare before getting him as I knew without it we couldn't have got him. For us and him it's been a great success.

adaline Mon 09-Mar-20 07:19:01

15-20 dogs still sounds insane to me - the size of the dogs is totally irrelevant confused All It shows that being "licensed" doesn't guarantee a good environment for the dogs.

I think it's actually hugely irresponsible to take on such a large number of dogs at once, and it says to me that the owners care more about making money than they do about animal welfare.

I mean, 20 dogs x £35 per day is £700 a day. That's 3.5k a week and smacks of pure greed to me. I would say most dogs would not be comfortable in that situation - a group walk for an hour or two when they can run free and escape is different from being stuck in an enclosed space with 19 other animals for eight hours a day.

I would never send my dog anywhere like that - home daycare in someone's house where the maximum is 3-4 dogs is far more preferable and imo, much safer all-round.

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