How do I know if my puppy likes daycare? Expert Advice

Do dogs like going to doggy daycare?

Many dogs love going to daycare — especially social breeds like Labs and Golden Retrievers. After all, they get to meet new friends, run until their legs give out, and be doted on by staff.

Daycare can be especially beneficial for young puppies who need regular socialization to thrive. Likewise, daycare is great for keeping older dogs in shape and can offer them the mental stimulation they need to prevent cognitive decline.

However, not all dogs feel the same way about daycare. For some dogs, the sounds, smells, and busy environment can be too much, and it may lead to fearfulness, anxiety, or reactivity.

The truth is, some dogs like daycare and others dont — and in most cases, theres no way to know which category your dog falls in unless you try it out. However, some behavioral traits can suggest doggy daycare wont be a good fit for your dog.

Here are some signs a dog probably won’t adjust well to daycare:

  • They become reactive or show aggression when they encounter other dogs.
  • Theyve had little socialization with other people and animals.
  • Theyre fearful around unfamiliar people and pets.
  • Theyre prone to sensory overload.
  • They guard resources or show signs of food aggression.
  • How do I know if my puppy likes daycare?

    What do dogs do in doggy daycare?

    Pet parents often wonder what their dog does all day at daycare — after all, thats their baby! Your dogs daycare activities will depend on your dog and how the program is structured. Every doggy daycare has its own schedule, but programs almost always have designated times for play, meals, and quiet time.

    Depending on the facility layout and program structure, playtime may be indoors or outside. Usually, staff will divide the dogs into smaller play groups rather than everyone playing together. Staff will consider the dogs size, age, and personality and assign them to a play group with dogs of similar playstyles and body types.

    Daycares may provide toys or play equipment to encourage dogs to play — some even set up kiddie pools in the summer for woofers to cool off in. Some doggy daycares also offer a la carte services like obedience training, private walks, and one-on-one playtime.

    Sometime during the day, staff will separate the dogs for mealtime and allow them some quiet time to digest their food and decompress from the play group. The daycare may place dogs in kennels or individual runs during this period. After quiet time, most daycares will bring the dogs back out for play groups until their parents arrive to pick them up.

    Pros and Cons of Doggy Daycare

    Doggy daycare can be a good thing for dogs, but it’s not the best option for every pet.

    It’s important to consider the pros and cons of doggy daycare before you decide if it’s right for your dog or worth continuing.

    Puppy Playtime – Why Doggie Daycares Aren’t Great For Socialization

    Dog pawrents of the 21st century have access to dog care that allows for more flexibility than ever before.Â

    Whether you desire for your dog to have one on one playtime, a special feeding schedule or indoor/outdoor play options, you can shop around to find a daycare that suits your unique needs.Â

    Some dog owners have no issue signing up for dog daycare right away, while others may grapple with whether or not their pup is ready for the transition. Perhaps they’ve never left home before or have never stayed with unfamiliar people.Â

    It’s a smart play to assess your dog’s personality before making a decision. You might be ready to jump right in, but your dog might not be. It all depends on socialization.

    Many dog owners have this idea that all dogs are happy when playing with other dogs. But, like with humans, dog sociability is not so black and white.Â

    Does your dog prefer to be alone? Does she prefer the company of one or two dogs? It’s important to note exactly how your dog behaves when other canines are around.Â

    A good way to start is by visiting the local dog park once a week. You can then begin to pick up on social cues, like how your dog reacts to various personalities. Otherwise, by just throwing your pup into group play at daycare, you can risk causing her stress and anxiety.

    As well, it’s imperative to note that dogs social tastes may change as they grow older. You might’ve enjoyed the bars and clubs in your 20s, but now prefer quiet small gatherings with close friends. The same can be said about a dog growing out of the rambunctious puppy stage to prefer less rough housing.