Acclimating Your Furry Friend to Their Doggy Daycare Schedule
Lucky Dog Bark & Brew helps dog owners understand how long it will take for their furry friends to get acclimated to their new daycare schedule in this blog post. We’ll cover:
- Whether doggy daycare is right for you
- Whether or not daycare can be stressful for dogs
- How to set your dog up for daycare success
- When you can expect your dog to get used to doggy daycare
Keeping your best friend’s tail wagging is the ultimate goal of any doggy daycare. After all, you want to make sure your pet remains as happy and stress-free as possible while you are away from them all day.
But what happens when your pooch is uneasy, anxious, or downright dreads the experience altogether?
Not to worry: Just like humans, dogs need some time to adjust to big changes in their life, and doggy daycare can be an enormous shift in their everyday routine. By understanding the signs of a stressed pet, owners can decide whether or not daycare is the right option for them and take the steps necessary for mitigating feelings of unease.
Is Doggy Daycare Right for Your Dog?
Doggy daycare can be an excellent option for dogs that would normally spend their time feeling bored, lonely, or anxious while home alone all day. By taking them to daycare, your dog will be able to expend all of their excess energy, socialize with other pups, and get enough exercise to be healthy. Dogs that usually do well in daycare include:
- Puppies: New to socialization, puppies are more likely to love and accept anyone that enters into their life.
- Adolescents: While they can be unpredictable, adolescent dogs have been known to have great success in the doggy daycare setting.
- Energetic: High-energy breeds like Jack Russell Terriers, Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Australian Shepherds are all excellent candidates.
- Seniors: Some older dogs can also do very well in doggy daycare when matched with pups of similar sizes and dispositions.
While most dogs look forward to their time at daycare, others may struggle to find the finer points in being pent up with a bunch of spazzed-out strangers all day. In some cases, this might be an issue with the daycare facility itself. Other times, there may be underlying symptoms of stress that need to be addressed in order to make sure your pet is getting the most out of their experience.
Can Daycare Be Stressful to Dogs?
Just like the first day of kindergarten can be stressful for most five-year-olds, doggy daycare can be a stress-inducing experience for your pup. Some of the most common signs of a stressed-out pooch include:
- Sitting with one paw lifted
- Frequent body shaking
- Excessive licking or sniffing around
If you happen to notice these signs after picking your dog up from daycare, it’s important that you communicate this with the facility. The staff may be able to assist in creating a playroom or schedule that’s tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
How to Set Fido Up for Doggy Daycare Success
Many experts recommend introducing your dog to daycare sessions in a slow, deliberate manner. Try bringing your dog in for half day sessions first, then two to three times per week for at least one month before giving up on the endeavor entirely.
In addition to a slow introduction, here are some other ways you can help ensure your dog is set up for daycare success:
- Choose a daycare facility that is large enough and has enough playrooms and quiet areas for your dog to enjoy.
- Ask the staff if you’re able to bring your dog’s favorite food, toys, or treats to help them feel more at home.
- When you drop off your pet, don’t make a big deal about leaving, instead making a quick exit to help them get used to the transition.
- Continue working on socialization with your dog at home to help them get along with other pets and caregivers.
- Connect with a dog trainer in the area to get help with preparing your dog for their first daycare experience.
- on’t make daycare the only fun experience for your pet! Be sure to get in lots of playtime and snuggles to help mitigate daycare anxiety.
When Will Your Dog Get Used to Doggy Daycare?
Getting acclimated to the doggy daycare schedule can take some time. Generally, it takes about a month or two of regular daycare visits (at least two per week) for a dog to finally open up to the experience.
At Lucky Dog Bark & Brew, we have experience caring for dogs of all ages, sizes, and dispositions, allowing us to develop a care plan for your pet that works for them. While under our care, we’ll ensure your dog is getting the balanced exercise and downtime they need to have the most enjoyable daycare experience possible. Register your dog for their first free day of daycare online today!