Daycare for dogs has evolved from a simple cage stay while the owner is away to an enriching experience that enhances the dog and their relationship with their pet parent, other dogs, and other humans.
What does it mean to enrich a dog’s time away? It begins by considering what’s best for the dogs and human staff who will be caring for your pet.
THE TRADITIONAL DAYCARE MODEL
Traditional doggy daycare models consist of large groups of dogs. This can lead to overstimulation, escalated arousal which leads to aggressive behavior, tired and stressed out staff, and an exhausted dog. Many dogs don’t fare well in a large group environment (just like lots of people), causing the dog to simply retreat or become aggressive within a play space.
Large groups are also harder to control. Free play time becomes frenzied as dogs have free reign in a frat-like party atmosphere. This can lead to injuries for both the dogs and staff. Dogs may return home overtired or overstimulated after a long day away.
THE ENRICHMENT MODEL
Daycare that is considered enriching utilizes smaller groups of 4-6 to enhance social interaction between other dogs and their human caretakers. This allows for a variety of balanced play and learning, as well as deeper bonds between the animals and staff.
When a dog is in an enhanced daycare, the use of games, puzzles and artwork to stimulate and teach brings structure and stability for both dogs and staff. Dogs may learn to begin resting when given a certain puzzle or toy. They will also be taught social manners through play. In structured and free play, dogs may be introduced to engaging spaces like water, sand, or playground equipment built especially for canine exercise.
In an enriching daycare setting dogs are given enough quality rest time, which is key to their emotional and physical health. Injuries from overstimulated play are virtually non-existent and staff have more time to personalize interactions with their doggy crew when they’re left to care for a smaller group.
BENEFITS OF ENRICHMENT
With balanced activities versus busy time, an enriching daycare for dogs balances rest and play in a way that creates a more harmonious pet. Relational quality between dogs and their owners is enhanced when their pet thrives in their own space.
Small playgroups allow for more positive interaction between staff and pets, leaving pet parents confident that their pooch will thrive after they come for pickup. Enriching daycares also acknowledge that shorter unstructured play times actually lead to better play. When integrated with rest time and skill training, these experiences better the dog in both mind and body.
A RUFF DAY BARK CLUB EXPERIENCE
Want to learn more about what an enhanced daycare has to offer your furry best friend? A Ruff Day Bark Club provides a safe place where dogs can play in small groups and learn life skills while you’re away. With over 2,000 square feet of indoor space for your pet, and lots of outdoor space too for pups to run and play, our enriching doggy daycare is part of a multi-service facility for four-legged and two-legged friends to relax, learn, play, and stay. Contact us today to learn more!