Unlike other domesticated animals, dogs cannot be left alone for lengthy periods of time since they are not self-sufficient and rely solely on their owners to be happy and healthy.
From lots of cuddles, licks and love to being playful, getting the zoomies and barking - dogs are a handful even at the best of times.
As the world begins to open up again and the list of social and work obligations starts to look a lot longer than it did during the harsher months of lockdown, it’s time for pet owners to start looking at things from their pet’s perspective.
Returning to the office, travelling for business and pleasure as well as going out on the weekends is once again a part of our reality. But this only makes meeting the demands of our dogs that much more difficult.
While leaving a well-trained dog at home (with enough space to roam and fresh food and water) is a popular choice for some dog owners, this option isn’t always the best or safest in certain situations.
For starters, people who live in small apartments, have puppies that are untrained, or dogs with separation anxiety and other health-related issues could be putting their dog in danger by leaving them home alone for a full workday. The potential risks your dog may face are greater when without supervision not to mention the added stress of being alone which can also lead to outbursts of bad behaviour.
If the above is a concern for you, doggy daycare could be the perfect solution. This is a type of short-term supervision for dogs that differs from multi-day kennel boarding or pet sitting, where the sitter visits the owner’s home. Instead, it closely resembles a typical daycare for children in many ways, with playtime, meals and trained professionals with the only exception being that the service is exclusively for canines.
From learning about routine to getting to socialise with other furry friends, the benefits that doggy daycare can have on dogs and their owners is profound.
As part of its new Doggy Daycare Report, which analyses how much it costs dogs to enrol their pet pooches in a daycare around the world, the personal finance experts at money.co.uk have liaised with the experts and compiled a list of the benefits that the financial commitment can provide to both pet owners and their dogs.
Your dog can socialise with other animals
Hanging out with friends isn’t just for humans; all animals need and crave social interaction, as it makes them less likely to bark or become unsettled on walks. This is particularly important if a dog has been poorly treated in the past, as it can take time for them to regain the trust of others.
The behaviour of your dog can improve
If your dog has a taste for chewing furniture or chasing cats, it could be beneficial for them to spend some time away from the family home to release their pent-up energy. Lisa Norton, chief marketing officer at SparkPaws, says “you don't only relieve your dog of this bad feeling, but you also avoid having to deal with broken things in your home”.
Your pooch’s health can be benefited
If a dog is cooped up inside all day, it is guaranteed that its physical and mental health will eventually suffer. Being around other dogs, as they run around and play, is a great way to get your pooch’s heart pumping, along with keeping their bones and muscles strong. Leonardo Gomez, the founder of Try Runball, assures that “an active lifestyle is an important requirement for dogs to survive”.
You don’t have to worry about your dog being home alone
Dr Corinne Wigfall, a registered veterinarian, highlights that “dogs get bored easily stuck at home for long hours, so daycare is an excellent alternative if you know you have a long day at the office planned”. Nobody likes to think of a family member getting bored or lonely, which is why an exciting trip to the doggy daycare centre could help to put your mind at ease until you collect them at the end of the working day.
You know your dog is totally safe
Security measures at doggy daycare centres, like those made for children, always have to be dependable. It is unlikely, but the thought of your dog escaping from your house and onto a busy road while you are at work can be a major distraction. Knowing your dog is safe and secure is a huge weight lifted from the shoulders of many pet owners, allowing them to be more productive with their day.
Your dog will get used to a routine
At present, your dog may well be used to you being at home, with walks and meals at uncertain times that depend on your work schedule, so it is essential that things get back to a normal routine for them. A doggy daycare centre would have fixed meal and walk times, along with structured play and possibly even training, offering your dog security and reassurance.
Separation anxiety can be lessened
The end of lockdown will have been a shock to the system to many dogs, as their owners are no longer spending 24 hours a day with them. Allowing them to enter a daycare system would slowly help to ease their feelings of stress and tension, as they will have their social and emotional needs catered for while you are gone.
Regulated food and water
While you are out of the house, your dog is free to eat as much or as little as they like. Most people fill their dog’s food bowl to the brim to keep them happy all day, instead of rationing their treats and meals as normal. If your dog is at daycare, their food intake will gradually become more regulated, allowing them to lose weight if they need to and develop a healthy relationship with food once again.
Long-haired dogs need very regular washes and trims, which can be a nightmare if it is not something the owner is used to. Allowing the professionals at daycare to take over can be a good idea, avoiding the risk of your dog’s fur becoming matted and tangled.
Elderly dogs can receive extra TLC
If you have a senior dog, things like medicine or special diets may be part of your daily routine - so how can this continue when you go back to work? As some doggy daycare centres are equipped with pet nutritionists, you can be safe in the knowledge that your dog is receiving the special care they need, without you having to pay extra for at-home treatments.