By Karen A. Soukiasian
Kennel-free doggie day care gives your dog a chance to be, well, a dog.
You may find it hard to believe, but you aren’t enough for your puppy or dog. Being social animals, and to be happy, well-mannered and well-adjusted, dogs need to interact not only with humans, but with other dogs on a regular basis.
We would like to think that we can fill all our canine companion’s wants and needs; but we simply can’t, any more than they can satisfy all of ours. To see things from your dog’s perspective, imagine trading places.
Every morning soon after the alarm sounds, your dog gets up, opens your crate, and let’s you out the back door. Then it’s time to come in, they feed you, and maybe if you’re lucky, they take you for a quick walk around the block. Then they shower, dress and head out the door. If they trust you enough not to crate you, you’re exceptional. If luck isn’t on your side, it’s crate time again.
As you crawl back into your crate, you think to yourself; they never forget anything. OK, so you made one little mistake months ago and tore up the new pillows. You were bored and it was fun!
Or, you had an “accident,” so now you are doomed to spend the next 8 hours, home alone, and locked in a box.
This isn’t your idea of fun. You’ve just spent the previous 6-8 hours sleeping. How much sleeping do they expect you to do? If your dog remembers, they may have tossed a toy in to keep you amused while they are gone.
So, for the next 8-10 hours, you sleep some more. You’re bored. You feel stiff. You’re thirsty, and the thought of sleeping another minute is the farthest thing from your mind.
It’s 6 pm; you hear your dog’s key in the lock. Yippee! They’re home! You’re so excited you can barely contain yourself. You’re hoping maybe now you’ll do something fun.
Oh wait! Oh no! Next thing you see, your dog opens the back door, and tells you to go outside…alone…again.
“Wait! I’ve been alone all day!” you think to yourself, as you hear the door slam.
You sit out there, waiting to be called inside for dinner.
After dinner, you hope your dog won’t be too tired to take you for a walk or maybe even a trip to the dog park. But, instead, they open the back door, and out you go again!
When you come back in, you know it’s not a good sign if they greet you at the door with the TV remote in the paw, or they head toward the computer.
So, you curl up next to their feet, because you want them to notice you, and you listen to the clock tick.
It’s 11 pm. It’s time for “last call.” Back out the door you go. Then into your crate for the next 6-8 hours, until the alarm goes off, and you can look forward another day of the same old, boring thing.
Dogs need dogs
Unlike cats, dogs need each other. They are social animals. It’s in their genes, and they are happiest and thrive when they are together in a pack. They understand each other better than we can ever expect to understand them. They are kindred spirits, even if they have never met before.
There is nothing sadder than to see a puppy or dog that does not know how to play, because they lack coping and socialization skills. Most eventually learn how to mingle and play…some never do.
It is so imperative during the first 20 weeks of a puppy’s life, they be allowed to meet, greet and socialize with people of all ages, and both sexes. They also need to meet and greet and play other puppies, dogs, and other animals as much as possible.
A well-socialized puppy develops into a well-adjusted, self-confident, happy adult dog.
Kennel-free doggie daycare
In a kennel-free doggie daycare, your dog will have the opportunity to feel comfortable and at home. There are no kennels or crates to confine them. They will have other dogs to play with whenever they want.
There will be hours of exercise both structured and free-time. Plus, plenty of positive interactions with people other than yourself and your family. And, most importantly, they won’t be home alone.
Most smaller doggie day cares are also understanding and flexible to your schedule and needs. Unlike larger or chain facilities, the overtime clock doesn’t start ticking the minute you are late.
And, the best way to know if your dog had a good time; watch how excited they get in the car, as you draw near the day care and watch how reluctant they are to go home.
They associate being there as a day of sun, fun, exercise, and socialization with their pack. They go home dog-tired! A tired dog is a good dog!
We have had dogs happily walk their owners to their car, then bolt back into the house. We have had dogs sit down and refuse to go home, because they were having so much fun. We even had a puppy cheerfully greet their owner, then run and hide behind the toilet when it was time to leave!
We have been told how anxious dogs have been, if there was a detour, and they were suddenly “steered off course” on their way to us. We have been told a couple of dogs won’t eat over the weekend, even though their owners have tried to replicate our canine 5-star menu! We have been told dogs will “hold it” until they get here…as if they were giving us their greatest gift.
But for us, the greatest gift is to see how happy they are when they arrive, and see their friends, human and canine. Happy dogs make for happy owners!
Bottom line: In a kennel-free doggie daycare, your dog will go home every night, happy and tired. They will have had a busy day, socializing, exercising and playing. That is a far cry better than the life of a dog, left home alone all day, just waiting for the sound of your key. Do yourself and your dog a favor. Try a kennel-free doggie daycare and see the difference in your pet.
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