Should I Put My Dog in Doggie Daycare?
Your dog doesn’t necessarily need doggie daycare. If he has daytime behavior issues, a caring environment might help both of you maintain your peace of mind. Plenty of dogs stay at home alone without engaging in disruptive or unsafe activities. If your dog destroys your property, howls all day, or engages in other unacceptable behaviors, doggie daycare can be part of the solution.
Doggie daycare centers provide human companionship, physical activity, and social interaction with other dogs. These activities can reduce the anxiety your dog sometimes feels when he’s alone while you work all day. Daycare can help both of you get through those difficult days when you’re trying to resolve your dog’s behavior issues. You might also consider these other alternatives.
- A pet sitter
- A dog walker
- Add another dog to your household
- Entertaining toys
- An interactive pet monitoring system
Why do Dogs Misbehave While You’re Gone?
If you have the time and patience, you can eventually retrain your dog to behave differently when you’re away. Before you can get help with your retraining efforts, you must figure out why he’s misbehaving in the first place. Here are just a few reasons.
- Boredom: Like their human family members, dogs get bored when they’re left alone all day. You have hobbies and activities to minimize your monotony. When your dog destroys furniture and your personal belongings, he’s reacting in the only way he knows how.
- Excess Energy: Sometimes dogs misbehave simply because they have a lot of energy. What we see as destructive behavior might your dog’s way of burning off that energy.
- Separation Anxiety: Some dogs just don’t like being alone. They respond by acting out when you’re gone. If your pet feels uneasy when you leave home, it often triggers depression, howling, anxiety, or destructive behavior. The ASCPA article, Separation Anxiety, suggests that previously abandoned or surrendered dogs often suffer from this problem. It’s less frequent with dogs in long-term family relationships.
- Medical Conditions: Dogs sometimes undergo drastic behavior changes when they’re suffering from an illness or medical condition.
- Change: Dogs sometimes become destructive or disruptive when they’ve endured a recent change. This can be an adoption from one family to another. If you change your work schedule or your family moves to a new location, your pet may react to the change.
Doggie Daycare Can be a Temporary or Part-Time Solution
Your doggie daycare arrangement doesn’t have to go on indefinitely. You can make the choice to drop your dog off every day or just a few days a week. You might choose it as a temporary option to give your dog a change from his usual environment. If your dog has no other problems, occasional daycare could minimize his boredom and provide valuable social experiences.
If you believe your dog is experiencing separation anxiety, medical difficulties, or other issues, consult with your veterinarian. After evaluating your dog’s health, your vet can help you decide if doggie daycare should be a part of the solution.
Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital
If you’re considering doggie daycare, visit our contact page or give us a call at (860) 228-4324. We can discuss the pros and cons and help you decide if it’s an appropriate option for your dog.