Many Bulldog owners are often busy at work with no one to accompany their dog at home. And since this breed is prone to separation anxiety, doggy daycare facilities seem like a good solution. It’s like a pre-school for dogs, which will allow pet owners to go to work while their doggos have a great time. But the question is this: is doggy daycare good for dogs?
In this post, I will discuss how a doggy daycare works, what you can expect, and how to prepare your Bulldog. I also discussed a few tips to find the doggy daycare that suits your pet.
What is doggy daycare?
Doggy daycare is similar to daycare facilities for kids. In this place, dogs will be monitored, cared for, and fed properly. The best thing is that your dog will also receive socialization as doggy daycare accommodates multiple dogs at a time. Some even have a doggy bus that picks up the dogs at home. How cool is that!
On the other hand, most doggy daycares will require you to drop off your dog in the morning before you head to work. After that, you’ll pick up your dog after work or the time you agreed with the daycare officials.
During your Bulldog’s stay at the daycare, it will be engaged in mental and physical stimulation. This will prevent boredom and separation anxiety if the pooch is locked up inside your house.
In many cases, the doggy daycare facilitators will work out your dog’s activities based on your liking. Overall, doggy daycares are much better than letting your Bulldog suffer from anxiety and loneliness. However, this service doesn’t come for free.
What to expect in doggy daycare?
Doggy daycare facilities rarely accept walk-ins. Instead, you have to register your dog ahead, so the doggy daycare facilitators can prepare the food, toys, shelter, and other things your dog will need.
🐶They will require your Bulldog to be fully vaccinated.
Aside from that, a doggy daycare requires all enrolled canines to be fully vaccinated. This makes perfect sense since the dogs will be in close contact with each other. Vaccinations will also prevent the doggy daycare from being a cesspool of infections and parasites.
Since your Bulldog must be fully vaccinated first, it means that you can only enroll it in a doggy daycare at a specific age. Generally, your Bulldog pup must be at least 12 weeks of age upon enrollment. By this time, daycare staff assumes that your pooch has received its first round of shots from the vet.
🐶They will assess your Bulldog’s spectrum of sociability.
The spectrum of sociability refers to how well your pet can tolerate the presence of other canines and people. This will highly affect your dog’s chances of being accepted to a dog daycare.
If the administrators found that your dog is untrained and has aggressive tendencies, they may decline the application for the safety of other canines. This applies to all breeds, not just Bulldogs.
Under the spectrum of sociability, your dog will fall in one of the four categories: Dog Social, Dog Tolerant, Dog Selective, and Dog Aggressive.
Dogs that fall within the Dog Social and Dog Tolerant won’t have problems in the doggy daycare. Nevertheless, Dog Selective canines are still a good match. They aren’t aggressive, but they tend to be picky with the dogs they socialize with. It’s a normal assessment for senior canines.
🐶Fights could happen
Even if all the dogs in the doggy daycare are well-trained, dogfights can still erupt from time to time. Imagine a group of toddlers running and playing around. It’s quite inevitable to have minor brushes with each other.
The good thing is that doggy daycare facilitators are trained to handle this situation. You can also talk with the doggy daycare official about what they do in case such fights happen.
🐶Doggy daycares aren’t boarding services
Since it’s called ‘daycare’, these places are only meant for daytime accommodation of canines. If you’re going out of town, it’s best to bring your dog to a pet hotel or a dog boarding facility.
🐶You should give them full contact details.
Aside from your phone number, you should also give the doggy daycare the number of your dog’s vet. In case accidents happen, the doggy daycare staff will know who to call for help.
Benefits of enrolling your Bulldog in doggy daycare?
If you’re not sure if a doggy daycare is right for your Bulldog, the following benefits may convince you:
Socialization is the main benefit of doggy daycare to Bulldogs. It exposes your pet to different canines as well as stimuli that will help dampen aggression.
As pack animals, dogs thrive in a group. Being with other dogs teaches your Bulldog to behave properly and to respect the hierarchy of the pack.
This socialization will trickle down to how your Bulldog behaves around children and strangers in the long run.
Nevertheless, socialization shouldn’t start at a doggy daycare facility alone. It’s your responsibility as the pet owner to give your Bulldog a head start. Obedience training and socialization at an early age will prepare your pooch for the doggy daycare experience.
✔️Physical and mental stimulation
Your Bulldog’s stay at the doggy daycare is filled with brain games and physical exercise. This will help keep a Bulldog in shape, especially since this breed is notorious for being couch potatoes.
Since Bulldogs aren’t as active as Golden Retrievers, doggy daycares can customize the activities to cater to your dog.
Through this, your Bulldog will achieve its ideal energy expenditure while preventing weight gain. It will also stop your pet’s energy from being used to bad habits like chewing at home or barking at strangers.
Once you pick up your dog from the daycare, it will surely have a restful sleep throughout the night.
✔️Relieves canine anxiety
Bulldogs are prone to separation anxiety, especially if left alone for long periods. This is why busy families and individuals who own Bulldogs will benefit a lot from doggy daycare facilities.
However, the service of doggy daycare is just part of fighting separation anxiety. You should still subject your dog to training to solve the problem permanently. This is crucial since you’re not going to bring your pooch to the daycare every single day.
Instead of worrying about your dog’s safety at home, a doggy daycare will watch the pooch for you. Your Bulldog can roam freely inside the daycare under the supervision of the trained staff.
This way, your pet won’t have the chance to chew on wires, swallow inedible items, and destroy your personal belongings out of anxiety.
✔️Peace of mind for owners
Last but not the least, doggy daycare facilities will give you peace of mind. You can focus at work knowing that your beloved Bulldog is in the right hands. Many doggy daycare facilities will also send you updates or a ‘report card’ once you pick up your pet.
Tips when selecting a doggy daycare
Doggy daycare facilities are sprouting everywhere. To ensure that you’re trusting the right choice for your Bulldog, the following are some of the aspects you should consider:
- Staff training. It’s not enough that the staff is self-proclaimed dog lovers. They should have the necessary training on how to handle different dog breeds. This is added peace of mind on your end as well as for safety for your Bulldog.
- Tour the facility. You surely want to see the facilities where your dog will be staying. Ask the doggy daycare staff if you can take a quick tour to look around. Make sure that there’s proper ventilation, durable fencing, safe flooring, and enough space for all the enrolled canines. Above all, the place should be clean.
- Inquire about dog grouping. Responsible doggy daycare facilities won’t mix all dogs in a single group. Instead, they should group them based on temperament, exercise level, play style, and more. If the doggy daycare doesn’t perform this grouping, you should look elsewhere.
- Staff-to-dog ratio. The doggy daycare should only assign a maximum of 15 dogs per one human – the fewer dogs assigned per person, the better. This will ensure that your pet will receive proper care and attention.
- Know about their policies. You should ask the staff about toy policies, especially if your Bulldog tends resource-guard. This way, the staff can adjust their supplies based on your dog’s needs.
- Look for an emergency plan. Your choice of doggy daycare should have a plan in place in case accidents happen. For example, if your dog got injured, they should have a protocol in calling the vet. The staff should also know what to do.
How to prepare your Bulldog for doggy daycare
Like prepping a toddler for its first day at school, you also need to condition your Bulldog for doggy daycare. Here are the steps you can take:
- Start with socialization. While socialization is a big benefit from doggy daycare, it’s not the facility’s responsibility. You still need to socialize your Bulldog as soon as it arrives in your home. Take note that socialization must be done with humans and dogs alike.
- Update the shots. Make sure that your Bulldog’s shots are up-to-date days before its scheduled stay at a doggy daycare. This will protect your doggo from various infections and diseases.
- Train for basic obedience. Your Bulldog should be well-versed with basic obedience before you even enroll it in the daycare. The best program for this is the AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC). It’s solid proof that your Bulldog is behaving based on standards.
- Pay daycare visit. Most daycare facilities would be willing to accommodate you and your dog for a visit. This will let you observe your pet’s reaction. It will also help you desensitize the pooch to the new environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often should I take my dog to doggy daycare?
A: It’s best to limit your dog’s stay in the doggy daycare to a maximum of three times a week. You should allow the other days of the week as your schedule to bond with your pet. If you’re just going to drop your dog at the daycare every single day, it will start to lose its bond with you. It’s something you wouldn’t want to happen as a pet owner.
Q: Is doggy daycare good for dogs with separation anxiety?
A: Doggy daycares are a great option for Bulldogs with separation anxiety. Instead of leaving your dog at home, you can bring it to a daycare to play with other dogs. However, training is still necessary on your part as a pet owner. Also, take note that doggy daycare facilities are never the sole solution to your dog’s behavioral problems.
Q: Does doggy daycare help with behavior?
A: Doggy daycares can help with behavior in terms of providing companionship to your Bulldog. The activities in the daycare will also help nurture your dog’s behavior. However, doggy daycares don’t provide in-depth training, so you still need to handle that part as the pet owner.
Q: How can I help my dog excel in daycare?
A: Training at home will help your Bulldog excel in doggy daycare. You should also give your pet enough exercise so that it won’t become overexcited at the doggy daycare. During days when you’re not taking your dog to the daycare facility, you should focus on socialization, training, and bonding.
Q: Why does my Bulldog shake before daycare?
A: Excitement is the main reason why you’ll notice your Bulldog shaking before dropping it off at the doggy daycare. As long as it’s not accompanied by adverse symptoms like the difficulty of breathing, there’s nothing to worry about. However, stress and fear can also be a culprit here, so it’s best to watch your pet’s body language.
Is doggy daycare good for dogs? Yes, these facilities are beneficial for both canines and their owners. And for Bulldogs, it’s a great place to combat separation anxiety, boredom, other negative behavior. Just make sure that you trust one with a good track record and proven services. At the end of the day, your dog’s welfare is at stake here.