Is Your Favorite Furry Friend Ready for Doggy Day Care……. or the Dog Park?
Sending your dog to day care or spending an afternoon at the dog park are the “vogue” things to do as a hip, modern pet owner, but what you may not realize is that your pet might not be ready for this change. Before you sign up or head out, take some time to think about your pet and whether or not he is ready for these social outings. Doing so may mean the difference between a relaxing, pleasant experience and a disaster.
A Clean Bill of Health
The first thing you need to take your dog to day care or the dog park is a clean bill of health. Other pet owners who are also taking their pets to these facilities want to know that they won’t be exposed to contagious conditions. Have your vet give your dog a thorough checkup before you enroll or plan a visit. Remember that a clean bill of health includes being flea free.
The Right Age
Many doggy day cares will have rules about how old a puppy needs to be before visiting, but try to avoid these types of social situations before your dog is four months old. Also, if your dog is elderly and has not been in these types of social situations in the past, you might want to skip, because the situation may cause stress for your pet.
The Right Social Experience
Finally, take a look at how your dog does around other dogs. If you have never had your dog around other pets, then you may want to try a short trip to the dog park first, or simply a “play date” with another dog owner. Remember, doggy day care or a lengthy trip to the dog park is a highly stimulating situation, and your dog may act completely differently than he does at home in this environment.
If you find that your dog plays well with others and is the right age and in good health, then the doggy day care or dog park is definitely something to pursue. If not, then look for other ways to engage your dog and remember, not everyone is ready for day care, and that’s OK!
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