Is Doggy Day Care Right for Your Dog?

Dog day cares are the ultimate win-win solution for busy pet owners: You feel good about giving your canine companion time to socialize with other dogs while you score a few extra hours to tend to a hectic schedule. You might not want to send your dog every day, but here are five situations when day care might be the perfect fit for your four-legged friend.

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1. You have a busy work schedule.

Do you find yourself feeling guilty about leaving your four-legged friend at home all day? Doggy day care might be for you. Sign up your canine companion for one or two days each week to give him important socialization time. Doggy day care is an especially good option for puppies that need training during the week while you're at work. Many doggy day cares have certified trainers on staff that will work to improve your pup's behavior.

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2. You have an active pup.

Vetstreet polled 122 veterinarians and found that Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, and Jack Russell Terriers are considered to be among the most high-energy dog breeds. If your dog is really active, it's a good idea to consider doggy day care for the times you are out of the house for long periods of time so he has a chance to exercise. Even if you have an average- or low-energy dog, day care can help him burn energy during long winters, hot summers, or other times when you're too busy for your daily walks.

3. You're renovating your home.

Are you remodeling your kitchen or living room? Renovations can make for a chaotic environment for both you and your dog. Consider signing your pup up for day care to reduce the number of paws running around the brand-new wood floors you're installing.

4. You're having a baby and need immediate and reliable dog care.

Signing your pup up for doggy day care can help alleviate anxiety during pregnancy. Amy Rosenthal, the owner of Minneapolis-based Metro Dogs Daycare and Boarding, created a "Metro Maternity" program. She says, "If you are going through the stress, wonderment, and excitement of having a baby, the last thing you want to worry about is your dog!" Dog owners send Rosenthal their approximate due date in advance, which allows the day care to reserve space ahead of time. When the baby arrives, Rosenthal meets up with a family member at anytime, day or night, to look after their pup. Rosenthal's program is rather unique, so check with your dog day care to see if they offer a similar service.

5. You have tickets to a concert, ball game, or movie.

If you have an event to attend after work, you can drop your dog off at day care. You won't have to worry about letting your puppy out -- or coming home to toilet paper unraveled all over your home!  Or, if your day care closes for the evening, take them during the day and rest assured they'll be looked after the whole time you're gone.

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