Leaving your dog at a daycare can be anxiety-inducing for both you and your dog, especially if your dog is skittish around strangers or if they’re very attached to you.
But while it may not be easy in the beginning, eventually, they will adjust if you choose the right daycare facility.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your dog is physically and emotionally ready for its first day at doggie daycare.
Ensure that your dog has gotten all its vaccinations
Your dog is going to be spending time a lot of time with other dogs at daycare. This proximity might make your dog vulnerable to health risks if their vaccinations aren’t up to date. Before enrolling your dog in a daycare, you should get it vaccinated against canine parvovirus, kennel cough, rabies, and dog flu.
You should also talk to your vet before taking your dog to daycare, since they’ll know which vaccinations your dog needs. Any good daycare will also require proof of vaccination, and you can only get that from your vet.
See how your dog responds to other people
Start off small. Try to leave your dog at a friend’s for a day—preferably someone they’ve met a few times. Over the next few days, ask your friend to give you updates on its behavior, eating patterns, etc.
Over time, this will teach your dog that they don’t always have to be around you to feel safe.
See how your dog responds to other dogs
Once they seem comfortable, you could maybe even ask them to take your dog to a dog park to see how they interact with other dogs there. This is a great way to acclimatize your dog to new environments and people.
Your dog might be extremely friendly, but socializing with other dogs will be difficult if it hasn’t been around other animals too often. There’s a sociability spectrum for dogs, and your dog’s sociability changes as your dog ages, so remember to keep that in mind—start early!