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Doggy day care: yes or no?

A regular debate I find myself having with doggy (and non-doggy) people, is should I send my dog to day care? And as director of my own doggy day care business, it may surprise you that my answer is sometimes no.

Just like humans, while dogs may be from the same species, they’re all different with their own quirks and unique personalities. This means, therefore, that every single dog should be treated as an individual and we’ve learnt that our day care does not suit every dog.


Bruce’s team member using the agility course outside with three dogs

Here at Bruce’s, we like to meet owners but more importantly their fur babies, whether that’s in person at our day care centre or through a virtual tour online. Once we’ve met with you and your pooch, we like to organise a taster session to see how Bruce’s can benefit your dog.

Knowing that every dog is different means every introduction at Bruce’s is tailored to each of our dogs individual needs.


Bruce’s team member sat on the floor outside, playing with two dogs

If we know your dog is confident and sociable from the get-go, we’ll make sure they’re teamed up with other class mates who have a similar energy and play style.

The same goes for a dog that is shy around other canine friends, but super affectionate towards humans. We’d introduce them to their carer and one other dog who we know is calm and friendly. As they become comfortable and confident, we’d look to introduce them to more furry friends.


Dachshund and cockapoo playing with their dog carer on the floor in tiny town

There are occasions where we notice our day care environment is too overwhelming or stimulating for some dogs.

We are completely transparent and honest with owners if we feel this way. We only ever do what’s best for the dogs and like I say, our day care isn’t for everyone. We would always make some suggestions for an alternative and less stimulating environment.


How are we able to do this?

Dog carer asking golden retriever for a dog trick

How are we able to do this?

Because our successful award-winning business is built around three key components every doggy day care centre should have:

  1. Lots of space
  2. Expert team
  3. Experience

This means the carers-to-dog ratio is high and the dogs are not crammed into close confines. This also enables us to offer another essential ingredient doggy day care should provide – off the lead exercise – good for both physical and mental health.

In December 2014, animal charity PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) issued its annual PAW Report highlighting several causes behind a brewing pet welfare crisis in Britain. One of which is lack of exercise, with over 800,000 dogs never taken off the lead when walked and nearly 250,000 not walked at all. And in a recent episode of Channel 4’s Dogs: Their Secret Lives, vet turned TV presenter Mark Evans revealed the many benefits of walking a dog off the lead not least because they cover considerably more ground!

In answer then to the million-dollar question in the canine community – doggy day care: yes or no? It depends on the dog, and it depends on the day care provider.