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My Dog Doesn’t Thrive in Daycare – What Should I Do?

Your busy schedule means that you cannot be at home for your dog, so you have taken the time to find her a spot at your local dog day care. Only she doesn’t take to it – she comes home miserable and you have a problem getting her to walk through the gates the next day. This is a common problem and you shouldn’t worry so much about it, at least not in the initial days. Dogs are very much like pre-schoolers in the sense that it can sometimes take some time for them to get used to a new environment. But if it has been a few days and your pet will still not adjust it is very likely that there is a problem.

It is up to you as a responsible pet owner to find out what that problem is and take care of it. Sometimes it is because you have chosen the wrong kennel. If, for example, you have a docile older dog, and you choose a day care that has lots of very young and active young dogs yours will feel out of place. By the end of the day she will be over-aroused and tired from all the activity and she will not want to go back her next day. The only solution would be to find her a dog day care that has dogs of a similar temperament.

In some cases it may be the carers at the dog day care who are not right. If your pet is used to lots of love and attention and then you take them to a kennel where she is neglected she will feel lonely all day and they will not want to return. It is important to choose a dog day care center that has experienced carers who understand different kinds of dogs. They should be available for dogs that need pampering and play. If a dog prefers to be left alone they should be able to do that too.

Another common reason why dogs reject day care is food – they may not like what is on offer or they may not be fed enough. If you think this is the problem it is rather easy to solve – just pack your dog along with her favorite treats as well as her water and food bowls, and then make sure that the day care center knows how often they should feed her.

Some dogs are reactive to fences – if your pet is not used to being fenced in she can get very agitated and you may even be called to fetch her before the day is over. If your dog doesn’t like to be locked in you should find her a day care center that can accommodate her freely. A long walk and play in the park may be able to calm her down.

The bottom line is, if your pet doesn’t take well to a dog day care center you shouldn’t insist on taking her there. Find her one where she is more comfortable.

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