4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Dog Daycare

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Dog Daycare
I’ve enjoyed working with dogs and cats for more than 40 years at Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts in Tinton Falls and Wall, NJ. Our family-owned and operated facilities are run by an extraordinary team of 70 pet care professionals, many of whom have been with us for more than 30 years.

Although dog daycares weren’t popular until the 1990s, it was during the early 1970s when I invested my time and love for pets into our Tinton Falls and Wall facilities. I would open the doors to allow our boarding dogs to enjoy leash-free, group play in the halls and yards. Animal behavior was a young science then, and many colleagues questioned why I would take such huge risks with the animals. Today, I am proud to see that dog daycare has become a service widely accessible across the country.

Dog daycare continues to be on the rise. Many families work long hours and don’t want their dogs to be home alone. Some simply want their dogs to socialize and enjoy a good time. There are many reasons people bring their dogs to daycare, but the common thread among our clients is the love they share for their pets and their desire to do what’s best for them.

At Purr’n Pooch, we offer 45 different play areas, transitional groups, and even programs for pets with special needs. By having these spaces and specialized services, our dogs can play and enjoy themselves in the proper, supervised environments.

Pet owners should understand however that not only do the accommodations matter when leaving a pet with a daycare facility, but staff experience is key to successful socialization and a happy visit.

It’s important that you inquire about the credentials of the establishment before leaving your dog in its care. A pet care professional with many years of experience assessing animal behavior should evaluate the potential daycare client. Always ask if the employee evaluating your pet has the proper credentials to diagnose your companion’s behavior. Some questions to ask include:

 

1. Will you evaluate my dog’s personality as well as its breed and size?

The personality, behavior and size of your dog should all be evlauated, not just your dog’s breed and size. Like children, dogs have their own individual personalities and tend to gravitate to certain people and dogs during the socialization process. Knowing more about your dog will make it possible for the daycare to place it in a group that works best for its temperament.

2. Will my dog be supervised at all times?

Your pet’s caregiver needs to instill boundaries and supervise situations when your dog is at play in any group setting. Be sure to inquire about daycare security and supervision, as they are equally important factors when choosing a facility.

3. Will my dog play in a group right away?

Your dog should be introduced slowly to its new environment, comfortably introducing a circle of friends and becoming familiar with the surroundings on his or her own time. Some dogs require more time than others to develop the confidence necessary to socialize in groups. This type of introduction takes patience, understanding, and, above all, an investment in employee training and workplace safety practices. And, many dogs may benefit more by being placed in a daycare with human versus dog contact. This environment will exist at a facility willing to work with your pet.

4. What type of surface will my dog play on?

In my professional opinion, the safest and most hygenic surface is astro turf developed specifically for canines. Digging in the dirt, jumping in muddy puddles, and roaming through the grass are all favorite pup pastimes, but your dog’s daycare facility should make sure that your pets still enjoy themselves without potential health hazards. The fuss of daily baths and pesticides could irritate a pet’s skin and fleas, ticks and bacteria can lurk in grass and dirt. At Purr’n Pooch, we outfit our play areas with environmentally friendly turf, which has a knitted backing that provides immediate drainage, so any liquid will wash away automatically, and its soft surface is durable yet gives our guests a comfortable, safe and clean experience while playing outdoors.

No two pets are alike and I take pride in celebrating their uniqueness. Why set dogs up to fail with a daycare that is not accurately assessing their needs or providing the ideal environment for play from the very start? Visit us in Wall or Tinton Falls to see if daycare is a fit for your best friend.

 

7 Tips for a Positive and Successful Dog Training Experience

7 Tips for a Positive and Successful Dog Training Experience

Our pets rely on us to feed and bath them, give them comfort and direction, provide them with stimulation and socialization, and to protect them from harm. So why do some pet owners skip hiring a professional dog trainer?

Training plays an important role in helping us to become responsible dog owners. It makes it possible for us to entertain our dogs with tricks and games; introduce them to other dogs and people; live a less anxious and worried life; and to avoid self-harm. It’s tail-wagging time that training becomes a top priority when buying or adopting a dog. Let’s “paws” for a few training candidate scenarios.

Big dog, big problems? Do you walk down the street with your 100+ dog jumping and pulling both of you into dangerous situations? You’ve had many close calls as your dog drags you steps from the street and speeding cars.

Chewie on the loose? Maybe you’re the proud parent of a new puppy and find his excessive chewing not only draining on your wallet, but also on your nerves. You live in constant fear that your new cutie has eaten something dangerous or even lethal.

Too old to train? Maybe you believe your old dog can’t learn new tricks? Well, you’ll want to read about Mac, a rescue dog Purr’n Pooch’s President Dick Palazzo trained to love and trust again. Last year, this arthritic senior walked up a flight of stairs to save his family from a fire. Read his miraculous story on our blog and in the upcoming April issue of Dog Fancy magazine.

One of these stories may be familiar to you or you may have your own “tail” of woe to share. Let’s focus, however, on the positive and enroll your dog in training classes in 2014. A New Year means a new opportunity to learn to communicate more effectively by understanding what motivates certain behaviors, how to read canine body language, and more. There are some simple things you can keep in mind to ensure that you and your dog have a positive and successful training experience.

7 Tips for a Positive and Successful Dog Training Experience:

1. Consider your dog’s environment. Hire a trainer based on what works for you. Group and private classes at home and at training centers are widely available. For what to look for in a dog trainer, visit the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and consider Purr’n Pooch’s team as an option.

2. Customize your training according to dog’s age and ability. Do not set your dog up for failure with a cookie cutter training experience. Like people, every dog has had a different set of life experiences that come through in its behaviors.

3.  Be consistent. Have everyone in the household on the same page even the children. If everyone teaches the dog the behaviors in the same way, they are more likely to learn faster.

4. Reward positive behavior. When your dog does what you want, praise him verbally and in the beginning give him a treat.  Make a big deal about the positive and ignore bad behavior. Pets are like children, any sort of reaction could be mistrued as a reward.

5. Make it fun. Let’s face it if we aren’t having fun doing something we are likely to give up and move on.  Join a training class with your furry best friend and hang out with other people who share the same experiences of dog life.

6. Build a lifelong bond. By training with your dog on a regular basis and making it a fun and rewarding experience, you’ll build a bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.

7.  Dog’s point of view.  At Purr’n Pooch we always say to look at your life from your dog’s point of view and only then will they have an understanding of us.

Training at Purr’n Pooch

Group training for puppies and adolescents are held at the Purr’n Pooch training hall at 86 Gilbert Street West in Tinton Falls, NJ. For more information on private training information or with any questions, place call 732-842-4949 or email info@purrnpooch.com.

Wishing you and your dog a stress-free 2014 enjoying all the things you love to do together from walks on the beach to socializing with new friends at the dog park. With some training and time, you’ll be ready to showoff your dog’s good behavior and hard work in no time.