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.
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.