I'll admit it . . . when I first heard about doggie day cares I immediately thought about people who REEEEALLY treated their pets like kids; the people who spoil their pets rotten, and lets face it, we're all tempted to. I've come to realize that there are so many reasons why doggie day care can be a good thing (and even a sanity saver) for a lot of pet owners.
Doggie daycares give pet owners a place where their dog can socialize with other dogs, socialize with other people, learn acceptable behavior when around other dogs and people, and get that much needed exercise that they require in order to stay happy and healthy. Pet owners can take their dog to play with other dogs once a week, twice a week or even 5 or 6 times a week. The exercise that dogs get when at day care is both physical and mental. Dogs need to have their mind exercised as well as their body. If there isn't enough stimulation, dogs can develop behavioral problems (some breeds more than others) that can become disruptive or even destructive to their every day well being.
Every Wednesday I drop Hermes off at doggie daycare on my way to volunteer at The Banquet. I started taking him once a week when Zoe got to where she couldn’t play with him anymore. He craves human contact, but I know he also needs that interaction and play time that only other dogs can give. Being that he has very little fur, winter is especially critical for these play dates so that he doesn't go completely bonkers being stuck indoors. He knows when it’s Wednesday and he starts jumping around like a kid who’s just been told he’s going to Disneyworld. Honestly, I have no clue how he knows it’s Wednesday, but he knows. On the way, Hermes settles down in the car . . . until we get within a mile of the place. How does he know??? He sits up straight as an arrow in the back seat and then starts to whine. Oh my gosh, it cracks me up every time. I swear he’s asking, “Are we there yet?” When I look in my rear view mirror and tell him, “We’re almost there” I see that he is shaking with anticipation. Sometimes I think it would be so great to be that excited about something on a weekly basis.
One time I picked Hermes up and the girl at the desk met me saying, “I’m so sorry he’s all wet.” He wasn’t just wet, he was soaking wet from head to toe. Before I could respond (because I figured that he had gotten into something and they gave him a bath) she said, “That dog over there (my friend’s big Golden Retriever) wouldn’t stop licking him. HA!
Hermes always has a great time at doggie daycare. I can tell because (1) he and all his friends come running to greet me at the gate and (2) he doesn’t last 2 minutes on the way home before he is asleep (usually, still in the sitting up position). On this particular afternoon, Hermes didn't make it two blocks before he was out.