No, I don’t and here are a few reasons why. Well firstly, I don’t have a facility to take the dogs to be able to offer doggy daycare. It would be fabulous to have a place where I could have people drop off their dogs to be in my care for the day. What would I do differently if I had a doggy daycare facility? Well instead of having dogs stand around in a yard or hall I would take them on scheduled hikes so my facility would also need property with trails. I know, I know, I buy lottery tickets every week.
My concern with doggy daycares and people who send their dogs to them is the mentality that dogs need to be exercised/entertained/stimulated for 8-10 hours. I think that is too much. I have high energy breeds myself and firmly believe that dogs need to learn to settle, chill out, and turn “off”. Yes, of course, your dog comes home tired after playing for 8 hours! But does he understand on a day he’s not going to daycare and you have a terrible headache that he just needs to chill out and settle down because you can’t entertain him today?? I think a 30-60 minute break to stretch their legs, get some fresh air, do their business and chase a ball or frisbee, wrestle with a friend or simply run back and forth on a trail is sufficient enough for them to go back home and chill out until you get home. I don’t even walk my dogs everyday…some days I’m just too busy or if the weather is crappy we do some brain games/training and then they are told “all done” which gives them permission to find a bed and lie down, chew a bone or toy. Even my own dogs in my home are not on top of each other – they all have their favourite spots to lie down, sleep or rest and they are not even near one another. I used to have a home security camera so I could watch my dogs while they were at home to see what they were doing, watch them play and interact and know what they do when I’m not there. Well, that novelty wore off really quick. The alerts I got were for a dog getting up to get some water then lying down again, a dog shifting in their sleeping position, a dog’s head pops up out of sleep if they heard something out on the road, and so on. So basically pretty dull and boring – they didn’t wrestle, they didn’t chew the couch (thankfully), they didn’t raid the fridge, they are not sitting staring at the door waiting for me to get home or pacing waiting for something to do. They know when it’s time to work or play and when it’s time to chill and honestly, I think they enjoy their chill time!
If you throw a ball for a ball-loving dog for an hour they will chase it and bring it back, over and over. Even if they are tired or sore or bored. That is what I think happens at doggy daycares – there are so many dogs at different energy levels that one will always invoke play but dogs don’t think like us – I’m tired and maybe a bit sore and little bit cranky after Max chased me and I crashed into the fence because I didn’t really want to wrestle but I couldn’t get away from him, now I’m sore and I want to lie down but now Charlie wants to play with me. The dogs don’t have an option to get away, go to a quiet spot to sleep or rest. Not all personalities mesh. Dogs are not so different from people in that sense although we don’t sniff each others’ butts ha ha!
I honestly prefer dogs to be moving, walking, running, sniffing and exploring as a way of stimulating their senses and exercising their bodies. If I won the lottery would I buy a doggy daycare facility?? It’s not likely and if I did I would use it for training and still operate the way I do – walking and hiking dogs to stimulate their brains and exercise their bodies. Yes, even in the unfavourable weather.