Author Archives: kevin

luxury chihuahua

Luxury Dog Accessories & Home Products Your Dog Needs to Live Like a Rock Star

The NY Post found that the bond between pet and person is very strong. In fact, 84% of pet owners see themselves as “pet parents.” And, what parent out there doesn’t want their kids to have everything and more?

If you love to pamper your fur baby, read on for the best luxury dog accessories you need for your dog.

The Latest Tech

In the last few years, our homes have started to include many modern and convenient tech that make life easier. From smart appliances that you can control from an app while you are out to garbage cans that scan items to add to your grocery list. There’s something to make life as easy as possible.

Your pampered pooch should have the latest tech too. For example, an electronic dog door gives your pup the freedom to go in and out as she pleases. And it relieves you from being a doorman for your pet.

Another great techy gift for Coco is a smart collar. Not only does it tell you where your dog is in the house, but it also lets you monitor your furbaby’s health. It can even help you train your pup using some sound stimulus.

The Best Designer Dog Collars

The one thing on every luxury dog accessories list is a blinging collar. We suggest an iconic Tiffany and Co. collar that your pup will be proud to show off during your walks.

Ranging from extra small to extra large, there’s sure to be the right size for your pup. She will love the luxurious feel of high-quality Italian leather. You’ll love the custom hardware surrounded by glorious Tiffany blue.

Check out these 5 celebrity-inspired dog-walking outfits so you can look as fab as Fido.

Luxury Dog Houses

Give the phrase “in the doghouse” a whole new meaning with a spacious and comfortable adobe for your pooch.

The Juxtapose dog house by Kelly Wearstler is stylish and on trend. You’ll both love the modern and sleek architectural grid design that will be a pleasant accent in your home.

The Bowhaus can hold its own on MTV Cribs. It functions as both a side table and lounge area for your pampered pet. It’s a win-win.

If you want a gorgeous dog house for your pup in your yard, consider getting a custom-build.

Custom dog houses at Puppy Boutique can be made to fit the design and style of your home. Choose a concrete and glass contemporary pad or a Brooklyn brownstone replica for your pup to flow with your existing architecture.

Luxury Dog Accessories

One of the best ways to ensure your pup lives like a rock star is with a slew of tasteful designer dog items.

We love the collection of Henri Bendel pet toys and carrier totes. The Rock Dog Bowl by Michael Aram is full of glam.

Doggy sweaters are so last year. Why not pamper your pup with a full wardrobe including bathrobes, tutus, swimwear, and formal attire? Make sure to snap some pics and post them to give your pooch a taste of the rockstar life.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed reading about the many luxury dog accessories you can treat your furry friend with. After all, your dog is your best friend. And doesn’t he or she deserve the best?

Make sure to follow these dog twitter accounts to find more like-minded people on social media.

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veterinarian golden retriever

Canine Care: 7 Reasons Why Pet Insurance is Worth the Cost

In the US, 44% of people own a dog.

Dogs can improve the health and wellbeing of their owners. In return, dog owners want to ensure that they take the absolute best care of their pet. But what happens if your pet becomes ill or injured and the veterinary bill is more than you can afford?

Pet insurance can help you offset the cost of your pet’s veterinary bills. The cost of pet insurance is worth the peace of mind that you can take care of your pet regardless of what happens.

Keep reading to find out more about pet insurance and why you should consider investing in your dog’s health.

Protect Your Pet’s Health

Pet insurance works in the same way that your health insurance does. Like human health care, you pay a monthly premium. If and when your pet becomes ill or gets injured, some of the costs for veterinary care are covered.

Your pet insurance company helps you offset the cost of high veterinary bills depending on the plan you’ve chosen. This usually includes costs for diagnosis, treatments, as well as management of an injury or illness.

Like your own health care, only some procedures and treatments are covered by insurance. Most plans cover unexpected issues and some will cover preventative care. But most pet insurance companies won’t cover your pets pre-existing conditions.

Different Policies for Different Needs

Not all pet insurance policies are equal. You’ll have to do some research and compare plans to find one that’s right for you.

Below are some of the basic plans most pet insurance companies offer:

  • Accident-Only. This policy covers treatment when your pet is involved in an accident or sustains an injury. They don’t cover treatment for illness.
  • Pet Wellness. These policies provide coverage for regular as well as preventative treatment. This includes annual exams, vaccines, and flea and tick treatment.
  • Time-Limited. With this pet insurance plan, there is a maximum dollar amount provided per condition as well as a time limit. For example, you may be covered for $1,000 for 12 months of treatment. Your coverage expires when either the dollar amount or time limit runs out. These plans tend to be more affordable.
  • Maximum-Benefit. Under these policies, there is a cap on the dollar amount per condition. However, there isn’t any time limit on that coverage. Your pet is covered for an unlimited period of time until the dollar amount runs out.
  • Lifetime. These are the most comprehensive plans available for your pet. They’re also the most expensive. With this policy, your pet is covered for ongoing treatment as well as surgical procedures.

Flexible Costs

Depending on your budget, you can find a pet insurance policy that works for you. Pet insurance companies offer a variety of options for purchasing insurance that suits what you can afford.

Costs vary according to what policy you choose and what type of treatment is covered. Of course, basic accident-only plans will cost a lot less than comprehensive lifetime plans.

Different pet insurance companies will offer different payment options. You can usually select your deductible options according to your budget. These options include an annual or per condition deductible.

You can also look into co-pay plans and various reimbursement percentage options. Co-pay amounts are typically between 10% and 40%. This percentage is paid by you.

Remember that the age and breed of your dog will affect your monthly premium. Where you live will also impact your costs.

Covering the Costs of Expensive Medical Needs

dog insurance chihuahua

Exactly what your pet insurance covers will vary by policy. You can find policies that cover the following at the very least:

  • Veterinary consultation
  • Veterinary examinations
  • Tests and laboratory needs
  • X-rays and MRIs
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Medication
  • Medical supplies
  • Dental treatments

In terms of more comprehensive plans, some policies will cover behavioral consultations and treatment. Meaning that if you have to send your dog to boot camp, some costs will be covered. You may even be able to find a policy that covers food for a special diet.

There are some pet insurance policies that go so far as to cover acupuncture and massage therapy. Of course, these plans are more expensive than basic plans.

If your pet insurance policy doesn’t cover dental treatments, you can usually purchase this as an add-on. This, of course, is subject to an additional charge.

Paying for the above without insurance can be costly. A standard vet consultation can cost anywhere from $50-$85 alone. If you own a medium-sized dog, they can cost up to $100,000 over their lifetime.

Choose Your Vet

One of the main differences between pet insurance and human health insurance is the option to visit the best vet you can find. While human health insurance limits the health providers you can visit for treatment, there’s no such restriction on pet insurance. You can visit whichever veterinarian you choose and still receive coverage.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to cover the costs up-front. After you’ve paid the treatment costs, you submit your claim to your pet insurance provider. They will then reimburse you the percentage determined by your plan.

Safeguard Your Pet’s Future

Some pet owners don’t realize how necessary pet insurance is until something happens to their pet. Although your pet may be in perfect health right now, it’s possible that something happens in the future that will carry a hefty veterinary bill. Both accidents and illness can cost $1000’s in veterinary bills.

Many dogs develop chronic conditions as they get older. Treatment amounts for long-term conditions are significant. They usually include costs for medication, surgery, and ongoing treatment.

By purchasing pet insurance, you’re safeguarding your pet’s future. If something happens down the line, you’re out of pocket expenses will be reduced significantly. This means you won’t have to make the difficult choice to put your pet down when you can’t afford treatment for them.

The Cost of Pet Insurance Is Worth It

Considering how much a pet can cost you in veterinary care over the course of their life, the cost of pet insurance is worth it. Although your pet may be well now, there’s no telling what accident or illness may pop up in the future. Having pet insurance will give you the peace of mind that you can afford your pet’s future care.

For more tips and advice on caring for your dog, check out our blog.

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puppy boxer face

Doggie Doo Doo: 10 Tips for House Training Your New Pup

Puppy house training tips: The USA has more dogs than any other country by a lot, almost twice as many as Brazil in second place. People often cite their dogs among their oldest friends. Sarah Silverman considered her dog, Duck, to be her longest relationship.

Raising a dog from puppyhood is a unique opportunity to form that lasting connection. Potty training a puppy is a different story. These 10 tips will help make your job a little easier.

1. Start Smart

Don’t set yourself up to fail.

You have to work with the dog you have not the dog you’ve heard of. Tiny puppies are not capable of controlling their bowels or bladders. Delay house training until your puppy is 12-16 weeks old.

Conversely, if your puppy comes to you at 12 weeks old and has been pooping and peeing in a cage, his behavior may be set. It will take more time to housebreak a puppy with bad habits.

2. Establish Routine

Adapting an animal to a human’s agenda requires an intentional approach. Your puppy needs a routine.

Puppies have growing stomachs and need small amounts of food 3 or 4 times a day. Put quality food out at the same time every day, and put it away between meals. Knowing when your puppy ate will help you determine when he’ll need to potty.

A puppy’s age is a good indicator of how long it can hold its waste. Figure about an hour per month of age, up to a year. By then you’ll have a more reasonable walking schedule.

If you find that your puppy is not able to hold it for an appropriate amount of time, talk to your vet. It might be a sign of a medical problem.

3. Be Consistent

puppy face yorkie

Photo credit: Ana do Amaral via Unsplash

Once you’ve figured out what routine works best for you, be consistent. Take your puppy out first thing every morning. Take him out right before bed every night.

More than likely, you’ll be out in your yard every couple hours.

When your puppy wakes up, take him out. After he eats or drinks, take him out. After he plays, after he chews on a bone, after he gets excited, take him out every time.

Puppies tend to eliminate 15 minutes after stimulation. Give him a chance to do it right.

You’ll also need to dedicate a part of the yard to toileting and go to that spot every time. The scent sets off your dog’s instinctual behaviors. Stay with your pup outside to keep him on task.

Try to speak the same words every time you’re taking care of business. Soon enough you’ll be able to ask your puppy if he needs to “go outside” before he ends up going on your rug.

If you’re feeling especially Pavlovian, you can hang a bell on the door used to take your dog outside. Have him ring the bell every time it’s potty time and praise him liberally for his accomplishment.

4. Be Generous

A generous reward system is the linchpin of successful potty training. Rewards can also help with obedience training. Learn more about that.

Praise your puppy and offer treats when he’s eliminated appropriately. The trick is to do it before you go back inside. This provides an immediate positive association instead of a delayed one.

Don’t get too excited and congratulate your puppy before he’s finished, though. If he’s interrupted, he might run back inside before he gets the job done.

5. Get Ready for Bed

puppy house train

Photo credit: Roberto Nickson via unsplash

A true puppy parent is forged in the crucible of nighttime. Puppies, like babies, don’t care about your beauty rest and will wake you up throughout the night to meet their needs.

To give yourself a fighting chance, restrict evening drinking. Put the water bowl away 2 hours before bedtime.

When your puppy does wake you up, don’t turn on all the lights, and don’t engage him in play. Take him out and then put him back to bed.

If you find that many accidents are happening at night, you may need to be more proactive about waking up. You don’t want your dog to get used to having filth in his space.

6. Know the Signs

A dog has certain telltale potty signs. Your puppy might start whining or barking for no reason, scratching the door, or circling.

If you’ve implemented bell training, you’re all set. Just wait for the bell to ring.

7. Stay Close

One of the biggest mistakes new owners make when house training a puppy is giving him too much real estate. Open up the rooms of your house gradually as your puppy has fewer accidents. If he regresses, reign his territory back in.

Use your leash inside to keep your puppy close by. You want to be able to monitor behavior, so you can act immediately when you need to.

8. Use a Crate

Crates are helpful for potty training due to the natural instinct a dog has not to poop where it sleeps. Because dogs are den animals, they welcome some confinement.

Choose a crate that is only big enough for your dog to circle in and lie down. Some crates have dividers that are adjustable as the need for space increases. Make sure that your dog has access to water if you’ll be using the crate for more than 2 hours at a time.

Don’t take your puppy outside, give him a treat, and then immediately return him to his crate, as this can feel like a punishment. You want only positive connotations with potty training.

If the crate is becoming a regular spot for soiling, you may have to abandon it. It might be too big or it might be an old habit from before your puppy lived with you.

9. Expect Accidents

dog house training tips

Accidents are an uncontrollable part of the process, but you can control your reaction to them. Don’t scold your puppy or punish him. Don’t drag him back later and rub his nose in the mess.

A scared puppy will poop in the house more discreetly.

If you catch him in the act, you can interrupt him with a clap or use your potty training phrase. Then help your pup outside and praise him for finishing in his potty spot.

Clean the mess completely so your dog won’t return to that spot the next time he needs to go. There are enzymatic cleaners that can eradicate the smell.

10. Get a Sitter

If you will be gone for more than 4 or 5 hours a day, you need to have someone relieve your puppy until he’s at least 8 months old. Minimizing crate accidents is crucial for success.

A Note About Potty Training a Puppy On Paper

Some people choose to use puppy pads or newspaper to train their puppies. If your ultimate goal is to have your dog housebroken, this may prolong your efforts and establish a preference for peeing on paper.

You Can Do It

Potty training a puppy is a lot of work, but you can do it! And the reward is immeasurable. If you remain consistent and stick to the plan, you’ll be on to puppy bliss in no time.

Need more fido tips? Explore our blog!

*Top photo credit: Marko Blaževi?

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dog training leash

Heel! A Dog Owners Guide to Leash Training

Whether you’re welcoming a new pup or trying to train your dog to behave, leash training can be tough.

If your dog pulls on the leash every time you go for a walk, it can be frustrating. Sometimes you wish your furry friend would stop when you tell him or walk with ease by your side.

Well, giving your dog some simple leash training could help make it all change.

How to Start Leash Training Your Dog

All dogs whether they’re puppies or wise old souls need to learn basic leash training. Taking your dog for a walk can be very frustrating if your dog is pulling and stopping at every turn.

Good leash training will also help keep your dog safe when on a walk too. Here are a few ways you can make your dog walking experience much more enjoyable.

Treats Are Your Friend

When you’re out on a walk, the best way to get your dog to start behaving is by using treats.

Whenever you want your dog to walk close by or at a slower pace, feed them a treat.

This teaches your pup that staying close to you and walking slower will result in a reward.

Start off by using treats your dog likes the most. As time goes on and they learn to behave well on a leash, make the treats less special.

You don’t want to ruin your dog’s appetite or feed them too many treats every single walk. The best way is to feed your dog dried biscuits with or instead of wet dog food. You can use these dried foods as treats on walks instead.

Over time, you can phase out the treats altogether. Then you’ll be able to walk your dog without having to feed them along the way to obey you!

Keep The Leash Short!

long leash

long leash! photo credit @m_maaris via unsplash

A common mistake people make when leash training their dog is keeping the leash tight and close to them. While this may seem like the best way to keep the dog close, it doesn’t do anything but encourage your dog to pull more.

If you use an extendable leash it will be more difficult to communicate with your pup and they may roam further. Even so, it’s important to keep the dog leash loose.

Whenever the dog walks where the leash goes loose, make sure to give him a reward. He’ll associate that pace as a positive one and continue to do it!

Get the Right Equipment

The accessories you use when walking can make a big difference in training your dog.

It has to be sturdy enough that it won’t break if the dog tugs on it. It must fit your hand well too.

Don’t get a thin leash that’s easy to slip away from your hands if your dog pulls.

A retractable leash can be good for controlling the length to ensure your dog doesn’t wander too far. But retractible leashes aren’t great for training. They make it harder for your to communicate with your pup on a walk and they may not be as strong if your dog pulls a lot.

A standard leash is usually the cheapest and most common leash used by dog walkers. It’s either a rope or a flat band of material like nylon or leather. They’re strong, sturdy and allow you do wrap the leash to make it as short as you want.

A back harness or halter leash could be great if your dog pulls so much he chokes himself.

Choosing between the two can be tricky, so you can learn more here to make the right decision.

Have the Right Attitude

When you’re training your dog, it’s important to make sure you have the right attitude.

You need to have the right tone and body language to show your dog you’re the leader. Don’t yell at them, but make sure you use an authoritative tone and show that you’re in charge.

Keep your head up and your shoulders back. Have a positive attitude about it, and don’t get mad at your dog when it disobeys.

Take Your Dog On Frequent Walks

dog on leash

Photo credit: @jamesmgillespie via Unsplash

Right now, the thought of going on a lot of walks may seem inconvenient. If your dog pulls non-stop or stops to sniff at every corner, you’re not going to be very enthusiastic about it.

But, the only way to train them to walk on their leash is to do it a lot. As they say, practice makes perfect. The more you go on walks, the more the dog will remember how to behave and he’ll get better on the leash much faster.

Celebrate every successful moment with a treat and show your dog how pleased you are with him. If the walk doesn’t go well, don’t let it get you down. Chalk it up to experience and keep trying.

Before you know it, your dog will be so well behaved on a leash, you won’t remember the bad times! Not to mention, there are a lot of health benefits to frequent dog walks too!

Leash Training: It’s Not Rocket Science

Getting your dog to behave on the leash may seem impossible right now, but we promise it’s not. Leash training is very effective and if you stick with it, you’ll have a well-trained pup in no time.

Make sure you get the right collar and leash since they can make a real difference. Bring treats along, have a good attitude and keep trying.

Looking to take your dog on an adventure? Check out our blog post on hiking with your dog for the best experience.

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smartest dog breeds

The Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds (Canine Honor Roll!)

The American Kennel Club currently recognized 190 different breeds of dogs that are fantastic companions, there’s no doubt about it. But our furry friends are also quite a bit more intelligent than we often give them credit for.

Keep reading to learn more about the 10 smartest dog breeds and see if your pooch made the list!


Shiba Inu

shiba inu smart dog

Smartest dog breeds: Shiba Inu – Photo credit Jae Lee via Unsplash

Shiba Inus are some of the most adorable dogs out there. They’re full of personality and have massive, fluffy coats that made them the stuff of Internet legends.

But what a lot of would-be Shiba owners don’t know is how incredibly stubborn and intelligent they are. This can make them a pain to train, to say the least.

To put it bluntly, a Shiba Inu isn’t going to do anything it doesn’t want to do. So expect a lot of battles with your fur baby as you start your training journey and make sure you stick to your guns and don’t let them feel as if they’re in control.


Golden Retriever

Smartest Dog Breeds: Golden Retriever

Smartest dog breeds: Golden Retriever, Photo credit: Tanner Vines via Unsplash

Few dogs have worked their way into the hearts of the world quite like golden retrievers. These adorable pups are as cuddly as they are loyal.

However, they’re so much smarter than most people give them credit for.

The relationship between retrievers and man is centuries-old, dating back to a cross-breeding between retrievers (which were typically used as hunting dogs) and water spaniels.

The result was the adorable breed we know and love today. While most retrievers aren’t used for hunting, they’re still quite good at…well, retrieving, as you probably know if you’ve ever engaged your pup in a game of fetch.

Of course, their intelligence doesn’t stop them from acting silly on a regular basis.


German Shepherd

German Shepherd smartest dog breed

German Shepherd smartest dog breed: Christoph Schmid via Unsplash

Of all the best dog breeds you’ll see on this list, German shepherds are perhaps the least surprising inclusion. If you’ve spent more than a few moments with one, you’ll know why.

They’re among the kindest, gentlest, most loyal dogs you’ll come across. This makes them the perfect choice for joining police forces or acting as service animals.

However, they’re also quite excitable and can be tough to train. New owners’ best bet is to get a young puppy or an old retired police dog, as they’re quite stubborn once they’re set in their ways.

And though they get to be quite big, you’ll soon discover that they’re little more than adorable, big babies.


Poodle

standard poodle smartest dog

standard poodle smartest dog. Photo credit: digitalskennedy via Pixabay

Poodles are often seen as a sign of class and sophistication. But these tiny geniuses actually got their start performing in circuses across the globe, according to Genuine Collars.

It’s precisely because of their heritage that they make for a solid choice for new pet owners.

Poodles have all of the intelligence of, say, a retriever without any of the stubborn tendencies.

They’re also quite calm and collected most of the time. You’re not going to see a poodle that’s as excitable as a Labrador, so expect your poodle pup to be quite low maintenance.

Just please don’t dye your poodle’s fur, no matter how much you love your football team.


Australian Shepherd

australian shepherd smartest breed

Sharing a similar lineage to retrievers, shepherds are some of the smartest and gentlest dogs you’ll ever have the pleasure of coming across.

If you’re considering adopting from the shepherd family, you’ll want to consider picking up an Aussie pup. They’re fast learners making them easy to train, and their good-natured attitude makes them a breeze to live with.


Border Collie

border collie smartest dog

Border collies are so bright that one dog recognizes over 1,000 words in the English language.

That’s quite a bit more than your standard, “Sit” and “Stay” commands, to say the least!

Training collies can be a bit of a challenge, however. Though they’re smart, they’re extremely excitable, making the training process more of a challenge than most new owners have an interest in.

Still, if you have the time (and patience) or have experience training pups in the past, border collies make for great snuggle buddies at the end of a hard day and get along great with children.


Papillon

papillon smart dog

papillon smartest dog – Photo SergVG via Pixabay

French for “Butterfly”, papillon pups are part of the toy breed along with Pomeranians, chihuahuas, and certain types of poodles.

And like their counterparts, they’re graceful little bundles of energy.

Though they’re great lap dogs, their intelligence makes them fantastic play partners.


Australian Cattle Dog

australian cattle dog smart

Australian Cattle Dog Smart: Photo marion802105 vis Pixabay

By this point, you’re likely seeing a recurring theme in our list. Shepherd dogs are brilliant animals, and Australian cattle dogs are no exception to that.

They’re fun, good-natured, and tend to get along quite well with children.

It’s important to note that there are some behaviors you’ll want to watch out for, however.

Namely, Australian cattle dogs have a bad habit of nipping people or other animals on the ankles.

It’s not necessarily their fault, as it’s a technique they picked up hundreds of years ago to wrangle cattle. Still, be forewarned — though they won’t nip hard, it can be a nuisance that you’ll need to work on.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

smart dog welsh corgi

smart dog welsh corgi – Photo: Pixabay

The low-riders of the animal kingdom, corgis are so popular and universally loved that Queen Elizabeth II has owned over 30 in her lifetime.

While most corgis don’t get the royal treatment, they still make for excellent dogs, as they’re super intelligent and remarkably responsive.


Siberian Husky

siberian husky smartest dog

Rounding out our list of the smartest and best dog breeds are huskies, a breed sure to give Shiba Inus a run for their money in terms of stubbornness.

While extremely cute, husky pups aren’t recommended for new trainers, as they often have a mind of their own.

Though they’re quite friendly, they’re not too keen on taking orders from anyone unless they’ve formed a bond first.


Is Your Pet’s Lineage Part Of The Smartest Dog Breeds?

As you can see from this list of the smartest dog breeds, so many types of dogs are good for more than just snuggling up (though that’s nice, too).

These 10 breeds are among the smartest out there, making ownership a rewarding if not challenging experience.

Looking for more awesome and adorable dogs? Be sure to check out these five great dog Twitter accounts that you need to follow ASAP.

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dogs playing together

How to Find the Best Dog Daycare for Your Pup

Of course, the popularity of dog daycare doesn’t change the fact that you need to find the right daycare for your favorite four-legged friend. It’s a bit trickier than simply finding a daycare near your house.

Luckily for you, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to find a daycare your dog will dream about.

For Dog Daycare, Start with Your Dog

First things first: finding a daycare doesn’t actually start with finding a daycare like this company. It starts with your dog.

Even if you found the pet daycare this side of the Atlantic, it won’t do you a lick of good if your dog isn’t temperamentally suited to daycare.

So, start by looking at your dog’s personality. For starters, does your dog enjoy the company of other dogs? Does he play with other dogs? If so, does he play well? How does he play with other dogs?

Doggie daycare is a lot of activity, and unless your dog is a dog park regular, they’re probably going to see a lot more dogs than they’re used to. If your dog tends to be shy or more of a couch potato, this may not be an enjoyable experience for them.

On a related note, be honest with yourself about how aggressive your dog is. If your dog tends to get aggressive with other dogs, if they get aggressive for certain things (like food or toys), or if separation anxiety makes them snappish, they may not be a good fit for daycare.


Check Out the Premises

If you’ve decided your furry friend is a good fit for daycare, it’s time to start researching.

The easiest way to start is by Googling, “dog daycare near me.” Once you have a list of options with good reviews and a promising list of potential activities, call each daycare and ask if you can get a tour.

Don’t be shy about this. Daycares know that you’re entrusting them with a family member. Most of them will be more than willing to show you their facilities so that you can feel good about letting your best friend spend the day there.

More to the point, don’t send your dog to a daycare that won’t let you tour the facility. That’s a huge red flag.

Once you’re at the facility, look critically at what you see. Consider:

  • Is it clean?
  • Do they let you interact with dogs on the tour? (They shouldn’t–you’re liable if your dog bites someone).
  • Are there tall and sturdy gates at all entrances?
  • Do the rooms have safety gates so your dog can be introduced safely?
  • What type of flooring is there? You want something nonporous, like rubber.
  • What kind of body language do the dogs have?
  • Are the dogs happy and playful?
  • Are any dogs overly aggressive? How does the staff handle them?
  • Does the staff manage dogs appropriately?
  • What’s the staff to dog ratio?
  • Are dogs ever left unsupervised? A fight can break out fast.
  • Do the dogs seem to like the staff, or are they always moving away from them?
  • Are there any loose dogs wandering the facility? This is a red flag.
  • What do the kennels look like?
  • Are there double-decker kennels? (There shouldn’t be–this is stressful to dogs).
  • Can the dogs see over or under the fencing? (The answer should be no).
  • Where do dogs go to relieve themselves?

When you look at the boarding kennels, make sure there aren’t any loose pieces or parts that your dog might be able to break off, as this could hurt them or cause choking. There also shouldn’t be any gaps in the kennels that a paw or head can slip through, as your dog can hurt themselves.

What’s Their Management Philosophy?

When you search for a daycare online and while you’re on tour, pay attention to the daycare’s management philosophy.

Most daycares will explain how they handle dogs on their site. If it’s a method you agree with, pay attention while on tour to make sure they walk the walk as well.

For example, what is their behavior management philosophy? How does the staff handle a misbehaving dog? How do they handle dog fights?

Ask How Dogs are Put in Play Groups

dogs playing

While it might seem logical to separate dogs by size, this isn’t necessarily the best way to ensure that a playgroup gets along.

Example: while a Lab puppy and a Yorkie are technically around the same size, they shouldn’t be in a playgroup together.

Instead, ask about their philosophy for creating dog playgroups. Ideally, you want a daycare that groups dogs by temperament, activity level, and preferred play style.


Find Out About Emergency Procedures

Another important point that cannot be ignored at daycare: Emergency procedures.

Staff should immediately know what to do in the event of a dogfight, a fire, a random accident, or an injury. And because of this, they should be able to readily answer when you ask what happens in the event of a fight, an injury, or other similar events.

On a related note, you should ask about the procedure in the event of a veterinary emergency. For example: do they have a vet on staff or on call? If not, where do dogs go? Do they call you immediately to inform you that something happened?


What’s the Process of Taking New Clients?

Finally, while it might not seem like it’s that important, a daycare’s procedure for taking on new clients can tell you a lot about the daycare itself.

For example, if the daycare asks for a temperament test before they allow your dog in, this is a good thing. This tells you that they vet all dogs before allowing them in–which means your dog won’t be around dogs who aren’t suited to daycare.

You should also see if they ask for any vaccinations or vaccination updates, disease checks, and other health checklists. This will ensure that only healthy dogs are in the facility, which means your dog won’t come home sick.


More Dog News and Ideas

Now that you know how to find the best dog daycare for your pet, it’s time to let your doggo have some fun.

But before you send them off, make sure to read about these five essential things to pack in a dog travel kit, or these five tips to find a vet who will make sure your dog is happy and healthy before they head to daycare.

Photo credit: 825545 via Pixabay

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