When You're Away
Doggy day care and other alternatives for when puppy is on her own
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Some businesses allow people to take their pet to work, so take advantage of it!
In a study done by 2 psychology professors, it was found that through surveying 191 employees and 31 businesses that pets positively increase the morale at work – in fact, 91% said that pets at work created a positive work place. It has also shown that employees increase their productivity and claim fewer sick days.
If this is not an option for you, you may want to try to check out our other suggestions:
2. Doggy Day Care – There are many wonderful doggy day care options.
There are certainly many great reasons to bring your pet to one, such as increased socialization with other pets and people. This goes above and beyond a time and place for potty. This allows your puppy to enjoy the company of other dogs and their staff. But there are certain things to be aware of when you look for a doggy day care.
Visit the potential doggy day care and look for the following:
it should be well ventilated and clean. Obviously, it may smell a little like dogs, but to have an overwhelming aroma of “wet” dog or stale urine is a “no no”.
Rest and Play Stations
There should be areas to rest and areas to play in. As well, if there are only inside facilities, there should be ample time for puppies and dogs to go for a walk and “do their business” outdoors, to keep up a good housebreaking record.
Doggy day care is not meant to tire the dog out, but rather, give her opportunity to meet and socialize with other dogs in a healthy, well supervised place. Everyone needs some down time once in a while, so individual crates and fresh water is another thing to look for.
Yes, they are all part of the canine family, but I’m sure no one will argue with the statement that there still is a vast difference between a Yorkshire Terrier and Great Dane. Small dogs need to be separated from the large dogs for the safety of the little ones for obvious reasons. Not that large dogs are more aggressive, but they are just bigger and their “oops” might be fatal to a little one.
Applications are Important
Fill them out honestly, like you would want others to do. It is important that the application have questions about vaccination records, your dogs reactions to puppies, other dogs, strangers and more. The more the staff know about your dog, the better they can prepare for her arrival and their well being throughout the day.
It’s important that they first and foremost, LIKE DOGS. They need to have a good understanding between playing and the beginnings of an aggressive encounter. They need to know how to “read” canine body language and anxiety behaviour. And they need to have someone on staff that can administer canine first aid, in emergencies.
Find out if the doggy day care facility is willing to give medications, extra walks for dogs with incontinence issues or willing to feed special diets when necessary. All these point to a truly caring facility for your puppy when you can’t be with her.
3. Dog Walkers
A dog walker can also be an option while you are out. There are many responsible kids that are great with pets that would love to earn a little extra cash. There are also professional dog walkers as well. Some things to consider when you are interviewing for this position are the walkers’ experience and reliability. Make sure to get references as well. Ask about the length of walk, watering/feeding, cleaning up, emergency protocol and how sick days are handled. Find out if they walk other dogs with yours or just yours alone. Just like with the doggy day care option, it would be wise to have your dog meet the dog walker first before making a final decision.
4. Puppy Play Pen (See Top Photo)
These are great alternatives to long days in a crate. Set up their crate, with their mat in it, toys, doggy potty and fresh water enclosed in an exercise pen. A puppy play pen allows your puppy to move freely within its safe wall and is easily portable for both indoors/outdoors use. The crate allows your puppy to comfort herself in her den and chew on her rubber toys. Elimination can be done in the “litter” box filled with 2 “of pellets or shavings. In the future, if your puppy will need to do their business outside on grass, you may want to include that in your puppy potty. If they will have to do it on sidewalks or concrete, put that in the puppy potty, so they will continue to do their business in the right place.
Avoid using newspaper, as it tends to make ALL paper in and out of the house potty friendly. Make sure the litter box can be easily accessed by the puppy/dog, so that accidents are not encouraged. When you have trained your puppy to eliminate on command, use the same words as you place her in the litter box and it will give you the same desired effect. They will realize that this is another safe place to eliminate.
This list is not exhaustive by any means, but hopefully it will give you a few ideas to make time away a little easier.