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  • Jeffrey Henderson

DECIDING IF DAYCARE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR DOG

When our dog was a puppy we made every effort to be the best dog parents we could be. This included taking her to puppy socials and puppy kindergarten, but when it came time to decide what to do during the day while we were at work, we were at a bit of a loss. We’d both stop at home during our lunch breaks (purposefully ensuring there was a decent amount of time between breaks) to take her out, and that worked for awhile, but in the end, we knew that once she had all her shots, she’d require more attention.


We began researching dog walkers - we lived in San Francisco at the time and dog walkers were plentiful - but at $30 to $35 a pop for a 30-minute max outing, it didn’t seem cost-effective. When an acquaintance at one of the puppy socials suggested daycare, I laughed having never heard of such a thing. She gave us a referral coupon for a free day and urged us to try it out telling us that her dog loved it and was much better-behaved at home after spending a day or two at daycare each week.


We nervously and somewhat reluctantly decided to try it out. The daycare to which we were going kept their large dogs downstairs and their small dogs upstairs. One day, I opened the front door and she was off! She pulled me up the stairs and as we reached the landing, she rose on her hind legs and beat her front paws on the door so they would let her in. That did it, I was sold, she was extremely excited to be there and it gave me the peace of mind I needed to keep bringing her back.


Not all dogs adjust that quickly. Some are shy, some are snappy, some are just plain grumpy, but in the end, they’re dogs and they’re social creatures. We see even the most nervous of dogs settling into the “pack” at our daycare – especially once we re-opened our business in our new location on Delridge Way. The happy reunions between dogs and their new friends and packmates made all the hard work of moving and remodeling worth it. That said, we understand that daycare is not for every dog. But, you won’t know how your dog does in a daycare environment without actually taking them.


At Good Dog, in order to attend daycare, in addition to being up-to-date on all vaccinations and being spayed or neutered, we have you bring in your dog for a temperament test. This brief test gives us an opportunity to meet your dog, put them in a room with some of our other dogs and see how they react initially. If this goes well, we have you bring your dog back for a complimentary daycare day (usually just two-four hours) which affords us the opportunity to observe your dog in a regular daycare setting. If that works out, we ask your dog to come back for daycare and even boarding after settling in.


If your dog isn’t a fit for Good Dog or we’re not a fit for your dog, we try our best to steer you in a direction that will be in the best interest of your dog to ensure they have a happy life.

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