While it’s not always feasible for everyone to bring their dogs in on a strict or even regular schedule, what we see are that the dogs that come in at least semi-regularly are the dogs who thrive more at daycare. This is how we landed on the idea that with dogs and daycare, familiarity does not always breed contempt.
We take our own dogs into Good Dog usually three days a week. They look forward to it (especially Lila, who’s still very much a puppy, Madoc, maybe not as much, she’s 10 years old), and keeping them to a somewhat regular schedule often means they see some of the same dogs when they visit. When this happens, they form bonds with their dog friends during play and while cuddling during nap time.
Dogs will let you know how often they need to come to daycare. Three days a week may be excessive for some dogs, it could be two days a week, even one; or, maybe they will come in twice a month – the frequency doesn’t have to be high, but repeat visits help them maintain their knowledge and familiarity with the facility so their daycare is a positive and friendly place to be.
On the flip side, your dog can also find themselves coming in too frequently. If they’re over-tired or if they aren’t behaving as well as we know they’re capable, it could be a sign that they’re coming in too often - yes, this does happen. This is when it’s important to pay attention to what our dogs are telling us with their actions. When it comes to Madoc, having been with her for more than 10 years, we know when she wants to stay home and when she needs some extra stimulation - often in the form of initiating play with her boring old dads.
We have also seen that it can be difficult when a dog returns to board at Good Dog after a long absence. They tend to need some time to get back into the groove of daycare or boarding. For example, while we have observed that dogs will often not eat much when they board, this behavior can be exacerbated by long periods between visits to Good Dog for daycare or boarding. That is why we always recommend preparing your dog with a couple of half-day daycare visits prior to a boarding stay if they’re not a regular daycare dog. This gives them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the facility, our staff, the pack, and they see that when they visit, their family comes and picks them up. This reaffirms that this is a fun and safe place for them.
Familiarity with a boarding and daycare facility is a keystone to a dog’s success. They’ll reach a comfort level, understand that they’re here to have fun, and will be happy and well-adjusted dogs.