The popularity of doggy daycare has increased tremendously during the past few years due to demand and numerous dog walkers turning to daycare as it’s seen as a profit maker and an easy option for "walking" lots of dogs that would normally be impossible.
The premise of Daycare is that dogs spend the day socialising, exercising and mixing with a group of other dogs in a stimulating, engaging, safe environment. They should go home happy and tired.
This works tremendously when the dogs are all like-minded and harmonious. However, due to the desire of daycare owners wanting to capitalise on profits, a lot of daycare providers have no limits on the numbers of dogs attending, and many take dogs who are not able to mix as part of a larger group. Due to site restrictions, lots of them accept dogs of different temperaments, ages and activity levels in one area.
As I’ve discussed in my blog posts before, Bed & Biscuits choose to do things very differently to other daycare and kennel providers.
Many dogs who apply to join our daycare are not accepted due to their inability to mix safely as part of the group. We insist on meeting dogs (and their owners) before we accept dogs and also have a trial day to ensure that we're all a good fit. We also don’t allow all of the dogs to mix together as a rule. Please note though that we do not discriminate against any breeds. We treat each dog as an individual.
At Bed & Biscuits we are extremely aware that dogs are largely autonomous, as although they rely on their humans to provide their care-giving, they have brains of their own and in lots of situations even the best trained dog can react in an unpredictable fashion.
The sweet dogs that played so nicely yesterday may dislike each other on sight today. The boys who got along so well last time they met may decide that they can now no longer tolerate each other. Lots of dogs can be super social, but if you introduce a ball, they may get extremely possessive.
After all, we know that the most boisterous of dogs are not suited to mix with the smallest, delicate breeds. The puppies and the aged dogs have completely different needs to more energetic dogs.
At Bed & Biscuits, we know that daycare isn’t just about walking a large pack of dogs around a field. Dogs need to feel secure and safe and if your dog has a fear of another breed, or larger dogs, or black dogs due to previous incidents, we can ensure they mix with the right dogs to make them feel happy and secure whilst at daycare.
So what happens when your dog needs to be removed from the group to rest, or dogs need to be separated from each other for safety?
What happens when the weather is atrocious and there's no shelter for the dogs (apart from the van you collected them in?) Or it's freezing and they need some warmth?
What do you do with the puppies, or the older dogs who need to rest and/or can't physically play all day?
We don’t operate a “crate and rotate” policy where dogs are kept in crates in the daycare van whilst the others they can’t mix with are exercised due to a lack of suitable shelters and space to separate.
Because we operate from the same site as our hugely successful dog hotel, we have an abundance of rooms and space where dogs can be separated for all manner of reasons. We also have outdoor runs where dogs can rest outside.
We choose to mix our daycare dogs with the right dogs and so, whilst the super energetic dogs are burning off their energy, the smaller dogs can be in a different paddock or resting in one of our brick built rooms. They are cool in summer and heated in winter ensuring the right environment for every dog to rest.
Because of our ability to mix dogs safely, we're also able to have lots of balls, and enrichment toys for the dogs to play with.
Once again, Bed & Biscuits are setting the high standards, not following the trends and that’s why we’re number #1 in the field.