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Old 12-10-2012, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advice - day care???

Hey everyone,

I will be picking up a few extra hours after school two days a week starting in January, and I do not want to leave Sadie cooped up at home for that long. Therefore, I am looking into different day cares around my apartment. Lucky for me, there are a lot of options.

Can you guys give me some advice as to what to look for / ask when I go to check these places out? I want to make sure I make the right decision for her!

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A lot of places offer a live webcam so that you can look and check on them any time of the day. That would be important to me. It's tough picking and researching places but go in personally to a couple of places so you can see what it looks like and meet staff. Good luck!
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I never sent Grace...she couldn't go because of health issues But the one where Gus went - she would have gone to.

You want to interview and go on tours. A good daycare will let you tour the entire facility - not just the lobby and brochure!

You want a place that separates the little dogs from the small and big dogs. This is important. A place may only separate into 2 groups and that will be too dangerous for Sadie. The usual separation is 20 or 30 pounds and under in one group and the others in the other group.

So look for a place that separates the very small dogs from others.

A good daycare will supervise the dogs every second they are out.

I liked how in Gus's daycare the staff members were literally "in there" with the dogs... I'd show up and there would be 5-6 dogs trying to edge in for lap space LOL The people there genuinely loved dogs.

I also liked that I could see the area any time I wanted. The front had big windows to look in, but they also welcomed me back there. I wasn't allowed to touch any of the dogs or go into the play areas, but I could at least walk back there and look.

I asked them a bunch of questions.... what they do about dog fights (never know)? They said they are always supervising so if something looks like it is going to start, they separate those dogs. Sometimes taking a time out for them. If it happens over and over, they will try those two dogs in separate play groups. If it keeps happening, of course that dog won't be allowed to play in group.

Asked them what they do with a scared or nervous dog? ... Again, really good answer.

Asked them how they handle behavior issues. - This is important. One place I went to sprayed the dogs with a water bottle. I didn't like that... just me. Some of the dogs seemed afraid of the spray bottle. So I didn't go to that one. The one we chose used positive methods.

Know where your dog will be during the day.

I looked at one daycare where Gus would have basically been in a crate all day except for a few 20 minute play sessions. So I didn't like that.

The one we chose they were out playing 80% of the time and resting the other 20%.

The dynamics in the one I chose was such that most of the dogs were lounging on the sofas and dog beds with only 2-3 playing. So that made me feel better - low energy dogs which matched Gus

I know some places like Camp Bow Wow offer video options where you can watch online That is always fun.

Mine didn't offer that but they did take photos of him throughout his day and I'd get those at the end of our day

Lucky girl, Sadie! I hope you can find her a good one
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My big concern would be if there were any big dog's allowed acess with the small breeds. That would be a big NO for me. Is there any place that you could go and observe for while to see how your fluff interacts and how the dogs are treated?
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh! And you want to know their pick up policy.

When I picked up Gus they knew me...but if I wanted anyone else (my mom, etc) to pick him up, they needed their drivers license photo so they could match it to the actual ID when the person came to get him.

I also liked that the daycare we chose removed his harness while he was in play group, and this daycare didn't allow collars on during play either. Because the dogs often caught each other on their gear. So they would go in "naked" (though the small dogs often wore shirts without issues).

Some places required a collar. Some will allow a breakaway collar to be used (the say the collar is for ID purposes).... but I liked that Gus didn't have anything for another dog to snag.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone! I have narrowed it down to 3 places. There is one that has the webcams online and my friend's dog goes there and loves it, so that is my top choice so far. Of course, that is the most expensive one! But I guess you get what you pay for.

I will hopefully be checking them out in the next few weeks and making a decison soon. It will be good for my little shy fluff to learn how to play nicely with other puppies!

Thanks again!
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaeco510 View Post
Thanks everyone! I have narrowed it down to 3 places. There is one that has the webcams online and my friend's dog goes there and loves it, so that is my top choice so far. Of course, that is the most expensive one! But I guess you get what you pay for.

I will hopefully be checking them out in the next few weeks and making a decison soon. It will be good for my little shy fluff to learn how to play nicely with other puppies!

Thanks again!
Yes I think a personal referral is the best!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The ones you like are usually the most expensive, sigh!


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Old 12-12-2012, 07:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I checked out my friend's recommendation tonight and I think that's where I am going to take Sadie. They were SO good to her! And they separate the big guys from the little ones, and even separate the shy/mellow ones to the front. They told me they would keep her out front until she felt more comfortable. The place was very very clean. I saw one of the employees cleaning up a pee in the back right after the dog walked away. I felt very at ease. They didn't want to give her back to me lol they just melted when they saw her (but who doesn't!?)

Plus her buddy Zorro goes there so she would have a playmate :-)


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Old 12-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think the advice that Tori has given is excellent. A couple of other things I checked before doing daycare for Lacie and Tilly:

1. Would they have only small dogs in their group?

2. Would they have a time and place to rest up?

3. Would they assure me that they would not give snacks (as I don't trust most treats/food)?

4. What about drinking water? I didn't want them drinking from a community bowl.

Tori covered everything else that I was concerned about.
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