Thursday, July 31, 2014

Doggie Daycare - The Options

Yesterday we took Barry to daycare (more on what happened tomorrow)! We looked into many places (there are a lot) and after a recommendation on Tucker Pup's, reading reviews, and a tour of their facilities with Barry we decided we would give it a try there. Tucker Pup's isn't fancy. I don't see the need for it to be fancy anyhow. It should be all about the dogs and Tucker Pup's really seems to be that. There is an indoor play spot (a few indoor play spots for dogs of different sizes and temperaments) and an outdoor (8 foot tall wooden gate surrounding) play spot. Both include balls, slides, and other fun equipment. They also have boarding options and grooming if needed.

Here's what we liked from what we read:
No breed discrimination. Dogs are separated by size and temperament - not breed.
No crate time during the day ever (unless requested).
Play time is for the whole time your dog is in daycare (7AM to 7PM).
During boarding your dog will play from 7AM to 7PM and then have dinner and crate time.

This is what we don't like:
You have to pick your dog up by 7PM or they will automatically board your dog overnight and you can pick up the following day which includes additional fees.
The boarding area is all small crates/kennels, it's a nice environment overall for dogs but crates/kennels are not ideal. Not for Barry anyway. Many dogs have no problems with this but Barry would likely hurt himself in their boarding facility.

Compared to other daycare places the play time outweighs all the stuff we didn't like. We don't want to put Barry in daycare and then have him be put in a crate for a few hours during the day at any point. Many daycares we looked into do just that. One in particular (that might be more ideal for boarding) ends play time at 4PM on weekdays and 2PM on weekends and then they go into their suites (big spacious kennel rooms w/bed). We just want Barry to play and have fun. Not only that, Barry doesn't do well in crates.

This is what happened to Barry when we tried to crate him one day.
We may go with Pooch Hotel for boarding if we ever need it for anything. They have very nice facilities and the kennels they put the dogs in after play time are nice and spacious and we think Barry would do better in that environment. Another very nice thing about Pooch Hotel is that you can drop your dog off at any time and pick up at any time. That is highly unusual for most daycare/boarding places. You pay extra if you go past the normal hours but even having the option is ideal.

I can understand why most places don't allow pick up after a certain time and there are set hours. However, for me, I love the idea that I can do that with Pooch Hotel. I'd be willing to pay the additional fees for it.

Still, Tucker Pup's has the edge on the daycare portion (which is what we'd use most often anyway). We won't use daycare everyday. Maybe two or three times per month. It's good for Barry to get more socialized and to interact with other dogs unleashed.

Another thing that is ideal with a good daycare is that on a weekend day we could put Barry in to play while Husband and I go out and run errands, shop, have a nice lunch or early dinner and then pick up a pooped out dog from a long day of play. Without feeling guilty of leaving him in our condo by himself all day with nothing to do.

Up Next: Doggie Daycare - The Report Card

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