Q: Should my puppy attend dog daycare?

A: Dog daycare can be a fantastic experience for an active puppy. Before enrolling your pup in a dog daycare program, there are several important factors to consider first.

Begin with Socializing Your Puppy

Early training should involve plenty of socialization and exposure to new situations at home and in various environments. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests starting socialization between 3 and 14 weeks of age. Once your puppy begins their vaccination schedule, you can introduce them to puppy preschool and other social activities. A puppy social class offers a gentle introduction to larger group experiences.

Green Acres Pet Resort in DeForest, hosts a free weekly puppy social hour class every Thursday at 7 pm. Puppies aged 8 weeks to 6 months are welcome to join as long as they have started their vaccinations. Experienced dog daycare staff safely guide the group in appropriate play each week.

Green Acres Pet Resort recently introduced a new indoor dog daycare room where puppy social class can be held. The expansive room, which was once an indoor in-ground pool for dogs, now features specialized flooring for comfort and safety. The bright, airy space includes play equipment for the dogs, enrichment toys, and cots for relaxation.  

The puppies-only class offers a chance for the puppies to explore and play freely, helping them learn that being away from their pet parents can be enjoyable. Early socialization can greatly reduce the risk of separation anxiety.

“Some puppies feel intimidated when they first meet other pups in a new environment. A shy puppy may begin class by observing the other puppies playing. It’s exciting to watch as each puppy gains the confidence to make a connection and join the group play. By the time the puppies graduate from puppy social, their personalities have flourished, and they’ve formed strong friendships,” said Danielle, Green Acres daycare supervisor.

Introducing Your Puppy to Daycare

Dog daycare is excellent for active puppies. They have high energy levels and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Dog daycare provides a structured and safe space for them to engage in physical activities and play.

When puppies and dogs engage in mentally stimulating activities, like food puzzles, interactive toys, or play equipment, it helps keep their mind sharp and contributes to their overall well-being. A well-rounded daycare program should offer a variety of activities, proper supervision, and ample social interactions.

Key benefits of a daycare program include:

  • Reducing boredom through physical, intellectual, and social stimulation
  • Building confidence and trust, which helps reduce fear and anxiety
  • Improving social skills with both dogs and people
  • Reinforcing manners and obedience skills

A well-designed program that mixes different breeds and ages can provide puppies and dogs with a richer experience. However, not every dog enjoys the same activities or level of play. At Green Acres Pet Resort, safety is a top priority. An introductory day helps the staff determine the most suitable daycare program for each puppy, ensuring a smooth transition into a larger group.

“As puppies grow, their needs and play style evolve,” said Kelsie Beck, Green Acres resort manager. “We can adjust their program accordingly, such as moving a non-spayed or non-neutered puppy to our V.I.P. program, where they receive more personalized attention until they’re ready to join the general play group,” Kelsie added.

Should My Puppy Attend Dog Daycare?

Yes. When considering daycare, reflect on your puppy’s socialization progress and response to new environments. Many puppies join a daycare program before completing a socialization program. As they grow, enrolling your puppy in a daycare program can enhance their development and overall well-being.

With the right preparation and decision on a comprehensive daycare program, you can give your puppy a joyful and enriching experience. Your puppy can gain confidence by meeting other dogs and people in an engaging setting. A daycare program that includes various breeds, sizes, and- ages provides puppies with a well-rounded experience, teaching them to interact with a diverse group of new friends. Call Green Acres Pet Resort at 608-889-2100 to register your puppy for the free puppy social hour and for details about the dog daycare programs.