Not all day care is the same!
There is currently no licensing or regulation in the pet care industry for England. As things stand, anyone can set themselves up as a trainer, groomer or a walker with no qualifications or even experience.
Dog day care is however a licensable activity under the DEFRA Animal Welfare Regulations 2018. Ensuring your pet care provider has this license should provide some assurance when choosing your petcare service provider.
Pawprints worked closely with the local council when initially planning and designing the site and gained full planning approval before any of the building works was carried out. We were also granted a 5 star award under the Animal License which is the highest award issued.
As an individual considering what service provider to use, key considerations should be; how much physical exercise will my dog get and will that be appropriate for my dog's age, size and needs. At Pawprints we are able to tailor the day to each specific dog's physical needs. Puppies are able to have frequent snoozes and rest periods, whilst also helping them learn to be calm and relaxed whilst in a stimulating environment. Adolescent dogs are able to burn off their energy yet have regular rest periods whilst their young bodies grow and bones strengthen. Mature dogs are able to enjoy being outside all day, gaming, playing and learning new tricks and skills, and older dogs are able to have low level, gentle exercise throughout the day, ensuring they do not do too much nor too little. This helps older dogs maintain mobility, but also allows them to take their time doing whatever they wish to do.
You should also check how dogs are socialised. Personality clashes do happen, and you need to check how this is managed. No dog wants to spend all day with a dog they dislike. Equally, consideration needs to be given to dogs with different energy levels. Your quiet, shy dog doesn't want to spend 8 hours surrounded with high energy, fizzy dogs jumping around them. But equally fizzy dogs need to have careful arousal management plans in place to help bring their arousal levels down. As much as it may seem that the dog is having a great time, it does not do their mental health much good to be high as a kite all day, and no owner wants to pick up an exhausted dog that spends the next 2 days trying to recover from its daycare day.
It’s equally important to ask what other activities are included in the day. Cognitive exercises help keep an older dog’s brain sharp, as well as exercising mature, adolescent and puppies in a demanding yet non physical way.
It’s also important to know what rest is provided. If your dog is not comfortable resting with other dogs you need to understand how this is catered for. No dog should be kept crated with another dog, and you should also check how long your dog may be kept in a van whilst other dogs are collected and dropped off. Your dog could end up spending more time taxiing to and from its walk than actually walking. For this reason, Pawprints does not offer a taxi service. We prefer dogs to travel independently, and for short distances. This also allows us to see our lovely clients at both drop off and pick up times ensuring we can regularly check in and discuss any issues or concerns.
Lastly it's always recommended to get as much general information as possible so that you can get a good measure and understanding of how dogs are managed. Some areas to check are:
The dog care industry has rapidly expanded and as I said at the top, not all daycares and pet service providers are the same and cannot readily be compared to one another. What works for one dog may not be appropriate for another, what suits your needs may not be the best fit for your dog. It’s therefore important to gather as much information about the service provider as possible, ensure you understand what is important for your dog, be clear about your own requirements and go from there.
At Pawprints we do our best to ensure we are the best fit for each dog. We don't accept any dog that we don't feel we can meet their needs, as our goal is to ensure every dog has an amazing experience with us at every visit.