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Doggy Daycare

One of the hardest decisions to make as a dog parent, especially as a new dog parent, is making that first decision to send your young pup to doggy day care. It’s sometimes necessary for high-energy dogs if you have a job where you work long hours and no one can exercise or be home to let the dog out. It’s also a good break in the week or on the weekend if you crave some alone time or crave some time away from your pup. But, choosing a doggy daycare is one of the most crucial decisions you will make in your young dog’s life.

Reputation matters

Would you send your young child to an organization that has 1.5 star reviews on Yelp just because it’s a little less expensive? Would you tour an organization and look past the holes in the walls, the unfriendly staff, or the seemingly disgusting facilities? No! And you shouldn’t do that with your pup either. It’s very important to do your homework when investigating a doggy day care facility. With new organizations starting monthly, it’s hard to determine what company is best for your pup.

At home, at their home, or at a facility

You ultimately have three choices when it comes to doggy day care: host someone in your home, send your dog to someone else’s home, or send your little pup to a boarding facility. If you choose to host someone in your home, you have to go through the rigamarole to ensure that the person is safe to have in your home. There are plenty of apps and websites out there that do a great job of this, and it’s important to do your due diligence. Similarly, when hosting your pup in someone else’s home, the same applies. Especially in someone else’s home, you should do a doggy play date in that person’s home prior to allowing your pet there overnight or during the day while you’re gone. Lastly, following the tactics above, choose a boarding facility that has a good reputation, good facilities, and a friendly staff so your time away from your pup goes by fast and without a hitch!


Dog Hotels

How many hotels are dog friendly? More than you might think! Not too long ago, most hotels were aghast to welcome a furry friend in a room. The reasons were always the same: noise, fur, dander, and tidiness. Boy how times have changed. Many hotels these days have dog-friendly rooms that are specifically for guests who bring their pups with them! This not only saves a trip to daycare, but it also helps the family vacation turn into a whole family vacation!

Things to consider

Even though your hotel (especially the nation-wide, budget hotel La Quinta) may be very dog friendly, that does not mean there aren’t rules. If you plan an all-day excursion and know that your dog barks when there’s noise outside, taking your pup to a hotel and leaving her in a crate all day may not be the best choice for your. A barking dog can be very disturbing for other hotel guests, especially those in close proximity. New noises are scary, and it’s important to consider how your dog reacts to being in a new location prior to taking her on your adventure.

Similarly, if your dog is destructive, at all, it might not be worth risking a trip to a hotel. Most hotels are pretty conservative and charge a cleaning fee for your pet upfront, but any damage to your room could easily cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars very quickly and easily on a damaged bed, door, or furniture. Especially if your pup happens to be a dog that is prone to chewing on baseboards or other kinds of wood, it might make more sense to keep her at home instead of risking what could happen in a hotel. But if it works, the doggy hotel can be a great experience for your pup and your family!

Dog Cafes

Not too many years ago, it was nearly impossible to find a dog-friendly place to eat outside of very small towns and very hip areas. Today, almost everywhere you turn that has any semblance of outdoor seating also has dog-friendly seating. Not only that, but many establishments have dog water bowls, places to hook up leashes, and even treats ready when you bring your pup to eat with you. Some of the most exciting spots even have dog menus, where you can order your pup a healthy (or very unhealthy) treat.

Things to consider

Dog cafes come with a lot of perceived pros...and some cons. While it’s great to say that your restaurant is dog-friendly, what does that mean for your pup? Well, the first thing to consider is that the restaurant owner might not be taking your pup’s best interest in mind when serving him any food. Especially at local places (not national chains who have been sued enough to figure it out), it’s important to be very careful before giving your dog any food.

Speaking of food, it’s very important to consider how aggressive your dog is with food before taking him out to an eating establishment. If your dog has the least bit of food aggression, you don’t want to worry about him taking a bite out of your neighbor’s hamburger, or worse, your neighbor’s finger, just because he isn’t trained yet to manage his food impulse. Lastly, many of these types of establishments are also very kid friendly, meaning you have to be very sure that children running around and being children isn’t going to upset your pup. Dogs and kids are great together except when they aren’t, and adults are very, very protective of their babies and fur-babies alike. It’s important to take into account that there might be other dogs, trained and untrained, as well as children, also trained and untrained, at these eating establishments and how those interactions might impact your pup and your meal. The best dog cafe is the cafe that is cool, calm, and collected and results in your dog having a wonderful meal with you and your family!