Choosing Your Daycare or Pet Sitter
In a perfect world pet parents would always keep their dogs by their side. Unfortunately, the demands of work and other obligations mean that we sometimes have to spend time away from our pets. But when the time comes to entrust our dog's care to someone else, it's imperative to find a sitter or daycare that'll keep our pooch safe and happy. So for this month's tips we’ve partnered with the National Association of Pet Sitters (NAPPS) to help you identify a quality caretaker for your pooch. Here are four tips to help ensure your dog enjoys his or her time away from you.

National Association of Pet Sitters (NAPPS)
How The Flippo Family Chose a Doggy Daycare for Chance

Ensuring your pooch is happy and safe at his daycare is a priority for all pet parents. Watch this video to see how the Flippo family went about choosing the best facility for Chance and learn about the kinds of amenities you should look out for when shopping for a doggie daycare.


How The Etheredge Family Chose a Doggy Daycare for Freddy

Don't miss this video as Chareen gives a personal tour of the amazing "doggie hotel" Freddy resides at from time to time when the Etheredge family goes away for the weekend. You'll also learn about the kinds of items you should consider leaving with your pooch when you drop him off at daycare.


For Choosing Your Daycare or Pet Sitter

Choosing Your Dog Daycare or Pet Sitter

Finding a quality pet sitter or daycare is a serious process. In the case of a sitter, not only will that person be responsible for your dog's wellbeing but he or she may also have regular access to your home. So your first obligation is to do your research. Look up and peruse online reviews, ratings and testimonials that can confirm their expertise as canine caretakers. And always be wary of organizations or individuals that fail to provide some kind of third-party validation (i.e. someone other than themselves) of their services.

Your next order of business is to engage in a short conversation with the person or daycare that'll be taking care of your pet. Try and get a sense of their approach to doggie parenting and training. For example, do they subscribe to dominance-based or motivational training? Does it match with your preferred method? For sitters, the NAPPS has provided a really convenient list of questions you can check out right here. For daycares, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re willing to accommodate any special requests your pooch may have.

There are many things to keep in mind when looking for an adequate facility. Important ones include compliance with OSHA (Occupation Safety & Healthy Administration), cleanliness/sanitation, ample space for each dog, a well-trained/experienced staff and thorough adherence to health/safety standards. For a more exhaustive list of items to be thinking about when considering a facility, please refer to the ASPCA's well-researched page on the subject.

Even if everything else checks out, the real litmus test comes down to your dog's comfort level. Introduce your pooch to the prospective sitter for a half an hour and pay attention to how they interact. If you notice some genuine chemistry between the two then there's a good chance you’ve got a winner! In the case of the daycare, have your dog spend one night and then pay close attention to their behavior the next day. Do they appear sad or the same? By attentively reading your dog’s mood, you’ll have a good idea whether or not this facility is a good match for them.