Calming Your Dog's Unsteady Nerves Before Attending Doggy Day Care

Posted on: 13 May 2015

Doggy day care is becoming a popular way for busy dog owners to ensure that their best friends get the care and attention necessary while they are at work. Unfortunately, many dogs will be very unhappy about attending day care and may lash out at their handlers. Calming your dog's nerves can help them transition to a new environment quickly and safely.

Introduce It to the Other Dogs

One of the major problems your dog may run into with doggy day care is a dog which it's uncomfortable with or whom it simply doesn't like. The easiest way to avoid this issue is to introduce them to the other dogs that will be attending their day care center.

A "meet and greet" on neutral ground can not only ease your pup into its new social group, but can also help introduce you to the owner of the day care center and the other pet owners. When introducing dogs, it's important to take the following safety considerations in mind:

  • Keep all dogs on a leash held by a calm, relaxed handler.
  • Watch body language closely to ensure their hair isn't bristling.
  • Do not allow nose-to-nose greetings: these often leads to disaster.
  • Immediately separate them if they bare their teeth or try to fight.
  • Allow them to play together if they start romping.

Break the Separation Anxiety

Dogs are a lot like children: they look up to you as a source of strength and support. As a result, they often experience severe separation anxiety when they are away from you for too long. This is a problem that expert dog handler Cesar Millan has dealt with all his life, but he offers five great tips for breaking your dog of they separation anxiety:

  • Take your dog for a walk before leaving.
  • Avoid making a big deal when you leave.
  • If you can't split without showing affection, give it to your dog an hour or two before you leave.
  • Be calm and assertive to show strength and calm your pup's anxiety.
  • Ease them slowly into alone time, by as little as five minutes a day.

The secret to these tips is to utilize them long before you ever leave your dog alone at the day care center. Staying persistent with these techniques will quickly get your pup used to being alone without you.

Talk About Your Dog's "Comfort" Object

Some dogs develop an attachment to a "comfort" object that they will carry with them and "suck" either by holding it in their mouth or gently chewing it. Dogs with comfort objects can quickly develop severe anxiety when separated from their object. Thankfully, dog experts don't think there's anything wrong with a dog possessing a comfort object.

However, you need to talk to your doggy day care center to ensure they understand this item's importance. This can help them ensure it isn't taken away from your dog, either by a handler or another pup. Also: make sure to clean it regularly before sending it with your dog. After all, while your dog won't care if their comfort object is dirty and heavy with slobber, but the day care providers will.

Follow these tips and your buddy should have no problem transitioning into day care. Make sure to talk to your day care providers a few weeks in advance to find out how else you need to prepare your dog, such as providing it with vaccinations. You can also contact a local vet, such as All Pets Hospital Ltd, for questions or advice.