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When Can a Puppy Go to Daycare? What's the Right Age?

You work hard. But companionship is important. If you have a family but have some extra space, then a puppy could be the answer. But life moves fast and there are a lot of things to do every day. As much as we may love to, we can’t spend every waking moment with our new puppies.


what age can a puppy go to dog day care

This is where puppy daycare comes in.


A simple Google search will show you all of the places in your area that are ready to take your dog in for part of the day. But when’s the right time to send your playful pup to doggy daycare? Let’s talk about that!


When is Your Puppy Ready For Daycare?


Doggie daycare facilities have grown tremendously in recent years. They're fun locations where your dog is free to play, interact with other canines and even be groomed.


For pet owners who work a lot and are frequently gone during the day, this service is ideal. They decide to bring their dogs to daycare for a play day rather than employing a pet sitter or dog walker.


When pups are fully developed physically, immunized, and used to the amazing new environment, they’ll get excited and begin to explore. Wait until you’ve gotten to know your pup well and have had an opportunity to form a relationship with them.


Also, think about socializing them by introducing them to other puppies on a limited basis; one or two other young, immunized dogs early on in their life. Either from their family and friends, the dog park, or socialization programs, these interactions will allow them to develop and evolve their personalities further.


It's crucial to introduce a puppy to as many different experiences as you can when they're young in order to promote a well-rounded, mature dog later on.


Before enrolling in doggy daycare, your puppy should be at least 12 weeks old and have had its initial round of “adult” vaccines, according to vets. After the initial immunizations, you should give your puppy around two weeks before enrolling them in daycare. A puppy is prepared to for daycare when it’s between 12 and 16 weeks old.


Common sense is the fundamental lesson to take away. Instead of just dropping your dog off and hoping for the best, make sure they are ready for daycare. Keep everyone comfortable and content by being a caring pet owner. The best part is that your puppy will be exhausted when it gets home. And as they say, a tired puppy is a happy puppy!


But When’s Too Early to Send Your Dog to Daycare?


A puppy should not start daycare before the age of 8 weeks. For boarding pups, the standard minimum age is 4 months. As previously noted, a comprehensive "puppy" immunization - which typically takes 16 weeks - is required by a competent daycare for your puppy.


Kennels should always request proof that your dog has received all required vaccines. (Learn about the role breeders play in vaccinating puppies here). This rule of thumb was created to keep your dog healthy while they’re visiting.


Before starting daycare, your dog must be spayed or neutered if they are older than 6 months. However, some services won't even let your puppy in the door to board once they reach a particular age. If that's the case, don't fret. Other options exist, such as hiring a dog walker or a pet sitter.


What Should I Look For In A Doggy Daycare Facility?


Thinking about doggie daycare? Many puppies will benefit from this, but there are a few things you should consider before choosing a facility.


In order to provide your dog with a safe and secure environment, it's crucial to emphasize clean, up-to-date facilities with qualified staff.



Once you've decided on a few locations you'd want to see, get in touch with the establishment to ask about tours. Most dog daycares provide tours, and if they don't, maybe there's a good reason!


It's possible to find a daycare where owners of pets are only permitted to visit a tiny area of the facility or are not permitted to enter at all. This is typically done to prevent the dog from becoming overstimulated while in daycare, but it can also be a sign of a subpar facility. Customers and campers have a right to total openness from dog nurseries.


Any dog daycare that takes pride in its facilities and customer service would be happy to give you a tour. You now have the chance to ensure the quality, size, and cleanliness of their space and equipment. Make sure it's the proper size and that it remains spotless and organized. The facility ought to be just as secure for your puppy as the childcare center is for your kids.


Selecting a top-notch dog daycare facility is essential, especially if your dog spends a lot of time there.


How Long Can Your Puppy Stay at Daycare?


Each day, your puppy should spend around 4 hours in daycare. But that's not a hard and fast rule.


Puppies may be exhausted after a long day at daycare. For example, if your puppy must remain there for that extended period of time - say, 9 hours in the playroom - you might request that the staff allow him to take a rest in any available area, such as a cage, kennel, or office.


It's recommended to gradually increase how frequently your puppy visits a dog daycare. Consider beginning with a half-day work week (6 hours or less) and working a couple full days (6 hours or more) each week with flexible commute times.


Do not drop your dog off at daycare 5 days a week. There is too much mental and physical activity, and there is also too much stress. Try daycare 2 to 3 days a week (at most), and on the other days, use dog walkers or another alternative.


These options cost money. Therefore, consider carefully before getting a dog. Your dog doesn't have to attend daycare every day and can probably handle it for a time on his own. Make sure to give your dog some alone time at home so he can get used to the change.


It's not good for dogs to be in crates for longer than 4 hours at a time. Ask the daycare to lock up / isolate your dog if he will be staying there for a few days so he may take naps and relax throughout the day. You shouldn't let your dog go about for more than 8 to 10 hours at a time.


Dogs should have their own space (a cage or crate) in dog daycares to unwind. Some dogs may take a break on their own without any issues, but the majority of young dogs need to be isolated from activities and given some downtime in a crate or kennel. You might want to reconsider any facility that advertises itself as entirely "kennel-free" and "crate-free."



If you work full-time or attend school full-time, you could also have a dog walker or dog sitter meet your dog throughout the day. This is a fantastic way to offer your dog the care and exercise he requires.


In conclusion, dog daycare is fantastic for young dogs. It promotes social development while reducing separation anxiety and ADHD.


But that doesn't imply it's appropriate for all dogs. Every dog is unique, so it's critical to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding to spend hundreds of dollars every week. And most importantly, make sure they are in the 12-16 week age range before starting.


Jenna and the JLDD Team

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