Dear Miss Behavin’: We adopted our dog, Ringo, at the beginning of summer so that we would have time to help him adjust to our home. Do you have any tips on finding a good dog walker or daycare now that summer vacation is coming to an end?
First off, congratulations on your new dog and kudos for thinking ahead! A good first step is considering whether your dog would prefer a group setting, like daycare, or one on one time with a walker. If you haven’t taken him around other dogs much in his short time with you, it might be better to opt for individual time with a walker to avoid overwhelming him. If he just can’t wait to get to the dog park, he may enjoy a more social setting.
If you are looking into dog daycare, visit the locations you are considering to see where your dog would be spending time, and ask plenty of questions. In an off leash setting, how many dogs are present and how many people are supervising? Are there areas where your dog can take a break away from the other dogs? Does the place generally seem clean and do the dogs seem happy? Are the dogs separated by age, size, or play style, or are they all thrown in together?
If you are looking for a dog walker to come and take Ringo out midday, start by asking your friends if they have someone they trust, and check out their Yelp reviews. Pick a few bonded and insured candidates, and have them come over to meet you and Ringo. Go for a walk together to see how they handle him. Decide on whoever you and Ringo like the best, and who you are most comfortable having in your home when you aren’t around.