Visit the premises.
All areas should be well ventilated, with separate areas for rest and play. If you have a bad feeling–trust it.
Ask about health protocols.
All dogs should have proof of vaccines. How are medical emergencies handled?
Ask about meals.
Does the center provide them? Should you bring your own? How about bowls for food and water? How are they cleaned? Are they shared?
Ask about supervision.
Dogs should be supervised by trained and affectionate staff. Ask what kind of training staff members have and what the ratio is of staff to dogs. (If you are not permitted to see the dogs and staff, even through a window, you should go elsewhere.)
Ask about playgroups.
At Buddy’s Barking Lot in Elmsford, temperament and chemistry are key. “We have some really cute odd-couple pairs of dog friends,” says founder Eileen Fleming. “We have tiny Maltese dogs that choose to befriend large Labs.” Some daycares separate by size.
Schedule an interview.
“It’s an important first step to assess if your dog is a good fit for us and if we’re a good fit for your dog,” says Kathleen Reynolds, co-owner of Canine Kindergarten which has locations in Mount Kisco (at the Park), Yorktown, and Cortlandt.
Prepare your dog for daycare.
“Socialize, Socialize, Socialize,” says Reynolds. Expose your dog to other dogs and people. If he’s used to only being with you, let a friend or family member take care of him for a while, to ease separation anxiety later. Also, most daycares require dogs to be spayed or neutered by a certain age.
A Sampling of Doggy Daycare Centers
Canine Kindergarten at the Park
You can watch your pooch via webcam any time during the day. Also offers cage-free boarding, training, and grooming.
Buddy’s Barking Lot
Offers boarding and grooming.
Best Friends Pet Care
Offers boarding, training, and grooming
Mamaroneck Veterinary Hospital and Pet Resort
Daycare (with a seasonal pool), boarding, grooming, and dog-walking services