Post # 1
I feel so silly asking about this..but I feel as though it could be the best thing for my little bug. My dog has very bad separation anxiety and he gets very nervous when he is alone. When we had our windows replaced a few months ago, he was home while they were being replaced and he was upset for weeks after. I understand – there were loud noises and a stranger in his home. He was crated, but when I came home after the person was done replacing them, he had gone to the bathroom in his crate out of fear and he was shaking and got a little nasty with me (tried to bite). I knew it was because he was that upset over the windows.
After that and several other incidents, we took him to a trainer and I asked about what to do when we have our kitchen re-done. The trainer said to get him out of the house while the people are there – either daycare or a family member’s home. Now we are getting close to scheduling our remodel and guess what! Everyone around us is leaving for long vacations this summer! So now I feel as though the only option is a daycare for dogs. My Fiance thinks it is stupid and expensive, but I cannot go to work everyday knowing that the dog is in the house scared to death…I would feel SO BAD.
Has anyone here ever taken their dog with separation anxiety to a daycare? Does it help? My dog is not around other dogs often, but when he is he gets along with them. He does have trouble getting used to new people…which is why I am scared. He has a history of biting and it is completely out of fear (he is a rescue and we have no idea what he has been through prior to us). Any info on experiences with dog daycares would be great…I have found a few to check out in my area, I am just so afraid of him being a bad boy. I also feel a little silly dropping off a dog at ‘daycare’ and picking him up after work!! Nice practice for kids, I guess.
Post # 3
A good daycare will want to see your dog and better yet spend time with him before allowing you to drop off. I would say just call around and ask–the fear biting will be a challenge I’m sure, and you absolutely must discuss it with the daycare before they see him so they can be prepared–but I also bet that they’ve dealt with stuff like that before.
Post # 4
I had a foster dog with severe separation anxiety. It really can be crippling for the dog (and can indirectly be exhausting for the human), so I think it is awesome that you are so concerned for your dog’s wellbeing.
Honestly though, it is impossible to predict how your dog will fare. You might want to speak to some of the daycares to see if they would be okay with you bringing him in just for a couple hours on the weekend to gauge how he will respond. Some dogs with separation anxiety can really be comforted in the presence of other dogs, while some will feel even more anxious being brought to a new place with new people. The upside though is that he will likely be anxious regardless, and being at a daycare will give him a chance to stay distracted and entertained through play and interaction.
I think you should look into a day-trial to see if it will work for him. Definitely mention your concerns to the center you go to so that they are aware of his insecurities and can treat him accordingly to decrease his stress and their chance of getting bitten. If you find a reputable place, you will be leaving him with professionals who are familiar with behavioral quirks like this.
Post # 5
We don’t take our dog to daycare but the kennel we use has doggie day care so she gets to play with all of the daycare dogs while she is there for boarding.
Honestly, it isn’t all the expensive to do for a short term renovation. Yes – if you were taking him every week, it gets costly. But for both his and your sanity, it seems to me like a small price to pay during the course of the reno.
Post # 6
I have a dog with special needs – she has high anxiety that causes seizues. For your dog’s well-being, I agree with the trainer, he shouldn’t be exposed to a situation that makes him that fearful. But you should be aware that he could be very scared by day care too.
My vet does dog boarding also, and knows about my dog’s special needs. They make sure to not exercise her too much (which can cause a seizure), and to also give her some “time outs” and make sure she’s separated and kept calm every so often. As long as your dog gets along wiht other dogs, once your dog gets used to it, he may like it a lot. It’s a ton of exercise (both physical and mental stimulation) and will make him sleep great that night.
Post # 7
When I first got my rescue dog his separation anxiety was horrible. He ruined the blinds, he ripped through the bars of his crate, he would open the fridge and eat all the food while I was gone….mind you he’s only 23 pounds with stumpy legs, haha. Anyways, I was basically forced to take him to doggie daycare because I was worried he was going to hurt himself. I do think that going to daycare helped his anxiety a great deal – I can leave him home alone now (I just have to put the trash on the porch) without him going crazy and destroying things and barking. I think it was good for him to get away from me and the house and realize that he’ll be okay when I’m gone.
When you go to tour the facilities, talk to the workers about your concerns If it’s something they deem unacceptable on the first day then I’m sure they’ll let you know but you will cross that bridge when you come to it. The problem is you won’t want to become dependent on it because it really is expensive. But if you’re only doing it during the renovation then I doubt it will be too costly. And yes you will probably feel like a dumbass dropping off/picking up the dog – I know I did! My doggie daycare is really nice but it’s in a bad part of town where destitute people wander around and I always feel like such a jerk paying $18 for my dog to play when they probably don’t even have any food!!
There are medications you can try as a last resort. I’ve heard good things about Reconcile.
Post # 8
I have one dog with separation anxiety (Bailey) and one without (Beckett). The Beckett obviously LOVES daycare. He loves playing with other dogs, etc. The Bailey is older and would rather stay home during the day. Bailey also has anxiety around other dogs though, which makes daycare difficult. Honestly, I didn’t socialize him the way I should have when I got him. Beckett is much more social.
However, I think that where your dog got so upset when your windows were replaced, that daycare is your best option during the renovation. He will get used to daycare it is just going to take time. The daycare that I take our younger dog to is $22/day, or if you buy them in a pack of 5 days it’s $20 per day, and for 10 it’s $18/day. They do a lot of fun things with the dogs, and have a dog pool which is great in the summer. You can really find some good ones if you look around!
Our daycare was great when we first started Beckett. They started him off with just one of the employees and then gradually moved him in with other dogs. Beckett had a full day evaluation before he was accepted into daycare. If you have any other questions about it feel free to ask!! Good luck!
Post # 9
I think it totally depends on your dog, and his personality. Our dog was also a rescue and had VERY severe separation anxiety when we first got him (like to the point that we couldn;t take out the garbage in our condo). My Fiance works from home, so 90% of the time we were ok during the workday, but every now and then he has meetings, etc that he can’t miss. Our little guy was ok with ANYONE, he just couldn’t be alone, so we figured daycare might be a good option.
Well, our monster got kicked out of his first daycare-he “barked too much”, which I personally thought was ridiculous, because he’s a dog…what do you expect?
The second place we took him too was AMAZING. They made him come in for a full day trial where they assesed how he socialized with the other dogs, etc (this was free of charge for us), and made sure he wasn’t aggressive, etc. I now realise that pretty much any GOOD daycare will do this. They also have “nannycams” set up all over the building where we can check in on him anytime, and het gets a reportcard at the end of the day, so we know if he’s showing any behavioural issues.
My biggest recomendation would be to ask your trainer, because they usually know reputable places, and make sure the place makes you fill out paperwork, and like PP said, meets your dog before they commit to taking him….any place that agrees to take him with no paperwork, etc will be pretty sketchy in my opinion.
Post # 10
I use doggie daycare for my pup twice a week at Petsmart. Yet, it’s expensive. Budgeted out it drives me crazy and I can’t believe how much $ we spend a year on the dog – but I am the same way as you. I feel awful leaving her alone so much during the week — and she LOVES day camp. She practically drags me there.
Post # 11
If the staff takes the time to acclimate your dog than your dog will benefit from daycare. Check out their procedures because they should be letting the dog get used to being in the building before they start introducing other dogs. But the best advice would be to go read the reviews on Yelp! There is a place by me that is so cute and always seems bustling but there are so many really bad reviews that I would never take my dog there.
Costly yes. But these are our babies and they have a shorter life span so shouldn’t we want to enrich their lives while we are gone at work for 8+ hours a day? It is not something we do everyday but just twice a week. Great way for him to socialize and have some fun.
Post # 12
If daycare is too expensive, could you hire a neighborhood teenager or retired person to take him while renovations are taking place? It might save you some money and it also might help if your dog is nervous around new people, as he could get to know them gradually first, and stay in his familiar neighborhood.
Post # 13
Most doggie day cares (and ones that I would trust) give your dog a temperament test before they allow your dog to come to doggie day care. They introduce him, one by one, to his play group, and see how he reacts. Most dogs pass because they have trained dog professionals controlling the groups (not jsut dog sitters who don’t know what they’re doing). I took my dog to doggie daycare so that he could learn to play well with others. He is a miniature schauzer, and is very vocal! He would never bite another dog, but he is so “in your face” that other dogs get scared at times. So we did his temperament test and they were like… oh he’s fine. They all played all day long and he’s warn out! He was a little rude once or twice, but we knew how to handle it as trainers. It was the best thing for him!
I had my parents buy it for my Christmas and birthday presents while I was in school. He didn’t go everyday, just twice a week (the days I’d be gone the longest) and it really helped out! Now I don’t spoil him anymore (too expensive) and he just sits home.
But I think your dog would benefit from it, even if it’s only two weeks! Other options are your friends/family on vacation, maybe they will let you put him in his crate at their house during the day, even if they’re not there. At least that way he wouldn’t have these strange people making awful noises while renovating.