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Good Idea, or Not

It’s been a long, cold winter so far with lots of snow and ice to contend with which generally means much less walking and playtime outdoors with your four legged buddy.

Many of you have no doubt found that your precious furry friend is starting to get “cabin fever” while spending so much time at home and in the house. It may also be that your company has required you to start working back in the office a couple of days a week, thus leaving your pet home alone.

Regardless of the circumstances, some of us have started taking our pets for a few hours or even a full day to a facility that offers day care for pups. There are several places in and around the city and generally they all offer a large indoor area where pups can get together and play and expend all that pent up energy.

While the concept is great and your pup will no doubt enjoy himself, there are some things you should consider before you go. You should be able to inspect the play area for the dogs and know that there is ample staff on hand to properly watch over and supervise all the dogs while they engage in play.

You should also see that there are separate areas for larger and smaller dogs to make sure that your little one is not accidently hurt while larger pups are running and playing. Also ensure that they have a supply of fresh water readily available for the dogs.

Another thing you should ask before considering taking your pup for a stay is whether they check all the dogs to make sure that they are up-to-date with their shots and are not exhibiting any signs of disease.

Lastly, remember that your pup, as well as the other dogs in the daycare, are not taken out during the day and are allowed to relieve themselves anywhere in the play area. If the area is well maintained, any messes will be cleaned up immediately. On the downside, once your pup gets used to the idea of being able to do his business anytime and anywhere he wants, you may start to have some “accidents” in your home.

If you decide to take your pup to a daycare facility, it may be a good idea to first take him to your vet and make sure that he has had or is given the Bordetella vaccine. This vaccine is recommended and often required at boarding kennels, day care centers, and training classes or any other place where pups are frequently exposed to other dogs in social settings.

Bordetella is one of the most common bacterial agents which is responsible for kennel cough in dogs. Kennel cough is highly contagious and causes a respiratory illness resulting in a loud “honking cough” and can also cause a runny nose, sneezing, or even a loss of appetite. While the disease is highly contagious, it is usually very treatable. Your vet may prescribe some rest for your pup for a couple of weeks along with a cough medication or possibly an antibiotic to prevent any secondary infections.

If your pup does get kennel cough, your vet will probably advise you to keep him away from other dogs for a couple of weeks in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

So before you decide to send your four legged friend to a daycare center for a few hours or a day, be sure that you do your homework, check the place out beforehand and be sure that your pup is properly vaccinated to prevent any unwanted disease or illness.

So enjoy the rest of the winter season and keep yourself and your pets safe.


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