Leave your child in daycare, and you trust that your little one will be appropriately taken care of. That’s true for children, and it should also be true for pets.
They return home, and there’s no way to usually know what happened, they can’t tell us. Although, sometimes they can. According to an online post, Luke and Laura regularly take their rescued German Shepherd-mix Mya to doggy day care in Chicago
Mya had developed some anxiety issues presumably as a result of the poor treatment by her past owners. Mya’s current family were quick to let the owners of the spa for dogs (the day dare) know about her skittish nature. They sent her to the “spa” in hopes that interacting with the other dogs would help Mya to gain confidence.
Mya was anxious – and likely as a result of that anxiety, she vocalized more than some other dogs. Or maybe that’s merely her nature. Some dogs just have a lot to say.
No matter, all seemed well until one day Luke and Laura noted a new black collar around Mya’s neck. Mya had returned home with an electronic bark collar. Dogs are zapped with a shock for barking using these collars.
They were never told that the “spa” would even consider such equipment to quiet a dog.
One problem with blog posts is that sometimes you don’t get the entire story. Rather than assume the “spa” guilty, I phoned them.
It was explained that an employee at the facility mistakenly placed the shock collar that belonged to another dog on to Mya.
The employee explained that the day care doesn’t endorse shock collars, and doesn’t have any of their own. But if a client uses one, so be it. And it was merely a case of human error – placing the wrong collar on the wrong dog
The story sounds feasible enough to me. I personally have no way to know why Mya was given the shock collar, but I assume the story is correct as I have no reason not to.
I am a fan of doggy day care – but here’s a checklist of potential concerns, including mistakes like the one described. If it is a “one-off,” perhaps it’s acceptable. If not, it may not be acceptable depending on the clients’ level of tolerance.
People say – I know the day care is great because my dog is worn out. That can be a good thing, but not necessarily. Being worn out doesn’t necessarily equate that your dog had a good time. Or wasn’t totally stressed out by being with so many dogs or so many unfamiliar dogs. Some dogs are social canine butterflies, and love meeting and playing with new friends, others prefer not to. Running around all day can be fun, but running around because there’s no comfortable place to relax and feel safe is very bad.
With today’s technology, I recommended people use day care facilities with cameras – so you can – at any time, see what’s happening.
Dogs should never be in play groups for an entire day, in fact, they do need to be given an opportunity to have alone, quiet time. Some dogs prefer to be alone all the time, except for human companionship.
Trainers and handlers should never be using force methods (such as electronic collars). And employees should have adequate training to understand canine body language, and it you don’t get the feel that they simply really like dogs – something is wrong. Also, there should be at least one person at the facility who can recognize initial signs of canine illness, and administer basic first aid. The facility can’t be spotless – but messes should be cleaned promptly.
So, how do you tell if a facility is responsible? The place may belong to the national association, International Boarding & Pet Services Association. And the facility requires appropriate vaccinations, rabies is law, but beyond that, which would include proof of distemper, canine parvovirus, canine parainfluenza/Bordetella and in many places in America, leptospirosis and the vaccine (2 parts) for canine influenza virus. Requiring these vaccine, offers a sense that the facility is responsible and takes your dog’s care very seriously.