Is Doggy Daycare Stressful? (Solved & Explained!)

Doggy daycare affects every dog differently. Some dogs may experience stress by being in an unfamiliar environment with new people and canines. However, other dogs may thrive in a social setting such as doggy daycare.

The rest of this article will go into detail about what affects stress at doggy daycare and how to facilitate a stress-free experience.

What causes stress at doggy daycare?

Dogs at doggy daycare experience new humans and canines, as well as a different environment than they are used to. Dogs prone to worry or aggression may be negatively affected by attending a doggy daycare, whereas confident, happy pups may thrive. The individual temperament of each dog strongly affects their ability to do well in doggy daycare.

What specific factors impact stress at doggy daycare?

Like people, dogs have different personalities and interact with their environments in different ways. Each pup possesses unique characteristics that, when combined, allow for a positive or negative experience.

Factors such as anxiety, sociability, and personality impact dog stress at doggy daycare.

How does dog anxiety affect stress at daycare?

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs experience stress for a variety of reasons, including fear, separation, and aging.

Dogs with attachment issues may act differently around their owners than around unfamiliar environments. Older dogs used to calling the shots may not appreciate the different social hierarchy at daycare.

How does dog sociability affect stress at daycare?

A dog’s level of sociability also indicates their possible reaction to a doggy daycare.

Dogs who enjoy meeting new canines will appreciate the chance to make friends and explore. However, more timid dogs may struggle to feel comfortable around an ever-changing group of fellow pets.

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How does dog personality affect stress at daycare?

Dogs naturally possess different temperaments and characteristics.

Adventurous pups who enjoy new experiences may be better-suited to daycare. On the other hand, quiet dogs who enjoy solitude may be overwhelmed by the same environment and become anxious in such a chaotic space.

What dog breeds experience less stress at daycare?

While different dog breeds often have defining characteristics, a dog’s breed cannot guarantee a stressful or stress-free daycare experience. Their experience depends more on the individual pup and their traits.

Be aware, however, that some daycares enforce breed restrictions, or they may have extra requirements for certain dog breeds. You should always check with specific daycares to see their unique policies.

Is doggy daycare a good fit for your pup?

Carefully analyze your pet’s past experiences with other people, environments, and animals. If you have concerns about how they may behave, plan on taking steps to make them more comfortable before signing them up for daycare.

If you believe that your dog has the personality and social skills that would make them a great candidate for doggy daycare, sign them up!

How can you find a doggy daycare that will not cause or exacerbate stress?

Do your research well! Doggy daycares differ in their approaches to pet behavior and interactions.

According to the American Kennel Club, daycares should perform comprehensive behavior exams that allow them to support your dog in the way that they need. If you have a timid dog, the daycare should understand their personality and how to give them the most stress-free experience possible.

How can you prepare your pets for a stress-free daycare stay?

To minimize stress, you should have your pet practice being in comparable situations. For example, you should go to a dog park several times in order for your pup to get used to being around new people and animals.

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You should also practice leaving your pet alone with others to make sure that they can function well without you present. They need to be able to handle being on their own without the comfort of their owner!

What are the stress-related risks of doggy daycare?

Risks of attending doggy daycare include run-ins with other dogs, which could cause a great deal of stress. If your dog gets into an altercation with another, that experience may cause them to feel anxiety when they encounter similar environments.

Dogs may also become aggressive if they feel anxious or stressed, which could lead to physical harm. If you are concerned about stress-related aggression (either from your pup or others), it may be best to try out some other options before committing to a daycare program.

Will your dog “grow out” of being stressed at daycare?

In new situations, normal canine behavior includes being unsure and hesitant. If you commit to a single daycare at scheduled times, your pup may become less stressed after growing used to that specific doggy daycare environment.

Your pet may not “grow out” of daycare stress. However, if you give it time, your pet might adjust to the changes and come to enjoy doggy daycare, which would be a win for everyone!

What stress-related signs should you watch out for?

If you choose to send your dog to daycare, look out for stress-related symptoms. According to veterinarians Malcolm Weir and Lynn Buzhardt, you may notice shaking, barking, panting, changes in behavior, or a tendency to hide or “escape.”

If you notice these behaviors, your dog may be suffering from stress. Think about if daycare could be the underlying cause or if something else may be the root.

Can doggy daycare help alleviate stress?

While many worry about daycare causing stress in dogs, a daycare stay may actually benefit dogs who experience stress or separation anxiety.

Dogs with nervous tendencies often need an outlet so that they can spend their energy. Doggy daycare may provide the chance for anxious pups to run off their stress and improve separation anxiety issues.

What other options exist?

If you feel hesitant about setting your furry friend loose, you may want to know about alternatives that cause less stress. You could start with dog walking or pet sitting, which allows for familiarity with one person.

You could also take them to dog parks, which would allow for them to socialize while still being near you. Don’t fret- many options exist for stress-free activities!