Playgroup for pooches keeps them stimulated
Parents to “fur babies” who want the very best for their canine companions when they’re not by their side now have multiple options to ensure their pooch gets the best care.
Barks In The Park founder Cahris Mahney said services ranged from dog walkers to pet sitters, with “doggy day care” particularly popular for people who worked long hours and didn’t want their pets left at home alone. “Perth is slowly catching up with the Eastern States in the way families can care for their pets and there are now more options available, ” Ms Mahney said. “Family dogs are no longer confined to the backyard when their owners are at work.”
Vet and animal behaviourist Kate Lindsey, who offers doggy day care at her new Kalmpets Dog Day Stay facility in Balcatta, said the Australian Veterinary Association recognised that well-run day-care centres could help address behavioural issues in pets by counteracting boredom in the home and providing pets with mental, physical and social stimulation. “The make or break socialisation period for dogs is between the ages of three to 17 weeks, ” Dr Lindsey said. “After three months dogs’ socialisation needs decrease as they become increasingly independent.”
Leanne Kenworthy, managing director at K9to5 Dog Daycare & Grooming, agreed that when dogs don’t get enough attention it can lead to destructive behaviour. “Our clients are happy to pay $44 a day for their dogs to be in day care as opposed to dealing with complaining neighbours and spending money on a new reticulation system or outdoor furniture, ” she said.
Day cares around Perth charge between $37-$50 per day, according to Ms Mahney. “This varies from different suburbs, what the space has to offer and if it’s for a full day or half day, ” she said. “Many of us charge less if the dogs attend more days during the week.”
Ms Kenworthy recommends attendance at least once a week and said most clients did two days, but she always recommended a regular schedule. “Most dogs thrive on routine and we find dogs feel secure when they attend on the same day every week — too many changes at once can unsettle the dogs, ” she said. However, Ms Mahney said it was not always easy to choose a reputable service.
“I would give as much attention to choosing the right day-care centre for my dog, as I would to a child, ” she said. “Choose a service or centre that has facilities that best suit you and your dog rather than something that’s more convenient.”
Ms Mahney said she received a lot of positive feedback from owners about the positive impact of doggy day care. “Dogs come from a pack and most of the time they enjoy each other’s company, ” she said. “It’s stimulation for their brains, exercise is so important and they get so much love and cuddles.”
K9to5 Dog Daycare & Grooming’s Leanne Kenworthy recommends asking a potential doggy day care:
- What experience and qualifications do staff have?
- What is the centre’s policy on emergencies such as allergic reactions, cuts or sick dogs?
- What are the emergency procedures for evacuations, such as fires?
- Is the centre affiliated with a particular vet and/or trainer?
- What activities do they provide?
- What is the policy on immunisation and sterilisation?
- Does the centre provide up-to-date training for staff?
Doggy Day Care Providers:
Barks in the Park, Ph: 0421 474 692, barksinthepark.com.au,
Kalmpets Animal Behaviour Centre, Ph: 9240 2228, kalmpets.com;
K9to5 Dog Daycare & Grooming, Ph: 9444 1001, k9to5.com.au.
© The West Australian