Many years ago, dogs were born and bred for 1 reason – to work. They served purposes, like hunting, protection, herding, defending and scavenging.
Today, although there are still many working canine’s, the vast majority spend most of their day lounging. We have made them adapt to our lifestyle, instead of encouraging their natural lifestyle. This is the reason many dogs have behaviour issues that need correcting – they are not able to express their instincts, and active lifestyle.
A lot of loving pet owners believe that if dogs have access to a yard, they will have exercise. A mistake with t his thinking is that a dog doesn’t run or do very much unless you yourself are interacting with them, running with them, throwing a ball for them.
Having a dog is a great deal of responsibility. Some look at the needs of dogs as nuisances, such as the exercise component. After a long day we don’t feel like cooking a meal let alone running laps in the yard. Most take their dog for a 30-45 min walk, which is great, but more exercise is needed to keep your dog healthy and happy.
People joke that dogs are like kids, and the truth is they are. If they don’t have a constructive activity to do with their never ending energy they will find something to get into and chances are the dog isn’t going to get in something that you are okay with.
Dogs can be like young children. If you don’t give them something constructive to do with their energy, they’ll find something to do on their own—and you may not like it! Some of the most common behavior problems seen in dogs who don’t get enough exercise and play are:
- garbage raiding
- insomnia – night time activity
- knocking over furniture and jumping up on people
- Excessive predatory and social play
- Play biting and rough play
- barking and whining
Keeping your dog healthy & happy with exercise will:
- reduce negative behaviour, promote a healthy dog and healthy lifestyle
- aid in a healthy digestive system
- build confidence, independency & self-esteem
- make a tired dog at bedtime, and not a restless one!
- help with weight control
Physical Activity & Exercise at your doggy day care:
Now that we have a basic understanding of the benefits of exercise, and the need for exercise in your dog’s lifestyle, let’s talk about how we can implement an exercise routine in your daycare to not only give your dogs exactly what they need, but to take a load off your paying customers backs, and to keep them coming back to YOUR daycare.
With today’s dog owners having to work long tiring hours to pay bills, the time and energy to provide the physical exercise needed by their dog to live a balanced lifestyle is simply not there. This is why people pay good money to bring their dog to your daycare. Not only is it your job to provide love, snuggles, mental stimulation, socialization & structure, it is your job to provide the mental and physical stimulation required of canine’s.
When clients pick up a tired dog, you are doing a good job. You are eliminating destructive problems, and saving a lot of time that is just not there in their daily schedule. This is going to keep customers coming back. So how does one provide exercise at their day care? The first thing is understanding that For example, a Chihuahua does not to play fetch, and run laps and win a game of tug and war to get tired out.
Dogs are more athletic than we are (most of us). They can out run us, out play us, and if you’ve done your job well – out sleep us! The best part about owning a day care for dogs… you get paid to get exercise.
Having said that, there are many of us that just simply cannot exercise, or our cardio is not as great as it used to be. There are ways to provide physical exercise without being superman or superwoman.
There are many games that you can simply sit or stand and the dogs have to do most of the work – Fetch, Frisbee, Catching bubbles and chasing remote control toys. Owning a doggy day care provides you the freedom to seek out wholesale accounts of agility and play equipment. Go one step further and hire an agility trainer or take agility yourself and make your daycare extra cash, or have a dog walking component to your business.
Study shows that dog walkers walk an average of 300 minutes per week as opposed to the 168 minutes walked by non dog owners. On leash running, skating or bicycling is a great alternative to the walk, and is a great marketing strategy for your business.
Performing intakes of each dog that comes to your day care, and having a section specifically for exercise needs, shoes your client how thorough you are, and how interested you are in benefiting the dog the entire time they are in your care. Following though will be proven in the tiredness and positive behaviour seen at home.
– Stephanie Jacklyn (Atwood)