We like to think of Dogtopia as not just daycare, but more like a spa for dogs. As the best spas do, we try to create an environment where your dog receives sound nutrition, plenty of exercise, rest, grooming and pampering. No cages here, no boredom, and no junk food.
We pay particular attention to food and nutrition. After a series of scares, most dog owners are aware that some dog foods are better than others for your dog, and some can be downright toxic. You want to read the labels on your dog food containers carefully.
The first five ingredients on the package are the most important, because they’re the ones included in the highest percentages. Dog food manufacturers are required by law to list ingredients in descending order of their pre-cooked weight, so you want those first five ingredients to include a high quality, easily-digestible protein, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. The only important ingredients that should be in the food in small amounts are nutritional additives, like glucosamine.
Here are some ingredients you DON’T want to see: meat by-products; poor quality, incomplete proteins like corn gluten meal, wheat gluten meal, rice protein concentrate and soy protein; corn and soy (many dogs are allergic to one or the other); artificial preservatives like BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, or propyl gallate; and any other artificial preservatives or colors. We don’t serve food containing any of these.
Since most of our dogs attend all day while their “parents” are at work, eating is an important part of the day care experience. We have three potential meal times at Dogtopia to accommodate the different schedules our dogs are on at home. They’re coordinated to breakfast, lunch and dinner, but if your dog is used to eating only once or twice a day we will observe your feeding times.
We also urge people to bring their dogs’ own foods to daycare, so the dog does not change diet at all. Most of us don’t react well to changes in our diets and dogs are no exception. There’s a reason people travel to foreign countries and find the nearest Starbucks or McDonald’s. Dogs would like to do the same — maintain consistency in what they eat.
Although many of our dog day care participants bring their lunch from home, we do have a “house food.” It is intentionally somewhat bland because we have to take into account preferences, allergies, and digestive issues. We don’t want to feed your dog a richer diet than he receives at home.
If you’d rather not bring your dog’s food or you forget it one day, the dog will never go hungry. But he won’t be receiving between meal snacks, either. We don’t believe they’re any better for dogs than they are for humans. Learn more about our dog day care and boarding services in Mississauga, Calgary and Coquitlam.