As a pet parent, you want your dog to live their best life. And understandably you want to live yours, too. It’s an unfortunate reality that we simply can’t take our favorite companions with us everywhere we go. So, how can we ensure that our pups are having the best day ever while we’re away? Two words: dog daycare. Just like our human children, dogs thrive in social, active environments where they can learn and play. They crave stimulation and exercise to release their never-ending energy. Still hesitant to let your dog join in on all the action and excitement of dog daycare? Here are three reasons why it’s a must!

  1. Exercise.

It’s an all too common routine. You come home exhausted from a long day at work, but your pup is rearing to go after an equally long day of solitude at home. They’re putting on the puppy-dog eyes in an attempt to sway you into an evening walk, or play session in the backyard. But you are just too tired. You, somewhat ashamed, remove your shoes and plop down on the couch to relax, calling it a night, and your dog resigns herself to yet another night of boredom. Now, picture this: You swing by Dogtopia on your way home from work and pick up your pooch. She comes trotting out to greet you, tail wagging, still on cloud nine from a day of playing with twenty or so of her closest friends. The car ride home consists of her gazing at you adoringly, silently thanking you for a day of play. You get home and she can’t wait to curl up on the couch right along with you. As she falls asleep you spot a little grin forming on her lips. Is she dreaming about the great time she had playing chase and romping around with her buddies that day? We can’t say for sure, but yes.

  1. Socialization.

Not only does dog daycare provide hours and hours of exercise and stimulation for your dog, it also helps in keeping them socialized. For many dogs, socialization is an acquired skill. Although being good natured can be a characteristic of any dog, not even that can ensure comfort and confidence while in the company of other canines. In general, the more they are exposed to other dogs, the better socialization skills they will have. These skills are necessary not only to prevent your dog from reacting aggressively towards other dogs, but also to prevent them from developing an unhealthy fear of their kind, or simply forming rude play behaviors. With an experienced staff supervising playtime, you can rest assured that your dog will learn appropriate play styles, and you no longer have to be embarrassed by your dog’s questionable antics at the dog park.

  1. Peace of mind.

We’ve all been there. You come home from a day out and, oops, you suddenly don’t have a couch anymore, it’s been torn to shreds. Or your favorite pair of shoes are now your dog’s absolutely favorite chew toy. Maybe the puppy that you thought was house broken decided the rug bore a striking resemblance to the lawn…we’ve all experienced mishaps at the paws of our pups. But who wants to come home to a mess? These situations are entirely avoidable. Being at a safe and fun daycare facility allows your dog to feel at home while not actually being at home, which means that you can stop worrying about the endless possibilities of what you might come home to and both you and your dog can start enjoying your days!

Don’t let your dog miss out on all the good times waiting to be had at doggy daycare!

Rachel Johnson is a senior at California State University San Marcos majoring in Literature and Writing studies. She has been working with dogs professionally since 2012.