Arts & Entertainment
Dogs need friends, too
Dog day care provides chances to socialize, grow
Originally printed 2/25/2010 (Issue 1808 - Between The Lines News)
Dogs are pack animals, which means they like to be socialized with other dogs. They enjoy playing with each other, snuggling (sometimes) and going through the tests that determine just who is the real "top dog."
People are social too - sometimes to the detriment of their highly social dogs that frequently get excluded from their owners' active lives. Understandable as this may be (not many places let you bring your dog to work, or restaurants that invite the pooches to dine), it often means long, lonely hours left at home alone, waiting for the beloved family members to return.
Dog day care is a relatively new industry that has grown wildly in recent years, filling the need of owners to provide safe, fun and stimulating social interaction for their dogs. Owners with busy work and social lives can leave their dog for a whole day to play and romp with other dogs, and be loved and pampered by the human staff.
"Dog day care really wore out my dog, Lily. I brought her to day care before I had kids, and I had an active social life," said dog owner Dana Bernard. "That way, if I had something to do that night she was tired and content to sleep - I didn't feel guilty leaving her again after being away all day at work."
A question almost always asked about dog day care is, "Don't the dogs get into fights?"
"There will always be small disagreements, but we have a pretty thorough screening process to make sure the dog is comfortable in a pack situation," said Nancy Janoch, owner of Happy Hounds Day Care and Boarding in Plymouth. "All the
staff are trained too to intercede if a dog gets grumpy."
Dogs that get lots of exercise and attention tend to have better temperaments, too. "Being at day care helps my dog to be happier because she exercises her mind and body all day. She's just more well-rounded," said Bernard.
Like all dog owners, LGBT dog parents want to be mindful of the social and emotional needs of their dogs. They also want to do business with people and places that respect their family structure. Here is a list of of day care
facilities in southeast Michigan that actively reach out to the LGBT community:
4 Paws Community Center
2244 Franklin Rd., Bloomfield Hills
Arbor Dog Day Care
2856 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
Club Pet Too
3181 Walnut Lake Court, Commerce Twp.
Happy Hounds Dog Day Care and Boarding
673 S. Main St., Plymouth
Play and Stay Pet Care Center
1705 Austin, Troy
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