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The Overstimulated Daycare Dog

If you send your dog to doggy daycare, you may sometimes be concerned about how he acts when he comes back home. Since doggy daycare can be overstimulating to many dogs, you might want to think about altering your dog’s daily activities to eliminate some of his overstimulation. 

Negative Effects of Doggy Daycare

Even though taking your dog to daycare can be a great way to socialize your dog while you’re working all day, it can also have negative effects. One of those negative effects is overstimulation. How can you tell if your dog is becoming overstimulated?? Many dogs become overstimulated from the repetition of visiting daycare on a daily basis, meaning they will end up being bad listeners, display reactivity or aggression, and be unable to settle down and relax after coming back home.

The Overstimulated Dog

Once you get him home from daycare, does he act differently than normal? Is he displaying any of these “bad” manners? If so, then he may be getting overstimulated from the nonstop activity level of the doggy daycare. Since all dogs have different stimulation thresholds, some dogs may become overstimulated very easily, while others will have a higher tolerance.

When dogs get overstimulated, they stop being in control of themselves. This means any little stimuli around them can set them off, potentially causing aggressive behavior. Obviously, we don’t want our dogs displaying aggressive behavior toward humans, but if they become overstimulated while in the daycare setting, they may also display aggression toward other dogs.

Doggy Socialization

Let’s be honest – some dogs (just like humans) thrive on socialization, while others do not! If your dog doesn’t enjoy socializing with other dogs, then he’s a prime candidate for becoming overstimulated when forced into a social situation. This doesn’t mean you should never socialize your dog – it just means you need to be selective in the way you decide to socialize him. 

Socializing your dog properly is one of the best things you can do for him. There are many ways you can socialize your dog – visiting with friends or family who also have dogs, having regular visits with neighborhood dogs, periodically visiting the local dog park, and going on regular walks.

Doggy Daycare vs. Other Options

In the end, if attending doggy daycare is not the best option for your furry friend, you’ll want to consider other options for his daily care. Keep in mind, a dog should never attend daycare more than 3 days per week. Any more than that will be too much activity for your dog, and will cause him to be more prone to overstimulation. If your dog doesn’t become overstimulated by attending daycare 2 or 3 days per week, a great balance then is to have a dog walker visit your pooch the other days of the week. A dog walker will ensure your dog is getting great physical exercise outside. Furthermore, the walk allows your dog’s brain to get exercise as well – by taking in all the outside scents and smells dogs love so much. This exercise will help him get his daily dose of stimulation, without becoming overstimulated. 

While doggy daycare can be a great option to some pet owners who work all day, it’s not a good option if your dog tends to become overstimulated. Having a mix of activities to keep your dog stimulated and exercised is a better option for the overall health and wellbeing of your furry friend!

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