A few weeks ago, on a day I was away from the office, my team decided to have a very random doggy day, where everyone brought their dogs to work in the afternoon for a bit of a play date. I’m sad I missed out, because I have a lovely dog called Ken, who would have relished the opportunity to play with some new friends.
The following week we were discussing our doggy day, and our practice manager mentioned that it was fortunate her dogs were at their daycare across the road, otherwise she would have had to go all the way home to pick them up and bring them back, like one of our accountants did.
Doggy daycare: a phenomenon that has exploded in the Wellington region recently. There have always been dog kennels where you can leave your precious pup while you go on holiday, but leaving your dog with a carer for the day seems to be a new thing.
And why wouldn’t you? Some probably think it’s going overboard, but with hours spent away from your dog while you are at work, combined with traffic delays or other commitments, it doesn’t seem hugely fair for a social animal to have to stay home alone all day.
In addition to what’s becoming a very normal practice of dog care and education are the socialisation and training aspects. Just as many children thrive in early childcare centres, the same goes for your pooch, with opportunities to learn new tricks, play with other dogs and have the exercise they need.
Paws in the City has two branches of their very successful doggy daycare centres, one in Newtown and the other in Kaiwharawhara. They first opened their doors seven years ago after the merger of their dog training and grooming businesses, and a move to their premises in Newtown offered them expansion into a doggy daycare facility shortly after.
One of the three owners of Paws in the City, Julia Maiden, is not surprised by this growing industry: “There’s obviously a great need for dog daycare facilities in Wellington. It’s not for all dogs, though. Some prefer to stay at home, but for the ones that do come along and enjoy it, they have a wonderful time.”
“Dogs have best friends, too, so we have developed playgroups for the ones that get on best in certain social circles. But like any relationship, dogs can have disagreements with their friends, so we make sure there is a trainer in each group to be on hand for disputes!”
“We are fortunate enough to work closely with Wellington SPCA, so their puppies come down to visit us for some social lessons and a good run around with the other dogs – it’s so lovely to see a previously sheltered puppy come to a class or daycare with a new owner who has adopted them”.