We know you send your pup to daycare to have a great time — frolicking in the fresh air, playing with canine friends, and releasing their energy!
But what about the moments when you open up the JM Pet Resort webcam, and don’t see your fur-baby out in the playgroup?
At various points in the day, your pup may be taking some rest time in their own cozy indoor enclosure. This is a strategic part of the PLAYtrain® model and our commitment to ensuring your dog is happy, healthy, and behaving while at JM Pet Resort.
In fact, incorporating rest breaks can make a dog’s experience at doggie daycare more enjoyable. Here’s why many dogs need a bit of downtime, even at daycare.
It’s healthy for dogs to nap during the day.
One of the main benefits of doggie daycare is that it gives your pup plenty of exercise; running, sniffing, and wagging to their heart’s content.
As dog care specialists, we also understand that most dogs don’t need 8 hours of intense physical activity. In fact, too much exercise can cause over-exhaustion and weaken the immune system, leaving dogs more susceptible to sickness
Dogs differ from humans in the amount of sleep their bodies require and their sleeping schedule. It’s normal for adult dogs to sleep an average of 8-14 hours a day, and younger puppies who are still growing may need anywhere from 18-20 hours of daily sleep.
And unlike humans, dogs don’t do all of their sleeping at one time. Dogs are polyphasic sleepers, meaning it’s more natural for them to doze on and off throughout the day, collecting their 8-14 hours of sleep in frequent naps.
We give rest breaks at doggie daycare to allow each pup to get a healthy amount of exercise balanced with the rest their bodies need. Of course, this differs for each dog, depending on their breed, personality, and individual energy level.
Dogs have their own personal thresholds for social activity, just like people.
In addition to balancing exercise with rest, taking breaks also allows dogs to balance social time with a bit of valuable “me time.”
A yard with a large group of dogs is a highly stimulating environment. Just like you may have a personal preference for how long you’ll stay at a party or out at a restaurant with friends, each dog has their own tolerance level for spending time with their fellow pups.
Some dogs love playing all day with a group of canine pals. Others play with one or two doggie friends before settling down to relax in the sun. And some have a threshold for the length of social time they enjoy, after which they may become flooded — meaning over-stimulated or overwhelmed. Just like mental or emotional flooding in humans, this increases a dog’s stress level and makes it hard to relax.
Our PLAYtrain® Specialists pay attention to each pup’s personality, body language, and behavior to ensure they are healthy, happy, and comfortable in the playgroup. If we see signs that a dog is feeling over-stimulated or stressed, we allow them to take a rest break inside. This often helps the dog to decompress, refresh, and get into a more relaxed state.
Feeling overstimulated can lead to stress and unhealthy behaviors.
There’s another important reason that we pay attention to signs of overstimulation: safety.
Coming to doggie daycare is likely the most stimulating activity in your dog’s day. It’s a great environment for dogs to release energy, build confidence, and enhance socialization — but with so much excitement, it’s easy for dogs to become flooded.
When dogs feel over-stimulated, they enter a state of anxiety, which can lead to destructive or unhealthy behaviors and reduced impulse control. They may ignore another dog’s boundaries or body language during play, hyper-focus on a dog or person, or over-react to their playmates’ behaviors.
In this flooded state, a dog is less able to focus on their human PLAYtrain® Specialist, listen to commands, and redirect themselves toward more positive behaviors. Once a dog is overwhelmed, the best thing for their well being is to take a break from the stimulating environment.
In our flagship PLAYtrain® program, we are constantly guiding dogs to promote positive behaviors and healthy socialization skills, while redirecting undesired behaviors. Particularly with young puppies who are learning how to engage with other dogs, every social interaction matters.
Our PLAYtrain® Specialists work to ensure each dog has a happy experience playing with other dogs, which includes taking a rest before they become over-stimulated, to build a positive association with other dogs and doggie daycare as a whole.
Rest breaks help dogs develop well-balanced skills and behavior.
The training doesn’t stop when a dog is resting inside. In fact, taking breaks throughout the day is a valuable part of socializing your dog, helping them to become a more well-rounded companion.
If you’ve ever spent the day with a toddler, you know that transitions can be challenging — the same is true for dogs. Your dog may become agitated when changing pace from a stimulating yard filled with smells and other dogs, to a cozy dog bed or the backseat of your car (filled with entirely different smells!).
Not every moment of a dog’s day will be highly stimulating or active. A happy, healthy, and behaving dog is one who can smoothly transition between excitement and downtime.
Just as dogs learn how to engage in happy and healthy play in PLAYtrain®, structured rest time helps them develop the skills to self-soothe, self-regulate, and decompress after physical activity. This can help them feel more relaxed when boarding overnight, and transition from daycare back to your home more smoothly!