Looking for a dog daycare? We dropped off our labradoodle puppy, Luna, to Vancouver’s newest doggy daycare addition, Baby D’s Home, and chatted with the owner to find out if it’s a good fit for us.
Unless you work from home, chances are you spend a lot more time away from your dog than they (or you) might like. Sure, you can hire a dog walker to come in once a day and take your pup out to take care of business. But a 30-minute or even hour walk probably won’t do the trick when it comes to providing your social animal the time it needs to, well, socialize. Consider this, if you have a regular 9-5 job, your dog is probably home alone for 10 hours or more. For a young dog, and particularly a puppy, that’s an entire day of boredom and loneliness.
If your dog likes to play with other dogs, and most do, then what makes sense is to find a well-run daycare. We chatted with Wei Peng Zhuang, owner of the brand new Baby D’s Home dog daycare on Broadway and dropped of our very own labradoodle, Luna, for a test run.
What made you want to open a doggy daycare?
What is it that I want to do with my life has always been a question. I had a few different jobs after I graduated from UBC with an Environment and Sustainability degree. But the question never left.
I grew up with dogs all my life, different sizes—as big as St. Bernard and as petite as a Pomeranian. I met my wife back in school and she is also a super dog lover. In 2013, we got a dog together. Her name is DiDi, a 5 year-old Maltese. Naughty, smart, super friendly and energetic. I had to send Didi to daycare during the weekdays when I was working at a bank so in the process of choosing the right one, I read hundreds of reviews online about different daycares, and I visited a lot of them in person before making a decision. That process of looking for a daycare for my own dog gave me insight into what to look for, what was important to me and for my dog. What I realized that there was a lot of room for improvement in what is available in Vancouver. The seed for opening my own daycare was planted and here we are.
How many dogs do you take?
In order to maintain our service quality, we only take 10 dogs per one specialist.
What’s a typical day like at Baby D’s?
The day starts with treat time (7:30-9:30): We are dedicated to providing a positive environment to all dogs, so our specialists interacts with the dogs and hands out treats for positive reinforcement. If owners bring breakfast for their dogs, we feed them in a separate area so there’s no jealousy with other dogs.
- Detail caring (9:30-10:30): We clean eye discharge, check ears, paws, nails and private area.
- Out for a walk (10:30- 11:30) : each dog will be taken out for a walk every day (max 2 dogs at a time), and we wil keep an eye on the poopoo for any unhealthy signs.
- In house play (11:30- 12:30) : we play with all dogs in the house and owners are welcome to see how they play via our Real Time Cam system.
- Nap time (12:30-13:30): after the fun play, all dogs rest before the next round of fun play.
- A small break and treat time (13:30-14:00)
- Walk time (14:00-16:00)
- In house play (16:00-17:00)
- Leisure time (17:00- 18:30): Another detail care is given before pick up. We do our best to make them look good!
What happens if there is an issue with a dog?
In case of any medical emergency, we send the dog to the nearest veterinary hospital. Also, we provide a complimentary service to Vancouver Animal Wellness across the street for owners who make vet appointments there but have to work during the day and can’t take their dog themselves.
Tell me about the products you sell at the daycare?
We currently carry a small selection of dog treats, mostly Canadian brands like Petcurean, Crumps’ Naturals and Open Farm. The quality of the product is obviously important, so I look at products that use organic ingredients, and products that are made ethically. Most of our treats are Better Bickies and they are made in Squamish with 100% natural and certified organic ingredients.
We liked what Baby D’s Home had to offer so we dropped her off for a 4 hour trial. During that time, we ran errands while Luna checked out the place and played with other dogs. She seemed to have such a great time on her trial run, that we signed up for a five visit package. You know it’s a good sign when your dog recognizes the place she’s going to and rushes in the door. Luna will be going back for more.