Doggy daycares have become more popular and practical in our busy, everyday lives. Instead of leaving Sprinkles at home by herself, you can drop her off at doggy daycare to hang out with her furry friends in a supervised space. But before choosing the right daycare for your pet, there are a few factors to consider. For dog owners of small breeds, an important factor to consider is whether the facility separates dogs by size. Also, if they do separate dogs by size, what exactly are the specifications? There are many reasons why separating by similar-sized breeds is important.

– Intimidation Factor: Small dogs can be intimidated

Contrary to popular belief, not all small dogs boast confidence and dominance. In fact, there are many small dogs that suffer from anxiety, are very shy, or they simply have an introverted personality. These characteristics can be rooted from intimidating interactions with a larger dog.

Little breeds may find bigger breeds very intimidating. A dog that becomes intimidated may become more aggressive and exhibit fearful behavior, including excessive barking and growling. These behaviors can escalate and be difficult to neutralize in an open play area where different-sized dogs are present.

– Play Factor: Little dogs can be a victim of rough play

Puppy play often involves wrestling, playful nipping, and chasing. Although it’s best to encourage puppy play in a positive manner, some dogs may be prone to a rougher play style than others. Sadly, if one dog has a significant height or weight advantage, this could be disastrous.

Even though some small dogs may be able to stand their ground and even enjoy feisty fun, small dogs are much more fragile and can sustain more damage than their larger counterparts. Separating play areas by size will allow smaller dogs to have the fun they crave while saving them from any serious injury that may occur during roughhousing.

– Prey Factor: Tiny dogs can look like prey

Despite dogs going through generations of domestication, dogs have an inner “prey drive”. This is an internal instinct to stalk, chase, and kill prey. Even if a dog has never shown signs of prey drive, certain behaviors amongst dogs can trigger these instincts. For instance, prey drive can be activated by a bird, squirrel, or even a car whizzing by in a dog’s peripheral vision. Little dogs can oftentimes resemble small game and may trigger dogs with a higher prey drive through normal play. Why risk a potentially dangerous situation for your four legged child?

It’s important to consider these issues when choosing a doggy daycare for your tiny pup. Separated playtime allows smaller breeds to have the continued socialization dogs need while letting them play in a safe environment. The mental, social, and physical benefits of putting your pup into quality daycare cannot be emphasized enough. When these factors are checked, you can be comforted in knowing that Sprinkles will be in the best hands at daycare!