Many working parents arrange for childcare to ensure their youngsters are taken care of while parents are at work. The same level of care has now been extended to other members of the household, namely the four-legged variety.

Spending and attention directed toward companion animals continues to grow. The American Pet Product Association says that in 2017 an estimated $69.36 billion is expected to be spent on pets in the United States alone.

Canadians spend a lot on their pets as well, as the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada says pet owners are increasingly treating their dogs and cats like people. Pet spending in that country is expected to rise from $6.6 billion in 2014 to $8.3 billion by 2018.

Some of the fastest growth in spending across North America includes eco-friendly pet services, premium food, puppy daycare, pet spas, and dogwalking services. Pet owners want to ensure that their pets are happy and healthy, and they’Õre willing to spend to make that a reality.

Doggie daycare is growing in popularity and can benefit dogs in various ways.

— Reduced boredom: A dog who is left home to his own devices may quickly become bored and then mischievous. Doggie daycare offers stimulation and the company of other dogs, which is ideal for breeds that thrive on companionship.

— Reduced anxiety: Separation anxiety is very real among some dogs. When anxiety strikes, dogs may become destructive or engage in incessant whining or barking. Daycare can alleviate these feelings of isolation.

— Added exercise: Dogs need ample exercise to maintain healthy weights and stay sharp. Daycares provide plenty of play throughout the day. They may even have obstacle courses and other toys that stimulate dogs.

— Alleviated owners’ concerns: Pet owners may experience stress wondering what their dogs are doing all day at home. When an unexpected late night at the office arises, owners whose dogs are in daycare do not need to worry about feeding their dogs or letting them out for bathroom breaks.

— Flexible plans: Many facilities offer packages or alternative plans that let people decide just how many days or hours their dogs spend at the daycare.

— Healthy socialization: Daycare provides opportunities for dogs to socialize with many dogs and people, reducing their propensity to be territorial or dog-aggressive. Good socialization can help dogs develop well-rounded temperaments.

Doggie daycare presents a healthy option for socialization and exercise for pets that live in busy households.

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