A Home Away from Home

Doggy daycare can keep your pooch happy

Photo by Martha Busse

You come home from a long day at work and your furry bundle of joy greets you, tail wagging ferociously in anticipation of an evening of belly rubs or a big walk to the park. Then you remember the party you RSVP-ed to for the night. Uh-oh.

There’s a name for this conundrum. It’s dog-owner’s guilt.

How to balance caring for your pet while also maintaining a normal social life is a common—and very real—stressor among dog owners. Fortunately a solution has emerged to help keep both you and your pooch happy and sane.

Doggy daycares have popped up all over Madison. Drop your pup off in the morning and you’ll pick up a calm—and likely tuckered-out—pooch after work, says Liz Okas, an owner at Waggin’ Tails Doggie Dude Ranch and Pet Lodge. Then you can spend the evening with him or leave him at home for a few hours guilt-free knowing he’s been exercised and attended to all day.

And don’t worry, you’re not weird for not wanting to leave your dog alone too long. “They’re pack animals,” Okas says, “whether the pack is humans or animals.”

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