Lockdown during the early days of the pandemic played out in a variety of ways.
For some, it meant panic at the grocery store in the search for toilet paper rolls. For others, moving their school and work into their homes. But for all too many, the pandemic led to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
To ease this feeling, many people adopted so-called “pandemic pooches.” But now that many are returning to offices, pets are losing their work-hours companions.
What’s a pet owner to do? Meet two doggie daycares filling the need for canine care.
The Original Doghouse
The Original Doghouse (“OD”) has been caring for dogs in Leaside for over 15 years.
The facility on Research Road is a daycare, as well as a facility specializing in obedience training and behaviour modification training. The daycare’s routines incorporate supervised play, exercise, outdoor walks, mental stimulation, general obedience training, and rest.
Emily Boudreau, co-manager at the OD, has a long history of working with dogs at a veterinary level, and with the OD since 2017.
She notes that the daycare “has definitely seen an influx in the number of (recent) inquiries for doggie daycare. Since opening up again after the lockdown in March 2020, the majority of our previous clients have returned, and the other half of our current capacity are new puppies that people have adopted during the pandemic.”
A handful of their returning dogs have, the staff have observed, “developed new anxious behaviour since staying home with the family during the pandemic.”
Signs of this separation anxiety include “pacing, panting, whining, etc. when away from the owner.”
How does the OD deal with this anxiety? By providing structured daycare with socialization, physical exercise and mental stimulation, issues of “hyper-attachment” are reduced. 57 Research Rd., www.theoriginaldoghouse.com.
KYON Dog Daycare
When a local Leaside family started wondering what they would do with their dog Scarlett as their lives got busier, they wanted to ensure she would get the best care possible. And who, they wondered, would offer that comfort? Themselves!
The family launched KYON (Kee-On) Dog Daycare on Eglinton at Sutherland at the beginning of October 2021, and quickly built a strong client base.
Mariah Palantzas, one of the family co-owners of KYON, notes that “clients have expressed how difficult it is to be returning to the office while simultaneously trying to find a high-quality dog daycare that they trust.” Separation anxiety is being felt by both pets and their owners and KYON works to ease the adjustment for both.
Offering structured care including socialization, walks, pack naps, mental stimulation at their “sniff centre,” and exercise with agility toys, Palantzas says her staff have found that the adjustment period for dogs is very short (a day or two) and that “Covid-puppies are quickly making friends and learning from one another.”
To provide peace of mind for dog owners, KYON offers the flexibility of half-day, full-day and overnight care that is crate-free and supervised.
Clients can also book online up to two hours before they bring their dogs to KYON for care. 792 Eglinton Ave. East, www.kyondogdaycare.com
With the comfort of knowing their dogs are receiving top-notch care in locations close to home, Leasiders are more at ease as they pivot their way back to life outside the home office.