At Adelaide Vet Doggy Daycare we have a period of time during the day where we encourage the dogs to have some quiet time, which we refer to as Zen Time!
If you have ever done a yoga class you will understand the importance of this quiet time after working up a sweat and your heart rate. This time allows the physical body (heart rate, blood pressure etc) and nervous system to return to baseline.
When dogs come into daycare the first few hours are basically the dog expelling lots of energy and are usually bursting with excitement! Some dogs will take time out during the day on their own behalf, using the soft beds provided in all of our playpens. However, a lot of the time the dogs are so excited they just don’t know when to stop! If we allow this behaviour for the entire duration of the dogs stay we tend to see some undesirable behavioural changes, particularly when we can see some dogs are getting tired and need a break.
During Zen time we dim the lights, turn on some lovely calm meditation music and encourage the dogs to settle where they feel comfortable (usually on a canine educators lap!). We also have private Zen Pens if we feel like your dog might need some quiet time on their own. These pens are equipped with a nice soft bed, calming music, water and if needed some enrichment toys and always under the watchful eyes of our Canine Educators.
Here at Adelaide Vet, we are very fortunate to have the wonderful Veterinary Behavioural team to help us form our policies in the best interest of the dogs in our care. They believe this Zen Time to be of great importance, and they know their stuff! Dr Chalette Brown Bsc DVM MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour) has wrote a little more here on why we incorporate Zen Time into our Daycare.
All dogs can benefit from having positive stimulating activity balanced with
some relaxing resting time to decrease excitement. This is particularly important when they have had a fantastic play with their fur friends in our exciting doggy daycare environment.
To facilitate some relaxation time, we have allocated areas in which our dogs can be encouraged to have some calming time. This can be after a stimulating play session or when they may be overstimulated and need a bit of relaxation time. Being able to settle and relax, before commencing play again, can really aid their focus, emotional state and social interactions.
Our educators love spending time with all our dogs and monitor their play and body language carefully. If they notice that they need some relaxation time, they can be moved over to one of our “Zen Dens” in which we provide bedding, relaxing chewing options and lower stimulation for a little while. Sometimes they may even be treated to some gentle massage using long, slow strokes - if they enjoy it!