Doggy Daycare and FOMO

You’ll know your dog has experienced fear of missing out (FOMO) if you’ve ever heard your pup’s disappointment when they realize they don’t get to join you. When you walk out the door without them, FOMO may set in. This could start a few minutes before you’re ready to walk out the door, or after your dog hears the car door close and they’re not with you. The whimpers and cries are only temporary, and they do typically fade within 15-20 minutes or so.

Dog FOMO is different than separation anxiety, which is when a dog feels the “desperate need” to be with their parent all the time. Fear of missing out is when a dog knows that there’s a party going on somewhere else and they want to go. They know something more fun than staying home is happening, and they want to be “where the party is.”

The party does not have to be a robust event every time. It could be a quiet hike in nature with you. But once a dog has experienced doggy daycare and fallen in love with the aspect of friends and group play, they will probably develop a longing to return.

The fear of missing out could be a longing to be included again in the big pack atmosphere of doggy daycare. During their experience, some dogs run and play with other dogs and some dogs observe from the sidelines. It is similar to a sporting event where there are the players on the field, and the fans in the stadium cheering. The whole atmosphere is a big party no matter your position in the stadium or arena. The energy vibe is one big party, and everyone enjoys it regardless if they are the players or the spectators.

Dogs can also keep track of time which leads to predicted FOMO for your dog. It’s a mystery how they KNOW that a particular day of the week is “the day” for them to go to doggy daycare. Your routine may be 100% the same Monday through Friday. But somehow your dog knows, “today is Wednesday and that means I get to GOOOO!” Even if you don’t do anything differently on Wednesday to give your dog a signal that they’re going to doggy daycare, they know. They just know.

And it is adorable when you finally give that confirmation clue to your dog by grabbing their leash. It feels good for both of you actually. Little bursts of dopamine hit your brain and theirs around the same time. Making your dog happy triggers a happy effect on you too. You may or may not be as wildly excited and jumping up and down as your pup is in that moment, but your brain is definitely firing off feel-good emotions and sending signals through your body that creates happy feelings in you too. Joy creates a high frequency and it feels great! It’s one of the reasons dogs help people live longer. Dogs make us happy!

The benefits of doggy daycare bring joy to so many. Parents feel great knowing their dog is happy and off playing with their friends. The other dogs at daycare are excited to see their friend again. The staff are happy to see your pup. We fall in love with these dogs and care for them much deeper than you could ever imagine.

And after a full day of playtime, pups go home satisfied and quite tired out. And another round of feel-good-emotions are experienced when you return home at the end of the day because you get to snuggle with your precious tired out pup. Soothing love from your tired out dog creates emotional bonding between you both and for you both.

The experience your dog has during the day leads them to want to repeat the experience, which also introduces the fear of missing out. From the joy ride going to doggy daycare, then getting to play all day with friends in a supervised play group, plus all the activities, and then snuggling, sharing love and a meaningful bond with you at the end of the day. Wanting to repeat all of this creates the “fear of missing out” feeling when they know the day has come and today might be the day they get to do it again.

Most dogs (10-weeks old to 7 or 8 years old) enjoy a supervised group play experience. However, some dogs prefer to be excluded from high energy rooms for a variety of reasons. That topic would be a whole other blog! But most dogs do really enjoy the play time experienced, at least until they’ve outgrown the desire to play with other dogs all day.

Dogs have normalized into our human life, and they like having a schedule and routine. They also want to live a life that matters, although they define what matters on much simpler terms than humans do. Dogs definitely pay attention and enjoy experiences taking it all in.

If doggy daycare is something you want your dog to try, call us at 480-207-1852 to set up a new dog prescreening appointment. We will walk your dog through the process gradually and you’ll be able to watch via our live-stream webcams. Doggy daycare can be a great fit and a win-win for you and your dog. An outing once or twice a week is perfect for your pup.

Happy Pets Palace is located in Mesa and Chandler. For more information, explore our website