Doggy Day Care 101

Doggy Day Care 101

Doggy Day Cares are more popular now than they’ve ever been and continue to grow in popularity. 

What is Doggy Day Care? - Doggie day care works a lot like day-care for children. You drop your dog off in the morning on the way to work. While you are gone, your dog will get plenty of attention. Your dog's day will be filled with activities based on the curriculum set out by the day care facility on your dog's specific needs and temperament.

Your dog may enjoy his day by playing with other dogs, playing with people, or snuggling up on a nice bed or couch getting loving attention. Your dog will also have the chance to spend time indoors and outdoors, including the opportunity to have potty breaks. This is so much better than waiting all day as some dogs do.

Why Send Them to Dog Day Care? - There are many benefits to sending your pup to day carer instead of leaving them at home all day. These benefits include:

Socialization: Day care offers lots of opportunities for socialization, something that’s crucial for dogs’ well-being and development. If your dog doesn’t socialize with other dogs early on, they can become antisocial and even aggressive towards other dogs. After all, dogs are social animals, and they enjoy (and even crave!) contact with other dogs — and they’ll get plenty of that at doggy day care.

Love, Care & Attention: It goes without saying that leaving your pooch at home means they’re not going to be getting any attention. Just like humans, dogs love it when they are shown some love and attention. So as a dog parent, it’s your duty to ensure that your dog receives the same when you are away or don’t have time to cuddle and snuggle. For this reason, you need to choose carefully which doggy day care or boarding offers that.

Social Cues: Not only does attending day care help your dog get used to being around different dogs, but it can also help them learn how to understand other dogs.  If dogs don’t get the proper exposure to other dogs, they have a hard time reading them and get into more conflicts. It’s almost like they never learned the canine language. At day care, they can learn to pick up on social cues, something that can help them avoid trouble down the line.

Exercise & Training: Killing boredom is one of the most important reasons to take your dog to the day care. At the day care, the dog gets to run around, play and exercise on the playground with their friends and caregivers. This reduces anxiety and helps them to keep fit.

Training might also be offered in certain day carers, which can increase your pups obedience and trick repertoire! But seriously, learning obedience commands and how to be and act in “other Dog” situations is nothing but a good thing.

Choosing a Dog Day Care – Before you choose, you’ll want to visit and check out the prospective day cares. Don’t worry, this is part of the process, and the staff will welcome your tour requests and questions. Any that have a problem with you checking them out before deciding should be avoided.

Read reviews, ask your vets and other dog owners on their opinions of or experiences with dog day cares you have in mind too.

Before your pup can attend your chosen day care though, they’ll need to be vetted (snort) too. This is also a completely normal and expected process. These evaluations are to see how well they play well with others and to ensure they won’t pose a threat to the safety of the other dogs. 

What To Look Out For: After you’ve asked around and found some options, you should visit potential day cares to evaluate the facilities. The right day care will check every box:

  • It doesn’t smell (If it smells bad, so will your dog. Plus, that shows poor cleaning methods.);
  • There’s no poop or pee in the play areas;
  • Plenty of space to play;
  • A fenced-in outdoor area where dogs can hang out;
  • Dogs are separated by size;
  • Constant supervision (dogs should never be alone!);
  • A dog-to-person ratio you’re comfortable with;
  • Meals and medication can be administered;
  • A timeout area where they can go when they need to relax or eat lunch.

Amenities you might want for your dog could also include:

  • A live video feed that lets you check in on them from your phone or computer;
  • Add-ons like bathing, grooming, and training services;
  • Options for boarding.

Is Doggy Day Care Right for Your Dog? - Doggy day care isn’t the right fit for every pup. In general, doggy day care is a great fit for:

  • Dogs that are outgoing and playful;
  • High-energy dog breeds that need more exercise than other dogs might (AKA more exercise than humanly possible);
  • Working dogs and adolescent dogs that need something constructive to do to keep them out of trouble;
  • Puppies. The socialization puppies undergo at day care is invaluable. Plus, it’s a great way to wear them out and prevent them from destroying your home.

On the other hand, doggy day care may not be right for your dog if they:

  • Aren’t playful;
  • Aren’t well-socialized;
  • Are scared of or anxious around other dogs;
  • Don’t like or get along well with other dogs;
  • Are prone to “fear aggression”;
  • Aren’t comfortable in big groups.

Alternatives to Dog Day-care - If you find that Dog Day Care just isn’t going to work for you, your dog or you can’t fond the right place, there are a number of alternative you can look at.

In home dog day care might be better fit if your dog doesn’t mix well with lots of dogs ort in a bigger, more open environment. Home dog day care tends to be smaller number of dogs and are situated in the homes of experienced dog sitters.

Local dog walkers might be a great solution, they can pick up, walk and take your pup home all whilst you’re at work/away from the house. You can usually find these people through local Facebook groups, flyers, local press or even just word of mouth.

There are various Apps available for finding and scheduling dog walks, finding doggy playmates, people to go to dog parks with as well as experienced sitters and walkers.

Please do bear in mind that everything in this post is strictly advisory and has been gathered from various reputable sources from the internet. We're not vets, and you should always seek professional advice if you ever have concerns.


Thanks for reading. If you have anything that you would like us to cover, then feel free to get in touch with us over on our FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Jan 14 2022
by Claire