Toys & Activities

What To Expect The First Time You Try Doggie Daycare Instead Of Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Photo of author

By Carrie

doggie-daycare-by-bree-bailey.jpg Most people who have children have probably taken their kids to some form of daycare.

Have you ever thought about taking your dog to daycare?

Doggie daycare has been gaining in popularity over the past couple of years. It’s a place that your dog can go to have fun during the day and not be stuck at home alone.

For some dog owners, doggie daycare is the only option to prevent their dog from destroying their home (or his own crate) while they’re gone.

For others, it’s simply a way to let their dog stretch his legs and go outside to relieve himself during the long hours that they’re away.

Doggie daycare is more than just pet sitting though. It’s also a great socialization experience for your dog — especially if your dog doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to be around other dogs and people. Plus, you get peace of mind knowing that your dog is happy, healthy, and being taken care during the long hours of the day.


Types Of Doggie Daycare

There are a few different types of doggie daycare facilities you can choose from.  The 3 most common are:

  • In-home pet sitting is the best option if you think your dog would do better in his own environment, rather than at someone else’s home or a public facility.  The in-home pet sitter comes to your house at certain times to give your dog the attention he is missing while you are away.  One thing to remember about an in-home dog sitter is they have complete access to your home, so it needs to be someone you can trust.  Checking references is a must.

Find an in-home pet sitter through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Pet Sitters International, or Pet Sit USA.

  • Private doggie daycare usually takes place in someone’s home.  Here your dog will be able to interact with a handful of other dogs.  It is usually harder to get into a private doggie daycare facility due to the fact that they have limited space and can only handle a limited number of dogs.
  • Commercial doggie daycare facilities are much larger and usually take place in public buildings, instead of at someone’s house.  They are set up to handle a larger number of dogs, and have a much larger staff to help take care of all the dogs.  There is typically an area for larger dogs and a separate area for smaller dogs.

Before Your Dog Goes To Doggie Daycare…

Sometimes doggie daycare is referred to as dog boarding.  However, doggie daycare typically involves a bit more interaction with other dogs and other people than dog boarding itself does.  At doggie daycare, “playgroups” are usually organized so dogs can play together the whole time and rotate between indoor play areas and outdoor play areas.

All doggie daycare facilities will require proof that your dog is up-to-date on his vaccines.  They will most likely also require that your dog be either spayed or neutered and have a clean bill of health.

Your dog cannot show any signs of aggression toward other dogs or humans.

Interestingly, some doggie daycare facilities also offer a webcam — so you can log onto their website during the day and see what your dog is doing.

My friend took her dog to a doggie daycare that had a webcame during the first 6 months that she had him.  She really liked being able to see what her dog was up to during the day.  That particular doggie daycare also required her dog to be on a flea preventative (like Frontline Plus, Advantix, Advantage, etc.) year round.  She would probably still be taking her dog there had he not been kicked out for being an instigator.  He liked to play a little to rough for some of the other dogs and that caused a few fights while he was there. He was asked not to come back.

Doggie daycare services range in price.  On the low end you could pay $6 a day.  On the average, however, expect to pay around $40 a day.  If you are just needing to drop your dog off for a few hours that usually runs about $15 an hour.  It all depends on the specific doggie daycare provider and the type of services they provide.


Dog Walker vs Doggie Daycare

If doggie daycare is not your cup of tea, but you still need a way for your dog to be let out of the house during the day, then y
ou might want to consider hiring a dog walker.

A dog walker will come to your home take your dog for a walk one or more times each day.  This service can range anywhere from $5 to $10 a day — maybe even more, depending on whether it’s an individual or a company providing the service.

If possible, try to find a dog walker who is licensed and/or bonded.


More About Pet Sitters & Doggie Daycare