Doggie day care: advice and tips on choosing the right one

This article discusses what to look for in a doggie day care and how to choose the right one for you.


With the long day's many people put in at work,

the doggie daycare is becoming more and more popular. However, is a doggie daycare right for your dog? Which daycare should you choose? For that matter, what exactly is a doggie daycare?

Doggie daycare is set up to work as a child daycare. The dogs have activities, playtime, and a lot of attention throughout the day. They usually get a few snacks and may even find themselves getting a bath and grooming.

Some dogs do not like doggie daycares, but many of them absolutely thrive in this environment. Dogs that love other dogs and people do very well in doggie daycares. However, the doggie daycare is most important for those dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. My female Boxer would literally wrap her front paws around my leg as I tried to get out the front door to go to work. She started to get skinny and would panic when she thought I was going to leave. For a dog like her, doggie daycare can make a very real difference. When my Boxer was no longer left behind in the morning, she became a much happier dog.

Choosing a doggie daycare can be a bit of a challenge. I made a list of questions to ask each daycare. I also took a tour of each one when dogs were there. I wanted to be sure the staff really took good care of the dogs and actually did some of the activities they talked about in their brochures. Some of the daycares I visited actually left the dogs kenneled for much of the day. Others really gave the dogs a ton of attention. As you search for doggie daycare, be sure to ask some tough questions. The questions I asked are listed below.

How long have you been in business? This question is important because you don’t want to go with a daycare that will fold up and disappear a few weeks after your dog enrolls.

How many dogs do you have per staff member? Child daycares require a staff member to be present for a certain amount of children to avoid accidents. You don’t want a doggie daycare with only one staff member to break up fights and keep the dogs safe.

Do you require immunizations? If you use a daycare without current immunization requirements, you may find yourself bringing home a dog with kennel cough or even life-threatening illness.

What activities do you provide? Make sure the day care does more than take your dog out of the kennel for a walk at lunch time. You want to be sure you aren’t paying for your dog to just sit in a kennel and cry. It’s really not much different from having him sit in the house alone to cry.

Do you have a vet on call? If there is an accident or dog fight, you want to be sure your dog receives treatment as soon as possible.

Finally, when you are satisfied with your choice, take your dog for a short visit to the doggie day care to see how he does. This way, you won’t be worried when you drop him off in the morning before work on the first day.