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How to Choose the Right Doggy Day Care

How to Choose the Right Doggy Day Care Feature Image Poodle in a ball pit

Doggy daycares have become a mainstay for dog owners, especially in the United States. The graph of their popularity has always been on the rise since they first emerged to the scene in the mid-1990s. They offer a great alternative for busy pet parents who don’t want to leave their canine companions alone at home. But how will you know which daycare to choose?

Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of the idea, more and more people are getting involved with this trend. Consequently, there are lots and lots of styles and options to choose from. However, this industry is still under-regulated, and you must find the right daycare to keep your pup safe and happy.

Different Styles of Doggy Day Care

There are several types of dog daycares to match the diverse necessities of different canines. You must select the most suitable style to make it a positive experience for your pet. The things that you should consider include temperament, exercise requirements, and mental simulation needs. The following are some of the most common styles of doggy daycare.

Home Style

Homestyle doggie daycare

This daycare usually has only a few dogs because it’s located within someone’s house. As a result, they provide a familiar environment for your canine.

However, the chances of everyday dangers of a home are also quite prevalent in these daycares. Therefore, make sure that the house is properly cleaned and sanitized to minimize the transmission of diseases. Similarly, there should be proper dog-proofing in the home to avoid any unwanted incident.

These daycares are most suited for those dogs who suffer from separation anxiety. On the other hand, high energy pups might find it difficult to adjust in such a setting.  

Dog Park Style

dog park style doggie daycare

Being outdoors, this type of daycare offers large open spaces to active dogs for burning their excessive energy. Although most of these daycares are outdoors, some of them may have a combination of indoor and outdoor space. While selecting this style, make sure that there is a safe level of staff to dog ratio. This is important to ensure safety and polite interaction between canines.

Social and energetic pups are ideal for this kind of setting because they get plenty of space to stretch their legs. In contrast to that, cautious or shy dogs are NOT suitable for this type of dog daycare.   

Separated Play Area Style

indoor dog daycare with seperate play areas

These daycares are similar to the dog park style, except that they are smaller. Usually, these setups have either outdoor-only or indoor-only play areas.

As the name suggests, dogs are separated into different play groups based on their size, energy, or play style. These groups are normally smaller (10-20 dogs) than the ones involved in the dog park style daycares. Having said that, the exact number of canines in each group depends on the available space and staff.

The pups who are scared of high activity or cautious are most comfortable in this setting. This is because they are separated into an appropriately-matched group of dogs.

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Daycare for your Dog

Before leaving your furry companion in a dog daycare, you must analyze some basic aspects of the facility. The following are some of the things that you must check while selecting the right doggy daycare for your pet.

Safe and Comfortable Environment

3 dogs in kennel

You should always check the surroundings in which your dog will be hanging out. Take a tour of the facility to ensure that the daycare has all the necessary safety measures in place. For instance, there should be strong and high fencing around the premises. Likewise, make sure that the place is properly ventilated and fresh air is getting to the dogs.

Vaccination Requirements

Dogs are in close contact with other dogs at daycare, and illness can spread quickly if they are unprotected. Therefore, a responsible daycare facility will require all dogs to show proof of current vaccinations, like Rabies and DHPP. In addition to the requirement of the daycare, you can also speak with your veterinarian about his/her recommendations for vaccinations.

Trained Staff

staff at doggy daycare doing agility training with dogs

As the industry is still under-regulated, anyone can decide that they want to open up a dog daycare. However, having a loving attitude towards canines is NOT the only qualification for this industry. Several trainings and certifications are needed to efficiently manage the pups in a daycare.

Seek out a doggy daycare whose employees are aware of the positive training methods. It’s important to get some feedback from the owners of other pets to get a better idea.

Suitable Dog-to-Staff Ratio

Some states have a set dog-to-staff ratio for dog daycares and it must be followed. Even if there is NO legal restriction, there should be a safe standard to ensure safety. For example, a ratio of 15 dogs per human is considered good by the International Boarding and Pet Care Services Association. However, adjustments can be made to accommodate more active (10:1) or less active (20:1) groups.    

Appropriate Grouping of Dogs

Grouping of Dogs outside at dog daycare

The separation of dogs based on their size, play style, and temperament is another crucial element of the perfect daycare. Even if your pup loves to play with larger breeds, it’s much better to play things safe. This is because the environment of doggy daycare is quite different from that of a dog park.

Availability of Boarding Options

If you may need to board your pet, try to find a facility that offers boarding services. It’s much easier for a canine to spend the night in an environment that is familiar to him/her. It helps the dog to counter the stress of staying away from the owner.  

Competitive Pricing

origami folded  US dollar on white background

Doggy daycare can prove to be a serious burden on your wallet if you go for a really expensive facility. For this reason, you must find a daycare that is good as well as affordable. Once you’ve chosen the place, you should also inquire about competitive pricing, discounts, or rewards when you purchase multiple days. Likewise, don’t forget to ask for the benefits of referring to a friend.

The price of dog daycares can vary from one place to another. Similarly, the services you choose will also affect the overall cost. 

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