How to Choose a Daycare for Your Dog

Two dogs in daycare playing
A good Dog Daycare has plenty of space to play.

More and more, busy professionals are turning to Dog Daycare facilities to take care of their furry friends during their long days at the office. But while new facilities are popping up all across the country, you should know that not all Dog Daycares are created equal. Here are the things you should consider when choosing a daycare facility for your dog:

  1. Price. Price is often a major concern for those looking for pet care, but the truth is that most facilities in your area will probably charge similar prices. Beware of prices that are too low—people who can care for a dog for five dollars a day are cutting corners somewhere.
  2. Range of Services. What time does the daycare open and close? Are they available extended hours in case you need to go to the office early or work late?
    Some daycares offer to pick up and drop off your dog, and you should consider whether you will need this service. Additionally, some daycares offer other services, such as grooming or training, for extra fees. Consider whether you want a place that offers these “extras,” and evaluate whether the costs of such services are reasonable. Some daycares also offer overnight boarding and dog walking services, which may be convenient if you travel often and would like all of your dog care to be handled by the same people.
  3. Facilities. A daycare should include adequate space for your dog to play and a comfortable place for him to rest. If the dogs mainly stay outside, there should be an appropriate space for them to be indoors during poor weather. The facility should clean and well-maintained, and the dogs have access to clean water all day.
  4. Ratio of dogs to employees. How many dogs is one employee expected to look after? Some daycares with low prices may not be adequately staffed, and your dog may suffer if he is not given appropriate supervision.
  5. Woman and two affectionate dogs
    Well-trained staff with good employee to dog ratios ensures your dog's wellbeing.
  6. Training of employees. Are employees trained in dog first aid and CPR? What other training do they receive? It is important to know if there is someone on site who will be able to help your dog in the event of an emergency.
  7. Grouping of Dogs. Many daycares put dogs into groups by size or weight, which may be important if you want to make sure your Toy Poodle isn’t accidentally trampled by your neighbor’s Great Dane.
  8. Acceptance policies. Many daycares have policies that exclude aggressive dogs and require that all dogs enrolled are up-to-date on shots and do not have fleas. Such requirements will protect your dog from getting sick or injured at daycare.
  9. Licensing and Insurance. If you are considering a home-based or “Mom and Pop” type service, make sure that the business is appropriately licensed and insured. Business insurance is vital to make sure that there are resources to take care of your dog in the event that he is injured while at daycare.
Dog about to be bathed
Other services a Daycare may provide include grooming and training.

Lastly, visit any daycare before enrolling your dog and make sure you feel comfortable with the facility and the employees. You can ask all the questions in the world over the phone, but it will be impossible to know if you’ve found the right “fit” until you meet the people that will care for your dog and spend a few minutes getting to know them.

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