Doggy daycare is a fantastic place for friendly, sociable dogs, as it provides a great opportunity to socialize with other dogs, exert their excess energy through play and exercise. They will also meet new people, learn how to behave in new situations, and benefit from a great range of body and mental stimulus opportunities rather than being left at home whilst you are away.
What do doggy daycares do?
Doggy daycares or doggy playschools offer a place where your dog can stay during the day whilst you are working, exercising, or enjoying a day trip. They provide a safe and clean environment for dogs with specialized staff to care for all their doggy customers.
At doggy daycare, all dogs will have a routine that includes feeding, exercising, playing, nap time, and cleaning. Some businesses will also offer a grooming package.
The daycare facilities have separate designated areas for feeding, sleeping, playing, and outdoor space for agility courses. Splash pools became another popular addition, ideal for those hot days when your dog needs to cool down.
More and more such facilities now have live-streaming web cameras that owners can access through their mobile phones or computers to check-in with their dogs.
Usually, daycares are open Monday to Friday, with some offering weekend service at an extra cost. Many of them operate a schedule for drop-in from around 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening. Some doggy daycares offer collection from home.
A stay in doggy daycare is only for a short while, just like sending your children to nursery. However, sometimes owners might need to leave their dogs overnight. Some doggy daycares may offer overnight boarding services in kennels. Additionally, you might find places like Bow Wow House from London, where things are done differently: there are no kennels. Instead, your dog will benefit from a homestay with a vetted individual in a pre-checked, fully insured home.
How do I know if my dog likes the daycare?
If you know your dog well, you will probably only need a look at its facial expression and sum up how his day at the playschool went.
You will know that your dog likes the setting by how he behaves at the door when it sees a member of staff and the tail wriggling happily. You can also check with the staff how the day went or watch videos at random times during the day to see what your dog’s activities are.
Some dogs will have separation anxiety that will continue to manifest for the first weeks of attending a daycare setting. This will change as soon as it starts to understand the routine, get to know the staff members and the rules of the place, and make new furry friends.
Puppy daycare minimum age
Daycares will accept puppies as young as 12 weeks after all vaccinations are done. Your puppy will benefit from all the care and attention it needs whilst you are away with the added advantage of on-site training.
Dogs that attend daycare settings need to be vaccinated, with their health checks done regularly to ensure every attending dog’s safety.
When visiting a daycare to obtain a place, owners will need to bring all the dog’s paperwork and have a routine interview. Dogs with behavioral issues might need to attend a different setting.
How much does a dog daycare cost?
The cost can vary quite a lot depending on the area you live in, the facilities and services offered by each setting. Prices can start from as little as £10 per day to £40 in the UK. In the USA prices can go up to 60$ per day.
Boarding prices are around £60 per night in the UK and 65$ in the USA.
Package prices or monthly memberships might be offered by some foggy daycare centers.
Alternatives to doggy daycare
There are few alternatives to taking your dog to a daycare:
- Dog sitters – at your home or theirs
- Dog walkers – advisable to find a fully insured person
- Dog training providers – a day training program
- Community colleges that offer dog training courses for their students – sometimes have designated areas just like a playschool for dogs.
You will have to pay for these services, and it might be worth comparing the costs first before deciding on choosing an alternative for doggy daycare.