Learn Essential Tips for Choosing Dog Daycare


Many dog owners have busy schedules and need someone to care for their pets while they are at work or travelling. Doggy daycares offer a solution by providing supervision and activities for dogs during the day. At a daycare facility, dogs can play, exercise and socialize with other dogs in a safe setting while their owners are occupied.

This article explains what dog daycare is and what services daycares provide. It discusses what to look for when selecting a quality daycare. It covers typical daycare schedules and activities. It also explains the health and temperament requirements dogs must meet to enrol in daycare. Finally, it highlights some of the top-rated dog daycares in major U.S. cities. Finding the right daycare takes time but gives dog owners peace of mind that their pet is in good hands.

What is Dog Daycare?

Dog daycare is a business that offers full-day care for dogs while the owners are at work, travelling or otherwise occupied. Daycares provide supervision, playtime, exercise, feedings, bathroom breaks and more for dog clients.

Daycares are staffed by trained caregivers experienced with dog behaviour and health needs. The facility is climate-controlled and designed for safety. Dogs are separated into play groups by size, energy level and temperament.

In addition to supervision and playtime, daycares offer services like:

– Enrichment activities – Training sessions, puzzle toys, swimming pools

– Grooming – Brushing, nail trims, teeth brushing

– Feedings – Following owner instructions for food amounts/timing

– Medication administration – Giving medications as directed

– Webcams – Live video monitoring of dogs during the day

Some daycares are open overnight for boarding. Many partners with or offer dog training classes and grooming services on-site for a one-stop shop.

Daycares require dogs to meet health and behaviour standards through vet certification before attending. This maintains a safe environment for all dogs.

Prices depend on the particular services provided and location but average $20-40 per day. Daycare gives dog owners an alternative to leaving pets home alone all day.

Choosing a Dog Daycare

When selecting a daycare for your dog, look for the following:

– Safety and Cleanliness – The facility should be secure, climate-controlled, well-ventilated, and cleaned/disinfected daily. Caregivers should be trained in dog first aid and CPR.

– Adequate Supervision – Look for low dog-to-staff ratios, like 10:1, to ensure enough individual attention and interaction. Surveillance cameras are a plus.

– Qualified Staff – Caregivers should have training and experience in dog behaviour, health needs, and veterinary care. Licensed facilities are ideal.

– Size-Appropriate Play Groups – Dogs must be grouped based on size/temperament for safe play. High-energy dogs are separated from elderly or timid dogs.

– Screening and Health Requirements – Reputable daycares require vet exams, vaccines, and behaviour evaluations before enrollment to ensure dogs are healthy and temperamentally sound.

– Engaging Activities – The daycare should offer both indoor and outdoor play, walks, splash pools, tunnels, toys, and enrichment to prevent boredom. Mental stimulation is as important as physical exercise.

– Grooming and Feedings – Daycares should offer periodic potty breaks, walks, food, water, treats, and grooming like fur brushing for full-day clients. Verify they can accommodate your dog’s dietary needs.

– Webcams – Many facilities have webcams so owners can check on their dog remotely for added transparency and reassurance.

Typical Dog Daycare Schedule

Most daycares follow a similar daily schedule and offer a variety of playtime plus enriching group and individual activities. Here is an example:

7:00 – 8:00 AM – Dog Drop-Off and Potty Walks

Dogs are checked in as they arrive, taken out for bathroom breaks, and monitored for signs of illness. Owners provide feeding instructions, pickup time, and any needed paperwork.

8:00 – 11:00 AM – Morning Playtime and Activities

Dogs are separated into play groups by size and temperament. Playtime incorporates tunnels, wading pools, ropes, and toys to encourage exercise. Enrichment like treatment searches, grooming or training may be offered.

11:00 AM – Noon – Lunch Time

Based on owner instructions, dogs are fed lunches brought from home or provided by the daycare. Lunch is followed by potty and stretching breaks.

Noon – 3:00 PM – Afternoon Playtime and Activities

More supervised playtime and enrichment activities occur. Dogs receive additional water and bathroom breaks. Special services like one-on-one play or training may be available for an extra fee.

3:00 – 6:00 PM – Dog Pick-Up and Evening Potty Walks

As owners arrive for pick-up, dogs are leashed, taken out to relieve themselves, and reunited with their families. Caregivers provide a report card on the dog’s day. Extended daycare is available at an added cost.

6:00 PM – Cleaning and Sanitization

After dogs depart, the facility is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to prepare for the next day.

Daycare Health and Temperament Requirements (500 words)

For everyone’s well-being, daycares have strict health and behaviour standards dogs must meet through vet certification to attend. Typical requirements include:

– Core Vaccines – Current rabies, distemper, parvo and bordetella vaccinations are usually required. Titer testing may prove immunity.

– Routine Preventatives – Dogs must be on monthly flea, tick and heartworm prevention or get vet checks showing they are pest-free.

– Physical Exam – Vet certification proving overall good health and ability to participate in group play is generally required within the past 6-12 months.

– Spay/Neuter – Most daycares mandate dogs over 6-9 months old be spayed or neutered to prevent marking and aggression issues.

– Temperament – Dogs must pass behaviour tests assessing sociability, non-aggression towards dogs and humans, and non-anxiety.

– Parasite Free – Dogs must be free of fleas, ticks or mites through veterinary certification or preventatives.

– No Contagious Illnesses – Dogs with contagious illnesses are not allowed until medically cleared by a vet as no longer contagious.

– Leash Skills – Dogs must walk properly on a leash without pulling or aggression to be safely controlled.

These requirements maintain health and safety. Disclose your dog’s medical history fully so the daycare can accommodate their needs.

Top Rated Dog Daycares

Highly rated dog daycares are available across most major U.S. cities. Here are some top facilities:

Seattle, WA:

Lucky Dog Daycare – Offers boarding, training, pool time, hiking and pet taxi along with daycare. Known for loving staff.

The Dog’s Day Out Seattle – Spacious indoor/outdoor facility allowing dogs to play in nature. Provides temperament testing.

New York, NY:

Doggy Daycare Club NY – All-inclusive premium daycare with chauffeur service, TVs in suites, and owner webcams.

Wag Club – Modern facility with supervised playrooms, outdoor pools, and grooming services. Certified in pet first aid/CPR.

Los Angeles, CA:

The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa – Luxury resort providing daycare, boarding, training, grooming and aqua therapy.

Dogtopia Hollywood – High-tech daycare, boarding and spa with live webcams and vacation cam. Three outdoor play areas.

Chicago, IL:

Bark Bark Club – Features four outdoor play yards, wading pools and indoor agility equipment. Offers individualized attention.

Dogaholics Dog Daycare – Care, training, and overnight boarding available. Provides canine temperament testing.

Austin, TX:

Dogtopia of Northwest Austin – Open playrooms, splash pools, and soothing music create a sensory-rich environment.

Tomlinson’s Pet Resort – Large indoor/outdoor play spaces. Bathing, boarding and training packages are available.


Dog daycares offer reliable full-day care and enrichment for pets while owners are occupied. Finding one with a safe, clean facility, adequate supervision, trained staff, size-appropriate play groups, engaging activities, and webcams provide confidence when leaving your dog.

Reputable daycares thoroughly screen dogs for health, updated vaccines, parasite prevention, spay/neuter status, and positive temperament before enrollment through vet records and intake evaluations. This maintains safety.

When selecting a daycare, closely evaluate their safety protocols, staff qualifications, dog-to-caregiver ratios, play areas, enrichment offerings, health standards, and ability to accommodate your dog’s needs. Touring facilities in person is also wise. With an appropriate

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *