Tips & Advice
What if a dog gets hurt or sick at daycare?
Pet owners usually sign a waiver stating that any injury or illness a dog suffers while at daycare is the responsibility of the owner. However, most facilities carry liability insurance and pet business insurance in the event of a serious incident.
To prevent illness, facilities are strict about requiring proof of vaccination and general health from a veterinarian prior to accepting a dog. However, in an off-leash setting, scuffles or fights might occur. Reputable facilities will often hire vet assistants who can treat minor injuries and under-the-weather dogs. For anything more serious, a good daycare should make it a priority to get the dog to a vet, and get in immediate contact with the owner.
How many dogs are typically at a dog daycare facility?
The number of dogs at a daycare facility ranges widely, which is why it is important to tour a facility before choosing it. Boutique daycares, especially those in private homes, sometimes have a limit of four to five dogs. Larger daycares can accommodate as many as 40 dogs. When looking at a larger daycare, it is crucial to find out the staff-to-dog ratio.
Can dog daycares accommodate dogs with special needs?
Most dog daycares will accommodate dogs with special needs, especially common ones such as dogs taking medication, or timid dogs. If your dog requires hands-on care, or special facilities, it is recommended you look for a dog daycare that is experienced and equipped to provide this. Most major cities have daycares experienced in caring for senior dogs, dogs with impaired vision or motor skills, diabetic dogs, and other types of special-needs dogs.
How much does dog daycare cost?
Dog daycare costs range from $22-$50 per day. Most facilities give discounts if a customer buys packages of 10 or 20 “play days.” Half-day rates are available in most facilities. Special services, such as medication and grooming, carry additional fees in most places, though some include them in the day rate.
How far in advance does a daycare reservation need to be made?
Allow one month to select a dog daycare, but once one is chosen, it might be possible to make next-day reservations. Or, a facility might ask customers to book a week in advance, or to create a schedule. Popular dog daycares will book up months in advance during peak holiday travel times. Always try to reserve in advance.
Does a dog need to be vaccinated, spayed/neutered and licensed to go to dog daycare?
Yes, dogs need to be vaccinated, and you will need to show proof of vaccinations and registration.
Are there breed or age restrictions at a dog daycare?
Breed restrictions vary according to the type of daycare. Some daycares cater only to small dogs under a certain weight limit. Others are better for large breeds who like to run and wrestle.
Puppies can typically go into daycare two weeks after their first round of adult shots – most facilities put this at 4 months old. There is usually no upper age restriction, although different dog daycares have different special-needs care policies that may not suit an elderly pet.
What are the important characteristics of a good dog daycare?
The best dog daycare will provide the right balance of play time, recreation space, socialization with other dogs, and personalized care from staff. Some dogs are happier with more space to play and plenty of playmates. Others require a quieter environment and one-on-one attention from staff. To determine a fit, owners along with their dogs should come into the daycare for an “interview,” facility tour, and behavior assessment. This requires an appointment, which can take between 24 hours and one month to get, depending how busy the daycare is.
How do I know if dog daycare is right for my dog?
Dog daycare is good for dogs that like playing with other dogs and would otherwise be left home. If a dog is socialized, not aggressive, and has all his/her vaccinations, dog daycare could be a good option. Dog owners should see how a dog responds to daycare before committing to a long-term schedule. Some dogs might turn out to have separation anxiety or be too territorial for the unleashed daycare setting. Many other dogs love it and become better behaved due to socializing with other dogs and humans.
Dog daycare is a facility that offers supervised group care for dogs. Most daycares offer a combination of supervised off-leash group recreation and rest time in kennels or cubbies. Some also offer one-on-one play time with humans. Daycares are different from kennels, where dogs are usually alone (sometimes paired) in a small space with occasional recreation periods.