None of us want to leave our pets behind several times a week, but sometimes it can’t be avoided—especially if you work outside of the home. You may be able to leave your dog at home and know he’ll be just fine when you return, but you also may need to look for options when it comes to caring for your pup while you’re not able to.
There are many reasons you may find yourself looking for daytime dog care. Maybe you have an unpredictable work schedule or an especially long workday coming up, or maybe you have a dog that suffers from separation anxiety. Maybe you have a senior dog who needs a little more attention, or a young puppy with too much energy to be shut in a kennel all day long. Maybe you just don’t want your dog to get bored and become destructive.
Aïda Muñoz, a dog walker and pet sitter for Precious Paws Pet Sitting LLC in Royal Oak, Michigan, told the American Kennel Club, “A dog that must endure long days (six or more hours) without appropriate exercise can suffer quite a bit of stress.”
So, if you find yourself leaving your dog along for large chunks of time during the day, doggy daycare might be just the solution you need. Just like daycare for kids, you can drop your dog off at doggy daycare in the morning, and pick them up on your way home.
Of course, all that convenience is going to come with a price tag. So how much does doggy daycare cost? Well, that depends.
The biggest factor into the cost of doggy daycare is your location.
Just like the fluctuations with the cost of living, you can expect to see higher prices in big cities, and lower prices in small cities and rural areas.
The other factor that influences the cost of doggy daycare is what kind of service you choose.
There is more than one type of doggy daycare out there, and the type that works best for you depends on the needs of you and your dog. They both come with their own pros and cons—and their own price ranges, too.
Commercial doggy daycare
Commercial doggy daycares involve fully staffed facilities that usually care for many dogs during the day.
What they offer to daycare clients can vary drastically from place to place, with some larger, more extravagant doggy daycare facilities offering activities like obstacles and indoor pools. Simpler facilities may just be a large room and outdoor run where the dogs can run and play.
A commercial doggy daycare facility may be the best choice for you if your dog is in need of socialization since there will likely be pups of all shapes and sizes ready to get to know your dog.
Commercial doggy daycare facilities often offer services aside from daycare, such as training, grooming, and boarding. Not only does that mean you can also take advantage of those services during the day, but it also means the dogs there for those services may also be housed with the daycare dogs during parts of the day.
Since commercial doggy daycares usually have a larger staff, they tend to have more flexibility as far as scheduling, and can often accommodate you at short notice.
Cost: Commercial doggy daycare facilities may have fancy amenities, but they also usually have a price tag to match. Indy Downtown Doggy in Indianapolis, Indiana, charges $30 per day. Camp Bow Wow in Phoenix, Arizona, charges $31 per day. Both facilities offer discounts if you pay for several days worth of daycare at once.
In-home doggy daycare
In-home doggy daycare is a lot different than the commercial facilities. Since they’re in a smaller setting, in-home doggy daycares are usually run by only one or two people, and they usually take only a small number of dogs.
This can be more desirable if you have a dog who isn’t a fan of other dogs, or a senior dog who needs a slower pace and more attention. It’s also a plus if you just feel better knowing someone has eyes on your dog all day long, as it can be easy to get lost in the mix at the bigger facilities.
The at-home setting may mean less space, but it also often means more cuddles, so many feel it’s an even trade-off.
Cost: In-home doggy daycares price very closely to commercial facilities, but cheaper options are available. Dog lovers on Rover are available to provide doggy daycare in their homes in both Phoenix and Indianapolis (the same cities as mentioned above) for anywhere from $20-$40. Since sitters on Rover set their own prices, you can usually find a doggy daycare in the price range you’re looking for.
Even if you’ve already decided between a commercial and in-home doggy daycare facility, you still have to decide which place is the right match for you and your dog. It’s important to make sure you’re leaving your dog in the hands of someone you trust.
If possible, check with previous clients for reviews—made easy if you’re using a service like Rover where reviews and re-books are easily available before you even contact a doggy daycare provider.
You should also check out any daycare facility or home before you book your dog. According to the American Kennel Club, you should be looking for cleanliness, stable fencing, minimal odors, access to water, and a lack of hazards like broken toys or exposed wires.
You should also ask about the training of anyone who will be working with your dog, as well as any emergency procedures they have in place. And if you’re expecting to get updates on your dog throughout the day, that should be addressed before you make a decision, as well.
And if you have a gut feeling that things aren’t right with a person or place, move on to the next option. The extra work is worth the peace of mind you’ll have throughout your day.