You drop your dog off every morning where he is greeted by the smiling faces of staff and the wagging tails of the other dogs. You leave for a long day at work, which might even include overtime or an evening out, with a spring in your step, knowing your dog will have an active day of socialization. That may be the picture painted for those considering doggy daycare, but is doggy day care really right for your dog? Let’s consider the benefits of dog walking versus doggy day care.
Some benefits of dog walking versus doggy day care
Your dog receives personalized attention with dog walks
Sure, your dog will enjoy plenty of socialization with other dogs at doggy day care. That’s great – if your dog likes to be around other dogs constantly for hours on end, day after day. Even if he does love that doggy socialization, how much personalized attention will he receive from the staff at the doggy daycare, who may also be responsible for supervising a dozen or more other dogs?
A professional dog walker, who provides one-on-one private dog walks, will focus her attention exclusively on your dog before, during, and after the dog walk. Your dog will develop a special relationship with your dog walker and he will be excited to see his buddy every day.
You don’t have to worry about fighting
Dogs are just like people. They all have their own unique personality. Same as with people, not all personalities get along, which could lead to a fight. Well, dogs have moods too. A cranky dog may snap at another dog, resulting in a fight. Will the the doggy day care staff be able to quickly and effectively step in to stop any fighting before an injury occurs? What’s more, do you even want to have to worry about such a problem?
With a professional dog walker, who does not introduce their client’s dog to any other dog, you do not have to worry about your dog getting attacked.
You don’t put your dog at risk of illness or injury
Dogs who spend a lot of time together each day – day after day – are bound to have tussles. One dog may become sick, which could cause others to fall ill. You don’t have to worry about your dog’s health when a professional dog walker walks him.
With constant supervision from a professional dog walker, should your dog get hurt or become ill, your dog walker will contact you immediately because her sole focus is on caring for your dog.
Doggy day care may not be right for your dog
Sure, some dogs may thrive in doggy day care, but is your dog one of those dogs? Will your dog enjoy being away from home all day? Or does your dog prefer to spend afternoons napping in his own bed, eating from his own food bowl, and taking walks with a professional dog walker who will also provide him with plenty of love and attention?
If you are unsure of which option may work better for you and your dog, you may like our article on Dog Walking Versus Doggy Day Care – How To Decide Which Is A Better Fit?
Which does your dog prefer – private dog walks or going to doggy day care?
I’ve both taken my dogs to daycare and used a dog walker. You are totally right about the personal attention thing. However, I do struggle with the “active minutes” thing. I can only afford to hire a dog walker for 30 minutes but that same amount of money will allow 4 hours at my local doggie daycare. Even though I know they are probably spending a good portion of the time at the daycare standing around, I do wonder if they aren’t still being active for more minutes than they would with a dog walker in the end. I’m just wondering what you perspective is on that?
For dogs who have high energy and enjoy being with other dogs, doggy day care can be a great option. Since the price for doggy day care is often similar to what many dog walkers charge for a 30, 45 or 60 minute walk and allows your dog to be active for several hours if they don’t find a spot to plop down and relax this can then be a better option to private dog walks. That being said, if your dogs have a lot of energy, finding a dog walker who can provide a one on one exercise walk may provide the exercise they need while also taking into account that they won’t get overtired, won’t have to go potty inside the doggy care, won’t be at risk for a potential squabble between dogs, or catching an illness if a dog comes in with something contagious. I’ve seen how dogs often walk in circles while at doggy day care either playing or following the other dogs. Although they are being active I am not sure that has the same benefit as a solid walk for a shorter period of time. I personally prefer the one on one interaction with a dog walker while taking the dogs for walks.
I used Doggie Day Care Exclusively for Harley. He was quite sociable and loved it. Shasta is a bit of a grumpy old man. He does well with other dogs but I know he prefers rest time too. So although I know he is anxious being alone I use a combination of a dog walker (most of the time) with intermittent doggie day care.
We have a few clients who also use doggy day care once or twice week and have us come give their dogs private walks on the days they are at home. Doggy day care can be a great option but it isn’t always the right fit for all dogs.