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If you click on this article, you're probably considering enrolling your pooch in a dog daycare but thinking twice.

There are definitely some pros and cons, benefits, and possible not-so-good things with doggy daycares, and it's smart of you to carefully consider them.

After all, should you pursue it, your dog will be spending a third of his day in daycare without you around.

That's why in this article, let us help you weigh the dog daycare pros and cons and decide if it may be a good idea for your furry friend.

Pros and Cons of a Dog Daycare

Dog daycares are often the next best thing for fur parents who are busy with the hustle and bustle of daily grinding.

These facilities provide a center for our dogs to play and socialize with other dogs under the watchful eyes of caretakers while we're away at work.

You'll also be rest assured that they are well-fed and entertained with different activities to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

However, there are some who are still quite apprehensive and doubtful of doggy daycares, and maybe for good reason, too.

But before we go into the pros and cons of dog daycares, let's discuss first its different types and styles of operation.

Types of a Dog Daycare

Dogs have different temperaments like us, humans. Some of them are friendly and outgoing, while others are more reserved and shy-type.

This means some of them may do well in a playgroup facilitated by daycares, while others may appreciate the calm and quiet care and security provided by a more relaxed environment.

Below are the different types of dog daycares fit for every type of pooch personality.

Commercial Dog Daycare

These are the usual large-scale operations of dog daycares in the country. Large scale in the sense that they can usually accommodate 20 or 30 more dogs in their facility at once.

Commercial dog daycares usually have indoor and outdoor facilities (some even have doggy pools!) where dogs can play and run around freely with other dogs off-leash.

Dogs that are extroverted, well-socialized, and independent can do well in commercial dog daycares.

In-home Dog Daycare

Some animal lovers make it their business to look after the dogs of neighbors.

Usually, they transform their homes or their backyards into playgrounds or rest areas where dogs can either play or just chill.

In-home dog daycares can only accommodate a smaller group of dogs at a time. 5 or maybe 10 of them at the most.

Because of this, dogs that have calmer and shy demeanors would probably do well in this setting.

Off-leash Hiking Dog Groups

Some may not have heard of this yet, but there are daycares that offer a more adventurous activity for hyperactive dogs.

Here, a much smaller group of dogs are taken into a hiking trail for a 1-hour off-lease exercise. Of course, water, treats, and sometimes, even food is provided by the facilitators.

Usually, they also take care of picking up and dropping off each pooch after every activity.

dogs-with-staff-dog-daycare

Knowing how these dog daycares operate will also give you a better understanding of how they can help both you and your dog, which one suits your dog's needs better, and the possible pros and cons of each doggy daycare.

Pros of Dog Daycare: Why Dog Daycares May Be Good For Your Dog?

Speaking of the pros and cons, let's start first with the possible benefits of enrolling your pooch in a doggy daycare.

Keep them company

Imagine spending home alone for hours every day with nothing better to do than sleep or stare at the wall. How boring could that be!

Our dogs get bored, too. And when they get bored, only one of two things happen–either they find something to keep them busy (a.k.a chew the furniture off) or they'll get too miserable with no one to play or cuddle with!

It's not as if they can hit that remote control button and watch Netflix while you're away, right?

Doggy daycares will be a helpful option if your dog does not do well being home alone. They'd definitely be grateful for the company while waiting for your return.

Socialize

We know how socialization is important for dogs. It will not only help them get used to the presence of other people and dogs of different sizes, but it will also help mellow down their temperament.

In doggy daycares, our pets can get the socialization that they won't get at home.

They will surely learn important social skills while getting the mental stimulation that they need at the same time.

Exerciseplaytime-dog-daycare

Not only do they get to socialize, but they also get enough exercise too!

With all the physical and mental activities dog daycares provide, they'd probably come home tired and happy.

This is also particularly helpful especially if you don't have the time to walk them anymore during the workday.

Doggy daycares can still provide them with exercise and activities even if you are buried under loads of paperwork!

No more destructive behavior

Destructive behaviors (gnawing furniture or shoes, digging through the trash, or planning an escape route from the house) are often caused either by our dog's separation anxiety or boredom.

Enrolling them in doggy daycares will give them enough mental stimulation and physical activities to keep their minds (and teeth!) out of things.

Plus, they'll be too exhausted once they got home. They'll probably just go straight to sleep after their busy day!

Training

There are doggy daycares that offer different types of training to dogs.

Depending on your preference (and how you know your dog will respond,) you can choose to have them trained one-on-one or in a group.

Some of the things they can learn are basic manners (sit, down, come, stay), simple tricks, house training, and behavioral problem-solving until they can progress to advanced training.

You'd have to pay additional bucks for this, of course, but at least you won't have to worry about getting them a separate trainer for these purposes.

This is definitely a plus in our book!

Different equipment and facilities

Instead of the four corners of your home, doggy daycares feature different toys, equipment, and facilities for the dogs to play with, jump on, run around, and enjoy!

You will also be assured that your dog and his playmates will be supervised by trained sitters and fellow dog lovers.

The daycare staff will also arrange constructive games and plan activities to make the most of the dogs' time while in the facility.

Peace of mind

What's more valuable than having peace of mind, right?

You won't have to worry about who's gonna let your dog out for his mid-day walk or his potty schedule or if he needs more water and whatnot.

Some dog daycares also offer flexibility, so you can drop off your dog for a full day or half day.

Also, in doggy daycares, you'll be assured that someone's looking after your dog. This way, you can also focus on your work.

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Cons of Dog Daycare: Why Dog Daycares May Be Bad For Your Dog?

There are, of course, some negatives too about getting your dogs in daycares. Not all is sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, after all.

Below are some of the factors you'd also want to think over before committing to any daycare facility.

Too overwhelming for some dogs

As we've discussed, dogs have different personalities.

Getting them in a dog daycare with a bunch of unfamiliar people and unfamiliar pets can be pretty overwhelming for some dogs who are timid and nervous.

Instead of learning social skills, they may only develop negative behaviors and emotional problems.

It's possible that they'd get too fearful, mistrusting, defensive or aggressive based on their experience.

Surely you wouldn't want your dog exhausted because of stress and fear.

Lack of personalized care

Of course, we all want all the bests for our dogs.

But in doggy daycares, you're really never sure if your dog is getting the best care he needs in the daycare because well, you're not around.

This is especially not good for dogs that require special attention (elderly dogs, pups, or dogs that take meds.)

Commercial dog daycares may have enough staff to look after the dogs, but there are still tens of pets requiring the staff's attention.

Some daycares can give you an update every now and then if you only request, but then, you'll never really know if they're telling the truth.

Divided attention

Relative to the lack of personalized care, you can never really be sure if the staff are attentive enough to look after each dog under their care.

Especially if you haven't got the time to visit and observe at the daycare before enrolling your dog in, you'll never really know.

It could be an overcrowded and chaotic environment waiting for your dog.

You'll never know how attentive or how neglectful the staff can get if there are hundreds of dogs needing their care.

Risk of illness or injury

Because your pooch will be with dogs whose backgrounds you are not aware of, it's always possible they'd pick up a couple of hitchhikers a.k.a. fleas, ticks, and mites.

Apart from parasites, it's also easy for contagious diseases like kennel cough, parvo, or distemper to spread easily when dogs are kept close to each other.

There are also circumstances where dogs can be bullied and hurt by others. You'll just never know.

Developing bad behaviors

You want them to socialize and learn to play with other dogs, but sometimes, putting them in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and pets can bring bad behaviors out of them.

They might learn to jump on people, growl at other dogs, and just act aggressively in general.

He can also begin marking his territories even at home just to set some boundaries, or bark excessively even at you if he feels like he's being neglected.

Expensive

This goes without saying but it's worth mentioning anyway. Doggy daycares can be quite expensive!

Although some facilities offer special packages if you're planning to get your dog in twice or thrice a week or if there are 2 or more dogs from the same household, costs can still add up to a couple of hundred dollars in weeks.

Plus, every extra service your dog may incur (emergency medicine, grooming, training, etc.) also means extra dollars out of your pocket.

Pros vs Cons of Dog Daycare Table

To help you decide better, check out the table below for easier comparison between the pros and cons of dog daycare:

Pros

Cons

Keep the dog company while you’re away

May be too overwhelming for some dogs

Dogs can learn social skills

Too many dogs mean a lack of personalized care

They get adequate mental stimulation and physical exercise

Divided attention by daycare staff

No more destructive behavior at home

Risk of illness (ticks, fleas, kennel cough, etc.) and injury

Dogs can get extra training

Dogs can develop bad behavior like excessive barking, growling, jumping on people, etc.

They can play with toys, and different equipment and facilities

It can rack up a significant amount of money in no time

You get peace of mind for the day

You can also check out what other dog owners have to say about getting their dogs into daycare here.

Is Dog Daycare For Your Dog?

Now that you've seen the pros and cons of doggy daycare, it's now time to ask yourself if dog daycares are really for your dog.

  • Can my dog handle a new environment and meet unfamiliar places without me around?
  • Will they be comfortable in big groups or will a small group be enough?
  • What kind of activities does my dog enjoy? And how intense can he handle them?
  • Do they need more specialized attention than others?

These questions will help you determine which type of dog daycare that we have discussed above will suit your pup's needs the best.

alternative-to-dog-daycare

Alternative to Dog Daycare

In case you really feel like dog daycare will be too much for your dog, it's okay.

There are still alternative options to daycare you can also consider.

  1. Professional Pet Sitter
  2. House Sitter
  3. Friend or Neighbor
  4. Dog Boarding
  5. Pet Hotel or Resort
  6. Dog Walker
  7. Take them to work!

FAQs on Pros and Cons of Dog Daycare

What age is best for dog daycare?

Because they will be with other dogs in doggy daycare, it's best to enroll them in one if they have completed all necessary shots, and an updated tick and flea medication.

This will protect them from getting any unwanted diseases in the daycare facility.

It's also best if they are not younger than 4 months old. At this age, they should be ready to meet other people and pets.

How do I know if my dog is happy at daycare?

You'll surely notice how your dog will perk up and get all excited when you mention daycare.

They'll also be extra cooperative while you are prepping them to go, and you see them calm and comfortable with the staff.

At the end of the day, you'll see them calm and happy, although tired from all the activities they did during their stay.

As long as you don't see them anxious or stressed out before and after, they're definitely happy at the daycare.

Is it normal for a dog to sleep all day after daycare?

Yes!

Dogs get tired from playing all day long, and it's possible they didn't get much rest in the daycare because of all the excitement and fun activities.

It's completely normal for them to either plop down immediately after getting home or make a beeline to their water and food container because of thirst and hunger.

How long does it take for a dog to get used to daycare?

This actually is on a case-to-case basis. It depends on the dog's personality and capability whether he can get used faster or much later to doggy daycare.

Just be patient and offer them extra care at the end of the day.

Remember that every dog is different and there's not one pattern we can follow to help them adapt faster to new environments.

Pros and Cons of a Dog Daycare — Summary

There sure are pros and cons to consider in looking for a dog daycare you'd have to think thoroughly.

There are certainly good things and possibly bad things about it. But weighing these pros and cons should help you decide what's best for both of you.

Just trust your instincts because you know your dog better than anyone else.

READ NEXT: Dog Daycare vs Dog Boarding