Four things to consider when asking if your dog is right for a doggy day care…

Four things to consider when asking if your dog is right for a doggy day care…

Inspired by this article (click here).

1) Your Dog

There’s happily tired versus being exhausted from being stressed or bullied all day, and it is critical to figure out in which category your dog belongs before opt-ing to put your dog into a doggy daycare.

Good candidates for doggy daycare are healthy, spayed or neutered and well-socialized dogs who “enjoy other dogs and seek interaction with them at every opportunity,” according to the Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). And younger dogs seem to adjust better to the daycare environment than older dogs.

So if your dog is a social butterfly, consider doggy daycare a great option for the two of you.

2) The Staff or Provider

Ensure the doggy daycare has a high ratio of staff to dog (perhaps one person for every 10 or 15 dogs) and highly educated staff. Each person there should be well-versed in readings dogs for signs of stress, discriminating between appropriate versus inappropriate play, and how to effectively but benevolently manage the behavior of both individual dogs and a group of dogs.

Thanks to my experience with many different dogs of all types and varieties as well as my on-going association with various dog trainers since 2007, I’m able to read dogs well.  The more I get to know a dog, the more I can read it just by the most smallest of movements.

3) The Environment

What’s it like in there? Lots of room? (Yes) Places for dogs to opt out of interaction? (Cozy corners, places for a dog to go off by him or herself and rest? – plenty!) Clean (within reason–don’t expect a Holiday Inn)? (Rated 4.5 stars by AirBnB Guests!) How often are dogs taken out to potty? (Constant access to the backyard so they can whenever they like!)  Is it safe? (Yes, before I moved in I did an extensive check of all the yard for this reason.) Outdoors and in? (Both as it is my home.) Floor not slippery? (Only when wet which I would be mindful.) Outside have no wire points where a dog could be injured? (No wire points!) Are there good places for the dogs to nap? (Plenty of places!) Dogs need to sleep during the day; it’s not good for them to go full bore for nine hours–how does the staff handle balancing play and rest?  I always ensure dogs have that balance based on the dog & time of day.  

(click here for more information about my doggy daycare service which is limited to maximum 4 dogs per day.)

4) The Other Dogs

Are owners asked to fill out a questionnaire with no other evaluation of the dog? (I do a meet n greet with the dog in its own home environment to see it’s true personality and quiz the owners before deciding whether the dog is suitable otherwise I request that the dog has a reference from a trusted dog trainer to verify it is a well balanced dog.)  Is the staff cognizant of size differences? Would they let a Yorki in with 15 medium to large-sized dogs?  (Yes, my own small dog’s safety is of paramount importance I will take a preference for small to medium sized dogs and only large and giant breeds after extensive assessment.)  Are the dogs separated into play groups?  (No need, I only cater to 4 dogs per day maximum.) What is the policy if a dog bullies others, or initiates a fight? (I would consult with Gold Coast Dog Trainer Emma as well as the dog’s guardian/s as to the next steps.) 

Just be mindful, a dog’s sociability can be shaped and/or change over time however this is best done with a dog trainer (I would ask that you opt for my board and train package for a minimum of 2 weeks).

Lastly, I will say (after speaking with many dog owners) that many people bring their dogs to doggie daycare, not for the dog, but for themselves. Maybe they need a break, maybe the dog is tearing up everything at home, maybe a family member is in the hospital, maybe they are sick themselves, maybe they don’t want to feel guilty they’re working long hours. Some dogs, if left at home for long periods, can become depressed.

Click here for more information about my doggy daycare service which is limited to maximum 4 dogs per day….


  1. Never tried Doggy Daycare…. our neighbours have been really helpful so far whenever we had to go overseas but this information is good to know just in case. Thanks.

  2. Amanda, from my extensive experience there comes a time when neighbours move (I’ve been a local for all of my life and believe me I’m in the minority of people who have stayed for as long as I have) and/or have their own priorities (funerals, holidays, etc). You are no longer ‘beholden’ to anyone. No one “doing you a favour”. This is a convenient, year-Round exclusive service with only a limited number of memberships available (to ensure quality of care and the exclusive availability of the service for the members)…

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