How to Choose the Best Dog Daycare

Puppy University
March 6, 2020

Picture this, you’ve decided to enroll your fur baby into a dog daycare. You’ve summed up all the benefits; your dog gets to have fun and play all day, they socialize with other dogs, and you no longer have to go home and clean up the mess they made while you were gone. It’s a WIN-WIN right? 

You do some online research, and now have a handful of options and have to make the tough decision on choosing the best daycare to take your little one. (Bummer)

Well here’s an eye-opener, this is the reality many dog parents go through. Maybe you’re in this current situation.

If so, here are the most important things to consider when choosing the best doggie daycare for your four-legged baby.


The most important factor to consider when picking the right dog daycare is the safety of your dog. It is super important to choose a facility that has invested in implementing safety protocols and legal requirements to ensure the well-being of your dog.

Failing to choose a secure space for your doggy’s daycare has several negative consequences like behavior issues, long-term mental damage, and in the worst-case scenario, death. 

Some safety measures followed should include an initial evaluation to check your dog's temperament, require updated vaccination records, making sure all male dogs are neutered and minimizing the presence of female dogs during their heat cycle.…… By incorporating these practices, the facility fosters a healthy, and safe environment for your dog.

If you come across a facility that doesn’t prioritize these things, run for the hills!

Section Summary:

Safety is the most important thing when it comes to deciding on the best dog daycare facility. Make sure the facility you choose has safety as its main priority.


In today’s world reviews are everything. They shed light on the positives and negatives across businesses in all industries. This is no different for doggie daycares. 

Take the time to research the doggy daycare by reading online reviews, asking current clients about their experience, and visiting the company website. 

Also, take a tour of the facility, ask questions, and inquire about a free trial to really give it the true test.

Most of all, understanding what your pet needs from daycare will allow you to make the best decision for your dog. 

Section Summary:

Make sure you read the majority of reviews for the facilities you are considering. They will let you the good, the bad, and the ugly and can help avoid any surprises.


A well-established daycare will pledge to the experience and openly discuss the training requirements of their staff. 

Understanding the years of field experience and qualifications of the staff involved in the daily interactions with your dog is important. 

Knowing there is an experienced and trained professional to watch your dog and attend to its need, should there be a mishap will certainly put your mind at ease. 

Section Summary:

Experience can't be improvised. Ask questions and test the overall knowledge of the staff. Having experienced trainers and personnel is crucial to the safety of your dog.


Hygiene is an invaluable factor in any doggy daycare. It is difficult to control accidents in a daycare setting but ensuring the facility uses the proper sanitization products and methods to eliminate odor and bacteria will create a pleasant environment for your dog. 

Furthermore, proper sanitation prevents your dog from contracting diseases such as Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, kennel cough, and many more.

Section Summary:

It's no secret that hygiene goes a long way in maintaining health and preventing diseases. For the safety of your fur baby, make sure sure you choose a facility that looks, feels, and smells good.


A daycare should be structured with various activities to keep your dog active and engaged throughout the day. 

It is important to have a structured schedule for playtime, potty time, feeding time, and nap time to build proper behavior and routine. 

A doggie daycare should provide a multitude of unique ventures to keep playtime interesting and meet the needs of all dogs. 

Section Summary:

Having a structured day full of activities creates a fun environment that mentally stimulates your dog. It also helps with behavior.

Don’t know if you found a bad option?

Choosing the best doggie daycare is a daunting task. Here are some signs that you've probably found a bad option:

Reluctant to Give Tours

If a business is uncomfortable with giving a full tour of the facility, it should be a concern as they may have something to hide or don’t have their facility set up adequately.

Lack of Requirements for the Dogs

Businesses that are truly passionate about animals will place the safety as their highest priority through requesting vaccination records and completing pre-assessments to determine behavior with other dogs. 

If a doggy daycare advertises they accept all dogs, or have no pre-screening guidelines it is not the right place for your dog.

Bad Odor

Upon entering, if you are greeted with an unpleasant odor such as urine, bleach, and/or feces, it should be an immediate red flag. This indicates the facility has not been properly sanitized and certainly not pet-friendly. Such toxic odors can impact the health of your dog in the long run.

Staff to Dog Ratio

If a daycare seems over-crowded and or not adequately staffed to handle the volume of dogs, you should reconsider your options. 

The rule of thumb is one staff member for every 10 - 12 dogs. If a business is not following this approach, it illustrates the lack of safety and concern for your pet as this can lead to uncontrollable situations such as dog fights and serious injuries.

We hope these tips help in finding the right place to take your fur baby for the day. If you have a good tip that’s not listed, please comment it below to help your fellow day campers!

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