Puppy Advice

Find doggy day care

Doggy day care can be a great service for working dog owners. If you’re a first-time dog owner, our guide can help you find the best day care services.

Four dogs of various breeds outside sitting on grass looking up at camera

What is doggy day care?

Doggy day care is essentially day care for dogs. Think of it as child care for your four-legged family member.

As with child care, doggy day care is a daycare facility (like a nursery or kindergarten) where your dog will spend time with other dogs.

Is daycare good for dogs?

If your dog is likely to be spending a number of hours at home alone, then day care might be a good solution. However, not all dogs will be happy going to a daycare facility with lots of other dogs, so it’s important to consider it from your dog’s point of view. For example, how well do they get on with other dogs? Do you think they would enjoy being with lots of other dogs or would they prefer something quieter and being cared for by a pet sitter instead, either in your own home or in the home of the pet sitter.

For dogs that love other dogs and people, day care can be great fun.

What happens at doggy day care?

The core component of doggy day care is play – and lots of it! Well-run day care facilities will make sure that your dog gets to play with dogs they like and avoid the ones they don’t, with plenty of rest in between and meals if needed. Some day care centres provide a transport service to collect your dog from your home in the morning and drop them off again in the evening, which can take help to take the stress out of the morning rush.

How much does dog day care cost?

Prices can vary considerably but tend to be in the range of £15-£50 per day, depending on the location. You can often pay for a full day or half day care for your dog, depending on what you need.

How do I find good dog day care facilities?

  1. Start by looking on the Pet Industry Federation website to find dog day care facilities that are members. Their members must comply with a 10-Point Charter about how dogs are cared for, the level of training required of staff and how they communicate with owners.
  2. Ask around and look online for recommendations for doggy day care from other local dog owners. 
  3. Arrange to visit a few day care facilities so that you have something to compare. 
  4. Look for signs of happy dogs and happy staff. 
  5. Watch how the staff interact with the dogs – are they kind and friendly?
  6. Are the facilities clean and comfortable – how do you feel about your dog spending the day there?

Questions to ask about the doggy day centre:

  • How many dogs are staff responsible for (the staff to dog ratio)? This should be a maximum of 10 dogs to 1 staff member.
  • How do they deal with bad behaviour, e.g. dogs being aggressive towards or bullying other dogs?
  • What would be your dog’s routine during the day?
  • What would they do if your dog was sick or injured?

Is doggy day care regulated?

All doggy day care facilities in the UK must be licensed by a local authority. Tighter regulations, specific to doggy day care, were introduced in 2018 in England.

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