There are usually two options when it comes to pet daycare.
Option 1: Pet Daycare at a Boarding Facility
Option 2: Pet Daycare in a pet sitter’s home
(Option 2A: Pet Daycare in your home while a pet sitter keeps your pet company in their own environment.)
Both have their pros and cons and you’ll need to consider a variety of factors when choosing which option is best for your pet.
Local Boarding Facility
Some of the pros of pet daycare at a local boarding facility include:
Competitive pricing – because the facility is caring for many pets at a time, they can afford to offer a more competitive rate than perhaps the private daycare option.
Socialization – your pet will be exposed to a greater variety of pets that she can play with.
Webcams – Many pet daycare facilities today offer a webcam view that you can access from any internet-connected computer and check in virtually on your pet.
Hire A Professional Pet Sitter
Some pros of the private pet daycare option include:
One-on-One attention – Your pet will most certainly not get lost in the crowd or neglected in any way since the number of pet’s being cared for will be significantly less.
Less chance of catching something – one of the biggest issues with boarding facilities is the big exposure to airborne illness. Dogs can easily transfer an illness to one another.
The spread of a disease should be significantly reduced if the private daycare provider takes the proper precaution (less pets at a time, requiring up to date shots, etc.).
More variety for your pet – If you choose to keep your pet at a private daycare, you’ll notice that your pet may get out and play more. Some boarding facilities may not get the dogs outside as often as a private boarder would.
No matter the option you choose, make sure that the pet is kept an eye on, will get plenty of exercise and stimulation.
We’re certainly partial to the professional pet sitter.
The Association of Pet Sitting Excellence has a pet sitter locator that you can use to find a pet sitter who can provide the pet daycare you may be looking for.
Professional Pet Sitters Say…
Here is a sampling of how some professional pet sitters view the topic of pet daycare:
We do In-Home Boarding and Daycare. We only have a few dogs at a time, along with our own dogs. We have lots of repeat visitors, so they know everyone and love to come visit. We have a nice outside play area (fully fenced) and dogs have free run of the home and yard. Sleeping arrangements depend on what they’re used to. We have separate bedrooms, crates (if that’s where they like to sleep), and they can even sleep with us…so long as they don’t bother the cat :).
For Daycare it’s pretty much the same, they are dropped off in the morning and play around here all day. If we have permission I may take one or more along with me for dog walks or trips to the park.
We also do something called Play School, they come for daycare and I train them while they’re here. Sort of like board and train, but they go home in the evening.
It all works very well, the regulars get to know one another and enjoy the security of familiar surroundings and routines while coming over the play with their pals! It’s their home away from home!
I do “at their home” doggie daycare aka “a day stay”. This is great for puppies mainly. I also do doggie adventures (3 -5 hours long) where I will have the dogs with me yet NOT at my home… we go from one dog park, to beaches, to all sorts of places with plenty of time for rest, feed, etc.
I purposefully do not offer dog minding at my home or anyone’s home as that area is adequately looked after already by quiet a few businesses. Not too many sitters offer “baby sitting” type of doggie daycare services.
How does it compare? Individual love and attention. No risk of kennel cough. Great for puppies who may not have all their shots yet. Great for older (senior) dogs who are not as agile, blind, deaf, etc.
Share Your Experience
If you are a pet owner and have an experience with either a pet sitter or boarding facility you’d like to share, leave your comment below.