Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Honestly, I’ve not used a dog daycare before. The closest I came to it was when my dog was a puppy and I took her to a small dog/puppy playtime at a dog daycare facility.

The half hour of what I was lead to believe to be a friendly and safe environment for my puppy to burn off energy and socialize did not turn out how I imagined. Within 5 minutes of being there I walked out never to return again. The staff’s only question to me was “Oh, leaving so soon?” No concern about WHY I was leaving so soon.

What was supposed to be a “small dog, puppy only” session, turned out to be anything but. There were dogs of all sizes and ages permitted. Not to mention, there was no dog daycare staff supervision anywhere to be found. Even though this facility had been recommended to me, I should have stopped, turned around, and got back in my car the moment I smelled the facility from the parking lot.

I’m sure my experience, at least, I hope my experience, is few and far between. But it got me to thinking about what we should look for and what questions should we ask when choosing a dog daycare facility.

To help us out, I’ve asked Evelyn of Just Fur Kids Dog Daycare what questions dog parents should ask and what we should look out for when choosing a dog daycare. 

Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility


Questions to Ask & What to Look For

When Choosing a Dog Daycare

Cleanliness  Cleanliness, parasite protection, and upkeep is at the top of the list when choosing a dog daycare. If you can smell it and it’s dirty, that’s what your dog will be in contact with all day. 

Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Cleanliness of the Dog Daycare

Dog to Person Ratio The higher the ratio of dogs to attendants can mean inadequate supervision of dogs and not catching misbehaviour between dogs.

Where Do The Dogs Go Potty? – You have trained your dog not to relieve themselves indoors and the same should be said at the dog daycare. Potty trips should be taken outdoors.

Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Will your dog be taken for walks and outside to relieve themselves?

Viewing Facilities and Daycare Rooms – You should be able to view the dog daycare room without an appointment.

Furniture , Bedding and Toys – Furniture and playground pieces in the room should be non porous and cleanable. Dog beds and toys should be either washed in soap and water, or sprayed with an enzyme cleaner daily.

Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Dog beds and toys should be cleaned daily

Regular & Structured Activities – Does the dog daycare offer regular activities that are in line with your expectations and the comfort level of your dog? How rambunctious are the dogs permitted to get?

Crated/Integrated/Segregated – Will your dog be crated? Are all dogs integrated and allowed to do as they like? Will the dogs be segregated at any time?

Atmosphere – Are both the dogs and the staff calm and relaxed? An energy charged room can be stressful for calm dogs and a problem for excitable dogs.

Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Atmosphere – Are the dogs calm and relaxed?

Additional Points To Consider At Dog Daycares

Walls, Flooring, Drains and Sanitation

Wall Surfaces –  Walls clad in FRP -(fibreglass reinforced plastic)-  used in restaurant kitchens that’s waterproof, scratch proof & nothing sticks to. Impenetrable, easily cleanable and non porous.

Solid Surface Floors – Concrete with a sealant- a non porous surface. Glazed tiles are non porous but unless grout lines are sealed regularly, urine soaks in. Same with hardwood and rubberized surfaces that cannot be fully cleaned.

Floor Drains and Sanitization – Floor drains are helpful for efficient cleaning. Floors should be sanitized nightly with pet safe products. Separate mop buckets for cleaning up pee versus just mopping. Sounds silly, but even though mop heads are changed daily it doesn’t make sense to drag a pee mop around to clean.

Air Return System – Dogs radiate as much heat as humans so it’s important to have proper air circulation to remove the heat and create airflow.  A hot, muggy and/or smelly room is a sign of insufficient circulation.


Tips for Choosing A Dog Daycare Facility

Air Return System – for proper air circulation


Not Every Dog Daycare Is Right For Every Dog

You are trusting and putting your dog in the hands of the people and dog daycare to look after your beloved dog for a big part of their day. Don’t ever feel like you can’t ask and have your questions answered. Ask friends for referrals. If the dog daycare staff can’t answer your questions sufficiently, if you don’t like what you see, smell, or feel, walk away! Not every dog daycare is right for every dog.

A big thank you to Evelyn from Just Fur Kids Dog Daycare for sharing these important tips and information on what to look out for when choosing a dog daycare!

Be sure to follow the adventures of Just Fur Kids Dog Daycare on Twitter and Facebook

Author: Kelly Harding

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  1. I like how you mentioned that cleanliness should be at the top of the list. Next week I will be starting a new job and I won’t be able to stay home and take care of my golden retriever. I’ll make sure to keep these tips in mind as I search for a dog daycare facility.

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  2. Thanks for talking about dog daycare. It is important to understand what your dog needs. I can see how choosing a trusted professional would be important.

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  3. I liked that you mentioned you need to consider furniture and playground pieces before you choose a dog care facility. My husband and I will be traveling, and we are looking for advice to find the best dog care facility for our dog. I will make sure to choose a facility that offers a lot of toys and playground spaces for our dog will we are away.

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  4. Hey this is awesome, Just Fur Kids looks like the kind of place I would want to put my dog if I had to put him at a kennel/daycare. You can tell they care, too. They really went to every detail to make sure their business is the best it can be for both dogs and owners.

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