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Doggie Daycare or Pet Sitter - Which Should You Choose?

Your dog needs an outlet for his energy and inquisitiveness, so you've decided you need a pet care professional. But, which to choose?

Would your dog be better suited to a doggie daycare or pet sitter?

Below are the types of things you will need to consider when deciding which is best for your dog:

Choose a Doggie Daycare If: Choose a Pet Sitter If:
Your dog is very social, enjoys being with other dogs, is not aggressive towards them. Your dog doesn’t do well in a social setting with other dogs.
Your dog suffers from acute separation anxiety when you are gone. Your dog only suffers mild separation anxiety when you are gone.
You have time to drop off and pick up your dog from the daycare facility, and it is not an inconvenience to you. You don’t have time to drop off your dog at the daycare facility due to their hours, or it is very inconvenient for you to do so.
You are insecure about giving someone access to your home. You don’t mind giving a reputable, professional service access to your home.
You can get by with basic daycare, which doesn’t necessarily include extra or personal playtime for your dog. You want an affordable service, customized to your needs and your pet’s needs, giving your pet plenty of one-on-one time.
You are confident the staff will keep your dog away from dogs that may pose a threat to its safety and well-being. You are concerned that your pet may be exposed to aggressive dogs in a daycare situation.
You are willing to accept the risk of your dog being exposed to dogs that may have parasites. You prefer that your dog not be in the company of dogs that may have fleas, ticks, worms, or other parasites.
You don’t mind having your dog vaccinated for Bordetella in order to comply with the daycare’s requirements and to protect your dog from becoming infected with kennel cough. You don’t want to vaccinate your dog for Bordetella, due to the extra expense, and you don’t want to risk your dog’s contracting kennel cough.
You are comfortable allowing many handlers to care for your dog. You prefer your dog to be handled by only one person, who you can hold personally accountable for your dog’s care.
You don’t mind your dog being around dogs that may have bad habits that could be learned by your dog (barking, digging). You are concerned that your dog may develop behavioral problems by being around other dogs.

Regardless of your ultimate choice, be sure to check your pet care professional's credentials.

  • Is their business licensed?
  • Are they insured and bonded?
  • What qualifications do they have for their profession?
  • Do they have ample experience?
  • Have you asked for and checked a minimum of three references?
  • Asked area veterinarians about them?
  • Do they present a professional image? (Neat appearance, clean facility or vehicle, literature with printed business info?)
  • Do they have a website, and if so, does it look professional?
  • Do they appear to be concerned about your dog, and do they show a genuine interest and compassion towards him/her?

Weigh all of these things in conjunction with the information provided above, and you should be able to make an educated decision when choosing the right pet care professional for the care of your dog.