Kip is still a feisty little puppy and I'm currently working full time. Because my work is an hour away from home and there's rush hour traffic in the morning, Kip is home alone for 11-12 hours a day. Not only does Kip become bored, he also seems to have some anxiety from being left alone for such long hours. While I'm living on a tight budget, I've eliminated eating out from my budget completely and have been sending him to a dog daycare once a week on Wednesdays.
What to look for in a Dog Daycare
1. Do they keep dogs separated/caged or are they allowed to play with other dogs?
You would be surprised to do a little research only to find that most dog daycares just keep the dogs separated in their own little compartment with only 15 minutes of playtime a day. For that price, a dog-walker would be a much better solution.
2. Are all dogs required to send in records of their up-to-date shots/rabies and flea treatment?
Some dog daycares do not require flea shots. But even if your dog is getting flea treatment, if you forget and give your dog flea treatment a couple days late, your dog can get fleas. So just to be a on the safe side, it would be a good idea to send your dog to a place that requires flea treatment. After all, who wants to deal with the stress and cleaning from a flea infestation?
3. Are food and treats provided or do I need to bring my own?
While this might not matter if you have carefully selected the brand of food your dog is eating and don't want your dog eating low quality meals, it is important to keep in mind. You don't want your dog running around and playing all day on an empty stomach! Also, some dogs may not eat while they're at the dog daycare (because they're too busy playing!) so you may need to feed your dog before you drop them off.
4. What are the hours for drop-off and pick-up?
Most dog daycares will start to add a late-fee for picking up your dog past hours. Some dog daycares will even charge you over-night fees past a certain threshold. Also, many dog daycares have pick-up times only until about 5pm. If you get out of work at 6pm like me, this definitely does not work. You want to give yourself some leeway so that if you happen to get stuck in traffic, you wont get charged a late fee.
The daycare Kip attends installed a dog-cam so I can check what he is doing while I am at work. Here are some screenshots over the past three times he has been there. The one downside to the dog-cam is that it only refreshes every 3 seconds, so it can be a little choppy if your dog is running around. Kip is so energetic it is hard to catch him on screen. Sometimes you can see a blur as he's running by!