How to Choose a Dog Daycare or Kennel

EricTips, SafetyLeave a Comment


So you’ve recognized that your dog(s) would benefit from a daycare and are now ready to find the perfect fit.  Or maybe you’re taking a trip and need to find somewhere to leave little Rex – somewhere that you completely trust so you can have a worry-free time.  But where do you start?  What things should you be looking for?

Fear not!  As dog experts ourselves, we’re here to help guide you in making the right daycare or kennel decision.    


Dog to Human Ratio

There are a lot of dynamics in a group of dogs, so in a kennel or care setting it’s important that there is adequate supervision.  As with children, the lower the dog to human ratio, the better!  Stick with facilities that have no more than 15 dogs for every employee, and make sure to ask if they stay in the room with their furry customers at all times!

Adequate Exercise

Sticking a bunch of dogs in a small room for an entire day isn’t very stimulating for them.  In fact, trying to contain all that boisterous energy with no outlet is a recipe for disaster!  A good daycare will provide opportunities for exercise – pack walks, for example, are a great way to provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation!  Make sure the facility you choose actively engages your dog throughout the day instead of using a “set it and forget it” mentality.  And while crates may be appropriate for short breaks, they should not be used extensively.

Outdoor Potty Breaks

While we’re at it, dogs should eliminate outside.  Make sure the facility takes your pooch out for regular potty breaks instead of expecting (for forcing) them to go inside.  Not only is this kinda gross, it can also lead to problems with eliminating indoors at home, too.  Eww!


This one may seem like common sense, but not all places will fit the bill.  Dogs do have a bit of a punchy scent, especially if it’s wet outside, but you shouldn’t be overwhelmed with stench when you walk into the joint.  Unclean places are a breeding ground for germs for both you and your furbabies, so take note of the condition your facility is in.  

Experience and Certifications

Anyone spending all day with a bunch of dogs should be properly trained in how to do so.  Ask your potential daycare what accreditations their employees hold.  Look for facilities that insist all their caregivers have pet first aid as well as training in dog behaviour and body language.  Additionally, ask them how they manage disagreements, their protocol for aggressive behaviour, and their approach to teaching commands to make sure their philosophies align with your own.

Overnight Supervision

If you’re in search of a kennel, look for one that offers 24/7 supervision of your four-legged family member.  Many places that offer boarding lock up your pup and leave them alone overnight – leaving them vulnerable if trouble arises, as well as anxious in their new space.  You want a place that will truly “adopt” your pet as one of their family while you’re away.

Dog Vibe

You can tell a lot about your dog’s experience by how they react when you take them to care.  Are they excited or fearful when you walk in the door?  Does their behaviour change at home after a day at daycare?  Are they sufficiently worn out or anxious and on edge?  Pay attention to your dog’s cues and listen to them – if your dog is not happy, it’s time to try something new.  And if you don’t get a satisfactory answer and action plan from your current caregiver, that may be an indication you need to find a new provider.

Of course, if you’re close to us we’d be thrilled to meet with you!  We’re pretty proud of the calm yet stimulating environment we’ve created here at Paws Dog Daycare, and we have successfully integrated a wide variety of pooches to our daily hangouts!   Check out our new customer page for all the info you’ll need to get started.  


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