Any dog lover can tell you that canines don't have a reputation for being loners. Leaving your fur baby alone for more than six hours while you go take care of life can cause them separation anxiety and a great deal of stress. But there's the flip side: You have to earn money so you can buy that kibble, and this means holding down a job. Not to mention that most of us enjoy aspects of life where we just can't bring our pets along.
What's a dog parent to do? Doggy day care facilities stand by ready to help out. Some of them can be costly and that's a real downside, but you usually have a few options.
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Doggy Day Care Costs
You might pay more for dog care than you would for a babysitter to watch over for your child. At least one facility in Massachusetts advertises prices of $30 a day, or $21 if you just want to send Fido for two and a half hours. You can send a second dog for just $21, but that's $51 a day total. The cost drops to $28 per diem (per day) if you commit to sending your pup at least three full days a week. Some providers offer breaks if you commit to a certain number of days each month.
A similar facility in Missouri advertises full-day care for $38.95, and half-day care for $10 less. Ouch.
Costs Vary by Facility
Doggy day care providers can cost more or less depending on the services they provide. Commercial facilities have more staff and more amenities, and they take in many more dogs. These charge in the neighborhood of $30 per doggy per day.
In-home facilities usually charge a little bit less, from $20 to $30 a day. These dog sitters can be a bit more negotiable on price, and they take in fewer dogs. They might be a suitable alternative for older, ailing or antisocial pets that wouldn't do well in a large facility crowded with other canines.
What Doggy Day Care Provides
You're not dropping Fido off so he can lounge in a crate all day. Doggy day cares provide numerous benefits for your pup, including feeding, exercise and playtime with other dogs, either on-leash, off-leash or often both. Some even teach basic training skills and offer grooming services.
The American Kennel Club suggests that your provider should offer you regular reports on how your dog is faring, either weekly or daily. You can ask to be notified immediately if something about your pet's behavior changes. That doggy day care in Missouri will even provide valet services, picking up your pooch and bringing them home again at the end of the day – for a price, of course.
Other Dog Care Options
It's entirely possible that while your dog might hate being away from you, they're not all that happy about mixing and socializing with random other pups either. In fact, some top-notch providers perform eligibility tests on pups before they'll let you sign up. They'll want to assess your dog's temperament to make sure they're not a danger to others, either canine or human.
Another option might be to hire someone to come to your home to care for Fido's basic daily needs, such as walking and feeding. You might cut your monthly costs even further by simply hiring a dog walker; someone to provide leash duty but no other services. Or consider a compromise, such as taking Fido to doggy day care for two days and having someone come in to tend to them the rest of the week.