Dog Parent Alert: Is Doggie Daycare A Scam?

Pet spas and doggie daycares are popping up all over the country as an alternative to traditional kennels for dogs. These facilities offer day-time care for dogs, giving working professionals the ability to drop their dogs off in the morning and to pick them up in the evening – it works just like traditional daycare for children. As you might expect, doggie daycare can be quite expensive – especially if you use it several times a week. But is it worth the cost? In this article we’ll go over basics about doggie daycare and whether or not it is worth it.

What is Doggie Daycare?

There are currently more than 1,500 doggie daycare centers (and growing) throughout the country that cater to the needs of working professionals. These centers function in the same way that traditional daycare centers do for children – they offer a place for your dog to stay for a few hours while you are at work or running errands. A doggie daycare center differs from a kennel in that your dog is not kept isolated in his own cage – he will typically be spending time with other dogs, playing and taking part in various activities. Costs may vary, but you can expect to pay about $45 per day for doggie daycare – this adds up to about $500 or so per month if you use it regularly.

Pros and Cons of Doggie Daycare

Before you make up your mind about doggie daycare, it would be wise to weigh the pros and cons. While doggie daycare may be ideal for some pet parents, other may consider it an unnecessary expense. Below you will find a list of the pros and cons associated with doggie daycare:


  • Prevents your dog from being left alone at home for long periods of time – dogs that are left alone too long are at risk for developing behavioral problems and separation anxiety
  • Gives your dog plenty of opportunity for socialization – dogs are given time to interact and play with other dogs
  • Offers a great opportunity for release for overly active and high-energy dogs – your dog will come home tired so he won’t be bouncing off the walls when you get home from work
  • You will have peace of mind that your dog is being cared for properly while you are not around


  • Some dogs simply will not enjoy being there – not all dogs have the right temperament to be around other dogs (particularly high-energy dogs) all day long
  • The facility staff may not be properly trained to handle the number of dogs they accept each day
  • The expense adds up quickly – $45 per day translates to over $500 a month if you use the facility on a regular basis

Is it Just a Scam?

The word “scam” is fairly harsh and is generally applied to services or products that offer no real value. A doggie daycare facility does, however, provide a service for individuals who want to see their dog taken care of during the day when they are not home. Whether or not doggie daycare is right for you is another matter. Before you make up your mind about doggie daycare, take the time to explore the options in your area and consider whether you may have other options at your disposal. You may be able to hire a dog walker or sitter, for example, to check in on your dog once a day while you are at work. You may even be able to find a friend or neighbor who has also has dogs but is home during the day – he or she may be willing to accept your dog into the home for less than a doggie daycare center would charge.

kate-Bio_PicKate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.


  • Jack Bobeck

    Dog breeds have been working with animals and humans for centuries. It is only in the last one that humans have decided that the dog is better to be left at home all day to guard the furniture, fish and food in the pantry. Of course dog daycare provides the stimulation and socialization that dogs have grown to enjoy. We could be doing dogs a dis-service and change them forever by leaving them at home to sleep all day.

    Jack Bobeck
    Jacksonville, FL

  • Mea Rice

    Very valid points mentioned here.

    I believe it’s quite healthy to give your dog some socialising time with other dogs. I also think it’s much safer for a dog to be at day care then to be coupled at home for an excessive amount of time. I can understand that people may have their reservations about dog day care but you’re sure to find some great places that people recommend.

    • Thanks and glad we could help!