Dog Daycare or Dog Walker: Which One Should You Choose?

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If you’re going to be spending a substantial chunk of your day out of the house, it’s natural that you don’t want your precious pooch to be alone for this time. However, you have a choice ahead of you: should you send your pup to doggie daycare or should you have a dog walker come to your home to spend time with Fido? The choice is a personal one, and really depends on the needs and circumstances of you and your dog. Ask yourself a few questions to figure out which option suits you best.

How Long Are You Out of the House?

We all know about dog years, but what about dog hours?! If you work a 9 to 5 job (or an equivalent amount of hours, anyway), this is a long stretch of time for your dog. He’s likely to become bored and lonely, which isn’t fair on him. In this case, it might be best for him to go into a dog daycare, where he’ll have constant human supervision and canine friends to romp with all day long. If you’re only out for 4 or 5 hours a day, having a dog walker come for an hour or so in the middle of this time would probably suffice. Then your faithful hound will only have to be by himself for a couple of hours in a row.

Does Your Pup Get On With Other Dogs?

This is the main factor that would prevent daycare from being suitable for your dog. If he’s reactive or has any aggressive tendencies toward other dogs, then daycare probably isn’t the right environment for him. Even a friendly dog who’s extremely boisterous or doesn’t have good social skills might not be right for daycare. Sometimes dogs have the best intentions, but end up annoying other canines with their goofy ways. A good doggie daycare facility should carry out an assessment and a trial session before allowing your dog to come for a full day, so you could always see how he gets on. If he’s deemed to be unsuitable, don’t worry, he might be better off in the company of a dog walker.

Is Your Dog Nervous?

Dogs will be dogs and they often like to play rough and generally goof off. Therefore, if you have a dog with a nervous disposition, he might feel overwhelmed in this kind of environment. Most daycares separate dogs by size and age, so if – for instance – you have a small pooch who’s scared of bigger dogs, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if your pup is generally nervous, it’s likely that he won’t enjoy a daycare environment. In this case, it could be best that he stays in the comfort of his own home and has a dog walker come to exercise him and give him some love, instead.

Does Your Dog Cause Problems When Left Alone?

Some dogs have a hard time being left home alone, whereas others are happy to snooze away until you return. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you may notice that he destroys your belongings, constantly barks and howls, or urinates or defecates while you’re out. While it’s a pain for you, it may also annoy your neighbors and is clearly making your dog unhappy. This kind of dog would probably benefit from spending time in daycare so that he doesn’t get anxious and upset when you’re not in. However, a dog who is perfectly content being alone should be fine with a visit from a dog walker part way through the day.

loznnolaLauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.