Doggy Day Care versus Dog Walking Service
Balancing a nine-to-five with trying to be a good pet parent is no small feat. Fortunately, nowadays there are more services for dogs than ever, which means more resources for the working professional pet owner to manage their demanding day-to-day schedule. Between dog-walking services, doggy daycares, mobile groomers, and even pet therapists, pet owners have never had more options.
For those concerned about leaving their pup alone for 8+ hours every workday, there are two major solutions: doggy daycare and dog-walking services. However, depending on your commute, the distance from your office, privacy concerns, and budget, one of these options may be much better for you than the other. To help you decide, let's break down the pros and cons of each.
Pros - There are some pretty huge benefits to taking advantage of a doggy daycare service during the workweek. Not only will your dog not be alone all day wreaking havoc in your home unattended, but they will also be taken care of, played with, fed, and watched over by a dedicated staff of workers. Doggy daycares provide your pup with the same - if not more - exercise they'd get with a dog-walking service, along with the chance to play and socialize with other dogs. All this activity will do wonders for your dog's health, rather than laying around the house every day waiting for you to come home. Many daycares also make sure dogs get outdoor time, and some even allow you to check in on your pet via webcam! Imagine: instead of worrying about your dog and feeling guilty about leaving them alone, you can check on them right from your desk and watch them play with their new friends. Overall, the biggest benefit of doggy daycare is your peace of mind as a pet parent, knowing your pup is being taken care of.
Cons - Although there are many benefits, doggy daycare is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. Cost and convenience play a huge role in deciding whether or not this service is for you. All the amazing perks of a daycare facility do not come without a price. On average, doggy daycare costs $40 per day. Popular nationwide chains like Dogtopia
offer deals on five, 10, 20, and 30 day passes, however, you still end up paying about $35 per day; or, you can pay $550 for the month. That's around $6,600 a year. Even if you are able to work this expense into your monthly budget, there are still logistical factors to consider, such as where the daycare is located in relation to both your home and office. While you may find a daycare that has great deals, if it's too far out of the way, you could end up adding an extra hour or two to your daily commute. The last thing you want at the end of a long workday is to be driving too far in any direction that's not home. Last but not least, your dog is a big factor as well. Depending on your pup's breed and disposition, doggy daycare may not be a good fit for them. Some dogs do not handle the playtime or being around strange dogs as well as others. If you decide to give daycare a try, it's important to feel out how your dog will behave in that environment.
Pros - If the cons of doggy daycare are a dealbreaker, a dog-walking service may be the answer for you. Cost and convenience are strengths here, not weaknesses. The biggest, most obvious perk is that dog-walkers come to you. That means no extra time out of your day spent driving around, lengthening your commute, going out of your way to drop off and pick up your furry friend. Although it may be less than at daycare, your pup will still get daily exercise, attention, and may get the chance to socialize with other dogs while they are out exploring. And the cost - averaging around $15-20 per walk - is about half the price of doggy daycare, adding up to hundreds of dollars of savings month to month.
Cons - With all the exciting and fun services a doggy daycare offers, the limitations of a dog-walking service may seem a bit underwhelming by comparison. Your pup simply will not get the same level of play, socialization, exercise, and attention from a 20-30 minute walk. You are primarily paying someone to walk your dog and make sure they have water, but that's about it. The convenience also comes at a cost that may be a dealbreaker for many: hiring a dog walker means letting a stranger into your home. Unless you keep your dog in your backyard, you have to allow the dog walker access to your home. Many people are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of letting a stranger have a key to their place. This factor is why it's so important to make sure that if you choose to hire a dog-walker, you research the company thoroughly to make sure they are trustworthy and reputable.
Which service is better for you and your pet?
Clearly, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for dog owners. Whether doggy daycare or dog-walking is for you depends largely on your weekly schedule, commute, budget, and privacy concerns. Hopefully, our list has helped break down all the benefits and drawbacks that apply to your specific circumstances, and allow you to make the best choice for you and your pup. Above all, the most important thing is that either service will accomplish your main priority: your dog getting the attention, exercise, and care they deserve while you're out. No matter which option you choose, we guarantee they'll be feeling the love.
Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash