Dog Walking vs. Doggy Daycare – An Overview

Having a dog brings so much joy, but it also means we have the responsibility of ensuring their needs are met.

One big decision is whether to hire a dog walker or send our furry friends to doggy daycare. It’s like choosing between a personal buddy for your dog or a lively group hangout!

In this article about ‘Dog Walking vs Doggy Daycare,’ we’ll help you understand the differences and figure out which option is best for your dog and your family.

Let’s explore the exciting world where happy tails and lots of energy meet the important choices for your lovable pup!

Before we go ahead, I want to make sure we are on the same page about the terms “dog walker” and “doggy daycare” here. In this comparison, they have nothing to do with vacation care. The situation is, that you work either from home or you have to leave the house to go to work. A dog walker will come 1-3 times per day and take care of the needs of your dog. Alternatively, you can bring your dog to a doggy daycare for up to 12 hours.

Transmission of Diseases:

Dog Walking Company: When hiring a solo dog walker the chances of your dog getting infected by another dog are pretty much zero. Responsible dog walkers will not let your pup come in contact with another dog and thus eliminate the chance of your dog getting sick from common diseases like Canine Cough (Kennel Cough), Canine Influenza (Dog Flu), Parvovirus, and Giardia.

Doggy Daycare: Responsible and well-managed doggy daycares take precautions to cut the risk of disease transmission. Since most diseases spread through direct contact or shared use of a water bowl, the doggy daycare can be the cleanest there is, but will never be able to eliminate the natural risk of your dog getting infected.

Outside Environment with New Smells:

Dog Walking Company: A dog walker will leash up your dog and get outside to walk them. They will change up the route as much as possible, so your dog will always be able to sniff out new scents in his neighborhood and therefore receive mental stimulation.

In a Doggy Daycare, a walk outside might be an option to book as an add-on, but most of the facilities have indoor rooms, in which the dogs spend the majority of their time. So your dog will experience different smells from new dogs, but most likely not from an outside environment.

May Relief Separation Anxiety:

Dog Walking Company: This largely depends on the dog and how severe his separation anxiety is. A midday dog walk might be a good option for a dog with slight separation anxiety, as it provides for some routine. In this case, he would most likely need a chewing toy or some sort of object that can channel his attention as well. For dogs with pronounced separation anxiety, any time alone at home will most likely present a trigger for them. In this case, a dog trainer should be consulted.

Whether a Doggy Daycare is good option for a dog with separation anxiety largely depends on the dog here again, because the unfamiliar surroundings without their trusted humans coupled with disruptions to their routine might be triggers for them. In this case, consult with a dog trainer before considering doggie daycare.

If you are looking for a dog trainer, we recommend Jenny from Give Paw Dog Training – she is all about positive reinforcement – YAY to that!! Should your dog receive training with her or another trainer, we always make sure to work closely with their instructions, so your dog receives the consistency (s)he needs.

Open Play Environment:

Dog Walking Company: The beautiful thing about hiring a dog walking company is, that you can specify how you want your dog walker to spend the time with your dog. Your dog walker will generally take your dog for a walk, but you can always instruct them to play with your dog in the backyard.

In a Doggy Daycare setting, your dog will have room to move around in indoor rooms only, unless you are looking for a daycare specifically designed with outside space.

Potential Dog Fights:

Dog Walking Company: If the dog walking company you are hiring is a professional one and trains its employees for the dogs in their care not to come in contact with other dogs, then dog fights won’t happen during a dog walk.

In the contrary, in a Doggy Daycare, it’s not unusual for 15 dogs and up to be in the same enclosed space. The chances of dog fights breaking out, even though doggy daycares are doing a temperament test before they take in any dogs, is on the higher side.

Socialization:

Dog Walking Company: As mentioned in the previous points, a professional dog walker would not allow for their fur charges to come in contact with another dog. Unless they are providing pack walks, dog walking is not a good option get your dog socialized.

Doggy Daycares meanwhile are great options for your dog to experience socialization. Just make sure there is a good dog-per-handler ratio, so any bullying between the dogs is quickly spotted and rectified.

One-on-One Attention

Dog Walking Company: If you are seeking one-on-one attention for your dog, a solo walk for your dog will be the best option. If you hire a dog walking company to take care of your dog, they will assign a dog walker just for your dog, to whom he will get used to and ultimately bond with. They will be your dog’s best buddy.

Doggy daycares are not designed in a way that your dog gets one-on-one attention, as the dog-per-handler ratio is usually 15:1. So if you are seeking individual attention for your dog, make sure to look for a daycare that specifically offers that service.

Potential Overstimulation:

Dog Walking Company: A dog walk will last between 15 to 30 min. Sometimes they run as high as 45 to 60 min. A well-trained dog walker will notice if the dog has too much stimulation and will get him back home immediately. Generally speaking, after 2-4 hours alone at home, a regular 30-minute walk will be a great relief and welcome stimulation for your dog.

In a Doggy Daycare setting, with 15 dogs on average in one room at a time, a dog can get easily overstimulated after a while, if he is not suitable for that much stimulation over a longer period of time.

Bonding with the caretaker

Dog Walking Company: Since a dog gets one-on-one attention during a dog walk, chances are very high that he will always bond with the dog walker. It’s the best part of the job!

Doggy Daycare: the dogs will also bond with the handlers, but most likely not as much, as their attention on only one dog is limited.

Exercise:

Dog Walking Company: Depending on how long you book a dog walk and how their time is spent during the visit (e.g. play in the dog yard, speed of dog walk) your dog can get quite a lot of exercise. And if a second visit is booked during the day, they can get even more exercise.

Doggy Daycare: Your dog should be able to run around as much as they want and interact with other dogs. So their level of exercise will be high.

Feeding Option:

Dog Walking Company: You can always instruct your dog walker to feed your dog at no extra charge. This is especially important if you have a puppy, as they need to be fed up 3 times per day.

In a Doggy Daycare setting your dog needs to be a minimum of 4 months old to be eligible for enrollment. Generally, they will be happy to feed your dog, which carries an extra fee.

Even after considering all of these points, when deciding whether to enroll your dog into regular midday dog walking vs doggy daycare depends on the needs and personality of your dog.

If you are not sure which option is right for you, feel free to reach out to us and schedule a consultation call or call us at 862-205-5824.

Written by Zue Kupfer

Zue is the owner of Silver Hound Dog Walking and is currently responsible for everything behind the scenes. Chances are very high that you are going to email or talk with her.

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