Dog Walkers VS Dog Daycare: Which is the Right Choice for You?
If you work long hours, you probably feel guilty leaving your dog, and then rushed to get home at the end of the day.
You want to focus at work without stressing out about how your dog is faring home alone.
You want the freedom to grab lunch with a coworker, or run some errands after work.
A dog walker or dog daycare are both excellent solutions for you. But which is the way to go?
Here’s my honest comparison, and my advice for which type of dog owner may benefit from which option.
Dog Walker Advantages
- Your dog gets to stay in the comfort of their own home
- Individualized attention
- Your dog will form a bond with their assigned walker
- Training can be practiced and reinforced
- Photo and GPS updates
Dog Walker Disadvantages
- You are giving the dog walker access to your home. It’s important to do your research in order to choose a trustworthy company or individual.
- Higher cost per time (How much does a Toronto dog walker cost?)
- Your dog will be alone and unsupervised for most of the day
Dog Daycare Advantages
- Regular socialization can be highly enriching and help keep your dog balanced and healthy
- High energy; it’s the equivalent of an indoor dog park. You will definitely come home to a tired dog!
- Lower cost per time
- Constant supervision throughout the day
Dog Daycare Disadvantages
- Overstimulation and exhaustion are possible in some dogs, especially when used daily
- May aggravate anxiety in introverted dogs
- You must commit to dropping off and picking up your dog every day, or pay extra for pet taxi service
- Your dog may pick up bad manners from other dogs. It’s not easy to reinforce training in a group situation
Dog Daycare is a great option for those who…
- Have a high-energy dog who needs more daily exercise than they can get from walking
- Have a highly social dog who thrives in the presence of other dogs
- Have a dog with separation anxiety who can’t be left home alone
- Have a dog who is easily bored or destructive and requires a lot of stimulation
- Don’t want to give out a copy of their keys
- Have a budget of $150-200 per week (or $30-40 per day)
- Have time to drop off and pick up their dog from daycare, or an extra $50-60/week ($10-12 per day) to pay for the service
A dog walker is a great option for those who…
- Have a dog who is easily over-stimulated
- Have a dog who prefers to stay home
- Have a dog who doesn’t always get along with other dogs
- Have a dog who needs a set routine
- Have a dog who could benefit from practicing their training during the day
- Have a dog who has any kind of special needs that can’t be met in a daycare atmosphere
- Have a budget of $100-175 per week (or $20-35 per day)
Not sure? Why not both?
Some dog parents may try both options and decide on a happy medium: 2-3 days a week of dog daycare, interspersed with “quiet” days – when a dog walker will visit their pup at home. In fact, a number of PetsGo clients do just that. If you want the benefits of high-energy socialization, but you want to limit the risk of overstimulation and exhaustion, this might be the solution for you.