Are dog daycares safe? How can you tell?

A golden retriever sits looking at the camera while in a safe dog daycare group.

Not all dog daycares are created equal. And as a pet parent, it can be scary taking your pup to a new facility not knowing if their dog daycare is safe.

When looking for a safe dog daycare for your pup, remember these must-haves.

A safe dog daycare offers…

Supervised play.

Play groups should never be left unsupervised, and daycare staff should take extra care to avoid resource guarding situations. This means being careful with any treats or toys in the yard and getting to know each dog’s quirks prior to placing them in a group. At Petropolis, toys are off-limits to many of our play groups. Instead, we keep dogs enriched with games and unique play features.

Plenty of time to rest.

24-hour daycare sounds fun, but in reality, it can be exhausting. Like kids, dogs need plenty of time to rest throughout the day. If they’re not given private time to relax, they get grumpy and bored. Our daycare dogs get an hour-long break every day around lunchtime to unwind in private rooms. We’ve found that this is just the right amount of time for dogs to get a bite to eat, have a nap, and recharge before afternoon play.

Highly-trained staff.

Don’t trust your furry best friend with anyone. Make sure the daycare staff know how to manage groups of dogs. They should be trained in how to redirect rough play, break up fights, and recognize the signs of an anxious dog. And because even the safest dog daycare isn’t immune to accidents, someone in the facility should know canine first aid. 

Curated play groups.

Not all dogs play well together, especially if they’re different sizes. We divide our play groups based on size, age, play style, and energy level. This keeps everyone safe and happy, from our most rambunctious puppies to our more reserved older dogs. Random or very large groups of dogs are risky, so it’s best to divide play into these smaller, curated groups to keep dog daycare safe.

Climate-controlled environment.

Missouri’s weather is unpredictable year-round! Indoor dog daycares offer protection from the elements, but they’re often louder. Barking and echoing can stress dogs out, especially over long periods of time. Outdoor dog daycares are quieter, but they’re at the mercy of the weather. At Petropolis, we have covered play yards, heaters, and misting fans to keep dogs comfy in all kinds of weather.

Keep these things in mind and never be afraid to ask questions when looking for a safe dog daycare. Your pup will thank you!


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