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

Are dog daycares safe? How can you tell?

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!

A chocolate lab puppy at dog daycare laying on a grey floor looking up at the camera.

Will my dog like dog daycare?

There’s no way to know for certain if your dog will like daycare. We do everything we can to keep dogs happy and comfortable during daycare. But for some dogs, it’s just not their thing!

Here are a few personality traits and behaviors that could be signs your dog will like daycare:

Even if your pup doesn’t exhibit these personality traits, they may still enjoy daycare. At Petropolis, we’ve met plenty of older, more subdued pups who love the extra attention and outdoor time that daycare provides.

If you suspect your pup may enjoy daycare, call to speak to one of our New Client Specialists. They’ll ask about your dog’s demeanor, their history, and their health to determine if daycare will be a good fit.

After they visit, how will I know if my dog liked daycare?

Every dog goes through the same evaluation process on their first day. This process helps us get to know them, but it also helps them adjust to the daycare environment. 

During your dog’s first day, you’ll receive a Pupdate from our Canine Evaluator with photos and notes. When you pick your dog up at the end of the day, the Canine Evaluator will discuss your pup’s experience and how they adjusted to daycare. 

We love all dogs, but we also understand that not all dogs love us. That’s why we communicate openly and honestly with pet parents and never force a dog into daycare if they’re uncomfortable.

And if your dog did love their first day, we’ll tell you! There’s nothing we love more than helping dogs adjust and learn to love daycare.

dog daycare cost

How much does dog daycare cost?

Dog Daycare Prices

The cost of dog daycare at Petropolis covers either a full or half day of supervised outdoor play in our one-of-a-kind play yards. A half day of play costs $32.95, and a full day costs $42.95. 

Full Day or Half Day?

This depends on what your dog needs! Many of our younger, more rambunctious pups are happy to play the entire day away. Then, by the time they go home, they’re ready to snuggle up on the couch for the night.

Many of our older pups, however, prefer to nap through the afternoon. For these dogs, we may suggest a half day or move your dog to a low-energy play group where they can chill out.

No matter which package your pup prefers, we believe in the importance of rest. Just like children, dogs need to take breaks. Taking a break halfway through the day prevents our daycare pups from becoming overstimulated or too tired.

Loyalty Perks

Our daycare regulars get access to extended hours, valet pick-up and drop-off, and discounted day rates! Ask about a 10, 20, or 30-day punch card to take advantage of these perks.

no breed restrictions

Why We Have NO Breed Restrictions

We at Petropolis are proud to have no breed restrictions for any of our services. 

We believe all dogs are good dogs. It’s our job as their owners and handlers to set them up for success. 

Why we don’t believe in breed restrictions

Many of the behaviors that can get a dog labeled as ‘aggressive’ at other facilities are actually fear responses. No dog is aggressive, but they can be reactive in the face of scary, unknown, or stressful situations.

Even so, no breed is inherently reactive. Dogs very rarely bite “out of the blue.” It’s our job to keep dogs out of uncomfortable situations and learn the warning signs of a stressed dog.

Luckily, our highly-trained staff can recognize the signs of a fight or a bite long before either occur. They constantly monitor our playgroups and step in if dogs start to play too rough. 

How we evaluate new dogs

We evaluate every single dog who walks through our door the same way, regardless of breed. Each dog spends their first day with our Canine Evaluators, who get to know them and help them adjust to our facility. 

Then, each dog is slowly introduced to the appropriate play group. We separate our groups based on size, energy level, and play style to keep everyone happy and having fun. We also offer one-on-one play options for dogs who’d prefer to spend time with our staff instead of other dogs.

If a dog is particularly reactive, we may suggest training, behavioral help, or just more time to adjust, but we will never turn a dog away based on breed alone. 


What’s Happening at Petropolis July 2019

Summer is in full swing, and we have so much going on! Here’s a taste of what we’ve been up to at Petropolis.

Ask the Trainer on July 18th

Does your dog bark constantly? Potty in the house sometimes? Struggle with separation anxiety? If you have questions, we have answers! Drop in anytime from 3 to 6 pm on July 18th to ask all your animal behavior questions. Dr. Jesse McClure, our resident dog expert, will be hanging around ready to help.

Dog Days of Summer Day Care Party

Starting today, we are officially in the Dog Days of Summer! This is the hottest part of the summer and also the time of year that the ancient Greeks associated with the “Dog Star” Sirius. What better way to celebrate than with a doggy day care party? Join us on Tuesday, July 30th, for our Dog Days of Summer Doggy Day Care Party. We’ll be splashing in Canine Cove, taking photos, and keeping cool. Plus, your pup will take home a photo from the party and a cookie from Treats Unleashed!

If your pup is new to doggy day care at Petropolis, give us a call at (636)537-2322 to schedule their FREE first day before the party!


What’s Happening at Petropolis June 2019

While the first day of summer is technically a few weeks away, it sure feels like it’s already begun here at Petropolis! We have dogs in Canine Cove nearly every day, the salon is busy with summer cuts, and lodging is already filling up for Independence Day. Keep reading for some more updates about what we’ve been up to and what you can expect later this month.

Welcome Dr. Jesse McClure, Our New Canine Behavior Manager

It seems like our training team is getting stronger every day! We’re so happy to welcome Dr. Jesse McClure to our team as our new canine expert. Jesse has over 15 years of dog training experience and a Ph.D. in neuroscience and behavior. He got his start training narcotic detection canines for the Coast Guard, and he and his dog Rebel even provided explosive detection support for the 2005 presidential inauguration.

Now, Jesse (and his dog Ramekin) are heading up our new behavior department aimed at helping pets with specific behavioral concerns including extreme cases of anxiety, fear, and aggression. We’re so excited to offer behavior modification in addition to our training programs, and we can’t wait to see what amazing work Jesse can do with our Petropolis Pups.

“The Paw-fice” Doggy Day Care Party

Our favorite TV show shouldn’t be reserved for people, so we’re bringing it to the pups! Join us on Tuesday, June 25thfor our “The Paw-fice” Doggy Day Care Party. For the price of a regular day of doggy day care, your pup will get a full day of fun with their “coworkers.” They’ll also get an office-themed treat from Treats Unleashed and a photo to take home. Plus, weather-permitting, they’ll get to spend the day splashing around in Canine Cove!

Is your pup new to doggy day care at Petropolis? Give us a call at (636)537-2322 to schedule their FREE first day before the party.

4th of July Lodging (and Safety) Reminder

We’re less than a month away from the biggest holiday of the summer! While the 4th of July is an exciting, fun holiday for humans, it can be scary and dangerous for our pets. The 4th is the absolute worst holiday in terms of pet loss. During backyard barbeques, there are plenty of opportunities for pets to escape out the door while guests come and go. Plus, fireworks and firecrackers trigger flight responses in many dogs. It’s important to plan for your pet’s safety and peace of mind.

That’s why we recommend boarding your pet whether or not you’re leaving town for Independence Day, especially if you plan on hosting. Large gatherings can be stressful for pets anyway, and the added danger of pet loss makes the 4th of July a perfect storm. Give our Reservation Specialists a call at (636)537-2322 and let them help you plan your pet’s lodging stay. And don’t worry – they won’t miss out on the 4th of July fun! Our dogs will spend the day splashing around in Canine Cove and playing with their furry friends. Plus, don’t forget to add a special holiday meal to your dog’s stay when you book; we’ll be serving watermelon, blueberries, and (of course) hot dogs!