Dog Sitting vs. Dog Daycare: What Should You Choose?
Should you choose dog sitting or dog daycare when leaving your pup behind? We look at the pros and cons of both…
Are you planning to leave your dog for several hours while out of the house? Whether a recurring theme or a one-off scenario, we know that life commitments can get in the way of looking after our pets. Circumstances like work or parties mean we often need to say goodbye to our dogs for some time, as hard as it may be. With that said, dogs require company, a good supply of food and water, and time outside for fresh air or to go potty.
Owning a dog is a big commitment, but it shouldn’t mean you need to put your life on hold. Your dog can still get all the care and attention it needs while you are away. There are several benefits to having another person look after your pet when you cannot, including combating loneliness, preventing destructive behaviours and avoiding separation anxiety.
You have many choices when deciding who to leave your dog with, such as booking a dog sitter or doggy day care. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which we will look at in this blog post.
Dog sitting, which can also be known as dog minding, is typically an individual who visits your house and takes care of your dog while you’re out and about. Dog sitters may also allow you to drop the dog off at their own home, but this is usually referred to as a separate service called dog home boarding. One of the clear benefits of hiring a dog sitter is that your dog is looked after in a familiar setting. The dog will already be accustomed to your house and feel at ease, with the only notable difference being a new person minding them. However, you have to be wary of the dog’s reaction to strangers in their home and whether they will exhibit any protective behaviours.
With a dog sitter, your dog will receive one-on-one care instead of the minder’s attention being diverted by multiple canines. Your dog’s care will be specific to their individual requirements. You can provide the sitter with instructions, such as their favourite treats or playtime activity. Your dog can build a relationship with the person, and you will have a direct contact should you want an update on how things are going or if there is an emergency. A dog sitter can even act as a house sitter, keeping the house secure and attending to tasks like accepting deliveries.
One of the biggest problems you may face with dog sitting is finding someone to trust. This is no easy feat when you seek a person you don’t know. You will often have to use dog sitting apps to find a dog sitter to mind your pooch, and you will need to rely on reviews to make an informed decision. It’s not just about trusting them with your pet, but also trusting them with your houses when you’re not there. The cost to book a dog sitter can also be relatively high, much more expensive than that of daycare, as you will be paying for a personal service.
Day care is a service where your dog goes to a specialist centre where they will be looked after alongside other pups. It guarantees a significantly different and more positive experience than a kennel, as dogs are free to roam at their leisure without being locked up in a cage. Doggy daycare centres are built to be lively, attractive and spacious environments offering the perfect space for dogs to have fun, exercise, socialise and relax. A critical advantage of day care is that it helps dogs to improve their socialisation skills. Compared to the solo experience of dog sitting, daycare encourages pups to meet other pooches and make new friends. Centres can build groups based on similar personalities, and with high retention rates, your pet is likely to see the same group of friends each week. Like us humans, dogs are social creatures, so a social dog is a happy dog!
A common concern of leaving a dog behind is that it can cause separation anxiety when they are apart from their owners. Symptoms include urinating or defecating, barking or howling, destroying objects, digging, regular pacing, or trying to escape. Daycare can do wonders in helping to avoid separation anxiety and boosting a dog’s confidence. Day care businesses are often creative businesses that like to keep owners informed, so you can expect to benefit from goofy and adorable pictures of your pooch on social media, or you may even receive a report card of their progress. With a spacious environment and tons of friends to play with, your dog will burn off lots of energy, keeping them healthy and improving their mental well-being. Day care is an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality for cost.
Doggy daycare may not be the best solution for every dog, so some centres will offer a trial session. Trials can be a great way to ease your dog into the experience and see whether it’s right for them or not. For most pooches, day care can be an incredible service in helping them come of out their shell and make positive strides in being a better dog to be around, for both other animals and humans. While your dog won’t receive as much one-on-one care as with a dog sitter, this doesn’t mean they won’t receive love and attention. Staff are animal lovers who go above and beyond when engaging with dogs. They will keep an eye on the pooches to ensure everyone is safe and behaving themselves and will make enough time for each pet.
Which Is Best?
So, which is best for you? At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Of course, we would have to go with doggy day care! As a centre specialising in this service, we’ve seen the very best that daycare can offer. However, both have pros and cons, and we hope that this guide has helped expand your knowledge of the two. Ultimately, dog sitting may be helpful if you want a one-on-one service and to benefit from house sitting or if your pet struggles with other dogs. On the other hand, daycare is often much cheaper and provides a ton of benefits, mainly your dog hanging out with others, which offers so much in terms of improving their socialisation skills and confidence.
Book a Session at Our Day Care
If you want to try doggy daycare, we would be more than happy to welcome your pup as one of our visitors. We are open Monday to Friday between 7 am and 6 pm. Our day care service starts at £12 for up to 3 hours or a full day for £25, with discounts available for multiple dogs and block bookings. We can also offer you a free trial session so you can decide whether daycare is right for your pooch. Contact us on 0151 427 2760 to book an appointment.