Dog Walker or Doggy Daycare?

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Let’s face it, one of the challenges of having a dog is being able to provide them with all the attention and care they need. This is particularly true for those who work full-time day jobs or who must travel a lot.

If you are struggling to keep your dog entertained, you might need to outsource some of his care. Dog walkers and doggy daycare programs can offer your dog an outlet for his energy as well as some extra love and attention while you are stuck at the office during the day. Instead of coming home to a pup with cabin fever at the end of a long day, you’ll be able to relax knowing your dog had some social interaction while you were gone. Plus, you won’t have to feel bad if you’re too tired to take him on a lengthy jog!

With so many pet care options on the market these days, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which to opt for. In this article, we’re going to help you break down the pros and cons of dog walkers versus doggy daycare so you can decide what would work best for you and your dog.

What Fits into your Dog's Schedule?

Each dog has a different set of needs (as does each human) and they may change over time. Before you start trying to figure out which service will work best for your dog, think through what your current challenges are.

First, consider your dog:

  • Does your dog need a potty break in the middle of the day?
  • Is he highly active and full of uncapped energy?
  • Does your dog enjoy playing with other dogs?

Next, think about your own needs:

  • How much money can you allot to pet care each month?
  • Are you comfortable with someone entering your home to walk your dog when you aren’t home?
  • Do you need someone who can accommodate additional needs as they crop up? Like, caring for your dog when you’re out of town, or taking him to veterinary or grooming appointments?

Now that you’ve outlined what you and your dog need from a pet care service, you can begin to consider whether a doggy daycare or a dog walker would best meet them.

Dog Walker Pros and Cons

If you are looking for your dog to get his daily dose of exercise, but you don’t want them away for more than an hour or so, consider finding a dog walker. If all your dog needs is a potty break in the middle of the day, dog walkers may offer this service as well.

There can be a lot of perks to hiring a dog walker. For one thing, your dog may get a more personalized experience. Your dog has a chance to experience new environments while getting some exercise.  On top of that, dog walkers may often offer additional services like pet sitting so you can rest assured that your pup is in competent hands if you ever go out of town.

A potential downside to dog walkers is that you typically pay by the hour, which can really add up if you have a highly energetic dog. Opting for a dog walker who offers group walks can help, but generally speaking, rates for dog walkers may stay relative to the amount of attention your dog receives.

If you’re considering a dog walker, be sure to shop around or ask other pet parents in the neighborhood for reccomendations. Some dog walkers offer highly tailored service plans that can include anything from training to pet taxi services.

Pros and Cons of Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare is a very popular option for those who can’t spend enough time with their pups. This service is essentially the same as a child’s daycare, where your pet will receive attention and supervised playtime while you’re at work during the day.

Doggy daycare can be great for relieving your dog’s separation anxiety and boredom while you’re at work. It’s also a good way for your pup to be exposed to other dogs and learn how to play and socialize in a safe environment. Additionally, dropping your dog at daycare means that you don’t have to worry about anyone entering your house while you’re not there.

Usually, doggy daycares will conduct personality audits on dogs before they are enrolled to ensure that there won’t be any problems with aggression. The dogs are supervised at all times so that if any problems arise they can be resolved quickly. Some daycares offer additional services, like grooming, which means you can keep your dog’s coat maintained!

A downside to doggy daycare is that they are usually only open during regular working hours. If you happen to work an alternative schedule this type of program may not be an option for you. Another challenge with doggy daycare is that you will have to be able to drop your dog off and pick him up at the end of the day, which could add extra time to your daily commute if the location isn’t near your home or office.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of options out there to help your dog receive everything he needs to live a happy life!  Pet insurance may be one of them.  Consider getting a free quote below.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.