For some time, we have been aware of some dog walkers calling themselves a ‘dog day care’ so we felt it was important to point out the difference between what a true dog day care offers and what dog walkers do.
The two services are very different and we feel as consumers you should be aware of what those differences are:
DOG DAY CARE
Operate a controlled and regulated space to play in with no surprises. As the site is owned/leased and developed for the purpose of dog care, there are less risk factors for your dog with facilities designed specifically for the needs of group dog activities.
Dogs are exercised and entertained in a group, off lead in a 100% secure space. Completely enclosed from external dangers, with all entertainment, enrichment and exercising done onsite, in a licensed and insured enclosure.
Trained and qualified staff are on hand to provide enrichment, training and supervision throughout the whole day with dogs benefiting from socialisation with appropriate play groups for play style, age and energy level.
Dogs are under constant supervision, from the moment your dog arrives to the moment they depart.
Dogs are assessed for their suitability and are known personally by the whole team.
Day Care Facilities will have multiple members of staff, with a suitable staff-to-dog ratio.
Costs from £3 per hour.
Operates with external walks along coastal footpaths, fields, beaches and woodland.
Should be licensed with local authorities, walking legally no more than four dogs at any one time. *This is a government requirement and should not be ignored.
If a dog walker is taking your dog to their home it should have a license from the council to ensure it is fit for the purpose of dog care.
Dog walkers should be insured to provide their services to cover any and all eventualities.
Dogs are transported from your home/place of work by a vehicle. Dogs should be secured and separate from other dogs to reduce stress either in suitable containment or with a dog seat belt and or harness.
Mostly operates with a single member of staff.
Costs from £9 per hour.
*Dog walkers are running a business and profiting from dog owners. Multiple dogs being walked at one time increases the risks of injury and/or loss. Don’t forget legally dog walkers should only be walking 4 dogs at any one time.
Maybe what most dog walkers mean when they say run a day care is that there is a stop over at home before being dropped off, but a dog day care should always include a purpose built facility or 100% secure garden with appropriate fencing.
When researching your options for dog cares in your local area, always ensure you ask as many questions as possible and delve into how a walk is done, how many dogs are walked at a time, what happens in the event of an emergency and always ask to see their license.
Entrusting your dog into another person’s care takes trust on both sides. The dog walker should in turn ask you questions about your dog’s personality, behaviour and background, and be aware of any allergies or injuries your dog may have.