Differences Between Pet Boarding and Daycare

Pet boarding and daycare are two options available if you need someone else to care for your pets for awhile. Although they offer similar services, they’re not the same. Keep the following in mind in order to understand the differences between daycare and boarding.


Who Needs Daycare?

Pet owners who are gone during the day while working usually use pet daycare services. These services give their dogs something to do instead of lying around at home all day or getting into trouble. Those who work from home can also use pet daycare if they want their pets to get some playtime and socialization. This provides pet owners with some peace and quiet while they work or run errands. Pet owners drop their pets off in the morning, then pick them up after work.

Who Needs Boarding?

Pet owners who are going away on vacation or business trips use pet boarding services while they’re away. These services provide pets with a place to stay and people to look after them around the clock until their owners come back. Pet owners drop their pets off on or before the day they’re leaving, then pick them up when they get back from their trip.


Daycare Services

Pet boarding and daycare services differ in some ways, although some of these services are the same. For example, dogs that are in daycare and dogs that are boarding, both have playtime with other dogs, as well as time to rest in the afternoon. At DoGone Fun, dogs who are in daycare spend hours playing. Pet owners can also arrange for daily indulgences for their dogs, such as biscuits at nap time, frozen yogurt treats, Kong stuffed with goodies at nap time, a 15-minute walk outside, and a freshen-up service with dry shampoo. Pet owners can also pay for additional grooming services during daycare, or have their dogs take training classes.

dogs at daycare

Boarding Services

Boarding services for pets include playtime in a safe, enclosed area with other dogs and an afternoon nap. Several other services are available upon request at DoGone Fun. These services usually cost a small fee in addition to regular boarding rates. Some of the services that pet owners can choose for their dogs include gourmet biscuits at bedtime, a Kong stuffed with treats at bedtime, a 15-minute walk outside, extra comfy beds and one-on-one cuddle time at night. Other boarding services include administering medications, home cooked Sunday brunch and home cooked holiday dinners.


Benefits of Dog Daycare Services

Pet boarding and daycare each offer important benefits that pet owners should keep in mind. Dog daycare services give dogs a chance to interact with other dogs and people instead of being left at home on their own for much of the day. This provides dogs with extra stimulation, which helps prevent boredom. When dogs are bored at home, some develop destructive behaviors, such as chewing, barking or eliminating indoors. Having them in a different environment and around other dogs keeps their minds occupied. Pet daycare also gives dogs an opportunity to stay physically active, which helps reduce the risk of obesity and related health problems.


The benefits of dog daycare aren’t just for dogs. Pet owners also benefit from daycare by knowing that their dogs are getting plenty of attention while they’re at work rather than lying around all day with no one around. They can also depend on having happy yet tired dogs to pick up at the end of the day. With all of the running around dogs do at daycare, they’re bound to sleep well at night and not become restless at home.


Benefits of Dog Boarding Services

Dog boarding services also offer a great way to keep dogs from getting bored and lonely. Dog boarding that includes playtime gives dogs something to do instead of lying in a kennel for most of the day. During their stay, dogs have hours of time to spend playing with other dogs. This lets them get enough exercise each day and helps them relieve any stress they might be experiencing from being away from home.


When pet owners have to travel and can’t bring their pets, leaving them at home isn’t always an option. Bringing them to a pet boarding and daycare facility means that they have somewhere to stay and staff members around to look after them. This can help pet owners feel more comfortable being away from their pets. Dog boarding also provides a good alternative for those who don’t want to have a pet sitter come to their home each day while they’re gone. With pet boarding, they don’t have to give a key to their home to someone they don’t know well, and they don’t have to worry about the pet sitter not showing up to care for their pets. Staff members at boarding facilities watch over and care for dogs during their stay.

boarding dog

Pet Boarding and Daycare Rates

Pet boarding and daycare differ when it comes to rates as well. While individual rates vary from one facility to the next, boarding usually costs less per night than daycare costs per day. Keep in mind that pet owners usually don’t board their dogs often, while daycare is normally a regular, ongoing service. Daycare rates cover the expenses involved in maintaining a clean and safe play area for dogs to roam around in. They also cover the cost of conducting assessments for each dog and ensuring that knowledgeable and skilled staff members are around to keep an eye on dogs as they play. Pet owners can usually find special discounted rates available when they board more than one dog or sign their dogs up for other daycare services.


Requirements for Dog Daycare

Dog daycare facilities typically have certain requirements for pets. At DoGone Fun, daycare requirements include passing a temperament assessment, being spayed or neutered, having a valid dog license, and being current on vaccinations. The temperament assessment determines if dogs can safely participate in playtime with other dogs. Those who show any signs of aggression are usually not allowed to participate. Pet owners bring their dogs to our pet boarding and daycare facility to meet with one of our staff members and have a gradual introduction to our play groups.


For the other requirements, pet owners just need to show proof. We require owners to show that their dogs are current on distemper, rabies, parvovirus and bordetella or kennel cough vaccines. Pet owners also need to show evidence that their pets have had a negative fecal exam for parasites within the past 12 months, and have a valid city dog license for Chicago residents. Pet owners must also show paperwork that proves that their pets have been spayed or neutered. We require this for all dogs who are over six months old.


Requirements for Pet Boarding

The requirements for pet boarding and daycare are the same in general. At DoGone Fun, we’re required to have vaccine, license and parasite information under city and state laws. In addition, we ask pet owners to provide us with their dog’s microchip number. This is done just in case dogs get loose while they’re boarding. Our boarding requirements also include being spayed or neutered for dogs over six months of age and undergoing a temperament assessment for pet owners who want their dogs to participate in playtime during their stay.


What to Expect from Dog Daycare

When dogs come in for daycare, they’re typically dropped off in the morning and picked up later on in the day. Some dogs only come in for half a day, while others come in for a full day. Dogs spend their mornings and part of the afternoon playing with other dogs. Some dogs also attend short training classes during the day to help them learn basic commands and good behavior. During the afternoon, dogs have time to take a nap and recover their energy before playing again. Some dogs get a bath or other grooming services during this time. Dogs have breakfast, lunch or dinner if their pet owners request it.


What to Expect from Pet Boarding

Pet boarding and dog daycare have some of the same schedule during the day. Dogs who are boarding, and those who are in daycare, play together in the same play area. Dogs who are boarding have breakfast in the morning, then head to the play area for some fun and excitement. Those who have lunch typically eat it around noon, then have a nap in the afternoon. Boarding dogs are sometimes groomed or bathed in the afternoon as well if their owners have arranged for these services. Dogs who board have dinner between 5pm and 6pm before settling down for the night with a comfortable blanket. Some dogs enjoy a treat or Kong with goodies in it at bedtime, or some one-on-one cuddle time with a staff member.


Although pet boarding and daycare share some similarities, there are also basic differences between them that pet owners should understand. Signing dogs up for daycare isn’t the same thing as signing them up for boarding. Pet owners who need to give their dogs a place to stay around the clock need boarding services, while those who only need their dogs to spend part or all of the day away from home need dog daycare services.