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How Much Is Daycare for My Dog in the UK?

by Irene Hislop

04 June 2020

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With the world slowly, carefully reopening, many dog owners are aware that their canine companions have gotten quite used to having them home all day. The return to work and school will be a shock for our pets, especially those pets who joined families during the lockdown period. Dog owners can make the transition much easier for their fur babies, and one way to keep your dog entertained during the day while you are away is to use the services of a reputable doggy daycare provider near you. For new dog owners, this can unleash a lot of questions – pun intended! What is dog daycare like? How much is daycare for my dog? How can I find a good, safe doggy daycare near me? Will my dog enjoy daycare? How can I prepare my dog to start going to daycare?

What Is Included in the Price of Doggy Daycare?

When you ask ‘how much is daycare for my dog?’, you need answers that explain what is included in the cost. Prices might vary, and it is likely to be because the services available also vary. Here are some further questions to ask about the cost of doggy daycare.

  • Does the price include a walk for your dog? How long is the walk? How many dogs does each staffer take at one time? Where do they go for walks?
  • What is the ratio of dogs to staff members in the centre?
  • Do the dogs get treats throughout the day? What treats are given?
  • Are there any discounts available for paying by the week or month instead of by the day?
  • Does the price include collection and drop off?
  • What are the normal hours? What is the fee if I need to leave my dog earlier or later than normal hours?
  • What activities does the doggy daycare offer? Is there a pool? Toys? What do the dogs do all day?
  • What are the facilities like? It is important to visit the doggy daycare centre so you can see everything yourself, but initially you can ask to make sure it is worth your time to visit. If you have a very active German Shepherd or Border Collie, they would be happier in a facility with securely fenced fields to play in than they would in an indoor centre.

Getting these details up front helps you compare like with like so the prices make sense. Dog daycares sometimes charge other fees, so it is important when you are asking how much dog daycare costs to ask if there are any additional costs beyond the price per day or week. Many dog daycare centres in the UK charge a registration fee, for example.

Location, Location, Location

Location also influences the cost of dog daycare. A place in London is likely to be more expensive than a place in a small northern town. Even within the same region, costs will be different in different neighbourhoods due to differences in the local property prices and rents.

Another factor is the cost (in fuel and time) of getting to and from the dog daycare facility. Don’t make the mistake of spending more to get to a place because it costs less. One option some facilities offer is a collection and drop off service where they transport your dog to and from daycare.

You can also avoid the whole issue of travel to and from the doggy daycare by opting instead for a visit from a professional dog walker. This gives your pet exercise and company during the day when you are not home without the hassle of getting to and from a daycare. The downsides are it is often much less time than your dog would have in a centre and less opportunity to just play with other dogs.

Finding a Good Dog Daycare in the UK

Your dog can’t tell you what happens during the day, so it is critical that you can trust the daycare centre you choose. Price is only one factor to research. Of course, recommendations and word of mouth referrals are extremely helpful, but knowing the questions to ask is also important. When deciding if a particular place is safe, reputable and a good match for your dog, asking these questions can get the details you need.

  • What qualifications do staff have? How are they vetted? What is their minimal staff to dog ratio?
  • What do they do if a dog becomes sick or injured at their facility?
  • Do they have separate areas for puppies and seniors? Do they separate dogs based on size or temperament?
  • Do they provide food or treats? If so, what do they provide? How do they manage conflict between dogs over food?
  • Do they require proof that dogs are vaccinated? Do they accept dogs that are not neutered?
  • Do they offer any other services such as grooming, obedience training or boarding?
  • Is the facility insured? What does the insurance cover? Does it cover dogs being walked in public areas?

Visiting a facility in person, seeing where your dog would be and meeting the people who would care for your fur baby is the last step in choosing the right dog daycare.

Do Dogs Need Daycare?

Daycare benefits some dogs more than others. Young, energetic, social dogs who love to play get great benefit from spending their days with some doggy friends. It’s a much better way to burn up their energy than chewing up the sofa or digging up the garden! It can also ensure that your dog behaves well on walks because they will be used to meeting other dogs. They are unlikely to get over excited or to feel threatened. Daycare can also be important for senior dogs or those with a medical condition. It means someone has an eye on them or can give them medication during the day. Older dogs can find it harder to hold their bladder until you are home to let them out.

Low energy middle aged dogs will certainly enjoy doggy daycare if they are social individuals, but many are content to snooze at home while you are at work – assuming you aren’t working long hours. Many daycares offer half days or packages where your dog can attend a couple of days a week. Dog daycare can give owners priceless peace of mind.

But how much is daycare for my dog, you might be wondering. In the UK, you can expect to pay around £20 to £30 for a full day, depending on your location and facilities on offer. The only way to get a more specific answer is to contact the dog daycares in your area.

Irene Hislop

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