Crate Training vs Doggy Daycare vs Dog Walker: Which is Right for My Pup?

Date: May 2, 2018
Lifestyle

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Crate training is vital for the overall training and comfort of a puppy. Regardless of which pet supply store, animal rescue or dog training center you talk to, each will tell you the same. 

That said, there are more services on the market today than ever before to help dog owners keep their dogs occupied, happy and healthy while they’re gone during the day. Doggy daycares are being opened by independent business owners, veterinarian offices and large stores such as Petsmart across the nation. Not to mention dog walkers are high in demand and are easier to find than ever before with apps such as Wag! from Wag Labs.

isabella-and-penelope-doggy-daycare-1.pngWith options like doggy daycare and dog walking, is crate training still as valuable?  Is doggy daycare or dog walking the right solution for your dog during the day?

Keep reading for the pros and cons of each, as well as a checklist to help you select the right doggy daycare for your pup if that is the option you choose. 

Crate Training

Regardless of if you decide to place your pup in doggy daycare or whether you choose to enlist a dog walker, it’s still essential for your dog to be able to be crated. 

If you decide to have a dog walker take your pup out once or twice while you’re gone, your pup will still need to be crated during the time in between.  And even if your pup does go to daycare, there are going to be the random days where daycare is closed or Fido isn’t feeling his best and needs to be crated. 

If your dog hasn’t been crate trained, being restrained in a crate or even enclosed in a small room can cause a lot of anxiety and stress your dog out while you’re gone. However, if Fido is crate trained, he’ll view the crate as a sanctuary; a place of safety and comfort while you’re gone. 

Having your dog view the crate as a good thing is essential for your dog being able to travel with you, and in becoming a good roommate and not destroying items in your home while you’re gone.

Upon adopting both Isabella and Penelope, I spent time crate training them. Now that Bella is older, she no longer stays in a crate when we’re not home (experts recommend keeping dogs crated until 3-years-old), but Penny does.

Working from home, the girls don’t have to be crated often during the day, but this was not always the case for Isabella. When I was working out of an office, she spent four hours in the crate in the morning and then another four hours after my lunch break until I could get home to her in the evenings. We made my lunch breaks count with time in the community dog park and long walks to tire her out. 

Penelope, on the other hand, has always lived the good life with me working from home. However, her crate training was still necessary, and she happily goes into the crate whenever I do have to leave them home alone.

If you’re having a hard time crate training, let me know in the comments below or shoot us a message on the contact page; I’d love to offer some tips and encouragement. 

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Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare - what a novel concept?! Doggy daycares have been exploding over the past few years and for a good reason. Typically attached to a boarding facility, doggy daycares work precisely as they sound. You drop your pup off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon.

Pricing for doggy daycare varies based on the facility, but most sell visits in ‘amount of day’ packages. Therefore, the cost of daycare depends on how often you plan on sending your pup. While it can get pricey if you are sending your dog to daycare every day (even with monthly and weekly packages), doggy daycare does have great socialization benefits, especially for younger dogs. 

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When I was working in the office full-time, I sent Isabella to doggy daycare twice a week. It was a benefit for both of us - she got to play outside all day and I got to work through lunch.  

If daycare is in your budget, it is an excellent experience for dogs. Isabella had tons of puppy friends at daycare; it was great for her socialization with other dogs, and it helped with her separation anxiety from me.  Although, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me a little sad to see her eager to go to daycare and leave me in the lobby when I dropped her off in the mornings!  #overbearingdogmom

If you’re shopping for the right doggy daycare, this infographic has all the things you should ask/keep in mind while visiting and talking with the caretakers. And if you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, I highly recommend One Lucky Pup Dog Daycare and Pet Paradise

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Dog Walkers

Enlisting a dog walker is an excellent solution if you’re looking for a way for your dog to get some exercise while you’re gone during the day, but your dog doesn’t play well with others or there isn’t a doggy daycare nearby.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely seen advertisements for Wag! by now. They’re all over the place!

wag-logo.pngWag! is an application allowing dog owners to connect with dog walkers in their area. With on-demand dog walks and recurring walk options available, Wag! is a great solution for those last minute lunch meetings or if you’re looking for someone to take your pup out daily. 

Here are a few things I really like about Wag!:

  • All dog walkers are thoroughly screened and tested on dog-handling experience to ensure they can handle your dog in a variety of situations. You can trust your pup is safe.
  • For recurring walks, you can have a standing appointment with the same dog walker, and you can meet them beforehand to ensure you and your dog are comfortable with the walker.
  • Each walk is individual to your dog(s). There is never any concern about your dog being walked with other peoples’ pups as well.
  • If your dog has special needs, they can be accommodated. 
  • The tracker within the app allows you to see exactly where your dog is on his walk the whole time. This enables you to check in and see where your pup is in his walk. 

If you’re looking for a dog walker, I highly recommend giving Wag! a try. You can sign-up here now and get your first walk free.

What Have Your Experiences Been with the Solutions Above?

Have questions about crate training, doggy daycare or finding a dog walker? Do you have feedback on the Wag! app? Have you had a great (or not so great) experience you’d like to share?

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below.