7 Questions to Ask Your Doggie Daycare

Puppies playingFinding the best dog daycare for your dog is an important task. If you’ve never looked for a dog daycare, the process can be a bit overwhelming. However, a little preparation can go a long ways in making the best decision. Start with these 7 questions to ensure you pick the best dog daycare for your furry friend. 

Questions to Ask Your Doggie Daycare

1. What is the staff-to-dog ratio?

Asking this question will let you understand not only the individualized attention available to your dog but also the overall safety of all dogs there.

You want to make sure your pup is receiving all the love possible while being in a safe and controlled environment at their daycare services. This can only happen when a facility is well-staffed.

For a facility with active dogs, like in doggie daycare, the Pet Care Services Association recommends a minimum of 1:15 ratio, meaning one active employee for every 15 dogs. In our experience, many facilities often have a lower ratio, like 1:10. Which is a good thing for your fur baby. The lower the ratio, the more staff available to ensure all dogs are having the time of their life and receiving exceptional care in a supervised environment.

2. How much play time vs. kennel time will the dog get in a day?

For most dog owners, the primary goal of dog daycares is for their furry friend to get as much play time and stimulation as their pup desires. While this is a great goal, we find it is important to understand exactly how much time your dog will have for open playing, whether outdoors or indoors.

While the allure of doggy daycares lies in the promise of boundless playtime and stimulation, understanding the importance of providing your dog with a solid play-to-rest time is important.

Avoiding Overstimulation:

 While playtime is essential for a dog’s happiness, too much stimulation without breaks can lead to overexcitement and potential stress. Dogs, like people, benefit from moments of calmness to balance their heightened energy levels during play. Structured rest periods help avoid overstimulation, fostering a positive and comfortable environment for your pup.

Regulating Energy Levels:

Dogs, especially those in group settings at daycares, can experience fluctuating energy levels. Adequate rest intervals act as a natural regulator, allowing dogs to recharge so that when it’s playtime, they can engage more enthusiastically and maintain a healthier balance between rest and activity

Monitoring and Comfort:

Understanding the daycare’s approach to rest is crucial. Some facilities follow a structured rotation, balancing indoor, outdoor, and kennel time. Others embrace a more flexible model, allowing dogs unlimited “free” time.

Regardless of the approach, it’s vital to know how the facility monitors and ensures the comfort of dogs during rest periods. This insight provides assurance that your pup’s downtime is as enriching as their playtime.

Comprehensive Care:

Beyond playtime, inquire about the daycare’s approach to feeding schedules, treat time, and other daily routines. A well-rounded understanding of your pup’s entire day ensures that their physical and emotional needs are met.

Facilities that offer webcams, like K-9 Castle, provide an extra layer of transparency, allowing you to witness your dog’s activities and rest periods in real-time.

Dogs playing with a ball3. What pet medical certifications and training do staff members have?

This is one of those questions we hope will never have to come into use, but with dogs at play, things do occasionally happen. Before selecting dog daycare services, be sure to ask about the training and certifications of staff members.

Reputable facilities should provide pet first aid training for their staff. Many often even have a certified vet tech on site or close relationships with a nearby veterinarian in case of an emergency. 

First Aid Expertise:

 Inquire about the staff’s proficiency in pet first aid. Reputable dog daycares prioritize the safety of their canine guests by ensuring that their team members undergo comprehensive pet first aid training. This includes knowledge on how to respond promptly and effectively to any injuries or health concerns that may arise during playtime.

Emergency Preparedness Protocols: 

Understanding the daycare’s emergency preparedness protocols is essential. Inquire about the steps they have in place for handling medical emergencies, including evacuation procedures if necessary. Well-prepared facilities have clear guidelines and regularly conduct drills to ensure that staff members are proficient in executing swift and effective responses to varying emergency scenarios.

Ongoing Training and Professional Development:

 A commitment to ongoing training and professional development showcases a daycare’s dedication to staying abreast of the latest advancements in pet care. Inquire about the staff’s participation in continuing education programs, workshops, or certifications that enhance their skills and knowledge, ensuring that they provide the highest standard of care for the dogs entrusted to them.

4. What are the criteria for a dog to be accepted to doggie daycare?

Each dog daycare facility may vary in their requirements for accepting new dogs. Make sure you are familiar with their process and any criteria required. Remember, any pre-visit consultation or temperament checks are for the safety of your pet and others.

Choosing the right dog daycare involves understanding the unique admission criteria set by each facility. This pivotal aspect ensures a tailored and safe experience for your pet.

Temperament Check:

Appreciate that the pre-visit consultation and temperament checks are not just formalities but integral components ensuring the safety of your pet and others. These measures allow the daycare to assess your dog’s compatibility with the environment, helping create a harmonious atmosphere for all attending pups.

Up-to-Date Vaccine Records:

Inquire about the facility’s vaccination requirements. Reputable dog daycares prioritize the health of all attending dogs by enforcing up-to-date vaccine protocols. This not only safeguards your pet against preventable diseases but also ensures a collective commitment to the well-being of the entire daycare community.

Spay/Neuter and Age Policies:

Many dog daycares have policies related to spaying/neutering and minimum age requirements. Clarify these details during your inquiry. Understanding these policies ensures that your dog is in an environment that aligns with their age-appropriate needs and contributes to a safer and more predictable social atmosphere.

5. What facilities and amenities are available during doggie daycare?

Before you decide on a dog daycare, be sure to visit the facility and ask to see the different amenities. Some doggie daycares, like K-9 Castle in Denver, provide multiple play areas inside and outside and even offer water features for the pups to play in. Some offer different play areas depending on the size or temperament of the dog. Look for facilities that also offer climate-controlled indoor spaces and covered outdoor spaces because sometimes the weather just isn’t great for playing. 

Ample Play Spaces:

During your visit, observe the play areas available for the dogs. Top-notch dog daycares, such as K-9 Castle in Denver, often boast multiple play zones both indoors and outdoors. These varied spaces cater to different play styles and allow for a dynamic and engaging experience for dogs of all temperaments and sizes.

Water Features for Playful Pups:

Some exceptional facilities go the extra mile by incorporating water features into their play areas. Water play can be especially enjoyable for dogs, offering not only physical activity but also a refreshing and entertaining experience. Inquire about any aquatic elements, ensuring your pup has the opportunity to splash and play in a controlled and supervised setting.

Tailored Play Areas:

Recognize the importance of tailored play areas based on the size and temperament of the dogs. Facilities that provide different play zones catering to various needs showcase a commitment to personalized care. This ensures that your dog is placed in an environment where they feel comfortable and can socialize with companions of similar energy levels.

Climate-Controlled Comfort:

Weather conditions can vary, and a daycare that considers this aspect provides climate-controlled indoor spaces. This ensures that your dog can enjoy playtime regardless of external weather factors, be it scorching heat or chilly days. The availability of comfortable indoor spaces contributes to a consistent and enjoyable experience for your pet.

Covered Outdoor Spaces:

In addition to climate control indoors, inquire about covered outdoor spaces. These areas offer a compromise for days when the weather is not ideal for extended outdoor play. Covered spaces provide protection from rain or excessive sunlight, allowing your pup to enjoy the fresh air while staying comfortable and safe.

Safety Measures and Supervision:

While exploring amenities, pay attention to safety measures and the level of supervision provided. A well-maintained and secure environment, coupled with attentive staff, ensures that your dog can explore and play with confidence, minimizing potential risks during their daycare experience.

Dogs playing6. What additional services are available?

Some dog daycares are simply dog daycares, and that’s great. But it’s helpful to know what other services are available for your pup. After all, if your pet loves his doggy daycare, it may make it much easier to have a one-stop place for all your pet needs. Many dog daycares also offer grooming, basic vet care, and boarding services. Some offer extra features with spa days, pet massages, and doggie baths. This can make your dog daycare the hub for all of your pet’s basic needs.

Grooming Services:

Some dog daycares extend their offerings beyond playtime by providing grooming services. These services can range from basic grooming needs like baths and nail trims to more specialized treatments. Opting for a daycare with grooming services ensures that your pet stays clean, comfortable, and well cared for during their stay – not to mention going home with a big smile after good grooming.

Basic Vet Care:

Inquire about any basic veterinary care services offered at the daycare. This may include routine health checks, administering medications, or addressing minor health concerns. A daycare that prioritizes basic vet care contributes to the overall well-being of your pet, ensuring their health is monitored and maintained. Grooming AND a check-up? Count us in.

Boarding Services:

Many dog daycares also offer daycare and boarding services, providing a convenient solution for pet owners who require overnight care. Understanding the boarding facilities and procedures ensures a seamless transition for your pet between their daycare routine and extended stays.

Spa Days, Massages, and Baths:

Elevate your pet’s experience by choosing a daycare that offers spa-like services. These can include spa days, relaxing massages, and indulgent baths. Beyond meeting basic needs, these additional services contribute to your pet’s mental and physical relaxation, making their time at daycare a truly pampered experience.

7. Can you provide references from current customers?

There’s just no substitute for a recommendation from an actual customer. If you don’t know anyone who uses the dog daycare, don’t be shy about asking the dog daycare for contact information from some customers. Those clients will be able to provide you with the best insight into the advantages and potential drawbacks of the doggy daycare.

Real-Life Experiences:

Client testimonials offer a glimpse into the real-life experiences of pet owners who have entrusted their furry companions to the daycare. These firsthand accounts provide valuable insights into the day-to-day operations, the quality of care, and the overall environment your dog will be exposed to.

Gauge Customer Satisfaction:

By conversing with current customers, you can gauge the level of satisfaction they have with the daycare’s services. Positive feedback regarding staff interactions, the facility’s cleanliness, and the overall well-being of their pets serves as a strong endorsement of the daycare’s commitment to excellence.

Insights into Potential Drawbacks:

Clients who have experienced the daycare firsthand can provide insights into any challenges or drawbacks they may have encountered. This information equips you with a holistic understanding, allowing you to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that aligns with your pet’s specific needs and expectations.

Final ThoughtsDenver Dog Daycare - Royalty of the Month October - Lona


Asking the right questions before selecting a dog daycare can save time and ensure your pup is at the best facility for them. Choosing a doggy daycare that is not only affordable and convenient, but provides top amenities and prioritizes safety will allow you to rest assured knowing your pup is having a great time while you are away. If you are interested  Denver dog daycare at K-9 Castle, click the link for more information or call 303-237-4901.