Dog daycare vs. walker or sitter

Whether you ultimately go with doggie daycare or instead choose to hire dog walker or sitter depends on the needs of your pup and the quality of each option in your area. Either way, you’ll want to check references for any potential caretaker and ensure that he or she can respond to medical emergencies.

Daycare

While its mere existence may seem like an extravagance (or a marketing scheme aimed at people with way too much disposable income), doggie day care is actually a legitimate service. In some cases, it’s an absolute necessity, alleviating boredom and offering essential human and canine interaction for dogs who would otherwise spend long days alone. While not a substitute for the quality time your dog needs with you, day care goes a long way toward keeping your dog happy and out of trouble.

Walkers and sitters

Those who roll their eyes about your decision to put your dog in day care may be a little more understanding when you tell them you’re hiring a dog walker. No one can argue with the fact that dogs need exercise or–even more indisputable–that they need to pee. And a good walker offers more than just a walk and a bathroom break: She provides companionship, positive reinforcement, and a safe and rigorous workout. For a puppy or older dog, hiring someone to simply come over and pet, talk to, and see that your dog gets an outdoor break is well worth the investment.