How Doggy Daycare Saved My Dog (And Me!) From Going Insane

I don’t think dogs know how to tell time, at least not on a clock. But I swear Piper always knows when it’s “daycare day” (and of course when it’s dinner time!). Every Tuesday and Thursday, unless an act of God stops me, I take Piper to doggy daycare.

How Doggy Daycare Saved My Dog (And Me!) From Going Insane

In case you aren’t aware, doggy daycare is exactly what it sounds like. It is literally a day care facility for dogs. Crazy, I know. If you have ever boarded your dog while you were away, it’s exactly the same thing except I pick her up at the end of the day. She gets to play and socialize all day and I can actually get some work done. And I also don’t have to worry about if she is destroying anything in my house while I’m away, LOL. I am a major worrier and I care for my dog like I would a child. So being able to take her somewhere where I know she will be taken care of while I am at work, and come home exhausted, is a huge relief for me.

Some people might say that I’m crazy for spending money on such a thing and that I spoil my dog, but my life before I discovered daycare was, to say the least, stressful. When I got Piper she was about 9 months old (read more about her story here) and she was as wild as they come.

Less than a day into bringing her home, while taking her on a walk she was able to wiggle her way out of her collar and I had to chase after her. I’m embarrassed to say how much I cried that night. I just didn’t think I could handle the responsibility of having a dog. She was always hyper and I could never get her to settle down. But I was determined to make it work. I wasn’t going to be one of those people who took their dog back to the shelter because they were “too much to handle.”  But I used to dread coming home from work. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see her, of course. I could only imagine what she had gotten herself into while I was away. No to mention what she would act like when I walked through that door.

I had heard about doggy daycare before but I just wasn’t sure if it was necessary or if it was worth the money. I did some research on some places near me and about what to expect. Eventually, I took the plunge and signed her up for an evaluation at a place recommended to me by a co-worker.

One day. I couldn’t believe the difference.

That first day after I picked her up, poor thing couldn’t even keep her eyes open on the car ride home. One day. I was in shock. I cried again, but happy tears this time! Finally, after getting into a routine of daycare twice a week and visiting the dog park every other day her energy started to level out. Before, I just couldn’t keep up with her. Even with taking her on regular walks, it just wasn’t enough. Now, Piper is a different dog.

It’s important that you know how to choose the right daycare for your pooch. Do some research on the facilities in your area. You might, like me, have to go a little further than you want to find the right one. Tour the facility if you can. This is always a good tell-tale sign that they are honest, open people. You want to see where your beloved pet will be spending their time, obviously. How often do they allow the dogs potty breaks? How much play time do they get? Ask questions. It’s important to know how your dog will be taken care of.

The daycare I take Piper to, Ultimate Pet Lodge in Lyman, SC is about 25 minutes away but it is worth every mile. There are closer ones but I’m just in love with Ultimate. The people there are so friendly and helpful and I know they take care of Piper while she is there. There are also cameras in the play areas which mean I can go on their website at any time and check in to see how she is doing. I love to see her chasing and wrestling with the other dogs. Ultimate also offers full grooming services as well as boarding. I wish they did referrals because I think I have recommended them to almost every one of my dog park friends and several of them have actually started going!

Pricing for daycare can vary from place to place. I buy a “package” from mine so I get a huge (like crazy huge) discount because of how many days in advance I purchase. And when I run out of days I just buy a new package! The days don’t expire and all I have to do is call the night before and let them know we are coming. Since I bring Piper on the same days every week they just put us on a schedule and I get a text every Monday and Wednesday night confirming her play day!

Now, let me also say that doggy daycare is not for every dog. Some dogs just do not get along with other dogs, and that’s okay! If this is your dog, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of other activities that you can do with Fido that can help release some of that pent up energy. Agility classes are great for dogs that require a little more mental stimulation.

By taking her to doggy daycare just those two days a week I can come home from a busy day at work and actually relax while she sleeps soundly for the rest of the night. I’m not kidding. It’s all she can do to eat her dinner and just plop down on a cool spot in the house and snooze. I take her doggy dream whimpers as her way of saying thanks.

Do you take your dog to daycare? If so, what do you love about it?

60 Comments

  1. Lawrence

    July 8, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I always love to know about people caring too much for their pet. Two Thumbs Up to you and Doggy Day Care.

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you so much!

  2. Katie

    July 8, 2017 at 8:18 am

    I grew up having dogs, and as much as I love them, they are a handful and need alot of time and energy! I think it is weird that people find is less odd to put a child in daycare than they do a dog! Just because you can’t do it alone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a dog – providing daycare gives you both a better life… what is so bad about that?! We have lots of dog walkers around here and even people who borrow dogs from their owners for part of the week because they cant have their own but would like one! Whatever works for you 🙂

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Oh absolutely, people tell me all the time I’m crazy for spoiling my dog so much but I just can’t help it! I love her and want her to have the best life I can give her!

  3. Cindy's Travel Diaries

    July 8, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Cheers to your doggy daycare 😀

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Cheers! 🙂

  4. Natasha

    July 8, 2017 at 9:03 am

    It is great that the people there are so helpful. Makes it much more fun and worth it

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      Absolutely, it’s one the reasons I love this place so much! Thanks for the comment!

  5. Jenni Petrey

    July 8, 2017 at 9:24 am

    It sounds like a great idea. We have a dog but she gets enough exercise from running around with my kids!

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:45 pm

      That’s always a good option too, lol! I don’t have kids or a yard for her to play in so this is the next best thing!

  6. rrosyna

    July 8, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Loved reading it .I love my dog too so I could era late.

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Awesome! Thank you!

  7. Thomas Sanderson

    July 8, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    After reading this I might have to send my dog to doggy day care. Funny and interesting, really liked this one.

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      You should consider it! I absolutely love it and I know Piper does too!

  8. Nicole

    July 8, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I love doggy daycare! Jeter was my first baby and daycare was definitely a saving grace. He is now a six and a half year old lab who still has the energy of a six and a half month old; no way I could expend that energy effectively on my own. The exercise he got from daycare is priceless and I love seeing how excited he is to go to daycare. Love hearing stories about other people loving furbabies as much as i do.

  9. Hazel Evangelista

    July 8, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I knew of Dog Daycare’s existence before and I really think that aside from getting work done while the dog is there, it helps them being around other dogs. I really love reading how people takes care of their pets! 🙂

    1. Augusta

      July 8, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      Oh yeah it’s great for socialization!

  10. angie

    July 8, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    our pets are often family members and when we are busy they need cared for. There is I believe one place that will watch dogs as you take vacation but no center for day care . I believ there is a need for this and so glad you found one
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    1. Augusta

      July 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      I’m so glad that I did too! And I definitely will!

  11. Amy

    July 8, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I wish my dogs were social enough to go to daycare. It sounds like you had an amazing experience!

    1. Augusta

      July 9, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Some dogs aren’t, and that’s okay too!

  12. Patricia

    July 8, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    The Ultimate Doggy Daycare Place sounds awesome and compassionate to your dog! I am glad for you. Personally, I don’t (and can’t) own a pet, though I would LOVE to someday. Dogs are awesome. I <3 them! 🙂

    1. Augusta

      July 9, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you! Yes, they are definitely man (and woman!)’s best friend!

  13. Sandy Dobbs

    July 9, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I wish more people would take advantage of doggy daycare. Helps meet the needs of your pet when you are busy!

    1. Augusta

      July 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      It really does! Thanks for the comment!

  14. Rachel Lowe | A Life With A Little

    July 9, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    This is great! I haven’t done a doggy day care for my dog (a Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Dobby the House Corgi) because we couldn’t afford it even if we wanted to do it. But he’s a very low energy kind of pup, so he enjoys being able to just relax at home with me. Thankfully I’ve been able to be home most days since I had my son (a year ago), which is good and bad for Dobby simply because he’s had to get used to having a baby around in the house!

    Also, seriously, what is it about dogs that they know when it’s dinner time? My husband only has to walk in the door after work and Dobby is on him, barking, herding, nudging him toward the kitchen to be fed! Dogs are too smart for their own goods sometimes!

    1. Augusta

      July 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      That’s good that he is just as happy lounging around all day! I wish Piper was, lol! And yes! As soon as I walk in the door she knows.

  15. Marissa | Diytified

    July 9, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve taken our dog, Sonny, to a Doggy daycare while we were away on vacation. To be honest, I wish we would have done more research before hand. We chose a larger company because that’s what came up on Google. I wish we could have found a more local, intimate place for him.

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Yes, that is one of the key things about daycare (and boarding) – finding a place that is right for you. There is a chain here in my area but I purposely did not choose them for that reason. I love Ultimate because it is a family business and I know that they genuinely care about my dog. Thanks for the comment!

  16. Ophalyn Lee

    July 10, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Awwww… dogs are really like our kids. And they have day care? how cool is that! Btw.. the photo is stunning. Hope one day will be able to buy a pomski! Theyre so cute:)
    xoxo
    mamalounj.com

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

      OMG Pompskis are so adorable! I’m partial to any husky-mix I can find 🙂

  17. SC

    July 10, 2017 at 12:28 am

    My dog goes to daycare too! It’s so helpful for her because she’s a very social dog and went from a home with two other dogs to being on her own. Daycare for dogs can really help with so many things and definitely give the owner more peace of mind. 🙂
    Cheers. Sarah Camille // SCsScoop.com

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Yay! I’m so glad to hear of someone who also uses daycare! It’s seriously the best, especially since Piper has such bad separation anxiety. It really helps keep her calm when she is home alone because she has spent the past day playing with all of her friends! Now she just wants to sleep!

  18. Minakshi bajpai

    July 10, 2017 at 7:26 am

    It feels really good to read that you think about your pet dog so much. I really like the way you taking care of your dog. I never heard about that places which you are talking about. But if they exist then its really a great work done by them. Dogs are also a god’s creature we should obey our duty.

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Aww thank you so much! I just want her to have as a great of a doggy life as possible!

  19. Jessie

    July 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I couldn’t do doggy daycare because there wasn’t one close enough, but I got my dog a doggy brother instead and it helped so much! They wear each other out and it makes dog parent life so much easier!

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Ahh I wish I could get another one! Have two to wear each other would be awesome! Daycare is the next best thing for me, lol!

  20. Amanda

    July 10, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I had no idea there is such a thing. I have kids and no dogs and we avoid daycares for them. But I think if I had a dog it would be different.

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Daycare isn’t for everyone. Doggy daycare is definitely a growing thing! I’m seeing it more and more these days. It’s been a life saver for me for sure. Thanks for commenting!

  21. Emma

    July 10, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    This makes SO much sense to me. Our puppy is wonderful, but has NEVERENDING energy. When I can stay ahead of the curve on that and tire him out first thing in the morning, he’s a good dog most of the day. But if he doesn’t get enough stimulation/exercise, he’s a mess! We don’t have doggy daycare in our small town, but this is good motivation to keep working hard to walk him first thing in the morning!

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Staying ahead is absolutely the key! Before daycare Piper used to get the “zoomies” constantly, now she hardly ever gets them! If she ever starts to get too rowdy I know it’s time to take a trip to the park. Thanks so much for the comment!

  22. Kez | acaciasdreams.com

    July 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I love this! I would totally do this if me and my partner worked full time, but while we are students and home practically everyday it isn’t as necessary! I take one to weekly obedience class, and regular play dates and daily walks are a must!

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

    1. Augusta

      July 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

      It’s a complete life saver for people who work full time! I wish I could stay home all day with my pup but someone has to bring home the bread (dog food, lol)! I love that you take them to classes and play dates though! That’s awesome.

  23. Tabitha

    July 13, 2017 at 7:35 am

    This sounds awesome! I may look into it because my malchi may actually be crazy! I would have never even known those existed had i not read your article.

    1. Augusta

      July 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      I’m so glad I was able to introduce daycare to you! Even if daycare isn’t available in your area, check into any local dog parks that might be around you. Those are also great options.

  24. Sveva

    July 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Love your title haha! 🙂 Very (pun)ny. I’ve always wanted a dog but the cost of having one in the city, both monetarily and time wise, is a bit too much to handle for me! http://www.svadore.com

    1. Augusta

      July 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      I can completely understand. It is a commitment!

  25. Debra

    July 13, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I love this, because it’s so true. Our furry friends need exercise and socialization just like we do and when their needs are met, they are happy and healthy and loving in return.

    1. Augusta

      July 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Exactly! Glad other people understand this too!

  26. silvia

    July 13, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I was so touched by this piece- I think a lot of dog owners don’t realize the hardships that come with owning a pup, especially a hyperactive one, and it gets to be difficult. I’m so happy you found a solution that works for you both! And your doggie is adorable, by the way 🙂

    1. Augusta

      July 13, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Aww thank you so much! And people really don’t understand what it means to own a dog and how much work it really is. It’s so rewarding but it requires a lot of work!

  27. Nindy

    July 13, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Owning a dog sure can be overwhelming! Glad that you found the solution that works best for both you and your dog. I appreciate responsible and committed dog owners like you, your effort means that you love your dog so much and will do anything to take care of her! It bothers me when I see negligent dog owners, usually they end up abandoning their dogs 🙁

    1. Augusta

      July 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Oh it just breaks my heart, too! Thanks for stopping by and giving me a read!

  28. Samantha Winchester

    July 14, 2017 at 7:33 am

    I’ve thought about doggie day care, but my hours are incredibly erratic. I DID get my dog a kitten to keep him company and that has had a good impact on him!

    1. Augusta

      July 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      That’s great! As long as he is happy that’s all that matters 🙂

  29. Aga

    July 14, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Sounds great, wish I had a dog 😀

    1. Augusta

      July 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      They are really great! You should look into your local shelter!

  30. Mica

    July 14, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Doggy daycare sounds like such fun! I did look into that after we adopted our pup, to see if it would help with his separation anxiety. But he’s not good with other dogs so we ruled it out. Luckily he settled down and realised we were coming home every day, but I do think it’s a shame he doesn’t get to enjoy all the fun there!

    1. Augusta

      July 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      It definitely isn’t for every dog, but I’m so glad that you were able to help him get through his anxiety! That’s awesome.

  31. Doreen

    August 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Hubby and I are both home now, so we don’t have a need. However, I think it’s wonderful and beneficial for both the dog and you. My one dog has terrible separation anxiety. We actually have to lock her in a pen when we go out or she will destroy my house. Crazy.

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