Just like humans need to socialize with other humans, dogs need to socialize with other dogs. Exploding in popularity, dog parks and dog daycares are places where dogs can play and party together. But what is the difference between the two, and is one a better choice for pet parents? 

One interesting piece of data is that the number of dog parks and daycares has grown by 40% since 2009. These places remain a hub for pet parents and for different personal reasons. 

About Dog Day Care

Even before the pandemic, dog daycare was popular for dogs to meet and play. Now post-pandemic, daycare continues to provide dogs with mental and physical stimulation in a safe setting where experienced handlers supervise them. 


Simply put, dog daycare is an excellent choice for your dog for these reasons:

  • A licensed and quality daycare is staffed by professionals who understand dog behavior and how to handle a multitude of situations.
  • Supervised socialization enables dogs’ overall well-being and helps them build confidence.
  • The mental stimulation of playing with other dogs keeps them focused in a positive way and out of trouble.
  • Being active alleviates anxiety and boredom as well as provides ample exercise.
  • Dogs in quality daycare will get plenty of attention and affection.

Request a Tour

A dog daycare should welcome your request to tour their facility. Here at Performance K9 Training & Boarding, we offer Doggy Daycare and welcome you to arrange an appointment to see what we offer your dog. A friendly staff member will be proud to show you around, where you’ll find outstanding examples of:

  • Cleanliness
  • Safety
  • Room to play

A licensed kennel facility that offers dog daycare will follow the guidelines of animal control in their county, which means a specific protocol is followed to help ensure the health and wellness of dogs in their care. 

Dog Grouping

Dogs in a social setting should be matched based on age and temperament. We use a behavioral assessment to ensure well-matched, safe dog groupings. 

Health Requirements

All dog guests must be spayed or neutered. In addition, we require that all dogs are fully inoculated with paper documentation from their veterinarians. Any dogs showing symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting, cannot return to daycare until they are fully healed. The same is true for any injuries.

Required immunizations:

  • Rabies Vaccine
  • Distemper/Parvo Vaccine
  • Bordatella Treatment
  • Flea and Tick Control
  • Negative Fecal Test (within the last six months)
  • Influenza


A competent, well-trained staff is the most essential advantage of doggy daycare, including: 

  • The proper ratio of staff members to dogs
  • Highly trained staff

About Dog Parks

It sounds wonderful – fresh air, dogs romping with other dogs, and coming home exhausted. So why not opt for a dog park instead of a dog daycare? 

A dog park is an excellent consideration for pet parents to participate in the fun while their dog is playing with others. In fact, it’s an excellent place for dog lovers to gather. 

One thing to consider for pet parents is to supervise their own dog and keep an eye out whether their dog is comfortable with the other dogs at the park. There may be a dog that enters who may be too forward with your dog regarding social pressure. If that’s the case, intervention may be needed.

It’s so natural for dog parks to be a social gathering for dog owners that their attention may be drawn away from their dog from time to time. So, it’s important to keep a watchful eye over your dog. 


Before entering a dog park, do assess if there are areas for small, medium, and large-sized dogs. 

Also, watch for energy levels to see if your dog will do well with the other dogs.


Everything has its advantages, and this is also true of dog parks. These include:

  • Social interaction for dogs
  • Social interaction for their humans
  • Excellent exercise
  • Educational opportunity for humans who can learn from other humans
  • Fresh air in a contained area, free from bicycles, skateboarders, and so on.
  • Either no or just a nominal fee.

Final Thoughts 

While there are specific differences between doggy daycare and dog parks, it’s a personal preference at the end of the day. Some pet parents prefer a doggy daycare, particularly if they work long hours and want their dog to have fun during the work week. Other pet parents may opt for a dog park after work and on weekends. In fact, some pet parents may like doing both. 

So, doggy daycare or a dog park? Which is the best place for you and your dog?