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5 Ways to Improve Your Doggie Day Care Guest Experience

Many dog day care centers closed temporarily during the pandemic due to pet parents working from home or being home because they were unemployed. Now that the COVID emergency has ended, however, doggie day care centers are once again a booming business.

In fact, the U.S. pet day care business market is estimated to grow from $1.1 billion in 2021 to just over $2 billion by 2030, according to a report from research firm Grandview Research.

“The U.S. market for pet daycare is fragmented and competitive,” says the report. “Key participants are implementing strategic initiatives such as competitive pricing strategies, service expansion, partnerships, sales & marketing initiatives, and mergers & acquisitions.”

With those figures and predictions in mind, your dog day care center faces stiff competition, especially if you are located in a major city with a slew of doggie day care centers. And keep in mind that you’re not just competing with brick-and-mortar establishments. More people also turn to online booking services at individual’s homes through sites like

Just because you’ve got competitors vying for dog owners’ business doesn’t mean you can’t provide a superior guest experience that wins over pet parents.

Sniff out these five tips for improving the guest experience at your doggie day care for pet owners and dogs alike.

1. Provide a safe environment

Market safety as a top priority to dog day care customers. Then make sure you come through on your promises. Train staff to notice signs of trouble like laid-back ears, raised neck hair and warning growls before they turn into dangerous dog aggression. If a dog ruckus occurs, staff must be trained to break it up safely, without injuring the dogs or themselves.

Also, require pet owners to provide proof of bordetella, rabies and any other necessary vaccinations so that all dogs are assured a healthy stay.

2. Offer physical and mental stimulation

Customers aren’t paying you to let their dog pout in a kennel all day. They want their furry companion to have fun, burn energy and greet them happy and exhausted when they pick up the dog after work. In addition to group play, Engage  dogs with mental stimulation such as training them to obey commands, perform tricks and search for hidden objects.

3. Cater to special needs dogs

If a dog is too timid or dog-aggressive to join other dogs during playtime, give that dog some special attention. Let him or her hang out with the receptionist, apart from other dogs. Have staff walk them so they’ll still get plenty of exercise during their stay.

4. Make cleanliness a priority

Dog owners may be nose-blind when it comes to that well-known “dog smell,” but you can bet they’ll notice it when you don’t clean and deodorize after a day of 30 dogs romping, playing and having the occasional “accident” in your building. Tackle odors with an air purification system and stay on top of thorough cleaning.

“If a client brings in their pet for daycare and notices that your facility is generally a bit dirty, that’s going to be a major turnoff for them,” says Doggie Dashboard, a provider of pet service business automation.

“They might even consider bringing their pet to another business based on the cleanliness of your business. However, if you have a business that is sparkling clean, that’s going to show your clients that you take care of your business and, in turn, will take good care of their pets.”

5. Get to know the owners, too

You may love dogs, but the owners are the ones who keep your dog day care in business. Get to know each dog’s owner. Chat them up and take time to tell them what their dog’s day was like. Take the owner’s needs into account as well.

“If you have clients with mobility issues, make it a point to send one of your employees out to their car to pick up their pet, instead of forcing the pet owner to get out of their vehicle and walk into your business,” suggests Doggie Dashboard.

“Knowing that you care enough about your clients to offer such a service is a great way to show you care. It’s these little things that can help you stand out from the rest.”