Tips for choosing a dog daycare

We’re currently looking into doggie daycares in the Syracuse area to take Reagan for some socializing and less days she has to stay at home. After digging into some research, we realized there are so many things to look at before choosing which facility best fits you and your pup. Here’s what we found:

Application Process
Filling out forms can be a pain but when it comes to doggie daycare it’s a must. Make sure the daycare you’re interested in screens all dogs prior to attending. There should also be specific requirements such as: proof of vaccination, dogs are spayed and neutered and on a flea/tick preventative. We also recommend choosing a facility that has trial periods where they evaluate the dogs before they attend. This allows them to check the temperament of each pup and ability to socialize with others.

Safe, clean environment
This is an obvious requirement when choosing the facility that is best for you pup but their are specific things to look out for when visit each daycare. Here is a list of necessary facility requirements:

  1. Tall fences
  2. Look for double gates
  3. Separate areas for small and big dogs
  4. Clean water bowls available
  5. Shaded areas outside
  6. Heat & Air conditioned inside areas
  7. Clean inside with minimal odor
    1. Should be proper cleanliness and process to clean up pet accidents
    2. Should do multiple deep cleanings to ensure this


Affectionate, Well-trained staff
Leaving your pup with someone you don’t personally know can be a scary thing. That’s why it’s important you take time to research the staff at the daycare you want to use. Online you should be able to find out the basics: number of people on staff, their training, etc. If they have a Facebook, check out the comments, likes and reviews others have left on their page. Finally, once you have it pretty narrowed down, when you take your pup in for the trial visit observe how the staff treats the dogs. Look for positive reinforcement rather than specific red flags including use of: pushing/jerking and strong physical or verbal reprimands on the dogs.

Unfortunately there are no actual accreditations for dog day care owners.However, look for individual accreditations of the staff. Also, word-of-mouth can be the best testament to choosing a daycare you’ll love. If someone you trust recommends their daycare facility it’s definitely worth checking out.

Additional Features
If you’re having trouble selecting between two or more place, you should definitely look into the features of each daycare. Looking into the different accommodations of each facility can really set one place apart. Some extra services we have seen include: grooming, doggie hotel, and our favorite, live stream footage all day!


Syracuse Dog Day Care Options:

Barks and Rec

Location: Cicero, NY


  • Full day: $24/day
  • For multiple days within the same week: $23/ day
  • Half day: $14/ day

Special package pricing:

  • $384 (20 full days)
  • $216 (10 full days)
  • $252 (20 half days)

Requirements: Not listed online


  • Doggie Hotel:
    • $25/ night per dog ($14/night for a second dog. $7 for a third dog per night.)
    • Offers the option to choose a “suite” or a “family suite” for multiple dogs


  • Offers special pricing for families with more than one dog
  • Dog wash packages are available with all bathing supplies provided (shampoo, conditioner, ear cleaner, drying stations.) If you choose the package your 10th bath is free!
  • Pricing for dog wash:
    • 25lbs and under: $10
    • 26-50lbs: $15
    • 51-100lbs: $20
    • Over 100lbs: $25


Canine Clubhouse

Location: Camillus, NY


  • 1 Day = $28.00
  • 5 Days = $130
  • 10 Days = $250
  • 25 Days= $550
  • 50 Days= $1000
  • Unlimited Monthly= $600
  • Half day= $14


  1. Application must be completed either online or in person
  2. Shots:
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies (every 3 years after second shot)
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
    • Fecal exam
    • Flea and tick medication (monthly)
    • Heartworm preventative (monthly)
  3. Spayed/ Neutered
  4. Must pass a thorough 2 hour K9 Behavioral Test
  5. Minimum age to attend daycare is 12 weeks


  • Luxury boarding
    • 1 Night (also includes day of daycare)= $39
    • For multiple dogs= second dog is $33, third dog is $30
    • 10 Day Boarding Pass= $360


  • Puppy Play Days
  • Pet Portal
    • an easy, online scheduling portal for customers to book appointments
  • Professional Grooming & Spa Services
    • Pricing for spa treatments:
      • Nail trim = $12
      • Nail grind = $15
      • Nail painting = $15
      • Nail trim and pad trim = $15
      • Teeth brushing/ breath freshening = $8
      • Ear cleaning/ plucking = $8
      • Blueberry facial/ scrub = $10-$18
      • Whitening/ tidy ups= $10
      • Shampoo and blow out only = pricing varies
  • Photographer on site to take photos of the action throughout daycare for the owner’s enjoyment
  • Training Services
    • “Sit Means Sit” dog training program available
    • Pet First Aid and CPR classes available ($100/person)
  • Full retail store coming soon


The Barking Orange

Location: Syracuse, NY


  • Full Day = $27
  • Half Day = $16 (4.5 hour max)

Package pricing:

  • 1 Day a Week Pack (6 Visits): $156
  • 2 Day a Week Pack (10 Visits): $243
  • 3-5 Days a Week Pack (20 Visits): $452
  • Unlimited Day Pack (20 Visits): $495
  • 10 Half Day Pack: $155
  • 20 Half Day Pack: $295

*A late fee of $5 will be charged for every five minutes your dog is not picked up by closing. The late fee increases to $50 after 30 minutes, + $2/minute.


  1. Application & screening process (includes an interview with owner and dog)
  2. Spayed or neutered unless they are under 6 months
  3. Proof of up to date shots (including Kennel cough)
  4. Well socialized

Overnights: Not available


  • Three Webcams so you can watch your dog enjoy his day
  • Training Classes
    • Obedience Classes: $143
    • Puppy Class: $114
    • Agility Class: $143
    • Canine Good Citizen Prep and Test: $143
  • Easy online payment, application, and scheduling system
  • Photos posted of the action on their website
  • Grooming services
    • Brushing, shampoo, hair cut, nail trim and and ear cleaning.
    • Pricing not available online.


K-9 Kamp

Location: Baldswinville, NY/East Syracuse, NY


  • Full Day: $26.00
  • Half Day $16.00 per day


  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
    • Spayed or Neutered
  • Other Medical
    • Flea and Tick treatment required all year round
  • Dogs must be in good overall health to attend: includes coat, ears, eyes, mouth.
  • Newly rescued/adopted dogs and puppies need to provide clean fecal test from their vet/shelter
  • Scheduled visit to ensure no aggression issues

Overnights: Only boards at East Syracuse Location

  • $38.00 (includes daycare)
  • $24.00 for the Full Day
  • $14.00 for the Overnight


  • Live web cams (Only East Syracuse Location)
  • Includes self serve dog wash for extra cost
    • $18/plus tax
  • Triple door system
  • Will contact and drive your dog to your personal vet in case of emergency.


Canines Unleashed

Location: Liverpool, NY


  • 1 Day per week = $27.00/day
  • 2 Days per week = $25.00/day
  • 3 – 4 Days per week = $23.00/day
  • 5 Days per week = $19.00/day
  • Half day (morning only) = $17.00/day


  • 12 weeks old
  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
  • Scheduled evaluation visit to ensure no aggression issues and in good health
  • Spayed or Neutered


  • Only for daycare customers
  • Price not listed online


  • Live web cams
  • Grooming available
    • Prices depend on breed, size and coat condition
  • Training
    • Extra cost


Blue Prints Dog Studio: Currently a wait list

Location: Syracuse, NY

Cost: Pricing not online


  • Initial screening and 4-hour trial ($14)
  • Shots
    • Kennel Cough (Bordatella)
    • Rabies
    • Distemper Parvo DHPP
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Must be on flea and tick preventative.

Overnights: Not available.


  • Daycare sessions incorporate positive reinforcement methods we use in training.


We want to hear from you? What were your requirements when choosing a doggie daycare? What services do you use for dog boarding?


6 thoughts on “Tips for choosing a dog daycare

  1. Judy Wilson says:

    Thanks for posting these things I should look for in a dog boarding facility. Doing my research on all of the staff seems like a great idea so that I can find out information about their training and if they treat animals well. I liked that you mentioned to also notice if the staff treats the animals with positive reinforcement. I’ll usually use positive reinforcement to train my dog, so it’s important to me that the employees at a kennel do the same.


    • raebyday says:

      Thanks for commenting! There is definitely so much to look for when choosing a daycare. It’s so important to get to know the staff and how they treat all dogs. Let us know if you have any questions when you start looking!


  2. emily bennette says:

    I like that you pointed out that you should look for the place to have a double gate. That way, you know your dog can’t get out. It seems like it would be a good idea to look for things that will protect your dog.


  3. Baxter Abel says:

    I appreciate your tip to check out the online presence and reviews of a potential dog day care center when you’re looking for one. I also like what you said about carefully considering how well-trained and affectionate the staff of the dog day care center is. I’ll be sure to refer to your article the next time I need a dog day care center!


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