Life is full of the unexpected, and dealing with the unexpected can be a lot more difficult if you have a pet.
That’s why it’s not too surprising that every now and then, you might drop your dog off for doggy daycare and find that you can’t pick them up on time. You may not even be able to pick them up that day.
So what happens in that case? Can doggy daycare go overnight?
That depends on what type of doggie daycare you use.
Here’s how doggy daycares work
There are two main types of doggie daycare: commercial facilities and in-home providers. Both of them usually have similar procedures in place for drop-off and pickup—they have set hours that these things can happen, and if you miss the window, you’re out of luck until the next day.
So what happens if your plans change and you can’t pick up your dog until the next day? You probably hope your doggie daycare arrangement can go overnight, but it’s not always that easy.
If you’re not using the right doggie daycare provider, you may find yourself scrambling to get back in time or to find someone who can get to your dog before the deadline.
Commercial doggie daycare facilities
If you need your dog’s stay at doggie daycare to go past the pickup time and you’re at a commercial daycare facility, you may find that you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to your dog staying over.
Commercial facilities tend to have stricter rules in place, and you may find that causing a staff member to stay later may cause you to incur hefty extra charges—and you may even lose your place in the daycare program.
Of course, this isn’t always the case. Doggie daycare facilities that also offer boarding services may be a lot more lenient.
Louise McCullough, owner of Paws Chateau, a luxury doggie hotel and day camp in Huntington Beach, California, says this happens pretty often at her facility and usually isn’t a big deal.
“The best option is finding an all-in-one daycare and overnight facility that you trust for your dog. Do your homework ahead of time so you’re ready,” she says. “If the facility only offers daycare, they are likely not set up or equipped for overnight stays. A facility that does double duty will have all the requirements in place to safely and comfortably board your dog with little to no notice.”
In-home doggy daycare providers
If you use an in-home doggie daycare provider, it’s likely that they’ll be a little more lenient when it comes to late pickups. But it’s important to keep in mind that these providers do still have schedules of their own to keep.
Julie Austin is a doggie daycare provider with Rover who also provides boarding services. “I’m pretty flexible on daycare hours since many of my clients sometimes work later hours,” she says. However, Austin’s other job, which she does from home, does require early morning hours. This means super late nights are not ideal.
“If a client is out late at a dinner or stuck at the office I’ll just keep their dog overnight and they can pick up the next day whenever it’s convenient,” she adds.
How can you prepare for possible overnights?
Even if you have every intention of picking your dog up from daycare on time, it’s good to be prepared for an overnight, just in case. That means choosing a daycare provider that offers boarding is probably your best bet.
Of course, you not only want to find a provider that will accept dogs overnight, but also one that your dog would be comfortable at all night long.
Some private in-home dog boarding providers have big yards, dog-friendly furniture, and other dogs. That makes them a solution that provides the stimulation a doggy daycare provides, and also a place to stay overnight that almost feels like home.
It’s also important to make sure your dog has everything they might need for an overnight—just in case.
“Some folks will bring their dog’s food and blanket as back up in case they can’t make it back in time,” explains McCullough. However, if a dog arrives without their supplies, all hope is not lost. “We will call the owner (leaving a message), and check in the dog as an overnight guest with a blanket and in-house dinner.”
McCullough says she charges $2 per meal for in-house food. While food provided at boarding facilities is often high-quality, it might not be perfect for a dog with special dietary restrictions, so if your dog needs to be picky about their diet, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and bring food.