Dog Walking Versus Day Care

Dog walking or day care? It’s the question dog owners ask themselves, especially when they first get their pooch.

Most of us need to work for a living, so our pets are often deprived of our company for significant periods.

A dog walking or day care service fills the gap. You either pack your pet off to doggie day care or look for someone who can walk him or her in the daylight hours. Both options have pros and cons. Let’s check them out…

Day Care


  • The dog will be looked after for most of the day.
  • Day care can help with behavioural issues that happen when your dog is left alone in your house for lengthy periods, such as chewing the furniture, howling or barking.
  • It can offer a stimulus for your dog.


  • The price. Day care will be more expensive than dog walking, simply because it takes up more time. In London, you can pay £30 for day care, which adds up to more than £7,000 a year.
  • It might not be the solution for nervous dogs. If your dog is shy and unused to other dogs, spending a long time with other animals will be stressful and unpleasant.
  • Fights can happen—which means if your dog isn’t the ‘alpha male’, it’s a very tricky environment for him.
  • Your dog might not get enough sleep. Dogs sleep a lot. You’ll know this as an owner. But day care puts them in a more chaotic, noisy environment than usual. Instead of sleeping, your dog will keep one eye open to check there are no threats nearby.
  • If you put a puppy into day care right from the start, you might create dependency issues—i.e. a dog that can’t be left alone for long at all. This can have a negative impact on the overall wellbeing of your dog.

Dog Walking


  • Much cheaper than day care. A one-hour walk a day is much less expensive than day care.
  • Regular exercise—your dog will be walked a good distance, meaning that he’ll get to expend his energy and natural instincts.
  • Socialisation—pack walks can help regulate a dog’s behaviour.
  • Your dog builds a relationship. If you use one regular dog walker, it’s likely that person is experienced and loves dogs. Your dog will furiously wag her tail as soon as she realises who is at the door!
  • Less chance of ill health. Dogs in day care will be in close contact with others, which means that if fleas, parasites or viruses are doing the rounds, they are more likely to pick them up.


  • Shorter periods of time. A dog walk might only take an hour. However, if you do your research, you might be able to find services that offer longer walking times.
  • Pack walking might not be for your dog. If this is the case, you can arrange for your dog to be walked by herself. This will work out as more expensive, but it’s still likely to be cheaper than day care.

Your dog is as individual as you are. Dog walking or day care depends on the dog’s personality, and ultimately, money.

At Swapaw, we offer dog walking services by trusted, vetted and insured dog walkers. This can be booked regularly or on-demand. Have a look and see if this is something you’d like to arrange for your pet.