A Day In the Life at Doggie Daycare

By Joana Baldera

I work at a dog daycare and boarding facility. While that may be a dream for many, it isn’t all fun and games. I’m responsible for the well-being of as few as one to as many as 60 dogs a day. Every day brings new adventures.

A normal day entails getting to work almost an hour before opening to prepare my room, assess what dogs are there and review whether I need to make special accommodations. For example, if there are any dogs who cannot be in open play together or if a dog needs to be brought into the room from a different part of the facility such as the grooming room. I make sure my room is stocked with clean water bowls, fresh mop buckets, plenty of poop bags, wipes, cleaning bottles, rags, and of course, the water dispenser.

Up close with a gentle Jasper staring into my soul and stealing my heart.


Meal preparation for the night and the next morning boarding crew is divided by room. Meal prepping is extremely important when we have boarders because a lot of our dogs have specific feeding instructions, some have medicine that needs to be administered, while others may have allergies that cross-contamination may irritate.


Rebel Roscoe (pictured right) is getting scolded by facility-wide favorite, Gauge (pictured left). The dogs not only learn and take instructions from me but also from each other. This is a regular “duty” for Gauge who is known as the “teacher’s assistant” because of his tendency to correct the other dogs’ bad behavior.


Charlie thoroughly enjoys her bubbles out in the yard. Entertaining the dogs and stimulating their minds by any means necessary is a must at a dog daycare, and bubbles are one of their favorite games of the day.


A sick pup is being photographed to show its owner upon pickup. Caring and cleaning for the dogs as best as I can is important. When they become ill or act unlike themselves, it is easier for me to help them if I have a better bond with the dog because they will allow me to check them with no problems.


The hardest part about working with dogs is having to say goodbye and not knowing if it would be the last time. In loving memory of my beloved girl, Patience, who now lives among the angels.


My favorite part of working here is watching dogs find themselves in each other. Pictured above are Blue (husky) and Rose (pit mix) taking a nap and cuddling together. These two are inseparable.


A canine coach and happy dog on its hind legs share a loving look.


The consequences of breaking up a fight between two dogs who have a history of bad blood.


Paw-made painted Christmas cards made by our holiday boarders to take home to their families.

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