10 Best Dog Day Cares in Washington, D.C.

It’s hard to imagine a moment without our pets, but unfortunately, that’s not always reality. Sometimes work demands long stretches of time away from home. Whatever the case, leaving your dog at home alone or shut in a room isn’t fun for anyone. Enter dog day cares. These organizations take your pup off your hands while keeping them engaged and active until your return.

1. Patrick’s Pet Care

Columbia Heights and Brookland, Washington, D.C.

At Patrick’s Pet Care four-legged guests are given the opportunity to connect with new furry friends, while also receiving individualized care and attention from the loving, professional, and highly-trained caretakers that they are known for. Low staff to dog ratios and consistent play groups are a very important part of the day care experience at Patrick’s Pet Care. Patrick’s Pet Care prioritizes what dogs need to be happy: health, safety, and security, so that they can then provide the physical, mental, and emotional stimulation they truly need to thrive. Their two brand new facilities feature the latest in “fungility” equipment, comfortable all-season sheepskin beds, ball play pits, and even a seasonal puppy swimming pool. Best of all, midday walks are provided free of charge to avoid any bathroom incidents and give all guests some structured but stimulating time outside. Owners who want to check in on their pets throughout the day can view their many HD webcams that stream the non-stop fun all day.

2. Happy Paws

Friendship Heights, Washington, D.C.

By putting its customers through a temperament test prior to admission, Happy Paws ensures that all attendees are eager to socialize and engage in friendly play throughout the day. Along with the usual selection of complementary services, their day care can address any medical issues that might arise. Their on-call veterinarian is ready and able to handle any number of illnesses or injuries at the touch of a phone.

3. Your Dog’s Best Friends

Arlington, Va.

This dog day care might be more of a hike for our D.C. locals, but the trip is worth it. This organization strives to forge a healthy, long-term connection with its customers. With Positive Playcare, there is an emphasis on using positive reinforcement to turn what could be painful time away for your dog into a highlight of their daily routine. These strategies are strengthened by the incorporation of high-energy activities, such as group tug-of-war.

4. Underdogs Pet Care

Mt. Pleasant, Washington, D.C.

When it comes to day care service, Underdogs has adopted a rather literal interpretation of the “mi casa es su casa” philosophy. The company’s home office, a fully-fledged townhouse, is dedicated entirely to providing comfy lodgings for its part-time residents under 24/7 supervision from the owner. This makes Underdogs an ideal option for pets that feel more at ease in a traditional home setting, with pricing based on the length and number of walks your dog requires throughout the day.

5. Dog-Ma

Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Dog-Ma’s daycare provides plenty of room to play and socialize. Thanks to its fenced-off outdoor playspace, the usual 30-minute walk time is replaced with up to 13 hours of supervised play, making this an ideal option for owners of more energetic breeds. Its comprehensive prospect screening means that you’ll never have to worry about a run-in with foul-tempered pooches.

6. Saving Grace Petcare

Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

While Saving Grace may not have a central location for day care, they make up for it by going the extra mile to treat your home with the utmost care. Their “peace of mind reports” help reassure worried owners of their pet’s status throughout the day, allowing you to focus on more pressing matters with a clear conscience. They even bring in your mail and water your plants free of charge, so you can relax as needed and not return to built up chores.

7. Doozydog Club

Cardozo, Washington, D.C.

Doozydog pulls out all the stops when it comes to quality-of-life amenities for clients. From the calming music that plays throughout the facility to an indoor play park featuring a variety of scheduled activities, your dog will hardly lack for engagement. The club even has an on-site “Style Bar” to handle all the grooming services that might prove difficult for some owners, such as nail grinding and ear cleaning.

8. City Dogs

Stanton Park, Washington, D.C.

City Dogs is a go-to choice for clients who lead hectic lives with little down time. Its quick and easy pick-up/drop-off service makes sure you get where you need to go without leaving your dog home alone. Their size-separated system alleviates issues that could arise should a Chihuahua decide to play with a Golden Retriever. That said, your little bundle of energy will have plenty of opportunities to socialize with dogs within their weight class, as well as the organization’s animal-loving staff.

9. Life of Riley

Lanier Heights, Washington, D.C.

Life of Riley believes that pets deserve the same level of care and attention that one would receive at a classy hotel, and has tailored its facilities accordingly. With size-sorted playrooms under constant staff and webcam supervision, as well as top-of-the-line grooming facilities, your dog’s comfort and well-being will always come first and foremost.

10. Atlas Dog House

Kingsman Park, Washington, D.C.

Atlas understands that proper day care goes beyond providing a nice open area to run around and socialize in (although that can still be found here). Some dogs may prefer to keep to themselves, which is why the facility also is equipped with a series of private pens for its more reserved clientele. Whether your dog is a social butterfly or an introspective lone wolf, they’ll be well-attended by caring staff and complimentary walks.