What is doggie daycare?

Doggie daycare is the supervised day boarding of dogs for the purpose of daily exercise and socialization with other dogs. Each pet will spend time in group play sessions and may be kenneled individually before and after play sessions. All group play sessions are supervised by our kennel attendants.


Doggie daycare is a service that is reserved for our clients that use our hospital for their pet’s medical and surgical needs. Puppies may participate in daycare if they have had three sets of immunizations for DAP, a current Rabies, and a Bordetella vaccine. Puppies must be spayed or neutered by the age of 9 months in order to participate. All dogs are required to have a current Rabies, DAP, Canine Influenza, and Bordetella vaccine. All doggie daycare players must have an up-to-date yearly physical exam and a negative intestinal parasite exam within the past year.


Doggie daycare may contain as many as 20-30 dogs/puppies. Some dogs may not be allowed to participate in daycare if any aggressive behavior is seen. Please see the behavior questionnaire for details.

Risk of group play

Just as children on a playground are subject to injury or illness, so are dogs in doggie daycare. Although all dogs are supervised during doggie daycare, injuries such as broken nails, puncture wounds from rough play, and orthopedic injuries from jumping and running may be unavoidable. We want you to know that injury is a rare occurrence in doggie daycare, however, it is possible. Additionally, even though all of our daycare participants are well cared for at home, it is possible for a dog to unknowingly have internal or external parasites (fleas, ticks, worms), oral papillomas (oral warts), contagious diarrheal disease, or be harboring an upper respiratory virus that is not protected by Bordetella vaccination. While no obviously sick dogs are allowed to participate in daycare, a dog may be incubating a virus that we are unaware of. Minor injuries and contagious illness are an inherent risk of group play. Additionally, large and small dogs are allowed to play together in daycare playgroups.

Liability and Treatment

In the unlikely event of injury or illness, we request your consent to treat any immediate problems, especially in the event we cannot reach you by phone. Although we do everything possible to avoid pet injury or illness, Wilmington Animal Healthcare cannot be held liable for that injury or illness. The cost of treatment for any injury or illness will be the owner’s responsibility. Doggie daycare participants will be inspected for fleas upon admission. A Capstar will be administered if fleas or flea dirt is noted. The owner will be responsible for the cost of this medication. Wilmington Animal Healthcare staff may wait to notify an owner of any non-serious injuries, such as nicks and scratches until the time of pickup.

Late pick up policy

Our hospital closes at 6:00pm. We often have employees in the hospital after this time, but they are busy performing closing procedures for the hospital. All daycare participants are expected to be picked up by 6:00pm. Clients who do not pick up their pet before closing time may be subject to a late pickup fee, or an overnight boarding fee.