Dog daycare in the year 2021 has become a slick, high-tech, full-service operation. A decade or so ago, pet parents were content to have someone reliable keeping an eye on their dog while they were at work. But it has since become so much more than that.

These days, pet parents now want to watch webcams to see how their pet looks after a spa treatment or check their smartphones for photos of their furry friend at play time. They like using apps to easily schedule dog daycare drop offs, and enjoy frequent reports on how their dog fared each day, describing who they socialized with or what they ate.

Here’s a closer look at four big changes that transformed the dog daycare landscape over the past decade.

The humanization of pets

For years, our pets have been part of the family, irreplaceable companions who we love dearly. But it’s safe to say that today’s furry children are treated to a higher standard of care than almost any pets who came before.

Whether it’s millennials whose animals are starter kids (or take the place of kids), or older people with grown-up children and money to spare, many pet parents are increasingly willing to spend whatever is necessary to get the best care, food, toys, clothes, training, and treatment for their beloved animals.

Dog daycare has evolved to meet the exacting demands of these pet parents, with special attention paid to all the little details that matter when creating a safe, fun, and stimulating environment. Among the luxuries offered are nail trims, baths, and facials at doggie spas, special sessions with certified trainers, and a wide selection of nutritious, organic treats and food.

Enhanced safety and materials

The days of dogs going to daycare and spending time in cold metal cages or padding around on rough floors have changed for the better. Pet parents of today can rest easy knowing the dogs they send to a daycare, such as Dogtopia, are kept in clean, comfortable surroundings where all the materials, from flooring to toys to bedding, have been carefully chosen with the safety and wellness of the animals in mind.

Tech takes off

Thanks to the widespread adoption of technology at most leading dog daycare providers, pet parents can now stay connected to their furry friends throughout the day. That might mean an app for sharing photos of pets at playtime, or possibly a webcam where they can check in whenever they want to catch a glimpse of their furry family member.

During the pandemic, tech adoption in the dog daycare business evolved to meet the needs of the times. Apps are now often used to schedule curbside pick-ups and drop-offs, allowing social distancing to be better maintained.

The pandemic has boosted demand for dogs…and dog daycare

It’s been well-documented that demand for pets has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic. With most of the usual avenues for socialization either severely restricted or entirely cut off, dogs and other animals have provided a welcome ray of light for many, a happy, care-free companion amid troubling and uncertain times.

Although many people have made the switch to remote work or schooling during the pandemic, some pet parents have continued to send their dog to daycare. While conventional wisdom might suggest daycare services aren’t necessary when parents are around the house all day, the reality is that work obligations and meetings, or even simple household chores, are sometimes more easily handled when pets are out of the picture. Instead of banishing them to the basement or backyard, dogs can be sent to a clean, trusted daycare facility where they’ll be entertained, exercised and educated with other like-minded dogs.