Doggy Daycare/Boarding Hours of Operation
July 5, 2014 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Is opening a dog daycare/boarding open 6 days a week weird?

Most places are open M-F for just a daycare and most boarding places are open 7 days a week. My sister is actually looking to open a dog daycare and is planning to close Sundays. Is that odd? Would that make customers turned off? I can see it being useful for those going on business trips of some sort.
posted by Asian_Hunnie to Pets & Animals (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I personally would not bother using a daycare/boarding service that was not open 7 days a week unless their daycare rates were significantly lower than the competition's. Not being able to drop off the dog on both weekend days, or for the entire weekend for boarding, would be an enormous inconvenience that would need to be overcome in a significant way.
posted by elizardbits at 9:45 AM on July 5, 2014 [8 favorites]

Closed like no one can pickup/dropoff on Sunday, or closed like closed, empty the place out? I've used some places that are the former, which is a minor pain, but I would never use a place that didn't allow me to keep my dog there on Sunday since almost any travel I do includes being away on Sunday.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:47 AM on July 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

If they do not board, I don't see a problem.

I don't know what that would do for people going on business trips as they'd be gone and would need boarding rather than day care, but there are Saturday events where being able to daycare the dogs could be handy.

If they board, this would render a kennel useless to me. I need Sunday drop-off for early Monday flights, and my weekend trips tend to be the entire weekend, not one day.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:48 AM on July 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I did briefly use a boarding facility that kept dogs on Sundays but were only open an hour for drop-offs/pick-ups. It was at noon, which is way earlier than I wanted to drop my dogs for a Monday flight, and meant cutting my trip short to get back in time.

Also, it super gave me the creeps. What else are they not doing on Sundays? Are my dogs getting fed? Supervised? Do they not understand how people schedules work? Do they hate money? That was the point I switched to using dogsitters in-home.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:52 AM on July 5, 2014 [7 favorites]

In addition to the points above (which are all correct), this arrangement wouldn't even necessarily build loyalty among business travelers. Business travelers often need Sunday services for their dogs, too (whether for a longer trip or because they're traveling for non-business reasons), and since they wouldn't be able to use your sister's services, they'll just have to find another one anyway -- and if they find a service that keeps the dog over the weekend, there's a good chance they'll just stick with that service the rest of the time.

Honestly, it doesn't make any sense from a business standpoint.
posted by scody at 9:52 AM on July 5, 2014

Possibly inconvenient but not weird. I would hope she'd have some sitter referrals for people who needed care that day.
posted by michaelh at 9:57 AM on July 5, 2014

Also to build on my earlier comment, I don't even know that I would feel terribly confident in a daycare/boarding place that WOULD be able to offer highly competitive rates such that the inconvenience of a Sunday closure would be mitigated. You'd be cutting corners somewhere and I can't imagine it would be beneficial to either the patrons or the employees.
posted by elizardbits at 10:17 AM on July 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

I board my dog at the vet due to her medical issues, and they don't allow me to pick up (or drop off) my dog on Sundays. It is a major pain in the ass. It means I get stuck paying an extra night's boarding and medication fee, plus I either have to leave the dog there a whole extra day or take time off of work on Monday to retrieve her. If she didn't have the health problems, I wouldn't even consider a boarding place that wasn't available on Sundays.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:19 AM on July 5, 2014

My business trips usually include exhibiting at meetings. More often than not I'm flying out on a Saturday or Sunday to get set up for a Sunday or Monday morning first day. Or I'm flying back on a Saturday night but I get in too late to pick them up, so I'd want to get them on Sunday.

If my boarding facility was completely closed on Sundays I wouldn't have chosen them in the first place.
posted by kimberussell at 10:29 AM on July 5, 2014

I would think this really odd if the boarding/sitting was done from a private home, and additionally so plus really inconvenient if it was a facility.
posted by sm1tten at 10:31 AM on July 5, 2014

We just switched daycare/boarding places, partly because of location but more so because of limited and rigid weekend hours. The new place seems equally nice for the animals but has much more flexible weekend hours, which as noted you need if any percentage of your business is from people flying in or out on the weekend. I'd be ok with Sunday being only by appointment for pickup/dropoff (though as noted above I'd want some kind of assurance that they were doing things like feeding, playtime, etc on the closed day).

If you mean a place that is daycare only, no boarding, then I can better understand being closed on Sundays, since that is probably a very slow day for daycare.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:03 AM on July 5, 2014

As someone who lives in a big city with lots of dog sitting, dog boarding, and doggy daycare options, I think this is pretty silly.

That said, whether or not this is crazy in your particular market depends on what the competition is doing. It would be easy to figure that out. If nobody else does Sunday boarding, you're probably fine.

Personally, I wouldn't want one boarding company that I could use for my business trips but then have to use a totally different one for my weekend trips.

If you're just talking about doggy daycare, but no boarding, shouldn't be a huge problem.
posted by toomuchpete at 12:30 PM on July 5, 2014

This would be a huge minus for my family. But as others have said, it depends on how much competition there is in her local market. We don't have a lot of dog daycare options in my town, so probably you could still do okay. Would it really be so impossible to stay open Sundays? You could have massively reduced hours.
posted by town of cats at 12:53 PM on July 5, 2014

Depends on the market. I'm going out of town tomorrow (Sunday), and had to drop off my dogs by noon on Saturday. That means I have to pay for boarding Saturday and Sunday night. If there were other options, I would use them, but locally in a not huge town none of the boarding facilities are open on Sunday. One is open until 4 pm on Saturday, the one closest to me (and is also our regular vet) closes at noon on Saturday.

I have no issues with how the dogs are treated on the "off" day. It would be great if there were even reduced hours on Sunday, but just not an option with the current businesses.

That being said, if your sister's area has places open all weekend - she needs to do that. If not, she should consider doing it to open up to a currently untapped market. This also depends heavily on the size of this business and planned number of employees.
posted by shinynewnick at 4:47 PM on July 5, 2014

The one I use is only open for pick ups and drop offs during limited hours on Sundays. But they make a point of letting you know that the boarded dogs are being played with and cared for, they just have too limited a staff that day to also staff the front desk and care for daycare dogs too.
posted by cecic at 5:54 PM on July 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

The dog boarding place I use definitely has certain days (specifically, holidays) when dogs can be boarded, but there is nobody there staffing the front desk and the place isn't technically open for business. So yeah, that's definitely an option.

As to whether to do this on a weekly basis, and what the best day of the week would be, I think that'll depend on her clientele. If it's mostly a daycare for during business hours, being closed Sundays is fine. If it's mostly a boarding facility, I think it would make more sense to close sometime midweek (assuming that a lot of people who board their pets are going on weekend trips).

It seems to me that some places that concentrate more on boarding are basically open by appointment only, for specific scheduled dropoffs and pickups. This may be a better solution if the reason for closing on Sundays is that she's the only employee and needs to schedule personal time for herself.

Every boarding/daycare facility I'm familiar with is "open for dog business" 24/7. The hours they are closed refer to being closed for business, not empty of boarding dogs.
posted by Sara C. at 1:02 AM on July 6, 2014

The doggie daycare place I use is "closed" on weekends, but they still board dogs those days. It's slightly annoying when I want to send him to daycare on, say, a Saturday, but have to board him overnight instead. But it's worth it because the place is special in two ways: 1. They pick the dogs up and drop them off. 2. It's on an old farm, so there is tons of (fenced) space for the dogs to run and play outside. If it were just a run-of-the-mill doggie daycare, I probably would find someplace that was open on weekends.
posted by lunasol at 9:31 AM on July 6, 2014

It seems it would work better framed as a M-F daycare, that also offers the added bonus services of weekday overnight boarding and/or Saturday care.
posted by selfmedicating at 10:36 AM on July 6, 2014

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