Staffing Ratios at Pet Care Facilities


Every now and again, we get asked about the ratio of staff to dogs at Pet Camp. Frankly, the answer is meaningless as we have a bunch of counselors who are working, but might not be involved in providing care for a pet. These are counselors on the phones, dealing with human resources, or worse yet, writing blogs. Really, the question is about the size of our playgroups, and the supervision of those groups. Here’s the best answer we can give.

Unlike many dog boarding or doggie day care facilities that only have one play area, and thus only one real playgroup, Pet Camp offers a range of playgroups and play options. Every day, we host an active adult playgroup, a gentle adult playgroup, a puppies group, a small dog group, and a senior group. We also offer our all-day-play option for those dogs that just can’t get enough play, and our Ranger option for dogs that don’t socialize well. With all of this happening throughout the day, our playgroups are always going and we’re able to keep our playgroups well-staffed and controlled at manageable sizes.

The other variable is the space in which a playgroup takes place. If we have 15 dogs in our 13,000 square foot Savannah outdoor play yard (the largest play space in San Francisco), the place looks empty, and the dogs might not even be playing all the time (they will often wander around exploring on their own). On the other hand, if you’re looking at a doggie day care facility that just has one room of a few hundred square feet, 15 dogs in there will seem crowded and the dogs will be interacting with each other (not necessarily in a good play way, more like in a crowded MUNI bus way). Way more supervision is required, as the dogs are likely to get annoyed at each other (who doesn’t get annoyed in crowded spaces?)

So, what about that staffing ratio at Pet Camp? While it certainly can fluctuate based on the number of dogs in any playgroup on any given day, the space we are using for the playgroup, and even the weather, we try and keep the ratio of about 1 counselor to every 12 to 15 dogs. This number does not include any of the counselors not usually involved in supervising play groups, or our pet care assistants who are only allowed to participate in playgroup. The result is that unlike many pet care facilities that rely on the same people to both watch your dog, answer the phone, and check clients in and out, Pet Camp always has additional trained resources to call upon if we ever want to have even more playgroup supervision, or a dog need some extra attention in playgroup.

Please contact us if you have any other questions about Pet Camp in regards to staffing ratios or how we supervise playgroups.


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