Dogs Day Out

Dog's Day Out

Dog’s Day Out is a pawsome program where volunteer community members whisk longer-term shelter dogs away on mini-adventures or overnight stays! These fun-filled field trips give the dogs a break from the shelter, boost their social skills, and help them stay fit. You can take them on a visit to a local pet friendly store, go on a hike, get a Pup Cup, or take them home for up to three nights on a sleepover.

Dog’s Day Out program guidelines

  • Participating humans MUST be 18 years or older.
  • Tails will provide a list of eligible dogs for you to choose from when you arrive.
  • You will be provided with a leash, collar and all needed supplies.
  • Participating dogs MUST remain on leash at all times, unless in an enclosed area of your home or a private fenced-in yard.
  • Participating dogs are not allowed to go to dog parks or to meet other pets.

You can always see dogs and puppies at Questions can be emailed to

You can print out the Day Trip Contract or the Sleepover Contract ahead of time and bring the completed form with you to the shelter. 


When can I come in to pick up a dog?
Any day between 12-4pm.

Which shelter dogs are eligible for the Dog’s Day Out program?
Adult dogs 6 months and older who have been available for adoption for more than two weeks.

What should I bring to the shelter?
Please bring a valid form of ID. If you plan to take a dog overnight and you rent, bring a current copy of your lease.

Can I participate if I have other dogs?
Yes! A meet and greet may be required with some shelter dogs spending time in your home or going on sleepovers.

How long can I take a dog out of the shelter?
It’s up to you! You can take them on a car ride or to your home for a few hours for playtime and naps, or hang out with them around DeKalb for the day. You can also plan ahead to have them as your houseguest for up to three nights! You’ll make an appointment to return the dog at the time of pick-up.

What can I do with a pet on a Dog’s Day Out?

  • Take naps
  • Play fetch in the backyard
  • Go on a car ride to get a snack
  • Hang out on a patio around DeKalb
  • Go on a hike
  • Hang out with friends to meet new people
  • Visit a pet-friendly store like Farm & Fleet, Five Below, Lowes, Michaels, Paw Lickin’ Good, Petco, PetSmart or TJ Maxx

What can I NOT do with a dog?

  • Go to a dog park
  • Interact with other pets in the home unless already approved by Tails managers
  • Give the dog away to someone
  • Let the dog off leash in a public and/or unfenced area

What if I want to take a dog out, but I am not able to handle a large, energetic, or strong dog?
Because our shelter always has dogs coming and going, we can’t promise to pair you with a dog that fits specific breed, energy level, or size requests. However, we’re pretty confident that we can find a dog that matches your handling abilities!

What if I have a question or need help during my time with the shelter guest dog?
We are here for you! Before you leave the shelter, you will be given a phone number to call.

What if I fall in love and want to adopt my shelter guest?
We love happy endings! Just let the shelter manager know you would like to adopt and we will arrange to have all of the paperwork ready for your return appointment.

Won’t a sleepover upset the dogs?
Actually, studies show that short term sleepovers and breaks from the shelter actually benefit shelter dogs! Read all about it here.

Share your adventure!

Don’t forget to share your awesome day out with your shelter dog on social media! Potential adopters love seeing these cuties enjoying life outside the shelter. You never know who might be watching, and your friends can help spread the word by sharing your post to reach even more people!

Links and tags to share photos and videos from your Dog’s Day Out:

  • Tails Humane Society Instagram: @tailsdekalb
  • Hashtag: #tailsdekalbdogsdayout

We might also share your adventure on our social media channels, use it to promote our programs, and highlight the dog to potential adopters visiting our shelter. Thank you for capturing such valuable information about our shelter dogs!