Boarding Versus Pet Sitting Which Is Best?

Did you know that approximately 60 percent of people bring their pets with them on trips? It’s not surprising, really, since so many folks think of their pets as family these days.

But what if your fuzzy friend is unable to come along on your summer vacation? How do you decide what’s the best option for their care while you’re away?

The two most popular choices among today’s pet parents are in-home pet sitting and doggie daycare/boarding facilities. Each has their pros and cons, and it’s up to the individual pet parent to decide which is the best fit for their pooch.

Boarding Facilities

Dog boarding has changed a lot over the past 10 – 20 years. Gone are the days when a dog would be confined to a cage for hours at a time, being let out only for a short walk or potty break. Some of today’s boarding facilities rival the nicest human hotels.

Not only do many offer comfy sleeping quarters, you can also opt for playgroups, walks and other enrichment activities. Often, remote cameras allow you to check in on your pup and see how he’s doing. Staff members are available to supervise, feed, exercise and even medicate your dog, if necessary. However, some facilities do not have staff onsite overnight, so if that’s a concern, be sure to ask about it.

This is a great option for dogs who are well socialized, enjoy other dogs and humans, and love to play. It gives them the chance to burn off excess energy and anxiety that might result from your absence.

The downside is that dogs can more easily get sick by being in such close contact with other dogs. Make sure you ask about the facility’s vaccination requirements and observe whether the building seems clean, well-kept and organized.

Pet Sitter

A daycare/boarding environment can be stressful for dogs who are older, have health issues or are anxious around other dogs. If that’s the case with your dog, an in-home pet sitter might be a better option.

Hiring an experienced pet sitter allows your pet to remain in the environment where they’re most comfortable…your home. While your pup will still miss you, being in their own house with all their own things will help relieve some of their stress. Plus, it can give you peace of mind as well, knowing that they’re in a safe, secure environment.

It’s important to choose the type of pet sitter that’s right for your dog and your particular situation. Many pet sitters only stop by at certain times of the day to feed and walk your pup. If you’re nervous about leaving your dog at home alone all night, ask whether they offer overnight stays. A great option (although usually more costly), is someone who provides 24-hour house sitting and pet sitting services.

Ask friends, family and your vet for references of great pet sitters in your area. Arrange for them to come to your home so that you can get to know them and they can meet your dog. Check out this post for important questions to ask during the interview. Most importantly, observe how they interact with your dog and how your dog responds to them.

Leaving your four-legged family member behind is hard. But choosing the right pet care provider can ensure you and your dog have fun while you’re gone.