Dog Boarding vs. Pet Sitting? Which is Better for Your Pet?

Dog Boarding
Sad boxer dog locked in a crate.

Which is better, dog boarding or pet sitting? Going out of town for a vacation or overnight trip requires planning – especially if you have kids and pets. Kids can come with their parents or stay with a trusted relative, but it’s not so easy for dogs. If your travel plans don’t include your pup, what will you do with your dog?

Basically, you have three options:

  1. A trusted friend or relative to watch your dog.
  2. A pet sitter to check in periodically on your dog.
  3. Dog boarding at a reputable facility.

Obviously, the best option is having a friend or relative with whom your dog is familiar watch your pup, but if that isn’t an option you have to choose between pet sitters or placing your dog in a kennel. Here are some considerations for both options.

Pet Sitters

A pet sitter is a person who will come to your home and interact with, feed, and walk your dog for a previously agreed upon amount of time. You can find pet sitters through services or word of mouth. They should come with references and you should have a meeting with the sitter before you go away so that they can meet your pup and learn his routine and needs.

The great thing about pet sitters is that your dog gets to stay in the comfort of his own home, though s/he is alone. The downfall is that you are basically giving a stranger a key to your house. Don’t get us wrong – pet sitters are more often than not completely trustworthy and honest – that’s why you get references and meet the person beforehand.

Dog Boarding

Dog boarding at a facility requires a different kind of trust. While you will not be letting anyone into your home, you will be entrusting the care of your dog 24/7 to a facility. Most facilities keep the dogs in crates or kennels for some of the time and allow them out for playtime and walks with other dogs and employees. They will feed your dog and give him any medication he needs according to your instructions. Always choose a licensed facility with a good reputation when using a kennel for dog boarding. In fact, the best way to find out which kennels have the best reputation is to ask fellow dog owners.

Pros and Cons Of Dog Boarding Or Pet Sitters

With either a pet sitter or dog boarding, there is usually a flat rate per day or per visit. A pet sitter often will cost more than a kennel depending upon the amount of time they spend with your dog.

The temperament of your dog is a huge consideration when choosing between a kennel and a sitter. Some dogs will not allow strangers into their home; others will become depressed or experience separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Your dog may be uncomfortable in a kennel environment and exhibit unusual behavior. Only you can decide what will work best for you and your pet.

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