Our pets add so much to our lives, it’s no wonder that we consider them a part of the family. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, some pet owners need someone to take care of their pet when they are unable to. This can be a big decision as you’re trusting your precious companion to someone who may be a complete stranger. When it comes to choosing between a pet sitter or boarding facility, which is the right choice?
A pet sitter is generally hired to come to your home on a routine basis to care for your pet. Depending on the pet sitter the level of care and duration spent in your home may vary. Teens looking for some extra income will often offer pet sitting services. This may be a good choice, if you’re looking for an economical option and if your pet doesn’t require much more than routine feeding and care. Teens usually have the time and are eager to spend time playing with your pet or taking them for a walk.
However, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated level of care, you may want to consider a professional pet sitter. There are several local pet sitting businesses in our area. Just ask in your neighborhood Facebook page and you’ll likely get a lot of recommendations. Professional pet sitters generally have more experience and often do more specialized care if requested.
There are a lot of advantages to hiring a pet sitter. Pets get to stay in a place they are familiar with and with their own things. This choice is also appealing to those with multiple or unconventional pets. A pet sitter will give your pet one-on-one attention and having someone monitor your home while you are away is also a positive.
“Pet sitting allows my dogs to stay at home, which is a plus for my oldest dog. I feel it causes my dogs less stress. It also allows the rabbit to stay at home, instead of looking for someone else to care for her.” - Kathy Medina fur-mom to Pomeranians: Summer, KoKo, JuJuB, and a lion head bunny, Shimmer.
“I have multiple dogs. Two of my dogs would not do well in an unfamiliar environment. I like the idea of having someone come into my house so that my dogs are comfortable and feel safe.” - RaeAnn Byrnes fur-mom to dogs: Tucker, Fiona, Macy, and Shelby.
One of the drawbacks of having a pet sitter is that your pet will still be left alone over long periods. Most pet sitters charge per visit so if your pet needs more attention with multiple visits that could add up fast. You’re also giving access to your home to a stranger so make sure it is someone you trust.
Pet boarding or pet daycares allow you to drop off your pet at their location for continuous supervision. The number of pets in attendance depends on the size of the facility. Pet owners can choose a day option where pets are left during the day and picked up in the evening. Services and care policies vary among facilities so pet owners should do their research to make sure that the boarder is a good fit for them.
Many pet boarding businesses offer multiple services such as grooming and training which is a plus for some pet owners. Since they board several animals at one time, an active pet that likes to socialize will do well in this environment. This keeps the pet from getting bored at home and causing destruction to property. Pet owners also have peace of mind that they are getting standardized care in an established environment.
Pet boarding can get expensive especially for multiple pets over a long period of time. Most kennels do not accept nonconventional pets such as rabbits, reptiles, etc. and have strict guidelines on the age and overall health of the pet. Pets that are fearful and don’t do well with other pets are not good candidates for boarding.
“My pup is a rescue and doesn’t do well around kids or other dogs. We prefer boarding because it allows Zeus to be safe and secure without the worry of an incident “Lucy- fur mom to dog Zeus
No matter if you choose pet sitting or boarding for your pet it’s important to choose the one that provides the level of care that best suits you and your family’s needs. Do your homework by asking questions about procedures, regarding cleanliness and safety. Overall, it’s important that you trust the person/facility to care for your precious pet when you are not around.