Pet Sitting & Home Boarding Versus Kennels: Which Is Best for Your Dog?

Dog Boarding vs. Dog Sitting

Pros and Cons of Each

When making plans to get away, figuring out where Fido will stay can be a stressful decision.  Will he be happy?  Will he miss you and your family?  What if he thinks you’re never coming back?  Finding a facility or pet sitter you trust can be the difference between a relaxing weekend, and one filled with worry.

Different dogs do best in different boarding situations.  Some are perfectly happy to be boarded in a kennel environment, with new sights, sniffs, and sounds, while others do better in a quieter atmosphere.  When choosing between a pet sitter and kennel, there are certain important factors to consider.

Kennel Boarding

The majority of dog boarding facilities offer spacious kennels to allow your dog room to move around and get cozy.  For the base price, your dog will be taken for a short walk 3 – 4 times per day for a quick potty break, and then returned to the kennel.  Most facilities offer add-ons, which may include additional short walks, play time, special treats, or cuddle sessions.

One advantage of boarding your dog at a facility is that you are guaranteed a certain standard of care, and the expectations of your dog’s visit will be clearly detailed.  The people handling your dog are professionals who have extensive practice in handling dogs and recognizing signs of anxiety and stress.  They also can offer more transparency, and finding positive (or negative) reviews is often simple with the help of the internet.

Another reason people choose to place their dog in a kennel is that its costs are lower than pet sitting.

Disadvantages to boarding facilities include limited exercise for your dog, stress, and loneliness.  He or she will likely not receive a fraction of the attention as could be expected at home, and may become listless.  Long trips may be especially aggravating, as the constant chaos and commotion of the facility may prove too much for your pup, which can commonly manifest as diarrhea or depression.

For dogs that have been rescued from a shelter, being in a boarding facility can bring back distressing memories. If your dog is a couch potato and loves to layabout in home comforts than putting him in a concrete kennel or crate for the time away will be clearly not an enjoyable process for him.  Additionally, the spread of disease is a concern, especially for busy facilities that keep dogs in close proximity.

Pet Sitting & In home Boarding

A second option is to have your dog stay with a pet sitter in his or her home.  This option is ideal for all dogs who love to layabout in the home, older dogs, dogs with special needs, or anxious pups.  Here, your dog will receive more individualized attention, be part of a family and receive daily exercise in parks, ravines and trails, and will likely feel less stress than in a kennel.

If the pet sitter doubles as a dog trainer, you can rest assured that your dog’s manners will not slip during your vacation.  A big challenge in searching for a pet sitter, however, can be finding someone reputable enough to entrust with your fur-baby.

Pet Sitters tend to go the extra mile for your dog and treat them like an addition to their household.  For dogs which are known escape artists, a pet sitter who is unfamiliar with your dog’s tendencies may not be a good match. They may be better suited to having a pet sitter come stay at your place and keep everything in order and your pets routine remains the same.

Pet Sitters will offer services specific to the needs of your dog and keep his routine together. Get to know your pet sitter and make sure they are a good match for your pup, a trial stay is a great idea. Pet Sitters will provide daily updates to let you know how your fur baby is doing and what the days adventure was.

One of the disadvantages to leaving your dog with someone unfamiliar is that there is a level of uncertainty that may not be present when dropping him or her off for traditional boarding. If you are already using a dog walking service and they provide pet sitting this is a huge advantage in that your dog and sitter already know each other and familiar with your dogs personality.

The choice to board your dog or send him or her to a pet sitter can be nerve-racking.  Regardless of your decision, you may worry about Fido while you are gone, which is completely natural, seeing that he is your fur-baby.  Ultimately, choosing the option which will most fully set your mind at ease so that you can truly enjoy your vacation is best for all involved!

The easiest way to make your choice is to know your dogs personality and how what their needs are. The number one most important advice I could provide you with is don’t base your choice of service on the lowest price. Remember you get what you pay for!