Pet Sitters vs. Boarding Facilities

For some pet owners, going out of town (even if it’s just for a short period of time) can be rather stressful.  Not only must you make your own travel plans, but you must make sure you have appropriate accommodations for your furry pal(s) also.  Some animals may be easy to care for but some may not be; some have health issues, medication needs, or are just anti-social, which can make the process harder.  Some animals, especially cats, do not do well when taken out of their normal environment.  Knowing or worrying that your pet isn’t happy can certainly put a damper on your vacation. 

Finding a comfortable place or someone reliable to care for your pet can ease the stress and make your time away from home much more enjoyable!  Pet sitters are quickly becoming a very popular choice.  Some will come to your house at specified times of the day to feed, walk, play with, administer medications, or to simply offer companionship.  Others will stay at your home for the duration of your time away to provide constant care.  When looking for the right kind of pet sitter for your situation, interview the person at your home first so you can observe how they interact with your pet.  It is a good idea to ask for references as well.  Make sure they are comfortable walking dogs (or multiple dogs if required), giving medications, and cleaning up after the animal.  Warn them of any quirky habits your pet may have as well so they are not alarmed at any time. 

If a pet sitter is not available in your area, another option is a pet boarding facility.  Before choosing one, we advise visiting the facility beforehand.  Check and see if the runs or kennels are grouped together or if they’re separated.  Your pet may not be as social as others and may need a space of his own.  Cleanliness is extremely important; make sure your pet’s area would be cleaned daily.  Find out if there is staff on duty 24/7.  This is especially important if your animal has any health issues where they need constant monitoring or care.  Ask about their vaccination requirements; it’s important to know that the other pets there at the same time yours may be are updated on their vaccinations, as well as your own.

When comparing pet-sitting and pet-boarding and choosing the right accommodations for your pet, it is important to take into consideration your pet’s personality and needs.  If you have a healthy, loving, social dog that is happy to see everyone and play with other dogs, then they will likely have no issues at a boarding facility where there are other animals.  If you have a cantankerous old cat who likes his own space and no one but you, consider a pet-sitter who can come in at least a couple times a day to feed and check on him.  Make sure you look into all your options and choose the best one for your four-legged bestie!