Pet Sitting Vs. Pet Boarding

This is a subject that we have addressed before, but it’s one that is important to reiterate. We’ll cover in more depth the pros and cons of both, as well as what to consider.

You’ll get useful information on whichever route you decide to take the next time you go out of town for a weekend, have a family vacation, or just work long hours and want your pet to receive some human interaction while you are gone.

Pet Boarding

CatDogSome of the advantages of boarding your pet for an extended stay is that they get the opportunity to interact with other animals. Now this works only if your pet is well socialized and the other pets they will interact with share that similar social trait.

A direction a lot of pet boarding locations have headed is the “doggie hotel” route. The rooms are plush and comfortable as opposed to traditional boarding, where the pet stays in a cold, concrete room with the barking from dogs they can’t see to add to their anxiety. These hotels also have daytime activities to keep your pet active and mentally stimulated.

Another advantage to pet boarding is that a lot of veterinarian clinics provide boarding options which is wonderful because if anything were to happen to your pet, care would be immediately available.

Related: The advantages of a pet sitter over boarding 

Pet Boarding Disadvantages

There are a few dissenting views from those who have worked in multi-faceted pet boarding/clinics, such as the clinic functions as a vet clinic first and a pet boarding facility second.

Dr. Ken Tudor, who has worked at 20 of these facilities said that it seemed like the pets boarded didn’t receive the full human interaction they crave and that the boarding area lacked the necessary time and human resources and came off as cold and sterile.

On top of that there is the risk of disease and infection spreading. As a lot of us can recall, during the spring there was an outbreak of dog flu that seemed to originate in a Chicago boarding facility and spread rapidly.

These are all things to consider when looking for boarding for your furry friend. Of course the more amenities and attention paid to your pet the higher the price.

Pet Sitting

petsitting, petboarding, puppy, kitten, dog, catThe most obvious benefit to having a pet sitter come to your home is just that, your best friend gets to remain in its home where he or she is most comfortable and their routine isn’t changed drastically.

Pet sitters come at specified times to let your dog out for walks, feed your pets and allow for body elimination. They also interact and exercise your pet. You can also have the pet sitter act as a house sitter as well. They can do things like bring in the mail to make your house look lived in and give you that peace of mind.

You also get the peace of mind knowing that your pet has a companion for the day. There are also plenty of pet sitters that will stay the night with your pet to help with any separation anxiety and help keep a consistent routine for your furry child. Dr. Ken Tudor also adds that in his 30 years of experience, he has yet to see a bloody stool from a pet being cared for in its own home as opposed to the stress related environment caused by boarding your pet in an unfamiliar place.

Pet Sitting Disadvantages

In home pet sitting is not 24/7, so if your pet has a medical condition that requires more frequent monitoring, pet sitting may not be the best method. Also, if your pet has elevated aggression issues towards strangers (especially those that will be entering your house while you are not there), pet sitting may also not be the best route towards care. However, this can generally be avoided if your pet is given ample time with the caregiver to ensure that they are comfortable being around them.

Things You Can Do To Prepare For Both

First and foremost, make sure whoever is taking care of your pet that they are aware of any medical conditions or special needs, whether that be diet or administering medicine. You will want to take an opportunity to go on a walk through or have the sitter visit your pet to help establish a relationship and get the pet more familiar with its temporary boarding situation.

Make sure you have enough food for the pet sitter as to make their job easier as well as providing enough servings for the boarding facility. Stress plus an inconsistent diet can lead to vomiting and the pet’s own food will provide a familiar touch. It is also recommended to have a pet sitter for younger dogs and older dogs as they both thrive on consistency and routine.

Do your research, be prepared ahead of time and don’t put this off until the last minute as you may put your pet in a very uncomfortable situation.

If you are interested in our pet sitting services, please call us at (630) 854-8841

One thought on “Pet Sitting Vs. Pet Boarding

  1. Jenny Gygi

    I thought that your post was great! I’m going to be having to work a lot as we get closer to tax season, and I’ve been trying to think of what I could with my cat while I’m working long hours. I really liked how you mentioned the difference between pet sitting, and pet boarding. I think that since I’m not going to be gone for a long time, a form of pet sitting would work best for my particular situation. I’m going to start looking for different pet sitters in my area as soon as I can! Thank you for the helpful information!

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