With the holidays right around the corner, you might be planning a trip to visit family. Or maybe you’re going to escape the cold and go on vacation someplace warm. So now you’re trying to decide between hiring a pet sitter to take care of your furry friend while you’re gone or bringing your pet to a boarding facility. This can be a tough decision for some pet parents, as there are many pros and cons to consider. Here are a few things to consider when choosing between pet boarding and pet sitting!

Pet Boarding Considerations

Pet boarding is a pretty popular choice for traveling pet owners. Although traditional kennels were well-known for their steel runs and cold concrete, many newer boarding kennels may surprise you! They are closer to pet hotels with play areas, plenty of toys, and paddling pools.

  • Social Time: One of the pros of pet boarding is the socialization between pets. Your pet will get plenty of playtime with other pets, which can be great for pets with lots of energy to burn.
  • Less Quality Time: Pets will probably get less quality time and personal attention in a kennel, although this can vary. Some kennels offer extra playtime or walks for additional fees. The newer boarding facilities are often more focused on playing with pets.
  • A New Environment: The environment of boarding kennels can be a little chaotic, which might be too much for older or sensitive animals. Some pets can become stressed and anxious when they are in a new environment. This might cause your pet to feel sick or be scared.
  • Exposure to Disease: Although social time can be a positive experience for some pets, there is a chance that they will be exposed to contagious diseases, such as kennel cough or distemper. Making sure your pet is up to date on all vaccines is very important before boarding.

Pet Sitting Considerations

Many pet owners choose to hire a pet sitter to come into their homes and take care of their dog or cat while they are away. Some pet sitters will stay in your home while you’re away, and others will come to your home a few times each day to feed your pet, play with them, and take them outside.

  • Familiar Surroundings: One of the biggest pros of pet sitting is that your pet can stay comfortable in their own environment. A pet sitter can help keep your dog or cat on a familiar routine, which can also be comforting for pets.
  • More Personal Care: A pet sitter can give your pet special attention and one-on-one playtime. This can also be a good option if your pet has special medical needs. You can have peace of mind knowing they are being constantly watched and cared for.
  • Home Protection: An added benefit of pet sitting is protection for your home. A pet sitter can bring in the mail and turn on lights, which will hopefully deter burglars. They can even water your plants!
  • More Expensive: Although price can vary widely, pet sitting is often more expensive, especially if the sitter is staying in your home or if you have a puppy that needs to be put out frequently.
  • Finding a Trustworthy Sitter: You may already have a trustworthy sitter, and that’s great! But hiring someone you trust to come into your house can be time-consuming and difficult. You want to find someone that will take good care of your pet and your home. That’s why it’s important to ask for references and to meet the sitter before hiring them.

Additional Considerations

There are other things to consider, such as your pet’s age. It may not be advised to bring a young puppy or kitten to a kennel, as they are more susceptible to disease. An animal with special medical needs would also probably do better with a pet sitter who can keep them on their schedule. Some pets love playing with other pets, while others do better staying at home.

All pets are different. What works for one pet might not work for the next. You know your pet’s personality best, so try and choose what’s best for them!