One of the biggest things with pet owners is figuring out what to do with your little one when you have to go out of town on vacation or business, or that big wedding or family gathering. Leaving them alone only brings up anxiety and the fear that they will over eat, not eat at all, get out, or even wreck the house. And if you have a timid animal, leaving them alone is generally a recipe for disaster. But what to do? Do you hire someone to sit with your pet while you’re gone? Or do you take your pet to a boarding facility? Time to compare and contrast. Here are some details about each to help figure out what method would be best.
Boarding is generally the most popular option for pet owners needing to leave their pets home when traveling. The first thing a lot of people think when they think of pet boarding is that their beloved pet will be kept in a cage or kennel. Fortunately, leaving animals in cold concrete rooms, plastic or steel cages with no social interaction is no longer the norm. There are now several ‘pet hotels’ with all types of amenities, especially if you have a dog or pet that is very social and needs to be around other animals or people. There are several places with huge fields and pools, and they get plenty of exercise.
With these new facilities, that beloved pet of yours can now relax in luxury in a doggie-cot in a plexi-glass room, watching some doggie themed TV. Or your little kitten can enjoy a a catnip lounge and amazing cat hotels with surrounding fish tanks and rooms with aviary sounds and cat friendly movies. In any case, the boarding arrangement is easier than ever. In these facilities, they also provide immediate pet care, for if in the event your pet ever falls sick or hurt by some happenstance. Some even preemptively do routine vitals on you fur babies to make sure they are staying healthy and happy.
Pet Boarding facilities also come with a sort of structured routine, which is good for most pets. Where they are kept on a schedule. Specific times for feeding, walks, cleaning and grooming, just to name a few. But, also keep in mind, that with some pets, having them stay at an unfamiliar setting, with unfamiliar people or other animals, can also increase anxiety. Especially a pet that is not used to leaving the house. In this case, pet sitting may be a better option. Also a cheaper option.
This is a more intimate option. With pet sitting, there are two general types. Some sitters who just come to the house at specific times to feed, water, and walk your animals. Making sure they have food, use the bathroom (and not in the house), and that they stay hydrated. And walking makes sure they are getting their exercise while you are away. Other sitters will not only feed, walk, and water the dog, but will stay at the pet owner’s house while they are away, so that their pet can have constant companions, especially during the late-night hours. In this way, its like you are providing your own little pet hotel at home.
Planning is key for getting a sitter. Knowing in advance how long you will need them and the type of sitter you need is the best way to optimize how your pet is cared for. Its also important to do your research on your sitter ahead of time. Much like babysitters, you want to know who is actually coming in to care for your pet. And make sure they are reliable and available. For your pets needs while you are away.
Another perk of having a live in sitter while you are away, is having someone care for your home as well. Having someone there to make sure you house is safe as well as your pet is a huge benefit to taking on a pet sitter. If you are going to have an overnight sitter, its good to build a good relationship and trust with your sitter before hand. That way not only does your pet feel comfortable around them, because you are, but also so that you, yourself feels comfortable with who is going to be overseeing things while you are away.
These are just a few examples of the differences between pet sitting and pet boarding. Another key thing is cost. You will more than likely spend significantly more with a boarding facility, however, you may spend the same amount if you will be gone multiple days with a live in sitter. Its all about what works with your budget, and what works with you and your animal.