When you need to go out of town for business, vacation, wedding or family reunion, part of planning the trip is figuring out where your fur babies will stay. Many people prefer to take their pets along, but that is not always possible.
It is important to weigh the costs and benefits of enlisting a pet sitter or opt for pet boarding.
You should consider these two factors when deciding on the best choice for your pet.
- Do your pets love to socialize?
- Do your pets not do well in unfamiliar environments?
Pet sitters typically stay in the home of the pet parents, so the pets can remain in their familiar territory. Therefore, it is a great option for pets who do not do well in unfamiliar environments.
There are two kinds of in-home pet sitters: those who drop by a few times a day to walk, feed and play with your fur baby, or those who stay overnight so your fur baby has a constant companion.
- Most pets show signs of stress when their owners are away, but it tends to be less severe when they are in the familiar surroundings of their own homes.
- Live-in sitters can take phone messages and you have a lot of control over who and what your pet interact with.
- Live-in sitters are more likely to recognize potential health problems sooner and is able to arrange for the pets to be seen by a veterinarian.
- Informal pet-sitting arrangements can be tricky unless you are absolutely sure the person you’ve hired is reliable and trustworthy. A casual agreement between friends may mean your sitter is not as well-prepared for an emergency as a professional.
- It is almost always more expensive than boarding.
Traditionally, pet boarding has been the most popular solution for pet parents needing to leave their pets. While this may conjure up images of dozens of animals locked up in small crates and cages, that isn’t necessarily the case nowadays. In many of today’s kennels, your fur baby can have his/her own room, group play, daily hikes, a training refresher, massage and swimming. Some pet boarding facilities are like a resort for your fur babies.
If you have a social fur baby who likes to be around other pets and people, pet boarding could be an excellent choice.
- They can offer care directly from certified veterinarians. This is especially helpful if your fur baby has chronic medical issues which require constant care and monitoring.
- Boarding is typically a cheaper option than hiring a pet sitter since they care for many animals at a time.
- For many pets, staying at a pet hotel can heighten their stress and increase their anxiety since they’re in an unfamiliar environment. At times, fear and timidity could possibly lead to loss in appetite and weight when boarding.
- Extra walks or playtime can cost extra and drive the price up considerably. If you have a pet that needs a lot of one-on-one or medical attention, a boarding facility may not be for you.
Overall, there is no right or wrong choice- only what’s best for your pet. Cats are generally (but not always) happier staying at home, while many (but not all) dogs enjoy the more social atmosphere of boarding. Once you determine where your pet will be happier, check out any pet sitter or boarding facility you are considering as if your pet’s life depends on it. Because it does!