Pet Boarding vs. Pet Sitting: Which Is Better for You and Your Pet?

Pet Boarding vs. Pet Sitting: Which Is Better for You and Your Pet?

Not sure whether to board your pet or hire a sitter while you’re out of town?

Depending on where you live, there are many options for both. While there’s no perfect answer, knowing your pet will help make the decision a little easier.

The Difference Between Pet Boarding and Pet Sitting

Years ago, the only option for pet owners was to board their pet at the local kennel. Pet boarding is like taking your dog to a hotel, except all the guests are pets. On the other hand, there’s pet sitting. Typically a pet sitter will stay at your home while you’re away, or stop by to care for your pets once or twice per day. Some pets do better with boarding, while some will do just fine staying at home. It all depends on the pet.

When to Consider Boarding Your Pet

Boarding is the best option if your pet is a youngster. You’ll rest easier knowing he’s getting plenty of potty breaks, attention, and social time needed to keep him happy and stimulated. Boarding is also a better bet if you have a pet who gets destructive when you’re away. Pets prone to separation issues will do better with 24-hour attention.
©istockphoto/Rohappy ©istockphoto/Rohappy

When Pet Sitting is a Good Option

Do you have multiple dogs, cats, and other pets? If so, pet sitting may be a good fit. Dogs who have a companion or two won’t feel as lonely as they would if they’re the only pet. And if your dogs are older, letting them stay in familiar surroundings will prevent them from getting stressed. If you have house cats who like to do their own thing when you’re home, having a sitter who can visit them once or twice a day may be all you need.

Other Considerations

The weather can be a factor when deciding between boarding or pet sitting. What happens if there’s a snow storm and your sitter can’t drive to your house? It’s a good idea to have a trustworthy neighbor who can get into your home and check on your pet, just in case. Another thing to consider is the reputation of whoever will be caring for your pets. Always do your homework. Ask people you know if they can recommend a boarding facility or sitter they trust. Check review sites and social media to see what other people are saying. If you’re using a pet sitter, ask for references and make sure they’re insured and bonded. Also, plan ahead in case of an emergency. Leave phone numbers for your veterinarian and at least one backup person in case you don’t have service where you’re going, or the sitter can’t get a hold of you for whatever reason. Whether you choose to have your pet stay at a boarding facility or hire a pet sitter, making sure your pet is “in good paws” will give you peace of mind while you’re away.

Patty DiMaggio

Patty DiMaggio is a freelance copywriter specializing in social media, website, and email content for pet companies who want to generate more revenue from their marketing efforts. Patty also works as a pet sitter for Play Time Pet Care in Mesa, AZ where she lives with her two long-haired dachshunds, Daisy and Belle. When not writing for clients Patty enjoys hiking, horseback riding, and traveling to new places in Arizona and around the U.S.
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