Traveling as a pet parent can be stressful, especially if you cannot bring your beloved pet along for the journey. Aside from packing and planning your travel itinerary, you need to make arrangements for your pet’s care while you are away. When it comes time to travel without your beloved four legged companions, it is important to consider the type of care for your pet and what environment is best them. Utilizing the help of a friend or family member is great, but sometimes our loved ones aren’t quite up to the task and won’t be able to provide the proper care. This is when you need to call in the professionals. But which service should be utilized? Should you leave your pet in a boarding facility or hire a sitter? We will outline the pros and cons of pet sitting business and break down what might work best for you and your pets.
Pros of Pet Boarding
Pet boarding facilities offer a variety of services and come with many benefits for certain animals.
One major perk of a boarding kennels is the safety of your pet. These facilities are usually designed to keep their tenants safely within their boundaries, by means of walled off spaces, individual rooms or cages for the animals and regulated play areas where dogs are separated by age, size and personality.
These spaces often employ specially trained staff available 24/7 to monitor the animals and keep them safe. This can be a huge benefit if your pet requires medications or has special needs so you can sure that the pet will receive the proper dosage and that the medicines are successfully administered.
Another positive aspect of boarding is that the environment can be engaging for animals who are very social or need lots of exercise and stimulation. There will be ample space for the pets to play in a yard or a playground of sorts, specialty toys, not to mention all the other friendly dogs to meet and mingle with every day.
Cons of Pet Boarding
On the other hand, there can be many negatives to choosing to board your pets at a facility.
Such an environment would be too stressful for some animals. Dog boarding tends to be a more successful option for socially oriented and high energy pups. Shy or anxious pups might have a difficult time adjusting to the change in environment, routine and unfamiliar faces. This issue is especially true for cats, as they are very territorial creatures that do not do well with change, so choosing a boarding facility for cats might not be the best option for them.
There is a greater risk of illness as well in boarding facilities as your pets as they are exposed to more animals in an enclosed space. While many facilities require vaccinations before admission, there can be other ailments your pet can contract including but not limited to conjunctivitis, kennel cough, giardia, etc. As many facilities also provide their own food for the animals, the change in diet could also cause gastrointestinal distress for some dogs. There is also the possibility of injury due to an altercation with another animal. There could also be some self-inflicted harm if the animal is too stressed and starts to lick paws creating a hot spot, or thrashing in their cage, etc.
Another downside could be the overall cost as boarding facilities can come at a much higher cost depending on their reputation and the perks that they offer. Sadly, some facilities are also much safer than others so it is key to do your due diligence in researching boarding facilities to make sure they have good reviews, varry insurance and have standards for hiring practices as well as admittance of animals.
Pros of In-Home Pet Sitting
Having trusted house sitters coming to your home comes with a multitude of benefits. For one, you get the double whammy combo of having a pet sitter care for your pet coupled with house sitting, making sure that all is well with your abode.
Pet sitting benefits those pets who need to be in their own space and keep to their daily routine. This is especially true for the kitties. The animals don’t have to go through any disruptions to their daily lives, aside from having a new person in their home. Daily routines can be maintained and your cat or dog will get the undivided attention of one person as opposed to a rotating cast of caregivers at a facility.
The care for your pets can also be more individualized, allowing for more specific requests like playing certain games or using special toys. A sitter can also focus on any dog training you might be trying to teach your pets, which can help make sure the progress isn’t lost just because you had to travel. Pet sitters also send more individualized updates with thoughtful stories detailing the events of the day along with photos which can be tricky to arrange through a facility that might have too many pets to keep track of and therefore cannot tailor the care for your particular pet.
Hiring a pet sitter can also be a more cost effective solution as prices can be more competitive than with a facility with a large overhead.
Cons of Pet Sitting
Of course, there are always some cons to go with the pros. One downside of hiring a pet sitter is that you are potentially opening up your home to a stranger. It is wise to make sure to hire a pet sitter through a reputable company with stringent hiring practices and who offer meet and greets with the sitters. There can also be limited availability for overnight pet care as companies work with a smaller staff. This can be especially true around the major holidays when everyone is trying to travel to see loved ones. There is also a greater flight risk since your pets will not be contained in an enclosed space as would be the case with a boarding facility.
Whether you choose pet boarding or pet sitting, make sure to consider what is best for your pet first!