Pet boarding vs pet sitting – what solution would best for you and your pet?
Our pets are considered to be a part of our family and similar to kids, we don’t want them to be left alone whenever we are away from home.
There are instances where we need to be away for a couple of hours or even days and we get concerned about who can keep an eye and feed our fur babies while we are gone. There are a few pet-friendly hotels in the US but transporting our pets could be a hassle.
But don’t fret: there are two options you can choose from to ensure that your pets are always safe and sound even if you are miles away from them. You can either board your pet in a pet boarding facility, or you can get a pet sitter that will take care of your cats or dogs in the safety of your own home.
Most pet owners are unaware of the difference between these two services. Similarly, their goal is to provide your pets with daily essentials by watching them and feeding them while you are away. The difference between the two is where the service will take place.
In this article, we will be taking a look at the differences and pros and cons of taking your pet to a pet boarding facility and hiring a pet sitter.
Table of Contents
What is Pet Boarding?
Pet boarding can be compared to hotels for humans, thus it is also called a pet hotel. Typically, the setup is that your pet will be inside an individual cage or enclosure with essentials such as beddings, food and water bowls, and toys.
Different Types of Boarding Facilities
With a growing number of pet owners, dog boarding in the US is a booming business. There are numerous kinds of pet boarding facilities that you may choose from depending on your pet’s needs and accessibility. These are the following:
This facility is best suited for boarding dogs and puppies for several days. Dog kennels are made up of individual areas for each dog with separation to avoid any aggression.
Staff is well-equipped with doggy essentials, such as food, water, and toys, to keep them entertained, fed, and taken care of.
Similar to dog kennels, cat boarding specializes in boarding your feline friends. Each cat has designated areas where it can relax. There are several facilities that a cat boarding facility may offer including cages, condo-type, and free-roaming.
Doggy daycare specializes in the socialization of multiple dogs. It is usually a big open area where dogs can roam around and play with other dogs and the staff as well.
In a doggy daycare, expect a lot more paperwork is needed before you can admit your pets here to prevent sick dogs from infecting other healthy dogs.
Pet hotels in the US are usually luxurious, so expect a pricey reservation. The amenities are usually to pamper your dog and cat.
Similar to human hotels, it offers many relaxing amenities that will surely be enjoyed by furbaby. It includes grooming, a pet spa, makeovers, in-room music, 2-way video call with their pet parent, a personal maid, and even an in-store pet fashion store!
This type of boarding facility is more suitable for dogs and cats that need medical attention. It may be due to sickness, being elderly, an infection, or a pet that requires a strict medication schedule, a veterinary office is perfect for them.
Private Pet Boarding
Unlike dog kennels and cat boarding where they have their own facility building, private pet boarding is an in-house boarding where your pet will be taken care of in someone else’s home. This way, more special attention will be given to your pets but these services are usually more expensive than pet sitters that will take care of your pets in your own home.
What are the Benefits of Pet Boarding?
Pet boarding is a very innovative concept when it comes to taking care of our pets, similar to hotels but specifically catered for cats and dogs. And let’s be honest, there are times that we look forward to staying in hotels because of their amenities. This also applies to our fur babies.
That may all sound excellent, but as a concerned pet owner, you may also wonder what is cat and dog boarding like for our pets? It will depend both on the boarding facility you choose and your fur babies’ personality and adaptability.
Here are some of the advantages of putting your pet in a pet boarding facility.
Spacious Activity Area
Dogs and cats are furballs made up of energy and they need an outlet to release them, or else, they might end up being obese and more prone to sickness. Regular exercise, running, and jumping are just a few ways for them to channel their energy outside their body.
Most dog boarding in the US has an open area where dogs can freely run around with other fur friends. Dogs can spend out their energy at this play area while playing tag and fetch. On the other hand, cats may use up energy playing with balls and feathers with other felines or figuring out a puzzle game.
Routine exercise helps our pets to become healthier and happier. Combine this with a proper diet and tender loving care, our pets will always be in their top shape.
More Fur Buddies to Play With
Like humans, cats and dogs can also experience separation anxiety when left alone for quite some time. This will not be an issue if you board your pet in a boarding facility since there will be a lot of fur buddies they could befriend and play with.
Social pets will benefit from boarding facilities as they will be surrounded by other pets and the boarding staff that can play with them. If your pet is not social they can be catered in boarding facilities that can offer a separate room where they can play in solitary with toys.
A good business requires professional and reputable staff. Pet boarding facilities are known for taking care of living animals, so they have staff that are well equipped and well-trained when it comes to pet handling. Some boarding facilities even have an in-house veterinarian that can take care of your pet when health issues arise.
Food and Medicine are Provided
Pet boarding facilities have stocks of different pet foods depending on your pet’s breed and diet restrictions. It is important to advise the staff before boarding your pet of their diet and medications if necessary.
Amenities for your Pets
Like hotels for humans, pet boarding facilities have plenty of amenities that will be surely enjoyed by your pets. There are grooming facilities, daycares for your baby furries, a garden, dog-walking, and some even have a swimming pool!
What are the Drawbacks of Pet Boarding?
There are quite a lot of pros in boarding your pets in a boarding facility, but as always, there can be some drawbacks. It always depends on your pet’s needs and behavior.
Boarding facilities are pricier compared to pet sitters, mainly because they need to maintain their facilities regularly, unlike pet sitters where your home is already well maintained. The costing will depend on the location and available amenities. On average, it will cost from $25 to $85 per day.
Anxiety for Introverted Pets
Like what we discussed earlier, some pets prefer to be alone. They find relaxation by themselves by playing on their own or by sleeping in their own space.
When you remove your pets from their territory, which is your home, there’s a chance that their stress level increases. A new environment can make them disoriented and confused at times.
Transmission of Animal Illness
Being with other animals, the chances of transmitting infectious diseases and illnesses is very high. Although there are veterinarians available in some boarding facilities, there are chances that symptoms will not show up after a couple more days.
No Specialized Attention
The more dogs and cats to keep an eye on, the less attention your pets will get from the staff. Staff may be busier with other animals that are more active as they require double the attention. Your pet may not be attended very well if there are a lot of pets in a boarding facility.
Aggression from Other Pets is Possible
Mixing your fur babies with other pets may result in aggression from other pets. Smaller pets are the most victimized in this since bigger pets are more aggressive seeing smaller pets. Bigger pets are more capable of showing their dominance, enthusiasm in playing, or territory defense.
What is Pet Sitting?
Pet sitters are comparable to babysitters but for your fur babies. Professional pet sitters will come to visit your house and keep a close eye on your cat or dog from the safety and comfort of your home.
Pet sitting in the US has been a growing industry. Due to people’s hectic schedules, most pet owners prefer to have a pet sitter.
What are the Benefits of Pet Sitting?
Make your pets safe, secured, and well-fed at the comfort of your own home, even if you’re miles away. Hiring a professional pet sitter is a great way for your pets to get the special attention they deserve. Here are its pros and cons.
Without having to pay for facility maintenance, pet sitters are cheaper than pet boarding facilities. The average rate of pets sitting in the US is $25 to $30 per day. Additionally, since the pet food is already in stock, there are no additional charges unlike in pet boarding facilities.
No Need to Transport Pets
There are strict rules and guidelines when it comes to traveling with our fur baby in public transportation. Only small pets are allowed and they should be kept in carriers at all times. How about big dogs or multiple pets?
Although there are pet taxis available, the number of pet-friendly cars is not enough to cater to all the pets in the US. However, being in the comfort of your own home, the pet sitter will be the one to travel for you.
Pet-sitters do not only keep an eye on your pet but your house as well. Some sitters can water the plants, bring in your bills and subscription papers, receive ongoing delivery packages, and feed other pets that you may have such as fishes and hamsters.
Own Territory = Less Stress for Pets
Your pet is already used to their home environment so they can feel less anxious seeing what they are used to seeing daily. Having familiar surroundings, pets will also stick to their schedule of eating and sleeping.
Since pet sitters will work solely on your pets, they will receive more attention and more care, unlike in multiple pets in a boarding facility. That means more intimate bonding will be formed between the sitter and your fur baby, resulting in a healthier relationship.
It is important to give instructions to your sitter in advance so they know what is the feeding, walking, and sleeping schedule, and what medications should be administered if any.
What are the Drawbacks of Pet Sitting?
There are quite a lot of pros in leaving your pets in your own home with a pet sitter, but as always, there can be some drawbacks.
Trusting a Pet Sitter
Inviting a pet sitter at your own home requires a lot of trust and research before hiring them. It is important to see reviews and the professional backgrounds of your sitter. You may check out testimonials from previous clients on what they have to say to the pet sitter of your choice.
Booking During Peak Seasons
During the holiday seasons, most people in the US are off to somewhere for a vacation. This is also the peak season where lots of pet sitters are being booked. It is advisable to book pet sitters months before your vacation to avoid having difficulties finding a temporary buddy for your pets.
Pets Require Time To Adjust With a New Sitter
Seeing new faces may trigger stress to some introverted fur friends. Some dogs and cats may get anxious if they are together with someone they do not recognize. Though, it is important to note the professional pet-sitters are well-trained to acquaint your fur babies for them to become more relaxed and more familiar with them. Through time, your pets will get acquainted and will feel more comfortable with your sitter.
As a pet parent, you have to keep in mind that it depends on your pet’s needs and behavior towards other pets and other people.
Comparing the pros and cons of each service, it is an obvious choice that pet-sitting in your own home is more efficient, comfortable, and safer for our pets. Whichever service you choose, your pet’s health and safety is our number one priority. After all, we want the best for our fur babies.