Pet sitter or boarding outside the home?

Pet sitter or boarding outside the home?

With the summer season upon us, vacations, camps and traveling are all at the top of our activity lists.  What to do with your pet is, of course, of upmost importance.  There are so many choices now.  It used to be the only choice outside your home was a kennel with indoor/outdoor cement runs.  A big difference from your home environment.  Now, if you want to board your dog, there are so many great resorts and spas to choose from, many with indoor areas that look just like home!  But, should you board your pet or leave him at home and have a pet sitter come to the house?

Leaving your pet at home may be the most comfortable for him.  It is his most secure environment, his home.  All his beds, toys, etc. are all where they should be.  He will get to eat and sleep in his regular place.  However, for most of the day, he will be alone.  Unless of course, you have more than one pet.  But even if there are multiple pets, they will be alone for the majority of each 24-hour period.  That may be fine for them, or it may create anxiety.  The activity level will go way down, which could lead to some unwanted behavior.

You may be able to find a pet sitter who moves into your house while you are gone. This is a great alternative as your pets will only be alone during the day.  And, you should have the same, or another sitter come during the day so you pet can get outside, relieve himself and have some interaction time.   If the pet sitter is known to your pets, it will be an easier for all.

Most pet sitters are happy to come to your house as often as you would like them to.  This comes in handy if you have a pet who needs medications at specific times.  Make sure your pets have met, know, and are comfortable with the pet sitter.  You certainly don’t want the dog not to let the pet sitter in the house when they come to take care of them!

Even though it seems like a pet sitter may be the way to go, there are benefits to boarding your dog.  There will be all kinds of entertainment and activities.  Your pet will not be bored!  Usually, there is someone at the facility 24 hours.  If your pet has an event that requires a person to intervene, help would come sooner than if the pet is at home alone.  There are play groups, training sessions, grooming, walks, almost whatever you can think your pet might like available at the good pet resorts, even swimming pools!These places have bedrooms with soothing music, etc.  They are nothing like the kennel cement runs of the old days.

According to PetMD, "Many pet owners prefer boarding at a veterinary facility so that their pets have access to veterinary care."  However, most vet clinics are set up as healthy facilities, and their animal containment areas are geared to that.

Depending on the state you are looking to board or hire a pet sitter in, the state may or may not license, regulate and inspect the facility or the service.Investigate all you can, and of course, the best recommendation is a personal experience from someone you trust.

The more thought out your decision on boarding or hiring a pet sitter, the easier your mind will be while gone.  If you set it up correctly, it can be a vacation for all!