You’re leaving town tomorrow for a business trip. You’re all packed up and organized. The babysitter for the kids is scheduled and confirmed. But, you forgot to arrange plans for your other, furrier child- your new puppy. Last minute arrangements are not impossible but deciding which type of care your dog will receive is definitely something worth looking into. So, dog sitting vs. dog boarding. Which is the better option?
Dog boarding has been a primary method of doggy care for a decently long time. Pet hotels, veterinary facilities, and kennels, range from doggy paradise to fido’s worst nightmare. The most common and affordable facilities are modern but still subject your pup to metal cages, a dreary environment, and sub-par quality of care. Disease in kennels run rampant and spread like wildfire. Puppies are especially susceptible to these contagious germs. I mean, it makes sense considering these facilities are crowded and aren’t exclusive to just dogs. Immersing your dog in a new and unwelcoming environment can make them feel extremely uncomfortable, leading to sickness that easily manifests and advances throughout their stay. Coping in this constant state of stress lowers immunity and can lead to a loss of appetite due to the abrupt change in diet. This is especially true for puppies, as their owner’s home is a safe haven. I’m almost positive that dogs everywhere agree that there truly is no place like home.
Doggy daycares and kennels provide your dog’s basic needs but seldom provide any extra services, meaning the quality of care is usually lower than that of a pet sitter’s and costs you more money. Dog boarding costs depend on the facility but kennels typically charge you per day and per service. Extra services include one-on-one walks, playtime, or grooming…things we typically perceive as doggy necessities. These “services” quickly add up so it might be best, for you and fido, to 86 the kennel altogether. Even though your pup’s basic needs are met, the risks far outweigh the benefits.
This doesn't mean, though, that all boarding facilities fail to provide sufficient services. You must research where you plan to take your dog, as they can range anywhere from almost qualifying as a doggy prison, to puppy paradise. You should feel comfortable and confident in your dog’s care and weigh the pros and cons of each facility.
Dog sitting takes precedence over all other forms of dog care. Having a personal dog walker and caregiver is a dog’s dream. These at-home services allow trained dog sitters to spend one-on-one time with your dogs and cater to their every need. Your dog remains calm and comfortable at home and receives the highest quality care. Using a pet sitter means your dog is dodging every risk a kennel poses for disease and stress. Pups get the star treatment with unlimited walks, playtime, and love. Unlike the unfriendly and stark environments of a dog boarding facility, having a pet sitter means your dog gets to play with the same toys, sleep in the same bed, and trot around a similar and friendly setting. In the event of an emergency or health issue, your sitter is trained and qualified to handle it. They can give medicine and keep a watchful eye on your dog, all while providing the best care possible.
As dog owners, we can agree that our dogs must be let out multiple times a day… especially puppies. Taking your dogs on walks and allowing them to play outside is extremely beneficial for health and growth. This is something only a personal dog walker or sitter can provide, as boarding facilities do not prioritize each dog’s specific needs. Whether you need a dog sitter to stay in your home for an extended period of time or a daily dog walker, research any and all potential dog sitters/walkers.
To me, the right option is obvious. A pet sitter/walker encompasses all that is beneficial for you and your dog. Every risk that threatens your dog at a facility is drastically minimized when kept at home. Just remember, every day is a vacation for your dog when they're home.