Which Is Better: Pet Sitting vs Pet Boarding?
Deciding on how to care for your beloved pets while away from home can be challenging.
When travel or other commitments take you away from your Fluffy Friends, you have two options: pet sitting and pet boarding.
Both approaches have their pros and cons.
Thus, pet owners should take a look at several factors to be able to choose the best option for their pets.
These factors include your pet's needs, personality, and your personal preference.
Join us as we explore the pros and cons of pet sitting vs pet boarding.
We'll help you make the best decision, depending on your unique situation.
Pet Sitting vs Pet Boarding: What's the Difference?
There are two types of pet sitting services: (1) the pet sitter stays in your house, or (2) they visit daily to take care of your pets.
The first option (in-home pet sitting) is a personalised and convenient service where professional pet sitters come to your home to take care of your pet.
This service allows your furry friends to stay in their familiar surroundings.
Also, this is the better choice to minimise stress and disruption.
In-home cat and dog sitters offer various services:
- Giving medications, and
- Ensuring your pets feel loved and secure.
It's the best solution for pet parents who prefer to keep their pets at home.
This option makes it unnecessary to take your pets away from their home environment.
The second option, or "drop-in" pet sitting, is a flexible service that doesn't involve the pet sitter staying overnight at your home.
Instead, the pet sitter regularly visits your house to care for your pets.
Stay-out pet sitting is the better option if you don't need 24/7 supervision for your pets.
It's a convenient choice for short-term care.
This service still ensures that your pets stay happy and comfy even while you're away.
If you need more information about pet sitting, check out our blog about What To Look For in a Pet Sitter.
Pet boarding facilities provide temporary housing and care for pets.
These facilities, also called pet boarding kennels, vary in size and services offered.
A pet boarding facility has separate enclosures, shared play areas, and kennel staff.
They offer a secure and comfortable environment for your fur baby.
This is a great option for owners who want a safe and structured setting for their Fluffy Friends.
To summarise, pet sitting involves a sitter visiting your home to look after your pets.
This allows your companions to stay in the comfort of their own home.
It's a personalised service that provides one-on-one attention.
Conversely, pet boarding entails leaving your pets in a specialised facility while you're away.
While boarding facilities offer a structured and social space, your pets will be in a new environment with other animals.
Still, not all pets are socially inclined, so it's always a good idea to consider their personalities before choosing.
Related: Christmas Gift Ideas For Pets
Pet Sitting Pros and Cons
Pet Sitting Pros:
- Familiar Environment
Pets are surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, and smells at home.
If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, staying home with a sitter or family member can help reduce stress.
- Personalised Care
Pet sitters offer one-on-one care.
This can ensure that your pets receive tailored companionship.
- Routine Maintenance
Your pets can maintain their daily routines.
This means they get the usual feeding, exercise, and potty breaks.
This can minimise disruption to their daily lives.
Your home appears lived-in if you choose to employ live-in sitters.
Of course, this helps deter potential burglars.
- Medication Continuity
At home, sitters can easily give medications to pets with special needs.
Pet Sitting Cons:
- Limited Socialisation
Dogs are known to be pack animals.
Pet sitters may not provide as much social interaction as a boarding facility with other pets.
Indoor cats prefer having their alone time.
Still, some cats also socialise with other pets under the right circumstances.
Home care may not be the best choice if your pet is a social butterfly.
The quality of care can vary depending on the pet sitter's reliability and expertise.
The most important thing to consider is to do background checks on potential sitters.
Home sitting can be more expensive than boarding, especially if you have multiple pets.
In cases where pets need constant supervision, drop-in pet sitting might not be a good fit.
Like us, pets feel lonely, too, and a sitter’s short stay may not be enough.
- Finding a Trustworthy Sitter
Finding a trustworthy and dependable pet sitter can be difficult.
In this case, you’d need to do a lot of research.
It would be best to find recommendations from friends or family members.
Pet Boarding Pros and Cons
Pet Boarding Pros:
- Social Interaction
Pets have the opportunity to interact with other animals.
Trained staff members oversee pet care and well-being.
- Structured Environment
Daily routines and activities that include feeding and playtime are provided.
Boarding facilities are often equipped with security measures.
Knowing that your pet can’t escape or run away gives you peace of mind.
- Veterinary Care
Some facilities have on-site veterinary care or quick access to medical care.
Still, you must inform the staff about any medical issue your pet may have.
Pet Boarding Cons:
- New Environment
Pets may experience stress due to unfamiliar surroundings and strange animals.
- Risk of Injury or Illness
Increased exposure to potential injuries or illnesses from other pets in the facility.
Also, you need to consider your pet’s age when you’re thinking about boarding them.
Older pets are more likely to get sick or injured when exposed to unfamiliar surroundings than younger dogs or cats.
- Schedule Restrictions
Pets must adhere to the facility's timetable.
If your cat or dog is used to a specific schedule, they might have a hard time following the set times.
- Limited Personal Attention
Attention from staff may not be as individualised as pet sitting.
Boarding can be expensive, particularly for extended stays or special accommodations.
If you choose to have a pet sitter for your best friend, make a checklist of what you want your sitter to do.
In addition, prepare everything that your sitter needs.
You must show them where to get fresh water, food, medication, and cleaning supplies.
Alternatively, if you choose pet boarding services, you might want to pack your pet’s favourite toy or blankie so they’d be comforted even while you’re away.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer in choosing between pet sitting and pet boarding.
Each choice has its own pros and cons.
Ultimately, the decision should be based on your pet's unique needs and personality.
Whether it's in-home pet sitting or a pet boarding facility, what matters most is ensuring your best friend's safety, well-being, and happiness while you're away.
You can make the right choice by carefully considering your pet's requirements!
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