You got yourself a new best friend! Congratulations! Now your life will be changed forever. You will have to consider Chewy’s needs every day you are together. He will require the best food you can afford, vet check-ups and treatments, toys and treats, and most importantly attention and love. It is your responsibility to make sure Chewy gets everything he needs.
So what will you do when you take your Alaskan cruise next month? He can’t come with you, unfortunately, but you do have a couple of options. In the past, you would have had one choice: leaving Chewy at a kennel. Boarding facilities have been around for many years. You pay a nightly fee and Chewy stays in his very own doggy hotel room.
Today, there is a second choice. Pet sitting is a relatively new part of the forty billion dollar pet industry in the United States, but a fast-growing one. What makes pet sitting different from boarding is that Chewy stays at home and a sitter comes in to check on him, walk him, feed him, and give him love and affection.
Which is the best choice? Both can be great ways for Chewy to be cared for while you travel. The decision will depend upon cost, Chewy’s temperament and needs, the businesses available near you, and your comfort.
The costs of boarding and pet sitting are highly variable. It depends greatly upon location. Within one geographical area, pet sitting rates will be fairly constant and could be anywhere from $30 to $60 per day. Boarding rates, on the other hand, can vary more because of the different types of kennels. A typical, bare-bones kennel may charge around $25 per night, while a swanky pet hotel could charge twice as much as that. Keep in mind that a simple, inexpensive kennel is not necessarily a bad thing. They just may not offer spa services or rooms with televisions.
Many dog owners who choose pet sitting over boarding do so because they believe their dog will be happier staying at home. Some animals are anxious in new settings and are more comfortable at home in familiar surroundings. If Chewy gets nervous when you take him to a friend’s house or a new dog park, he may prefer pet sitting. If he is relaxed around others and loves to meet and play with new dogs, then he may enjoy a kennel. Of course, if he is aggressive towards other dogs, he needs to stay at home and have a sitter visit him.
Chewy’s needs come first, but you should also consider your own needs when choosing his accommodations. If you will be a nervous wreck leaving him at home and worrying about him being alone for so many hours, boarding may be for you. If boarding makes you nervous, however, maybe pet sitting will be best. Dog owners sometimes have bad experiences with kennels. Dogs can be neglected or get sick while being boarded, so it is understandable. Think about what will make you most comfortable before making a decision.
Finally, there is no sense in choosing pet sitting if there are no such businesses in your neighborhood. As a newer industry, pet sitting has not completely penetrated every market. Do some research and find out what pet sitters, if any, and what boarding facilities are in your area.
Whichever option you decide to go with, be sure to select a kennel or pet sitter carefully. We’re talking about caring for your best friend after all! Any pet care business that is reputable should be able to show you proof that they are insured and references to vouch for how well they care for people’s furry babies.