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Put yourself in your pet’s place for just a moment. Your family embarks on long-planned vacation in only a few days. You listen to the concern in their voices as they discuss who is going to care for you, their beloved pet. Should we hire a pet sitter or should we put him in kennel? They debate back and forth.

You listen and pretty soon it becomes clear which you, as a pet, would prefer. As a pet parent, which do you think your pet would choose?

Pet Sitting

A professional pet sitter, who is licensed, bonded, and insured, will come to your home to visit your pets once, twice, or however many times you’ve scheduled visits each day. With pet sitting:

  • Your pet remains in the comfort of his own home.
  • Your pet enjoys his normal routine.
  • A professional pet sitter will follow your instructions for the care of your pet.
  • Many professional pet sitting services offer overnight service, should your pet prefer or require companionship at night.
  • Medication, if applicable, will be administered according to your specific instructions.
  • Your pet sitter will contact you and/or your veterinarian immediately should your pet become injured or ill.
  • The professional pet sitter will ensure your house looks lived in by turning lights on and off and bringing in mail and garbage cans.
  • You will receive a daily update, either by email or text, to keep you informed as to how your pet is doing.

Kennels

At one time, pet parents had little choice but to board their pets at the kennel unless they had reliable friends who would care for their pets while they were away. Kennels have both their pros and their cons but with a kennel you can generally expect:

  • Your pet will be surrounded by other pets.
  • Pets may have the opportunity to play with each other in a common area setting.
  • Pets may or may not have individual places to play and to run or may have to share a common area, depending on the kennel.
  • Medication, if applicable, should be administered according to your specific instructions.
  • Mealtimes are generally scheduled all at once and not according to a specific pet’s usual routine.
  • Your pets may become stressed in the car as they travel to the kennel.
  • A period of adjustment will typically be required both when your pet arrives at the kennel and when he returns home.
  • Your pet will have to follow the kennel’s schedule which may be unlike his normal routine.

Do your research.

Before deciding whether a professional pet sitter or a kennel is best for your pet, consider his individual needs and his personality. Where is he most likely to thrive? Does he need one-on-one attention to be happy?

Once you decide whether you want to hire a professional pet sitter or find a kennel at which to board your pet, prepare a list of questions you can ask to determine if the pet sitter or the facility is the best fit for your pet.

Do you prefer boarding your pets at a kennel or hiring a professional pet sitter? Why?