When you are going on vacation, traveling for the weekend or even working far from home you will be familiar with the dilemma of what to do with your pet during your time away.
Having a pet is all cuteness, fun and snuggles when they aren’t pooping on your floor, chewing everything in your household or barking at your neighbors. In reality, pets can be a hassle and complete nuisance at times, especially when you’re trying to find someone else to do your dirty work.
You might be lucky to have a crazy-pet-loving friend that is obsessed with your dog, or local family that doesn’t mind putting up with your mutt once a year. But, for most pet owners out there going away equals hiring a dog sitter or paying for your cat or dog to go into the kennels or boarding.
So, what are the pros and cons of using boarding as opposed to a pet sitter?
Firstly, lets discuss using a boarding facility. The main benefit of using kennels for your cat or dog means that there is no stranger entering your house and having access to your property. Furthermore, at a pet hotel your animal is likely to receive much more professional care with higher levels of safety, legislation and caution. Also, qualified professionals, something that isn’t always common with pet sitters, are handling your pet.
However, there are many drawbacks with using pet hotels. While it’s a convenient set up, it’s important you can trust the company and feel comfortable with your pet staying there. Do your research; find a pet hotel with reliable reviews and a good reputation. Make sure you visit as many local pet hotels as possible in order to choose the best and most convenient for you.
Either way, pets are likely to be much more stressed in a kennels than in the comfort of their own home. Ultimately, when your pet is surrounded by lots of other animals, there is a higher chance that it will catch infectious diseases and contract other infections during their stay, such as the very common ‘kennel cough.’
Pet hotels can also encourage abnormal and uncharacteristic behaviors for the pets. For example, being allowed to pee and poop on the floor usually goes against most pet owners values, training and routines.
On the other hand, having a pet sitter means that they can also ‘house sit’ while you are away or out of town. They are able to regularly check your house and its security, collect your mail and essentially reduce chances of burglary. Having a pet sitter minimizes the amount of change and disrupt to the animals routine and environment. However, pet sitters are generally more expensive than pet hotels and the cost can really add up over a longer period.
Whatever you decide to choose will always depend on your needs and your pet’s requirements. Other factors that may influence your decision include your budget, time scale, your pet’s sociability with other animals and personal preference. A couple solutions I can think of are 1) Don’t commit on getting a pet if you travel a lot, it’s unfair on the animal and 2) If you really have to, go on vacation where you can take your pet!