Pet Sitting or Boarding: Which is Best?

Young white man high-fiving a yellow lab

Puppy dog eyes or cats insistent on sleeping on your suitcase might make you wish you could take your pet with you when you travel. But depending on your destination, traveling with your companion animal is not always an option. As you make your to-do list for your upcoming trip, remember to add a bold, highlighted note to make plans for your pet's care.

When it comes to pet supervision, pet sitters or boarding facilities come to mind. But which option is best for your pet? Knowing your pet's needs, personality, and comfort demands will help you to decide. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of pet sitting versus boarding.

Hiring a Pet Sitter for Your Pet

Pet sitting is when a person comes to your home to care for your pet. You could hire a professional pet sitter or ask a friend or family member to watch your pet while you're away.

The Pros of Pet Sitting 

  • Minimal exposure to illnesses or pests as the pet is in their home
  • Best choice for anxious pets who are not thoroughly socialized
  • Maintenance of your pet's familiar routine
  • Individual one-on-one attention for your pet
  • Good option if you have an exotic or unusual pet
  • Can include home care as part of the deal

Cons of Pet Sitting

  • Difficulty in booking a pet sitter during peak seasons
  • Possible loneliness for your pet
  • Higher escape risk
  • The need to provide in-depth details about your pet's routine
  • Dealing with a stranger in your home
  • Risk of disregard for schedule or care requirements, depending on your selected pet sitter

Boarding Facilities for Your Pet

Multiple dogs looking out fence at pet boarding facility

Pet boarding facilities host several pets at the same time. From kitty hotels to doggy daycares that offer overnight services, boarding kennels can be a great option for social and easy-going pets. House boarding is when a pet lover offers their services to tend to small groups of pets in their home during the day or overnight. 

Boarding options differ greatly, and you ultimately want to find a comfortable space that prioritizes your pet's needs. 

The Pros of Boarding 

  • Exposure to other pets and people offers an opportunity for socialization
  • Chances for play and exercise, usually more than at home
  • Monitoring of food and medications
  • More convenient booking process compared to reserving a pet sitter
  • Clean, out-of-the-house care
  • Some boarding options have vets on call
  • Professional, trained caregivers who love pets
  • Structured, consistent, reliable supervision
Young pit bull terrier mix dog playing in sandbox looking into camera

Disadvantages of Boarding

  • Not an option for exotic pets

  • Potential high stress for nervous, unsocialized or geriatric pets

  • Risk of injury from fights

  • Chance of exposure to disease or pests

  • Requires transportation to and from facility

Choosing the Best Care For Your Pet

Reading reviews, interviewing pet sitters to see how they engage with your pet, and visiting boarding facilities are vital in choosing the best care option for your pet while you're away. 

Leaving your companion animal in the care of others can be nerve-wracking the first time, but once you find the option that works for your pet, you can enjoy your holiday, confident that your animal is in good hands. 

How about getting your pet a little gift while you're apart? Check out the great selection of pet food, carriers, and toys by visiting Pets on Broadway!