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Boarding Vs. Petsitting: Which Is Best? 

April 1 2024

Are you planning on going away soon? You’ll need to arrange for someone to take care of your furry bestie while you are gone. Generally, you have two major options: boarding and petsitting. Read on as a local Bloomington, CA pet resort offers some suggestions on choosing.

What Is The Difference Between Dog Boarding And Dog Sitting?

Pet boarding and pet sitting both have the same general purpose: having someone look after your pup while you are away. The difference really is in where Fido stays. With a pet sitter, the pooch often stays home. His dog sitter will come by to take care of him. Sometimes people hire pet sitters to stay at their places.

With boarding, Fido and/or Fluffy will stay in a kennel while you are out of town.

There are also cases where you may choose to bring your dog to a private petsitter, someone who cares for your pet at their place.

Which Is Better, Boarding Or Pet Sitting?

There is no universal answer for this. It will vary depending on your pet, your circumstance, and whether you are looking at dog boarding, cat boarding, or both. There may be times when a petsitter is your best option. For the most part, boarding is the safer option. However, there are some exceptions.

Many kennels only accept pets that are fixed, healthy, and up to date on vaccinations.That means some pets are not going to be a good fit for kennels. If your dog or cat has severe anxiety, is aggressive, or is prone to behavioral issues and/or separation anxiety, getting a pet sitter could also be a better option.

Here are a few scenarios where petsitting may be a better choice for your four-legged pal while you are out of town:

  • If your furry pal is a very young puppy or kitten, and has not completed all of their initial vaccines, you may not be able to board them. This is because many kennels do not allow pets below a certain age.
  • If your dog or cat has just given birth, and you have a litter on your hands, a petsitter is likely your best bet.
  • Pets that have not been fixed, or are not current on preventative care.
  • If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time.
  • If your pet has mobility issues or compromised immunity.
  • Pets that are recovering from surgery or illness.
  • Very old pets that may need more supervision.
  • Pets with extreme separation anxiety.
  • Pets with aggression or behavioral issues.

People with multiple pets also often prefer petsitters, as boarding several animals would cost significantly more. 

Do plenty of research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

Of course, no matter which option you choose, picking a great caretaker is key. Look over reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. You may also want to compile a list of questions for your kennel or sitter. 

What Pets Do Better At Boarding?

Boarding is a great choice for the vast majority of our furry pals. If your pet is very friendly and sociable, they may actually enjoy their time away from home! It can also be a good choice for a younger pet that is still being socialized.

Healthy, adult pets that have been fixed tend to do just fine. This is also the safer option in many cases. (More on that later)

What Steps Can I Take To Reduce My Pet’s Stress When I Travel?

There are a few things you can do here. It’s going to depend somewhat on where your furry pal will be staying. If you are taking your dog or cat to a boarding facility, then we would suggest booking a short stay there before going away on vacation. 

Packing can also help. If you can, bring along some comfort items, things that will remind your pet of you and your home. This might be their bed, a few favorite toys, calming treats, or a shirt that you’ve worn, as it will have your scent.

If you are getting a petsitter, then ask your sitter to try and keep your pet on their normal routine as much as possible.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Boarding?

Boarding is generally going to be the wiser choice. Your pet will be secure, and will be monitored by professionals for the duration of their stay. Many places also have options for providing extra playtime, cuddle sessions, or both!

On the downside, dog boarding and/or cat boarding may cost more than petsitting. As mentioned above, some pets may also not be accepted.

You’ll of course need to find a great kennel, but that applies to petsitting as well.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Petsitting?

While we are a kennel, of course, we do want to give an honest accounting. There are a few things about petsitting that make it more appealing to many. For one thing, it’s often cheaper, especially if you have multiple pets. Your furry pal will also likely appreciate being able to stay home.

That said, there are a few concerns. Unless you are going with someone you know, you’ll need to give a stranger full access to your home. While agencies do vet their contractors, this isn’t entirely foolproof.

If you do go with someone you know, you could be in for a lot of struggle and strife if something were to go wrong. Hopefully, everything would go smoothly, but think about what would happen if things did go south. This could also strain—or even destroy—your relationship.

You’ll also want to consider safety nets. One scenario/question to ask would be if your pet slipped out, would the sitter be able to catch them? If not, then your pet could potentially get lost. What would happen if your petsitter cannot get to your place? Do they have a backup plan? Are they insured? 

These are all things you’ll want to consider. 

What Should I Do Before Boarding Or Pet Sitting?

Getting ready for a trip can become hectic, especially if you tend to end up rushing around at the last minute. We can’t help much with packing or preparing for your trip, but we do have a to-do list that can help you prepare your pet.

  • Pack for your furry buddy. Make sure you have bedding, food, treats, and toys ready. Ideally, kibble would be portioned out in small bags or containers. If you’re going with a pet resort, be sure to ask in advance about what they do and do not allow: rules vary from place to place. 
  • Make sure that your pet is up to date on all of their vaccinations and parasite control products.
  • Your furry pal should be microchipped and wearing ID tags. Double check to verify that the information is correct and up to date.
  • If you are hiring a petsitter, make sure that they have any necessary keys or codes, and that they know how to secure the place after you leave. You may also want to close off certain rooms. This will give your pet less hiding spots, but still allow them to relax at home. 
  • Confirm your backup contact. This should be someone that you really trust: after all, they may need to make decisions about your pet’s care in an emergency. 
  • Provide any necessary paperwork or documentation. 

Book Time At Your Bloomington, CA Pet Boarding Kennel

Do you have questions about boarding your pet? Do you want to schedule a stay for your furry friend? Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. As your Bloomington, CA pet hotel, we are dedicated to taking great care of all of our furry wards. 

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