If you share your life with a dog then you know that you cannot leave your canine family member unattended for extended periods of time. If you are unable to take him with you, then you can either board him in a kennel or hire a pet sitter to come to your house. Hiring a pet sitter is far better for your dog than boarding, and there are several reasons why this is the case.
1. Kennel Boarding Causes Stress
For some dogs, a kennel is a very stressful environment. There will be strange people, lots of barking and possibly a bed that is much less comfortable than the one he is used to. This stress can cause a dog to lose his appetite and without the proper nutrition, his immune system could become challenged, leaving him susceptible to illness.
Hiring a pet sitter means your dog can stay in the comfort of your home. Being able to remain at home, he will be surrounded by his usual furnishings and your scent. Simply being in his own, familiar environment will be a comfort to him while you are gone.
2. Pet Sitters Give Lots of Love
Boarding kennels are busy places, often with several canine guests at any given time. The staff can only give each dog a limited amount of attention. A good pet sitter will do more than just take your dog out for potty breaks or feed him. They will spend time with him, giving him love and attention, as well as walks and play time.
3. Pet Sitters May Offer Extra Services
It is not unreasonable to ask your pet sitter to do other basic tasks, such as water your plants, bring in your mail, or take your trash cans to the curb on trash day and bring them back in at the end of the day. Some pet sitters are willing to go even further by staying overnight at your home. An overnight pet sitter has many advantages. If your dog is particularly nervous, or needs medication at specific intervals, then finding an overnight pet sitter will be very handy. Overnight company is something your dog will be unlikely to find in a boarding kennel.
4. Pet Sitters Can Be People Your Dog Already Knows
Although you can hire a professional pet sitter, you can also ask friends and family if they would look after your dog when you are away. If you hire someone your dog is already familiar with then he will feel much more secure when that person comes into your home to care for him.
There are times when boarding is the only option for your dog so you should not feel bad if boarding is your only option. However, if you do have the choice, give pet sitting a try. Chances are that your dog will be much happier with pet sitting than if he spends his time in a kennel and you will have peace of mind knowing your beloved pet is being cared for in a way that is similar to what you offer him.
Susan Wright is a licensed veterinarian, freelance writer and consults with the research and development of dog training collars.