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Pet boarding or pet sitting: Which is better?

 by yunus on 12 Apr 2018 |
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All pet owners need to leave town for a business trip, wedding or well-deserved vacation from time to time, but that begs the question of what to do with their companions. From no-frills boarding facilities to high-end pet hotels and live-in sitters, there are a wide range of options to fit most any pets’ needs and owners’ budgets.
For years, boarding has been the go-to solution for pet owners who need leave town. Fortunately, most boarding facilities have surpassed the concrete runs and separate social spaces of the past by leaps and bounds. Today, options from pet sitting operations run out of individuals’ homes to pet hotels with a veritable smorgasbord of amenities are commonplace in most towns. Pricing for these boarding facilities varies tremendously depending on which options you choose, with huge leaps in price tags for more amenities and attention paid to individual pets.
As an alternative, many pet owners opt to hire a pet sitter while they’re out of town. Sitters can either come to the house at specified times to feed, exercise and otherwise care for your companion or they can live with your pet for the duration of the trip. Like other options, pet sitting prices can vary widely, but are generally priced at basic boarding levels. Because stress is the most common problem for boarded pets being, this can be a great alternative, especially for uneasy animals. With your furry friend staying in his own home, his stress levels are lower, helping ease your own anxieties on the trip, too. As a bonus, pet sitters often collect the mail, water plants and take care of other household duties at no additional cost.
Some pet owners prefer to board their companions at a veterinary facility for easy access to care in case of a medical emergency, but this option is not always all it’s cracked up to be. Because veterinary offices must prioritize surgical and medical cases over boarded pets, your companion may be short-changed on attention during his stay. These facilities tend to be more bare-bones than other boarding options and can be even chaotic or noisy, so do your research before boarding with a vet. This includes asking if someone monitors the pets overnight, as many facilities do not provide 24/7 care. A live-in sitter can be a good alternative to boarding at the vet’s, as he or she is likely to notice any medical problems quickly.
When hiring a pet sitter, ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, family, your veterinarian or your dog trainer. You can also search for sitters online at www.petsitters.org or www.petsit.com. Ask potential sitters about their past experience, what type of pets they have watched, and any issues specific to your pet—and be sure to set up an easy way to communicate while you’re gone, in case any emergencies arise.


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