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November 17, 2021
It's finally time to do some (limited) traveling. If you are looking forward to the holidays as much as I am, then that means planning to spend a few days away from home. Sadly, that means leaving your precious pooch behind.
Most folks suggest either hiring a dogsitter or giving your dog a stay at a kennel. Some might think that dogsitting and putting your dog in a kennel are practically the same thing- that is 100% incorrect.
So long as it's someone you trust, you can rest assured that your dogsitter is paying attention to your dog and not just watching TV on the couch all day. Kennels certainly pay attentions to your pet, but solo attention is something special. Running a kennel they all need special attention! Pet sitters will usually spend some time playing your dog, which could even cost extra at a kennel
Being at home, your pets also run less risk of catching diseases from other animals. If you are worried about your dog running into ticks or fleas, you can always give your pet sitter instructions. With pet boarding, you don't have much control over who your dog mingles with- most decisions (besides food) are up to the folks at the kennel. Again, not to bad mouth kennels. Some are great. They often just don't have the capacity to care for your dog one-on-one.
Another notable pro is the fact that your dog does not need to adjust to a new environment. Some dogs get tremendously anxious switching from one place to another. In the comfort of its own home, Your pet will have all its favorite foods, toys, blankets and so on. A sudden change of environment and strangers feeding of your pet may be a very stressful thing. It's like your dog's house and family suddenly changed! It would take a few days your dog to get adjusted.
An incredible important is the fact that you don't need to leave your house alone while you're gone. Having a pet sitter around the house will make sure that someone will be watching over your house and that he/she can alert you immediately there is any kind of emergency, whether it be do-related or otherwise
One-on-one attention and companionship come at a price. Dog sitting is not cheap. That's the main drawback of dogsitting, the price is pretty darn steep. It depends on your area, but it's significantly more that a kennel.
Using a Kennel, also called "pet boarding," is usually a cheaper alternative compared to pet sitting. This is because in Kennels, dogs follow a generally predetermined routine. All dogs in the kennel follow the same established routine for the convenience of the facility. Even as the owner, you do not have much say in your pet’s routine.
Sounds like doggy jail, right? Wrong, and for this pro alone: boarding your dog lets your doggy socialize with other pets that it wouldn't get a chance to otherwise. Rather than letting your pet stay at home with just your dog sitter for company, playing the occasional fetch, your dog can mix around with other pets and gain some precious social time while you are away. Socialization like that is crucial do your dog's development.
Another positive: the people that you are dealing with will be qualified professionals. The people that run & work in these pet boarding facilities / Kennels usually are qualified professionals who have gone through years of training before starting a career in the facility.
It is not common but there is a possible risk for your pet to catch outside diseases from other pets. The chances are low, but clearly the chances are much higher than if you would hire a normal pet sitter to come to your home.
Another con is the stress that your doggy goes through. Many pet parents fail to realize this, but a pet will most likely go through a lot of stress when it's thrown into a whole new environment with new people and new dogs.
Another con that comes to mind when it comes to pet boarding is that none of the pets will receive special/prioritized treatment over other pets unless you pay additional fees. If your dog needs some kind of specialized care, just hire a dog sitter instead. It's slightly more expensive but your pet won't miss a dose of medicine and will have someone keeping a close eye on them.
If you can afford it, go with a dogsitter. Yes, your dog is missing crucial socialization by not interacting with other dogs at a kennel. But look at the downsides: fleas, ticks, other diseases... Let your dog do their socializing at the doggy park. If you absolutely must kennel your dog, do thorough research to make sure that there are licensed professionals running the organization. Also make sure that there is a staff member on 24 hours a day.
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