Hiring a pet sitter vs. leaving your dog at a kennel

Although many of us love taking our dogs with us on vacation, sometimes it simply isn’t practical. If you’ll be travelling a long distance, your dog is sick or heavily pregnant, or you’re planning on doing lots of activities that aren’t dog-friendly on your trip, it’s better to leave your dog at a kennel or hire a pet sitter. Deciding which of these options is right for your pet isn’t easy and there are pros and cons to each. Here are three questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to hire a pet sitter or take your dog to a kennel when you go out of town.

1. How well does your dog cope in new, noisy environments?

All dogs need some time to adjust to a new environment, but for anxious and nervous dogs it can be particularly stressful to cope with a change of scenery. 72.5% of dogs exhibit at least one behaviour related to anxiety. For 32% of dogs it’s noise sensitivity that causes their anxiety, and for 11% it’s new situations. 

Kennel environments can be very noisy and overwhelming for nervous dogs, so if you know your pup gets anxious easily, a pet sitter might be the kinder option. If your dog can cope with change but doesn’t like noise, consider boarding them in a kennel-free environment that mimics the comfort of their own home as much as possible.

2. How does your dog cope with being left alone?

It’s estimated that around 76% of dogs experience separation anxiety. This is a huge increase on the pre-pandemic level of around 14%. Many of us spent almost all of our time at home during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and our dogs got so used to our near-constant companionship that they now struggle to cope without us. 

When you board your dog in a kennel, they’ll be left alone for hours at a time in between walks and meals. When you hire a pet sitter, your dog will have company almost all of the time that you’re away. If you have more than one dog, they might cope better in a kennel because they have one another for company.

3. How do you feel about someone staying in your home?

When you hire a pet sitter, you’re trusting them with your home as well as your dog. For some, it can feel like an invasion of privacy to have someone who is not a friend or family member stay in their property. For others, pet sitting services offer the reassurance of someone keeping an eye on their home as well as their pet. If you want total peace of mind about the wellbeing of your dog and your property, invest in a pet sitter. Just be sure to hire a reputable sitter who can provide you with references to attest to their trustworthiness.

Which option is right for your pet?

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to pet sitting versus boarding, only what’s best for you and your pet. By asking yourself these three questions you’ll be able to make an informed decision and take your trip safe in the knowledge that your beloved pooch is cared-for and happy.