Our pets are like family, we only want the best for them! That’s why pet owners in the US spend nearly $70 billion a year on pet-related goods & services. A large portion of that yearly spend goes toward professional pet care. Whether you’re planning a vacation or battling a busy work schedule, pet care is something every pet owner needs at some point. When that time comes, you have two options: pet sitting or kennel boarding.
How do you know which is right for your pet? You’re not looking to spend an arm & a leg, which option is more affordable? Here is everything you’ll need to decide what kind of care is best for you and your pet’s needs!
Professional in-home pet sitting services go above and beyond what you might expect from a friend or family member coming by to let the dogs out or feed the cat. These services are completely customizable, you can set a specific daily schedule to fit your pet’s routine. Whether your pet only requires a quick visit for feeding and litter scooping or 24 hour care, professional pet sitters cater to your pet’s individual needs.
If you have a dog that needs daily exercise, pet sitters can provide quick walks from 15 minutes to more substantial 60 minute walks for dogs with high energy levels. These walks are included with the service, so you won’t run into any hidden fees or charges for time spent enjoying the great outdoors.
The vast majority of cats struggle with any time spent away from home. Even a quick trip to the vet (or worse, the groomer!) might feel like the end of the world for them. Pet sitting allows cats to stay home where they feel comfortable and happy while you take that much needed vacation.
In addition to being insured and bonded, professional pet sitting companies also allow you to meet your sitter during an in-home consultation. This way, you can personally know your pet care provider and rest easy that your fur kids are in good hands. You can go over your pet’s care with your sitter and let them know of any specific requests with feeding, exercise, or medications. Your pet sitter will also keep you updated on how your pets are doing after each visit with a report card including photos, GPS tracking, and a personal message from your pet sitter sent straight to your phone!
If your dog suffers from anxiety while away from home or with other dogs, in-home pet care helps to keep them comfortable and stress free.
Affordable Pricing & No Hidden Fees
With in-home pet sitting, you won’t run into any extra hidden fees for multiple pets or for dog walking.
You’ll receive a full report card with photos and GPS tracking sent to your phone after every visit.
After your in-home consultation, you’ll be confident that your pet sitter knows your pet’s specific care details to a tee.
If your budget only allows for a couple pop in visits during the day, dogs with extremely high energy levels may need more time to play or spend time out of a crate.
Boarding facilities are a very common choice for pet care. The process is simple: drop your pet off when you leave town and pick them up when you come home. Most facilities offer simple kennel boarding while others offer kennels with outdoor access or runs. Kitties stay in individual cat condos separate from where the dogs are and get daily attention during litter cleaning. They charge a flat rate per night and allow you to bring your pet’s belongings such as their bed and toys.
Some facilities offer services for dogs beyond just a kennel to stay in such as open play daycare, dog walking, and grooming. These services come at an additional price and may have certain requirements attached. For example, if you would like your pup to take part in daycare, they may need to pass a behavioral analysis or temperament test first. Daycare settings often include an occasional fight, so be sure your dog is comfortable and happy around a large group of dogs.
When preparing to board your pet, making sure they have the required vaccinations is extremely important. All boarding facilities require at least rabies, distemper, and bordetella vaccinations. Kennel cough and canine flu are highly contagious illnesses, it’s best to keep your pup up to date on both bordetella and influenza vaccinations in order to protect them from these diseases. If your dog is not up to date with vaccinations when you drop them off, you will most likely be turned away.
If you have a young and energetic dog, open play daycare is a great way for them to burn energy as long as they get along well with others.
Many facilities offer grooming as an additional service so you can pick up a clean pet when you get back.
Health and Safety Risks
While being in a large group of dogs, fights are common and diseases spread easily with or without vaccinations.
If you want your dog to spend time out of the kennel, you’ll need to pay for each walk separate from boarding fees.
Which is best for your pet?
You know your pet’s needs more than anyone! If your dog prefers cuddle time on the couch over an all day stay and the dog park, a pet sitter is the perfect choice. If your puppy needs constant playtime with other dogs to burn energy, a daycare setting is a great fit. If your cat would freak out at the thought of spending time in a cage away from home, keep them in their happy place and hire a sitter.
The best fit for you and your pet is a trustworthy, experienced, and professional pet care provider. Before scheduling care, do your homework! Look at past client reviews and reach out to the company to get your questions answered. Little Friends Pet Sitting & Dog Walking has been providing professional pet services to the Charlotte, NC area for over 10 years. They pride themselves on their excellent service and personalized care.