From doggy hotels, live-in pet sitters and visiting neighbours, it’s no wonder that the decision of where to leave your pet while you’re traveling can feel overwhelming. If you haven’t been away from your pet before, then you will have to make some important decisions on what the best care for them would be while you’re gone. For example, boarding versus home care. The most important details to consider include your pet’s personality, behaviour, social skills, age, where you live and your budget. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you and have compiled the pros and cons of boarding your pet versus providing home care for them while you away.
Pros: Pet boarding is, essentially, a pet hotel. Here you will find dogs and cats that receive 24/7 (or close to it) care, in their own kennel. This is an ideal option for pets that can become destructive when left alone, or need a lot of attention, potty breaks, playtime or stimulation. It’s also a great choice if you are the worrying type, as you can get peace of mind in knowing that there is a round-the-clock caretaker for your pet.
Cons: Boarding can become expensive, and some animals can feel stressed out without the familiarity of home. This should be taken into consideration if you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time.
Pros: Choosing home care can provide a little more flexibility since you can opt for a live-in sitter, or traveling sitter (someone who comes by 1-2 times a day to care for your pet). This is a great option for owners who have multiple pets, as boarding can be expensive. Older or particular animals may also benefit from this route as it allows them to stay in their regular routine, within familiar surroundings.
An added bonus of having someone come to your house to look after your pets is that it can keep home invaders at bay, as well as having your plants looked after and mail collected.
Cons: Unless you’re lucky enough to have family or friends help out, it can be daunting to hire someone that you trust – you are having them look after a treasured family member (your pet), as well as providing them access to your home, after all.
Another important aspect to consider is where you live if it’s easily accessible, and if inclement weather might prevent your sitter from making it to your home.
Given this, it would be a good idea to have a trustworthy neighbor or family member as a back-up, in case your sitter is unable to make it, for whatever reason.
As you can see, both options provide a healthy range of pros and cons. Neither is perfect but, in considering your pet’s personality, behaviour, social skills, age, where you live and your budget, as well as this list, you can make the choice that’s ideal for you and your pet.