You have been planning your vacation for months, and everything is set except for one detail: What do you do with your pet? Should you board your dog or cat or hire a pet sitter to take care of him when you’re gone?
- What’s your budget? The first question you need to answer concerns money. A boarding kennel is usually less expensive than a pet sitter, especially if you want a pet sitter who will make multiple visits per day or actually stay in your home while you are gone. If you have a cat, one visit a day may be enough, depending on your kitty’s needs. Dogs need at least two visits a day for potty breaks and exercise, and this can get expensive. The best-case scenario of a pet sitter who stays in your home while you are gone is usually the most expensive option.
- Is your pet a cat? The type of animal you have will go a long way in helping you make the decision of whether to board or leave your pet at home. If you have a cat, a pet sitter is probably the best idea. Most cats have a hard time being away from home, and tend to be more stressed when they are boarded. You can have a pet sitter come in once a day to feed your kitty and change his water, give him some attention and scoop his litter box. If it’s in your budget, consider hiring a pet sitter who will stay at your home while you are gone, providing your kitty with even more attention.
- What’s your dog’s personality? If you are trying to decide between boarding your dog and hiring a pet sitter, think about your dog’s personality. Is he very active and high strung? Is he likely to be stressed out if he’s home alone most of the day and night? If so, he will probably do best if you board him or hire a pet sitter who will stay in your home the entire time you are gone. If you don’t have the budget for a live-in pet sitter, it’s a good idea to board your dog.If you have a dog that is mellow and less likely to be stressed out if you’re gone, or you have two or more dogs to keep each other company, you can consider hiring a pet sitter to come a couple of times a day to provide food, water and exercise.
- What’s your comfort level? After you consider your budget and your pet’s personality, next think about your comfort level. The last thing you want to be doing on your vacation is worrying about your pet. Do you feel more comfortable with the idea of having your pet at home being cared for by a pet sitter? Or does the idea of him staying at a reputable boarding kennel make you feel more at ease? Everyone is different, and while some pet owners like the idea of having someone at their house watching their pets, others prefer to lock the house up and know the pets are being cared for elsewhere. Pick the solution that feels best for both you and your pet.