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Whether you’ve adopted your first dog or have had your furry friend for a while, choosing who should care for them when you are busy or away is never easy. And in today’s climate, there lots of options: friends, family, boarding and doggie daycare, in-home pet sitting – the possibilities can feel overwhelming!
Assuming your friends and family are busy with their own jobs during the day or accompanying you to your vacation destination, that leaves two options for your short- and long-term doggie care: boarding and in-home pet sitting. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. To help you make an informed decision, this blog outlines the pros and cons of both.
Boarding and Doggie Daycare
Boarding, often accompanied by a combined or stand-alone doggie daycare option, is a wonderful option if you want your furry friend to socialize with other dogs and interact with other people while you are away from them. This can be a huge “pro” if your dog is an especially extroverted and outgoing breed. Boarding facilities almost always have a daycare feature as an added benefit to this option (check your local facility’s website or call them to confirm).
Dog daycare/boarding can help keep your dog active and entertained and alleviate boredom in your absence. This is an excellent choice for people who work long hours or are away from home for a more extended period. It can, however, be an investment, and it's essential to shop around and compare prices and benefits to different doggie daycares in your area. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure your dog has the right temperament and socialization skills for daycare. Some dog breeds are not good candidates for dog daycare, especially if they are more introverted or reactive to other dogs.
Bonus tip: dog daycares and boarding facilities always require your dog to have proof of up-to-date vaccines for their health and the health of the other facility dogs. Click here to refresh yourself on the importance of regular vet visits.
In-home pet sitting
In-home pet sitting is a fantastic option for dogs who feel more comfortable in familiar environments or are uncomfortable around strange people, strange dogs, or both. In-home pet sitters come to your house and take care of your furry friend for short- and long-term situations, depending on your needs. They provide personalized companionship and walks in addition to feedings, and some may be willing to assist with some minor medical needs as well. Depending on the sitter, this option may cost less than sending your dog to daycare.
There are also some disadvantages to consider with in-house sitting. For example, your furry friend might become lonely if the sitter doesn’t stay for long period of time, leaving your dog alone depending on their own schedule (which is more applicable for vacation-length stretches of time). It’s not uncommon for an in-home pet sitter to have other commitments and not be able to give undivided attention, and in-home pet sitters may not be able to spot an emergency as quickly as professional dog daycare centers.
A combination of both
A third option, maybe ideal for those traveling for a long time or just looking for the benefits of both, would be opting for both doggie daycare and an in-house sitter! Your designated sitter could take your pup to daycare throughout the day and pick them up to spend one-on-one time in the evening. This provides your dog with both socialization throughout the day and home comforts at night.
As a dog owner, finding the right balance between cost, convenience, and safety for your dog while you’re away from them can be daunting. However, weighing all the options and identifying which works best for your unique situation is essential. Whether you choose boarding and dog daycare, in-home pet sitting, or a combination of both, the most important thing is to keep your furry friend safe, happy, and comfortable while you are away. With the proper setup, you can travel or work long hours without worrying about your pup. And we know your furry friend will thank you for it, too.
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