Should you leave your pets with a pet sitter or at a kennel?

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Should you leave your pets with a pet sitter or at a kennel?

To use a pet sitter or a kennel? That is the question. When you need to go out of town or somewhere that pets aren’t welcome, it can be stressful to figure out what to do with your pets. Two of the most popular and most reliable options are pet sitters and kennels — and each option comes with pros and cons. Keep reading to learn more about the positives and drawbacks of using a pet sitter or a kennel.

Small dog maltese sitting in the suitcase or bag wearing sunglasses and waiting for a trip

What’s a pet sitter?

A pet sitter is someone who comes to your house to take care of your pets while you’re away.

Pros

  • Your pet can stay in his/her own home, so he/she will be familiar with its surroundings and feel comfortable.
  • Your pet won’t be alone at night.
  • Your pet sitter usually takes care of your mail, newspapers and similar tasks, in addition to taking care of your pet.
  • You’ll probably receive periodic updates about how your furry friend is doing.
  • Your pet receives one-on-one attention and isn’t competing with other animals for food, water, walks and snuggles.

Cons

  • Pet sitters are typically much more expensive than kennels.
  • If something comes up with the pet sitter at the last minute and he/she has to cancel, you could be stuck with no other option.

A dog in an animal shelter, waiting for a home

What’s a kennel?

A kennel is a place of business that houses and cares for pets when their owners are away. Most kennels have about 10 to 50 dogs there at any given time.

Pros

  • Many kennels today are a lot more like pet resorts. They offer individual rooms (sometimes with TVs), group play, daily walks, massages, grooming and a few other activities that vary based on the kennel.
  • Your pet will be around other pets and get adequate play time.
  • You can call the kennel at any time to get updates on your pet. Some kennels also offer webcams, so you can check on him/her throughout the day.
  • Kennels are typically much less expensive than hiring a pet sitter.

Cons

  • Typically, kennels aren’t staffed through the night, which means your pet won’t be supervised as he/she sleeps.
  • At a kennel, your dog won’t receive as much individual attention as he/she would with a pet sitter.

small pretty kitten British golden chinchilla ticked sweetly sleeps on a white plaid

Keep your pet’s best interests in mind

As you choose between a pet sitter and a kennel, think about your pet. Does he/she do OK in unfamiliar situations? Or does he/she prefer being in your own home? Is he/she OK being around other pets at a kennel or does he/she prefer being alone? There are many things to consider as you make this decision for your furry friend.

If you’re interested in finding a reputable pet sitter or kennel, just ask your Redlands veterinarian. As your Inland Empire veterinarian, all of us at the Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands are happy to help you make this decision for the good of your pet.

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