What is Dog Sitting?
Dog sitting is similar to babysitting only you’re watching people’s dogs instead of human children! If you are a dog parent, then you’ll know just how important it is to get a trustworthy and competent individual to care for your dog while you are away from home.
Trust My Pet Sitter CEO Angela Fagan “Being an owner for German Shepherds and Pomeranians, we know the importance of our doggies being taken cared for in their own environment”
Why do Owners Need a Dog Sitter?
When travelling away from home, for both short and longer trips it is not always possible to take your dog with you, and that is the time you may need to call on the services of a dog sitter.
What are the Main Dog Sitting Options?
There are five main Dog Sitting options open to Dog Parents when traveling away from home:
- Ask Family or Friends to help
- Use Dog Boarding Kennels
- Take your Dog with you on the trip
- Use an in-house Dog Sitter
- Send Dog to a Pet Sitters Home
The Pro’s and Cons
The Family and Friends Dog Sitter
If they live close by then family and friends are often the first go-to for Dog parents needing a dog sitter. Parents, Siblings, and Friends will normally board the dog in their own homes.
Pro’s – This is a great alternative as the dog already knows the individuals and is happy in their company – otherwise why else would you be using them for dog sitting!
Con’s – You may need to arrange your time away around your family and friends’ availability for dog sitting. Would they be competent in case of an emergency with your dog? Do they have other pets that may cause your dog stress? Are they happy to continue being your dog sitter, even when it may not be convenient for them?
The Boarding Kennels Dog Sitter
Traditionally dog boarding kennels were the second choice behind family and friends to look after your dog, well that was before we had some other alternatives – but for the time being, let’s look at the dog boarding kennel option.
In Boarding Kennels, dogs are allocated a kennel space for the duration of their stay, where they eat, sleep and spend their day – broken up by whatever exercise is offered by the kennel staff.
Pros – Boarding Kennels are normally (depending upon your country) licensed by the local authority and subject to checks and controls. This assures dog owners of minimum acceptable standards of hygiene and operation.
Cons – Dogs are creatures of routine and their stress levels can become heightened by unfamiliar environments, smells, and other dog’s behavior. Kennel costs can be a major expense add-on for a family getaway budget – especially if you have more than one dog!
“Boarding kennel stress is a generic term used for when dogs encounter a state of mental or emotional strain and tension during or after a kennel stay. It can manifest in a number of ways including aggression, fear, anxiety, shaking, whining, or other noticeable changes in behavior“.
Take your Dog with you
There are now a large number of hotels and accommodations offering dog-friendly stays, so you can travel and take your dog with you. A google search for ‘dog-friendly hotels’ offers a huge choice and it is just a matter of where and when to go!
Pro’s – Taking your dog with you on a trip is a great way to avoid expensive kennel fee’s and you don’t have to fit your travel arrangements around the availability of family and friends.
Con’s – Let’s face it, we love our dogs and their company, but sometimes we just can’t take them with us. Weddings, Overseas trips, Work trips – you get the idea!
In House Dog Sitter
In House Dog Sitting has soared in popularity over the last few years, not least because dog parents are now more tuned in than ever to their dog’s needs. Dogs thrive in familiar environments following normal routines, and that is best served at home. In Home Dog Sitting is where the sitter comes to your house, to watch your pets and ensure they have the same everyday home comforts they are used to!
Pro’s – Your dogs gets 1:1 attention and stays home, in their own bed, with familiar smells and routines while you are away. You can brief your sitter on what your dog needs in terms of walks, cuddles, medication etc and have them take care of your home and garden while you are away. A reputable Dog Sitting organisation like Trust My Pet Sitter offer a home insurance damage guarantee for you and your sitter.
Con’s – You may not be comfortable with the idea of a dog sitter living in your home while you are away, if you haven’t done it before it is a lot more popular than you may think, in fact not so different to Air Bnb in many ways.
Send Your Dog to a Pet Sitters Home
When Dog Sitting services first started several years ago the favored method was to board your dog in a local sitters home. As you headed off on vacation, your dog would go to it’s dog sitter for the holidays to hang out in their home.
Pro’s – Dogs get to stay in a home environment with a dog lover instead of heading to kennels or other similar institution.
Con’s – The dog sitter often boards more than one dog at a time, and may even have dogs of their own. This can cause much stress for your dog spending their time in another dogs territory, and in the company of other strange dogs.
The five main options all have pro’s and con’s with each having it’s own scale of stress for your dog. As the Pet Parent you know your dog better than anyone, and only you can decide which option fits your dog and your budget.
Angela Fagan is the CEO for Trust My Pet Sitter, where pet sitters meet wonderful new pets