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Boarding vs Pet Sitting vs Kennels

The holidays are the perfect time to visit family and friends.  While sometimes our furry pals get to tag along, it’s not always possible. When you can’t take your pet with you, there are pet care options. Here are the pros and cons of each to help you decide.   Which is best for your pet, boarding vs pet sitting vs kennels?

  Boarding vs Pet Sitting vs Kennels


Boarding vs Pet Sitting vs Kennels



What Are Your Pet Care Options?


Boarding is a service where you drop your pet off at a certain place for a certain pre arranged set of time.  This could be with a family member, friend, or a neighbor.

Pros of Boarding:

  • Pet stays in a home environment usually cage free.
  • The pet has more human companionship receiving more individual attention.
  • Boarding is less expensive, sometimes free if using family or friends.

Cons of Boarding:

  • The pet may feel stressed and uncomfortable staying in unfamiliar surroundings.  The pet can also experience severe anxiety if placed in an environment with several other pets of which they aren’t familiar.
  • You must drop off  and pick up the pet and all pet supplies.
  • Family, friends or neighbors may feel obligated to care for your pets and be inconvenienced and you may have to reciprocate and in turn board their pets.

Pet Sitting:

Pet sitting is a service where the pet stays in their own home and a person comes to visit regularly to care for the pet. The pet sitter will provide the basic necessities such as  food, water, litter scooping, outside potty time, but will also provide attention and love.

Pros of Pet Sitting:

  • The pet stays in their own home where they feel comfortable.  There is reduced  stress because the pet is surrounded by familiar sights, sounds, and smells.
  • There is no exposure to contagious illnesses such as kennel cough or intestinal parasites.
  • While pet owners are away someone is checking on the hours. The mail and newspapers are brought in and newspapers, and plants are watered.

Cons of Pet Sitting:

  • The pet spends some time at home alone.
  • Pet sitting sometimes is a little more expensive especially if there is only one pet in the household.
  • The pet may become bored or lonely being home alone.


Kennels are temporary housing structures for sheltering pets when owners are away.  They have staff who regularly check on the pets and provide care.

Pros of Kennels:

  • The pet is in a secure environment 24 hours.
  • There is access for the pet to go outdoors more frequently.
  • Often cheaper especially if only kenneling one pet

Cons of Kennels:

  • Stressful for pets to be in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Increased risk of illness or internal parasites.
  • Extra costs for additional time spent with pet, such as walking, playtime, or snuggle time.

While these are just a few of the pros and cons of each pet care option, pet owners must do their research and determine what is best for their pet and situation.

Every pet is different. Some pets do well with boarding or kennels, however some pets become extremely stressed leaving home.  This is especially true for almost all cats.   Choose your pet care provider wisely and ask your veterinarian, friends, and neighbors for referrals. The most important thing to keep in mind is where will your pet feel most comfortable and provide you with a worry free holiday.

No matter which pet care option  you choose for the holidays, remember to reserve your spot early. Holiday’s book up fast and if you do not make your pet care arrangements early enough, you may be staying home with your pet as a result.

Which is best for your pet, boarding vs pet sitting vs kennels?




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