Pet Boarding Vs Pet Sitter: Which is More Suitable For You & Your Pets?

Pet Boarding Vs Pet Sitter: Which is More Suitable For You & Your Pets?

What's the best care you can give to your pets while you're away?

This travel month where most of us wants to seize this opportunity to have a vacation or maybe get out of town with our loved ones, one concern that must be holding you back is who will take care of my precious pets while you're away from home? Unfortunately, there will be circumstances where the place you want to go doesn't allow pets. Two options you could do is to take them to a pet boarding facility or to hire a pet sitter to take care of them at home. But which of these options are more suitable for you & your fur babies?

Here we will compare the pros and cons of each option so you can make the best decision for yourself and your pets:

Advantages of Pet Boarding

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  • Socialization
    Pet Boarding gives your pets an opportunity to socialize while you're away with other pets since pet boarding facilities takes care of multiple pets at once, which is perfect for your friendly pets! Your pet will also get to enjoy doing activities that your pet loves together with other pets like playing and going on walks! You know your pet best so if your pet likes socializing with other pets or people, pet boarding is the best option for your fur baby!
  • Generally More Affordable
    As pet boarding is not a personal 1-on-1 service & takes in more than one pet, it is generally more affordable than a pet sitter. Though this depends whether you choose facility boarding or house boarding. House boarding can be more pricey than facility boarding as it is much more personal & takes fewer pets compared to  facility boarding. Pet boarding base their prices as to what services they offer so if ever you want to try pet boarding, make sure you visit whether it's a facility or a house & learn everything you can about their services.
  • Professional Care
    Pet facility boarding staffs are required to either be trained with pet care for years, qualified vet/vet assistant, & with pet services certificates (varies to what services the specific pet boarding offers) before getting accepted. Pet house boarding staffs may be less professional but most of them work out of passion & their experiences with their own pets & can even be doing pet services for a certain cause for the pet community like for stray animals, pet adoption, etc. Some of them even have veterinarians on stand-by for medical emergencies.

Disadvantages of Pet Boarding

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  • Unfamiliar Environment
    Imagine one day your parents suddenly drop you inside an unfamiliar facility/house with strangers you don't even know & leave you there for a couple of hours or even days, that's what your pets may go through when you drop them to a pet boarding place! Anxiety & stress may cause them to refuse to eat, play, or even fall ill. This is why if you know your pets can't handle this kind of stress, it's best for you to avoid dropping them off to pet boarding places.
  • Divided Attention
    As mentioned earlier, pet boarding takes care of more than one pet which means their attention will be divided to taking care of other pets rather than only yours (though pet house boarding accommodates less pets which means more individual attention than pet facility boarding). It's not that pet boarding doesn't actually pay attention to your pet, it's just that with several other pets, they all require care & attention. If your pet requires extra care or attention maybe like them having a needed eating routine, medical issues, etc. then pet boarding may not be the best option for you. Some pet boarding does that specific instructions, but some of the require extra charge for that.
  • Suitability
    Not all pet boarding are suitable for your pet especially if they have special care that needs to be addressed. As you should know, all pets are different and they have different preferences. Your house environment may be the definition of their preferences & you might need to find a pet boarding facility that has a close feel to your house. Another thing is most pet boarding places have pet requirements like them being healthy, well behaved, and vaccinated. You will need to provide some documents as proof that your pet meets these requirements. Most pet boarding places will also require you to bring your own pet food & their toys especially for pets with special needs.
  • Less Customizable
    Pet boarding already have an established routine to follow which means your pet's routine will be disrupted. This can't be helped as they care for lots of pets. This is to keep the order and for the convenience of the facility as well (though house boarding is more customizable as they more likely take specific requests as they accommodate less pets). This of course varies at the pet boarding place as some can still take customized instructions but do know that it might cost you extra bucks.
  • More Risk of Catching Diseases
    As your pets will be mixed with other pets, there is a high chance that your pets will get diseases that can be from the environment or from the other pets in the facility. Though this is uncommon as pet boarding facilities does require checking of every pet's health condition before accepting them but chances are still high as they get to be with different pets from different environments. If you know your pet has a weak immune system, you might want to consider hiring a pet sitter instead. This is where checking of place & personnel comes of importance.

Advantages of Pet Sitters

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  • Undivided Attention
    As pet sitters only focuses on your pets, this will be highly helpful if your pets have special needs like a certain routine to follow or medical needs. Plus, undivided attention will help lessen your pet's separation anxiety from you especially your pet already knows and trusts the sitter and the sitter knows your pet's personality and needs. They will surely spend extra time playing and interacting with your pets as well!
  • Familiar Environment
    As your pets stays at your house, they still get to enjoy their toys, favorite food, blankets, etc. There is no need for them to adjust as they get to stay in the comfort of their own home! As mentioned earlier, sudden change of environment can make your pet stressed so it is helpful to lessen that by just hiring someone who can take care of them at your house while you're away. 
  • Less Risk of Catching Diseases
    Your pets doesn't need to mix with other pets or stay in a new environment for a long period of time as they just get to stay at your house while you're away from your trip. This means less risk of catching outside diseases that can harm your pets especially if they have weak immune system & existing health issues. 
  • Can Give Specific Instructions
    Since pet sitting is a personal 1-on-1 service, you can give specific instructions about your pet's needs. This may include where to walk them, their favorite things, how to feed them, who to interact with, when to take their medicine, etc. But do make sure they take note of all your instructions carefully and don't let them forget especially if your pet has lots of special needs or has health issues. Make sure the pet sitter understands and they will surely do everything you ask. You can always call them or ask them to send updates too incase you get worried. 
  • Can Act as a House Sitter too
    Since they will take care of your pets at your house, they can also act as a house sitter too while you're away! There will be someone who will take care of your pets and guard your house at the same time. It will also ensure you that your house is safe and sound as someone can take care incase emergency happens like pet emergencies, robbery, power outage issues, etc. They can even do some needed chores like vacuuming, watering your plants, etc.

Disadvantages of Pet Sitters

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  • Cost
    The most noticeable disadvantage would be hiring a pet sitter can be expensive. Though this is understandable as pet sitting is a personal service as mentioned above. Personal service means customized service depending on your precious pet's needs. There will be pet sitters than will charge less but these offers usually ends up as a bad experience. 
  • Looking for a Pet Sitter
    Looking for a pet sitter can be a hard task as this is not as simple as buying from a convenience store as you need to find someone who you can trust and is a pet professional at the same time! You will need to do some background research yourself and make yourself knowledgeable about pet sitting and where to find the best pet sitter according to your pet's needs! 
  • Unfamiliar Person
    As you know by now, you will be hiring someone your pets don't know of. But this disadvantage can depend on your pet. Some pets are sociable enough to get comfortable with easily with new people they meet. But if your pet is not comfortable with strangers, you may need to put in extra effort to introduce the pet sitter to your pet a while longer to make them feel comfortable with the pet sitter or your pet may get stressed. Though this is an issue for both pet sitting and pet boarding. 
  • Time-consuming
    As mentioned above, finding a pet sitter and introducing them to your pet can be a time-consuming process. Though this is a crucial step if you want your pet to get comfortable enough for them to be left with the pet sitter while you need to go on a trip. Plus, you need to make sure you find the right pet sitter as to whom you can trust your precious pet and your house too! So it's best if you give this kind of decisions your time and effort as it is very crucial.


At the end of the day, you're the one who knows your precious pet the best. Just remember that it's always crucial to do background checks (visit the facility and get to know the person/people), investigate properly before booking, & checking of reviews. Make sure you leave your pets to someone trustworthy and who will surely care for them 24/7 so you're rest assured that your precious pets is on capable hands!

Here are the best pet boarding services & best pet sitters we recommend to help you get started:

 Share this with your fellow pet owners and feel free to leave a comment down below about your experiences with pet sitting or pet boarding & which one do you recommend, we would also love to read them!

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Rose Hazel San Diego

Hazel loves pets & she has owned cats, dogs, & even hedgehogs! She also fosters cats & dogs in need around her area. With her social media & copywriting background, she gladly shares her knowledge of pets through these articles!

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