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Vacation: Board or hire a pet sitter?

3442 Views 36 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Bonn1997
I have an upcoming vacation that will be almost two weeks and have travel plans. What would be a better option: Boarding them at a place where they'd stay in partially enclosed outdoor rooms that are about 10 x 15 or hiring a pet sitter who would come to my house 3 x a day? The boarding place has a few employees who all love animals and has a good reputation. The dogs would get more human interaction there and would get a chance periodically to roam around on their 5 acre property. However, they're both rescue dogs and I'm worried that they're going to think I abandoned them (or they'll at least be confused about where their home is). For a little more money, they could stay in my house and the pet sitting company would come 3 times a day: Once for 30 minutes (which includes a walk) and twice for 15 minutes. This doesn't sound like a lot of human interaction and usually I let them out to go to the bathroom much more than 3 times a day. They've never had accidents in the house though, including overnight or when I'm away for close to 8 hours.

I probably sound neurotic for bringing this up but do you guys feel guilty when you go away? I was invited to go on this cruise a year ago--before I had either dog. I'm really, really excited about the cruise but part of me feels like I'm putting the dogs through a confusing, scary period just so I can have fun.
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I would hire a pet sitter...

Why? Well, it can be less stressful your dogs... If dogs can handle your absence in your own home, wouldn't you prefer that? At least they can still smell you, play with their toys, and keep some sort of routine down in their own environment... I know I wouldn't want Donatello stuck in a cage for 2 weeks with other dogs yapping their brains out; He'd come home more stressed out and wired than a Jack-Rabbit.

Pet sitters can be great, I own my pet sitting business, and several of my clients thank me for keeping their mind open to the idea.

One client in-particular had a dog that suffers SA, and would come home sick, tired, and starving from the kennel, but after four days of using me- They came home and praised me up and down and they were so happy that their dog was eating and happy when they came home...

It makes me sad when people aren't at least open to the idea... : (

Edit:: I forgot to mention that I also have two separate clients that keep their dogs crated, and I go over three times a day, (morning, noon, and night) and let them out... They believe if their dog is going to be in a crate for a few weeks they'd rather them be crated in their own home so they're more comfortable and able to get some good sleep...
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I just have to ask...

How often are dogs in Kennels "socialized"?

I asked a friend of mine who works in a boarding facility, and she says the dogs there are taken out three times a day for 30 minutes... That doesn't sound any different then a lot of pet sitters are willing to do.
If it were a choice of being kenneled for boarding or having a pet sitter, I'd probably go with a pet sitter if I knew someone who had used the service and recommended it.
I'm glad to hear that you've got an open-mind about pet-sitters... I just don't think many people realize what some pet-sitting business are willing to do.

I don't do the pet-sitting out of my home because, well- I don't have a house I live in a tiny apartment... If I had a huge house, I'd look into doing it professionally from my home.

As a business though, I have and will work with potential clients... I help ensure them that leaving their pet at home is a better a choice. I help them make sure their pets will be safe and content, and if a pet-sitting business isn't willing to do that for you, then yeah- I'd probably say board them, I've said it before to some clients...
I'd board them. Having a trial run for a day or so might help make your decision though.
I really have an issue with hiring a pet sitter. We're leaving on vacation Saturday and we're having some very good friends of ours come and let Shadow out (we're taking the two small dogs) and watch the cats. I just finished writing the care instructions, and it's 4 pages long! I have a hard time believing someone from a pet sitting business would be able to do the things I've asked in the time they would be at my house each day. Two or three fifteen minute visits a day would not be enough for Shadow, let alone Shadow, the cats, the turtle, and fish.
Just in my opinion, the boarding places around here seem to have more to offer than hiring a pet sitter, especially considering costs.
lol, then obviously there's not many pet-sitting businesses like mine around your area!

For instance; I offer several options for my clients, I can come over anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, or even over-night care. Each visit costs differently, but I charge the initial fee once a day, and that covers the first two dogs... If I have to come back more than once a day I only charge $3-$6 dollars for the second or third time...

I have made up special packet that includes pages which notes can be written on... I keep those as my files to make sure should I have those same clients again I don't forget the routine...

I have had some very picky clients, lol, four pages is nothing for me! lol!

And I negotiate my prices...

I can understand not wanting strangers in your home, but at the same time, I provide all the necessary documents should "something" happen and someone wishes to file a complaint...

Obviously, there are companies lacking the courtesy procedures I take... : )

To each his own though...
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I'm not sure about most pet-sitting businesses; But with mine, we'll go over to a client's house as many times a day as needed... I have a client I go over at least 4 times a day, sometimes 5! (45 minutes each time!) I'm a dog-owner, of course, so I know to watch out for things like, "letting the dog out through the door". And if I have to go over four to five times a day, I give a pretty good discount, to encourage continued business.
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