May 05, 2021 3 min read

While we all wish we could spend our vacations with our dogs by our sides, unfortunately, we usually have to leave them behind. That’s already tough, but it can get harder when deciding what to do with them. Read on to explore the different choices when boarding your pet.

What is Dog Boarding?

It can be difficult to define dog boarding, as the options today are more plentiful than they used to be and each has its pros and cons. However, there are three options that are very common: boarding kennels, pet hotels, and in-home pet sitting. Each has the goal of taking the best care possible of your pet while you’re gone, but each comes with varying levels of service and the costs can differ wildly.

Kennels vs. Dog Hotels: What’s the Difference?

Many of us only want the best of the best for our pets, and boarding options are no different for those with extra cash to use on their dogs. While dog kennels are still a perfectly good option for many pet owners, some spring for the more luxurious dog hotels, which begs the question: what’s the difference, and is it worth it?

Dog kennels are the most popular option for most pet owners, largely due to their cheap cost usually ranging between $25 and $45 per night. While you should look into your local kennel to see what they offer, there are several qualities that seem to be consistent in the industry. Often, your pet will be kept in a cage in a room with other dogs being boarded, with employees keeping an eye on them either via a camera system or by walking through. The dogs usually rotate their playtime, often outdoors, where they can stretch their legs and burn off energy by playing with other guests.

Pet hotels, on the other hand, can start at $50 and stretch all the way into the 100s for high-quality care. Unlike dog kennels, your pet will usually receive a room of their own, offering more privacy with solid walls rather than cages. Each dog hotel is different, but they often resemble what we think of with human hotels, with equipment such as beds, windows to provide natural light, and exercise options in the form of daily walks with hotel workers. For some pet owners, the extra cash spent can be worth it, but not everybody sees the price as worth the added benefits over a more traditional kennel.

A Third Option: In-Home Pet Sitting

For some pet owners, taking your dog out of your home can be a stressful option, especially if your pet can get anxious in new settings while you’re away. That’s led to a rise of a new choice for pet owners, the growing popularity of in-home pet sitters. Many choose to go with a trusted colleague, but services exist that can connect you with workers who will take care of your dog.

As mentioned, the benefit of keeping your dog at home can give them more comfort, rather than putting them in an unfamiliar setting. Furthermore, with usually only one or two pets to keep an eye on, an in-home pet sitter can focus their full attention on your dog, which limits the chances of mistakes from tired or overworked employees in kennels.

Of course, there are downsides to keeping your dog at home as well. Looking at a bigger picture, you’re welcoming somebody into your home without your supervision, so it can be vital to vet your pet sitter to make sure they’re trustworthy and you’re okay with them having access to your home. As for your dog, they can often be left alone for long periods of time, as pet sitters usually have day jobs that keep them busy throughout the day and only allow them to swing by during breakfast and dinner times. For older dogs, that’s not always an issue, but puppies can need more attention than that and can get into mischief if left unattended. Pet sitting can be the cheapest, especially when done through a friend, but it can sometimes require the most amount of trust between an owner and their pet.

Deciding to take your dog on your trip with you instead? Read our blog on What You Need to Know When Taking Your Pet On Vacation. For more dog tips, check our blog, or find treats and great deals on our website.

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