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Critter Chatter, Dogs, Safety

What is Better for Your Dog, Pet Sitter or Boarding Center?

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog


If I’m unable to take Charlotte with me when I travel or head off for an extended visit, I face a dilemma of choosing between leaving her with a pet sitter or letting her hang out in a boarding kennel with other animals that speak her language. Fortunately, Charlotte is easy in any environment. She is equally comfortable staying at home, on the couch, of course, with scheduled visits from the drop-by pet sitter as well as chatting with some furry friends in a boarding kennel. She even enjoys visiting the veterinarian. How weird is that? But every pet has a distinct personality and responds to various circumstances differently. Below are a few guidelines to help ensure you choose the right sitter or kennel for your dog.

Pet Sitters

Pet sitters will come to your house at scheduled times. Some stay overnight at your home while you are away or even take your pet into their own homes. They can be independent caregivers or work as part of a larger pet-sitting company. Responsible and reliable friends and family members, who know your dog and are adept at pet care, may also be an option. Always interview a potential sitter and check with other pet owners in advance. Leave detailed notes and information about your pet’s food, medications and exercise as well as contact information for your veterinarian and local emergency clinic in the event of an accident.

Pet sitting is a good fit for highly anxious pets, animals that don’t get along with other animals or people, or any pet with disabilities or requires extra personal attention and care. When choosing a pet sitter, make sure to find someone you trust—not just with your dog – but with your home as well.


There are kennels, pet hotels and some veterinary hospitals that ensure your pet receives care, attention, and exercise in indoor and outdoor spaces designed for pets’ safety and security. Although there are many other pets in the facility, trained staff members provide constant oversight and monitoring. Friendly pets – like Charlotte – can socialize with other animals and people, making their stay fun and interesting.

· If you do decide to board your pet,

· Schedule a visit to the facility in advance (and take your pet along)

· Make sure all vaccines are up to date and your dog has clean bill of health

· Bring along your emergency contact information, including a telephone phone number and address of where you will be as well as your schedule

· Provide your dog’s veterinarian contact information as well that of a nearby emergency clinic

· Provide any medication (with dosage instructions) and special feeding or exercise requirements

· A recent photograph in case of an “escape”

· You can bring a favorite toy or blanket, but check with the kennel first

Whether you choose to hire a pet sitter or have your pet stay at a boarding facility, advance preparation will allow you leave on a jet plane while both you and your dog are relaxing and having a good time.

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a vet and his dogABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of California at Davis, a Master of Science Degree in Animal Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of California.  Following discharge from the Air Force as a Captain, he owned and operated the largest veterinary hospital on Cape Cod for almost twenty years. Brown is the past President of the Yavapai Humane Society Board of Directors, Branding Committee Chairman for National Animal Supplement Council and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He writes and lectures frequently on the benefits of natural and organic foods and supplements for animals and lives with his wife and a Golden Doodle named Charlotte.

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