Boarding Pet vs. Pet Sitting: The Benefits of Both for Your Cat or Dog

dog in crate

If it’s time to leave town, there’s a lot you need to do. Pack your bags, do your laundry, book your flights, and more! But before you head out on your adventure, you need to ensure any furry friends living in your home are well-taken care of while you’re away.

When leaving town, pet owners have two options. Boarding pet facilities are available to provide social and friendly environments for animals. Pet owners may also hire a pet sitter to stay in their home and give their cat or dog personalized care while they are out of town.

Choosing between boarding pets or hiring a pet sitter depends on your animal’s personal preferences. Keep reading to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Boarding Pet: Pros and Cons

Years ago, pet boarding had a stigma around it. Cat and dog owners visioned their beloved furry friends in steel cages with minimal sunlight, low-grade food, and poor sleeping conditions. But this is far from what pet boarding looks like today.

Pet Boarding Benefits

There are numerous types of doggy and kitty daycare centers that treat your pet with love while you’re away. For social animals, a pet resort is an excellent option.

Each pet boarding facility is different, but most dog daycare facilities offer extensive programs for pets. They incorporate pool activities, have areas that are safe for your pet to run around, and are equipped with specialized staff to give pets plenty of love.

Boarding pet organizations keep a steady routine for all animals based on breed, age, and health. A typical day in a pet resort includes walks, scheduled feeding times, rest periods, and pet cleaning sessions.

One of the biggest benefits of pet boarding is on-site veterinarian care and knowledgeable staff.

If your pet is older or has a complex medical history, a pet resort ensures proper care. Most pet boarding facilities have an on-site veterinarian who can tend to your pet as needed. This gives owners much-needed peace of mind when they are away for extended periods.

In addition to on-site vets, pet boarding resorts are staffed with knowledgeable employees. They know how to interact with different animals and understand signs of discomfort or illness. Most importantly, staff members are fellow animal lovers who enjoy giving your pet lots of love.

Pet Boarding Cons

Keep in mind pet boarding is ideal for social and outgoing pets. For some cats and dogs, leaving their home provokes immense anxiety and can result in health issues. For others, they don’t mind exploring a new resort for a few days while their owner is away.

Take your pet to the daycare facility before you leave on your vacation. Give Fluffy or Fido the chance to sniff out the area, meet some of the staff, and get acquainted with the facility. If your pet doesn’t seem happy about leaving home or is not a social butterfly, pet sitting might be a more viable option.

Keep in mind in order to ensure all animals are treated fairly, pet resorts limit the number of animals they can take in at a time. Plan accordingly, especially if you are leaving town during a popular vacation month. 

Pet Sitting: Pros and Cons

For owners leaving town, pet sitting is another excellent option. Pet sitting is best for animals who are shy and don’t want to leave their home.

Pet Sitting Pros

Most cats prefer a pet sitter to pet boarding. Cats favor well-known territories and may not enjoy a loud pet resort environment. Cats are also much easier to care for than dogs, making them a simple animal to pet sit.

An added benefit of hiring a pet sitter is that not only should your pet be left in good hands, but your home will be taken care of as well. From making sure your home is closed up during a storm to lowering your risk of theft, it’s nice to have someone keeping your home safe while you’re away.

The Downside of Pet Sitting

The hardest part of pet sitting is locating a reliable, trustworthy, and dependable pet sitter. The right pet sitter can make your home a pet hotel for your furry friend. It’s best to find someone who is familiar with your pet or has experience caring for similar animals.

Plan ahead if you want to hire a pet sitter. You need to find someone who can stay at your home for an extended period. This can be difficult during holidays and popular vacation months.

If you have close friends, family, or neighbors who are animal-lovers and get along with your pet, they should be your first choice. If not, pet sitter websites are available. Popular ones include Rover and

If you choose a sitter from a website, invite them to your home to meet your pet before you leave. Make sure the person is a good fit and someone you can trust in your home.

The downside to pet sitting is it can be difficult to find a trustworthy sitter. If you do, it can be expensive. But in the end, if a pet sitter is the best option for your furry friends while you’re away, the high price is worth it.

Which Option Is the Best for Your Pet?

Boarding pet vs. hiring a pet sitter: which should you choose? If your pet is friendly, social, and doesn’t mind leaving home for a few days, pet boarding is a viable option. If your pet prefers to stay home and doesn’t want to be with other animals all day long, consider a personalized pet sitter.

Choose an option that not only seems right for your pet but one you’re comfortable with as well. This way, you won’t spend your vacation worrying about your beloved fur baby.

To learn more about pet care, check out our Pet Health and Behavior Blog. We have plenty of informational articles and tips for training and caring for your furry friends.