Going away, whether it’s just for a few days or a few weeks, may be incredibly exciting for you, but for your pets it can be incredibly stressful. As smart as they are, they aren’t able to understand that you’re going on holiday without them, and that you will come back soon. So while you’re away, you want to make sure your beloved pets are as comfortable as possible, in an environment that is familiar and won’t cause them too much stress. Which is why, while dog kennels might seem like a good idea, we would always recommend you use a pet sitter to take care of your dog while you’re away.
What’s The Difference?
First off, there is a big difference between kennels and pet sitting. Kennels used to be the only option dog owners had if they needed to go away. These are large buildings full of side-by-side caged kennels, all each holding a dog. Kennel staff are employed to feed, water and care for the dogs during their stay, with usually 1 member of staff to every 10 or so dogs. So dogs will spend most of their time pacing around a small space. They aren’t a great option and can cause dogs a lot of stress and anxiety. It’s a new environment, with new people, and a whole new routine.
While some dogs do get on well with kennels, most tend to work better with pet sitters. And if you have other pets, you would need to make separate arrangements for them, as most kennels will only take dogs.
Pet sitting is essentially when you hire someone to come into your home and look after your pets for you while you’re away – no matter what they are or how many you have. At Animals at Home, our pet sitters will come to your home to check in on, walk and feed your dog for an all-around welfare check. We will stay in your house overnight to care for your animals and make sure your home is safe.
While we do take 2 4-hour breaks every 24 hours – the rest of the time we are at your home, with your pet.
This makes the service perfect for any pets – not just dogs – and means your pet gets to stay in their own environment with familiar and comfortable surroundings and an element of their own routine until you come home.
Why is a pet sitter better?
To decide which option is better for you, you need to know your dog. Some dogs do very well in kennels, and if that’s your dog, then great! But in our experience most animals, including dogs, tend to prefer staying at home, and a pet sitter is a great way to do this. Hiring a pet sitter provides a number of advantages over kennels, including:
Familiarity: Dogs, cats and even small animals are are creatures of habit, and when things change they like to cling to familiarity. You going away is a pretty big change, so keeping them comfortable and calm is a must. A pet sitter means they are at home, in their normal surroundings and with their normal routine in place, meaning they are more likely to adjust and cope with your absence better.
Care for your animals in their own home: From a small pet to a small holding, we offer a variety of services based around your animals needs. If you are at work all day or away, we can offer guaranteed home visits to ensure that feeding takes place when needed. We can also offer additional services such as dog walking or host family care if you are away for an extended period. As part of the service, we can also water plants and ensure that your property is secure. We are fully insured and all of our carers are security checked.
Our registered Pet Sitters will be DBS checked, insured through your local Animals at Home branch, ensuring peace of mind that your property is in safe hands and your pets continue to enjoy their daily routine with overnight care until your return home. If you are planning a holiday or a business trip and do not want to put your pets into kennels or a cattery or have rabbits, “small furries”, birds or reptiles, then we can help.
Benefits of using a pet sitter over kennels
Less Noise: There’s no getting around the fact that kennels are noisy places. So if your dog is sensitive to noise, or doesn’t react well to other dogs, then a kennel isn’t going to be a good environment for them. Pet sitting allows them to stay in their own environment without the noise and bustle of a busy kennel, keeping stress levels nice and low.
One to One Care: A pet sitter is entirely focussed on your pets while they are with them, and your animals will get one on one care and attention. This can be particularly helpful for any pets with special needs, illnesses or who need medications, as it allows them to be cared for properly. A kennel would still take care of your dog, but they will be caring for many other dogs at the same time, and often can’t care for other kinds of animals at all.
Extra Expenses: If your pet is ill, needs medicine or needs extra care, kennels will often charge you extra to administer it. There’s nothing sinister in there, it’s just how they afford to stay in business. A pet sitter will have all of those charges rolled in, and can administer any extra care in the comfort of your own home and on a schedule that works for you and your pets.
Safety: Just like people, dogs can get ill and carry contagious illnesses between them. In fact, one of the most prolific illnesses is kennel cough – something named because it used to spread rapidly through crowded kennel environments until a vaccine was created. By skipping the kennels, you’re not exposing your dog to any contagious illnesses or parasites past what they would already be exposed to in your home.
Keeping The Family Together: If you have multiple pets, they are likely used to each other, so putting them in separate boarding facilities is going to be incredibly stressful – not just because you’re going away, but they are being separated from each other too. Hiring a house sitter means your pets stay where they are, with your other animals around them in a comforting environment, which makes the adjustment much easier.
At Animals at Home, we provide a wide range of pet care services, including pet sitting and home boarding for all animals from dogs down to small furries and everything in between. If you’re looking for a reputable pet sitter to take care of your dog while you’re away for a day or even a few weeks, we can help. Just get in touch today to find out more about our house and pet sitting services.