Pet Sitter or Kennel – Kennel

Whenever we go on a trip we often have the same question, especially if we have pets. What are we supposed to do with Spot? A lot of factors tie into that choice. What about the other animals? Can we afford a kennel? Should we get a pet sitter? Can we trust either one? Should I get a contract?

Other Animals

Many people have more than just dogs or cats. They could have birds, reptiles, rabbits or other rodents that have to be taken care of. In the case of most of these creatures, boarding services won’t include them. Some, mostly reptiles, can be overfed and left for a week or more due to their slow digestive systems. But what about the others? In this case, it is suggested to get someone to watch your animals in your home, such as a relative or a friend.


The costs of kennels and other boarding around your town will most likely fluctuate. This can be due to the quality of care received and the size of the kennels offered. The range in prices can, and often does, involve the size of the pet you wish to be boarded. If you are lucky, you might find a local kennel to board your pet for around twenty dollars a night. At this point, you have to figure out how long you will be gone and factor that in. If it’s a two week vacation, then the cost of boarding your pet will be much more expensive than if you are going on a three day weekend, as you know.

Pet Sitter

Pet sitters often charge by the hour often only do daycare and, once in a while, a weekend. Sometimes these fees can surpass those of a kennel. They will do more for you than just watch your animal, such as watering plants, and getting your mail. They can also act as a house-sitter to make it look as though you are still at your house to those outside the home. The other animals can be included in a contract with a pet-sitter, as long as they agree to care for the other animals.


Dog kennels are a business and ran like a business. They have to get licensed and registered in their state and perform regular inspections of the facilities to keep their operation open. So, they will often give quality services. However, sometimes many dogs are boarded at one time and this can cause your pet to not get the attention s/he deserves, if they do not have enough employees.

Pet sitters do not need to have a license and can be anyone. With any pet sitter it is important to try and get references from their previous work. If you cannot get references then it is suggested to look somewhere else. A friend or a family member is often the best choice to watch your animals because they know you, and your pet’s, routines, and your pet also knows them.

Note: If you do decide to hire an external pet sitter, have them come to the house a couple times to let your pet get familiar with them. Remember that when you leave your house for any period of time it is stressful to your animals, especially dogs and cats, so it is a good idea to cause as little stress as possible for your animals.


Remember to always to have a contract. Most boarding kennels have a standard contract. But also remember that if you have a problem with the contract to make sure that they know it. Many kennels will try to change their contract for personal suitability. If they do not and you feel uncomfortable with the contract, you can look elsewhere for boarding.

If the decision was to hire a pet sitter, then its your job to create a contract that suits both you and the sitter. This goes for family members and friends as well. A good idea is for both of you to sit down talk it out, then type it out and send a copy home with both of you. This is to be done before the actual job starts and it allows you both time to go over it individually to make sure that neither of you have problems with that draft of contract. If you do have a problem, make a notation and discuss it with the sitter when you meet again. When you are ready to create the contract, write it up and sign, but remember to try and get a witness to sign with both of you.


I personally would choose a kennel or boarding facility if I have a long vacation planned. If I am planning a weekend trip, I would rather have a friend or family member watch my pets so as not to cause undo stress on them. It is suggested to start looking for a kennel or pet sitter at least a week before your intended vacation, this gives you time to meet the people who will be caring for your pets, look over facilities (if you choose to kennel your pet), and look over the contract. Either way you decide, don’t forget to leave your choice with a way to contact you in case of emergency, and your veterinarian’s information.