Decatur Dog Sitting

Pet Sitter Versus DOG BOARDING & Dog Kennels: Which Is Better?

A quality Dog Sitter bonds with your dog and offers a unique, tailored experience.

A quality Dog Sitter bonds with your dog and offers a unique, tailored experience.

Often when we speak with new clients, they are comparing our Dog Sitting services to boarding their pets at a kennel or boarding facility. Certainly there is a lot to consider when weighing your options. You know your pet better than anyone else, so it's up to you to determine if whether Dog Sitting or Dog Boarding is the best fit for your dog.

Here is a list some of the attributes of Boarding Facilites & Kennels versus those of a Dog Sitting Service to help you decide.

Dog Boarding Facility / Kennel

  • Very often dogs are not walked, and they get a few quick potty breaks throughout the day instead. 
     
  • Will your dog receive one-on-one attention? Very often dogs are kept in group environments with other dogs and don't receive a lot of personal attention, or they can sometimes be confined for a portion of the day in a kennel.
     
  • Some boarding facilities charge more for extra one-on-one playtime, which can make boarding a more expensive option.
     
  • Limited pick-up and drop-off times. You have to drop-off and pick-up your dog between certain hours, which can often cause a conflict with your travel itinerary. For example,if your flight lands after the designated pick-up time of your boarding facility or kennel, your dog will have to spend another night. This can add significant expense to your dog's stay, as well as inconvenience to you.
     
  • Is there a human on staff 24 hours per day? This is a big deal, and I find that many people don't think to ask! Many boarding facilities and kennels do not have a person there overnight. You should always ask if your boarding facility has someone in the building 24 hours a day. What if there is a fire, or your dog gets ill and needs urgent veterinary attention overnight?
     
  • What type of veterinary care will your pet receive, should the need arise?
     
  • Many dog boarding facilities and kennels can get a little smelly due to dogs going to the bathroom indoors. Is there fresh air? How is the facility kept clean and free from bacteria that can spread to other dogs?
     
  • Health risks: Kennel Cough is very common, and it happens when your dog interacts with other infected dogs. Remember the Canine Influenza outbreak that hit Atlanta and Decatur in 2015?
     
  • Some dogs become very stressed over being in a foreign environment without their loved ones. This can cause their appetites to decrease, and in some extreme cases, some dogs can harm themselves with stress-related behaviors such as licking their paws excessively, or chewing on the fencing within their kennel.

Dog Sitting

  • Dogs are comfortable in their own homes, where they have all their familiar toys, beds, and smells. Pet sitting in your home is usually a less stressful scenario for your dog.
     
  • There's something to be said for sleeping in your own bed :)
     
  • Long walks: Dogs get a lot out of walking around their neighborhood. The mental stimulation is just as important as the exercise! Have you read about Why Your Dog Needs to be Walked Daily?
     
  • Quality, one-on-one attention for your dog. Cuddles, talking about the Falcons game, walks, backyard playtime. These are all standard services when you hire a Professional Dog Sitter.
     
  • Dog Sitters cater visits to your dog's specific needs. A tailored service, start to finish.
     
  • There is almost no exposure to bacteria that cause illnesses, such as Kennel Cough.
     
  • You have constant access to your Dog Sitter by phone and email.
     
  • Many Dog Sitters send message updates with pictures at least once per day. Whoa Doggy! sends messages and pictures with every visit!
     
  • If you have another pet at home, your Dog will have companionship, and your Dog Sitter can also care for your other pets!
     
  • Pet Sitting when you have multiple pets is often much less expensive than boarding multiple pets.
     
  • Built-in house sitting. It's nice knowing that along with your dog's well being, your house is being looked after. Plants get watered, mail and newspapers get brought in, and your home security system is being used properly.
     
  • With Dog Sitting there is no need to pick up or drop off your dog before/after your travel plans. 

Doesn't a dog sitter sound better to you???

To learn more about our Dog Sitting Service, please contact us any time!

So, You Need A Pet Sitter (Part 2) - What To Consider

Finding the right pet sitter is serious business. In last week's post, we talked about the guilt and anxiety that come along with not having a professional pet sitting service on your side (not to mention the risk). We understand. We've been there. Our clients have been there. We want to help.

Finding the perfect pet sitter or dog walker seems overwhelming. Especially since you don't look at your pet as a pet. You actually kind of hate the word, "pet" a little, because it doesn't seem to have enough meaning. "Love of my life", "partner in crime", "workout buddy", "therapist", "best bud", and even, "bestie" would be more appropriate.

So, where do you start? You're busy. It's not like you have the time to interview every professional pet sitter in town! That's the whole reason you need a pet sitter in the first place, right?

It goes without saying that the right professional pet sitter will have an amazing connection with you and your furbabies, but that's not all they need to have. We've put together a little list of other important things to consider. This will give you a good place to start.

Your schedule. How busy are you? How often will you need your pet sitter? Will you need them sporadically, or have you daydreamed about clearing out your spare bedroom to move them in? Do you need someone that can be available in short notice? Same day? Getting clear on this is the first step in finding the right professional pet sitter for you.

If you need someone all of the time, and they are only available some of the time, it will never work. You'll find yourself back at square one, scrambling for help, every time you need them. Stress City, no thank you.

Your privacy. This is so important, and I can't tell you how many times we meet prospective clients that haven't considered this. How will your confidential information be handled? How will your sitter maintain their schedule and notes? Do they have a secure system for your information, like your address, alarm code, and dates that you'll be out of town? Or do they carry it around in a notebook? Will your keys be stored in a ziplock baggie somewhere? How will they be tagged or labelled? Will they be left in your sitter's car? Or are there secure policies in place to protect them? 
 
You deserve to know exactly how your information and keys will be treated, as well as the peace of mind in knowing that keeping them safe and secure are a priority.

Their team. Who makes up their team of professional pet sitters? Do they have employees, or independent contractors (ICs)? Yes, there is a BIG difference between employees and independent contractors, that's a topic for a whole separate blog post...stay tuned.

Are they solo-sitters (I just made that a word, it means that they have no team and do it all alone), and if so, how busy are they? How do they ensure availability? Will they be able to accommodate extra time for an emergency if the need arrises? Who will be there when they can't

Do they have a large team? Will there be a new sitter visiting every day?

Or are they somewhere in between? 

How are they trained? Are they background checked? What does their experience look like?


Relationships are important, y'all. Getting to know your professional pet sitters is part of the fun! The size of your professional pet sitting service's team should be intentional, with you and your needs in mind. They should be able to accommodate your schedule and needs (including emergencies and last-minute requests), while still being small enough to foster real, meaningful relationships with you and your furbabies.

We are going to keep this conversation going. In the next few weeks, we'll write about what to expect from your professional pet sitting service, and where to find the right one, because if you do, you'll only have to go through the process once. Doesn't that sound nice? We think so. You deserve that peace of mind, and your bestie will surely thank you for it too.

Wags & Hugs,
Whoa Doggy!  

Atlanta Pet Sitting

Our clients see and feel the benefits of the type of pet sitting we offer on a regular basis. Whoa Doggy! offers in-home pet sitting, which means we go to our clients’ homes to spend quality time with their pets as opposed to a boarding environment or an alternative that doesn’t involve a professional. There are many benefits of professional in-home pet sitting that offer a solid peace of mind to pet parents in Atlanta!