Dog owners are known for the close bonds of affection they develop with their pets, but there are times when you choose – or are forced – to be away from home for an extended period. Some dog owners opt to send their pets to kennels while they are away, while others leave their dogs in familiar surroundings at home and hire a pet-sitter – but which option is better? In this article we’re going to weigh up the pros and cons to kenneling to help you decide what’s best for you and your pet.
Dog Kennels – Home Away from Home or Puppy Prison?
There are many horror stories about dog kennels – especially on the internet – with unscrupulous kennel owners being exposed regularly for the way they treat the dogs in their care. On the other hand, there are a lot of well-run kennels that market themselves as pet hotels and promise to take care of your dog as their special guest. Before you consider putting your dog in a kennel, make sure you check its online reputation and visit the facilities – if you’re happy leaving your dog there, it’s definitely an option.
Some of the pros of kenneling include not having to open your home to a pet sitter, knowing that your dog is being cared for by professionals, and accepting that your pet will be away from its home environment in conditions that may not be as comfortable as you’d like. You’ll need to weigh the advantages of kenneling against the convenience of a pet-sitter. Let’s find out more about this alternative.
Pet Sitters – A Stress-Free Option, If You Find the Right Person
If you’re having horrible thoughts about your dog suffering in a kennel for days or weeks, there’s another option that may be easier on your pet’s state of mind. A pet-sitter will come in once or twice a day, feed your dog, play with it for a few minutes, and let you know if they notice anything worrying or unusual – like excessive whimpering or a withdrawn attitude.
While hiring a pet-sitter will allow your dog to stay in its home environment without the stress of adapting to life in a kennel, you’ll also be opening your home to a relative stranger who may or may not be trustworthy. One of the best solutions when it comes to finding a pet-sitter is to hire someone who already knows you – and enjoys spending time with your dog. Neighbors, cousins, nieces and nephews, and even your parents could be ideal candidates. If you are hiring a professional pet-sitter, ask around and get a referral from someone who has used their services before – you can also check online listings and find fully-reviewed pet sitters with reputations you can trust.
The decision to send your dog to a kennel or hire a pet-sitter could make the difference between a happy animal that’s well cared for and a depressed pet that may need a lot of TLC and even medical care when you get back. Puppies and smaller breeds are especially sensitive to separation, making it essential to find a trustworthy pet-sitter who will nurture them in their normal home environment. After you weigh up your options, take the decision that’s best for the pet you love and care for – you’ll never regret it.