The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Care for Dogs: Finding the Perfect Pet Sitter or Boarding Facility

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When it comes to arranging holiday care for dogs, whether you’re gearing up for a vacation getaway or an extended business trip, the quest for dependable pet care can be quite daunting. It’s a common dilemma for pet owners who often wrestle with the decision of choosing between a trusted pet sitter or the option of boarding their beloved four-legged companion.

This comprehensive guide aims to reduce the stress of decision-making by providing you with detailed pros and cons of each option along with savvy tips on how to best prepare your pet for your time apart.

So let’s dive in – ensuring peace of mind for both you and Fido is just a few scrolls away!

Key Takeaways

  • Pet sitters can provide personalized care and keep your dog in their own familiar environment, while boarding facilities offer structured care and round-the-clock attention.
  • It’s important to start your search for a pet sitter or boarding facility early, consider location and proximity, leave detailed instructions about feeding, medication, exercise routines, etc., have emergency plans in place, and maintain open communication.
  • Seek personal recommendations from other dog owners or veterinarians when choosing a pet sitter or boarding facility. Explore online options for reviews and profiles. Consider different types of boarding facilities such as traditional kennels, luxury boarding, doggy daycare with overnight options, or in-home boarding.

Pet Sitter vs. Boarding Facility: Pros and Cons

A cozy pet bed surrounded by toys and treats, with various faces and outfits.

Pet sitters offer the advantage of personalized care and familiar surroundings, but drawbacks include limited availability and potential dependence on one individual. On the other hand, boarding facilities provide a structured environment and round-the-clock care, but there may be limitations regarding personal attention and individualized routines.

Advantages of Pet Sitters

A dog being walked in a park by a pet sitter.

Pet sitters come to your home. Your dog stays in his own place. This is good for dogs that like routine. Pet sitters can also play with your dog during the day and feed them on time.

They can give medicine if needed, too. Going for walks keeps your pet active while you’re away. With a sitter, you know who is taking care of your pet each day. You may even get fun updates and pictures!

Drawbacks of Pet Sitters

A frustrated pet owner juggles responsibilities as their pet sitter cancels.

Pet sitters can have some drawbacks to consider when deciding on holiday care for your dog. One drawback is that not all pet sitters may be experienced or qualified to handle different situations or emergencies that could arise.

Another concern is the limited supervision your dog might receive, as pet sitters usually visit your home a few times a day rather than providing constant care. Additionally, if you have multiple pets with different needs, it may be challenging for one person to adequately meet all their requirements.

Lastly, scheduling conflicts and last-minute cancellations are possible issues that may leave you scrambling for alternative arrangements. So while there are advantages to having a pet sitter, it’s important to carefully weigh these drawbacks before making a decision.

Benefits of Boarding Facilities

A joyful dog playing fetch with a staff member in a yard.

Boarding facilities can offer several benefits for your furry friends when you’re away. One advantage is that they provide a structured and supervised environment, ensuring your dog’s safety and well-being.

Boarding facilities often have trained professionals who give the pets individual attention and care. Another benefit is that boarding kennels follow a strict schedule, providing dogs with regular meals, exercise, and playtime.

This helps to minimize their stress levels during their stay. Additionally, some boarding facilities offer additional services like grooming or training programs, which can be convenient if your pet needs extra care while you’re away.

Limitations of Boarding Facilities

A worried dog surrounded by other dogs in a boarding facility.

Boarding facilities can be a great option for dog care during your holiday, but they do have some limitations. One of the drawbacks is that your dog may feel stressed and anxious in an unfamiliar environment.

Additionally, boarding facilities might not offer personalized attention or the same level of one-on-one care as a pet sitter. While boarding facilities follow strict schedules, your dog might not receive the same amount of exercise or individualized playtime as they would at home.

It’s important to consider these limitations when deciding if boarding is the right choice for your furry friend.

How to Find the Perfect Pet Sitter

A person walking a dog in a park with various people.

Start your search for the perfect pet sitter early and consider their location, leave detailed instructions, have emergency plans in place, and maintain open communication with them throughout.

Read on to learn more about finding the ideal pet sitter for your furry friend!

Start the search early

A dog owner searches for pet sitters using various devices and reviews.

Finding the perfect pet sitter or boarding facility for your dog requires some time and planning. It’s important to start your search early to have enough time to research and make a decision.

Begin by asking for personal recommendations from local pet parents or your vet. They can provide insights into trustworthy sitters or facilities in your area. Additionally, explore online options and read reviews from other dog owners.

By starting the search early, you’ll have a better chance of finding a reliable caregiver who meets your dog’s needs and gives you peace of mind while you’re away on vacation.

Consider location and proximity

A dog sitting on a front porch looking out into a neighborhood.

When finding the perfect pet sitter or boarding facility for your dog during the holidays, it’s important to consider location and proximity. Look for options that are close to your home or where you will be staying, as this can make drop-offs and pick-ups more convenient.

Being nearby also allows you to easily check in on your furry friend if needed. Additionally, a location that is familiar to your dog may help them feel more comfortable and at ease while you’re away.

So, when choosing holiday care for your dog, keep location and proximity in mind to make things easier for both of you.

Leave detailed instructions

A dog owner provides detailed instructions to a pet sitter.

When you leave your dog with a pet sitter or at a boarding facility, it’s important to provide detailed instructions. Here are some tips on what to include:

  1. Feeding schedule: Write down the times and amounts of food your dog should be given each day. Include any dietary restrictions or special instructions.
  2. Medications: If your dog requires medication, clearly explain the dosage and administration instructions. Make sure to provide enough medication for the entire duration of their stay.
  3. Exercise routine: Describe your dog’s regular exercise routine and any specific activities they enjoy. This will help the sitter or staff members at the boarding facility keep your dog active and happy.
  4. Daily care: Outline how often your dog needs to be groomed, including brushing and bathing instructions. Don’t forget to mention any preferences or sensitivities they have.
  5. Emergency contacts: Provide contact information for yourself and another trusted person who can make decisions on your behalf if necessary. Include phone numbers for your veterinarian and any emergency veterinary clinics in the area.
  6. Behavioral notes: Let the sitter or staff know about any behavior quirks or issues your dog may have, such as separation anxiety or fear of thunderstorms. This will help them understand and manage your dog’s behavior better.
  7. Comfort items: If there are specific toys, blankets, or bedding that make your dog feel more secure, pack them along with clear instructions on how they should be used.
  8. Health information: Note any allergies, medical conditions, or vaccinations that are relevant to your dog’s well-being during their stay.

Emergency plans and insurance

A diverse family poses in front of their home emergency plan sign.

It’s important to have a plan in case of emergencies when you leave your dog with a pet sitter or at a boarding facility. Make sure to provide clear instructions on how to handle any medical issues that may arise and include contact information for your vet.

Additionally, consider getting pet insurance to help cover unexpected costs if your dog needs medical attention while you’re away. Remember, accidents can happen, so it’s better to be prepared just in case.

Open communication

A cellphone with messaging apps open surrounded by speech bubbles representing open communication.

Open communication is crucial when it comes to finding the perfect pet sitter or boarding facility for your dog. It’s important to have clear and open lines of communication with both the sitter/facility and your furry friend.

This means discussing any specific needs or requirements your dog may have, such as dietary restrictions or medical conditions. Make sure to provide detailed instructions on how to care for your pup, including their eating and exercise routines.

Additionally, keep the communication flowing while you’re away by checking in regularly with the pet sitter or boarding facility to make sure everything is going smoothly. By maintaining open communication, you can ensure that your dog receives the best possible care while you’re enjoying your vacation.

How to Choose the Ideal Boarding Facility

A happy dog playing with other dogs in a spacious indoor area.

Learn how to find the perfect boarding facility for your furry friend, from seeking personal recommendations to evaluating house sitters. Don’t settle for anything less than the best care! Read on to discover all our tips and tricks.

Seek personal recommendations

A dog owner receiving a recommendation from a veterinarian in a bustling veterinary office.Finding the perfect pet sitter or boarding facility for your dog can be a daunting task. But one of the best ways to start your search is by seeking personal recommendations from other dog owners or even your veterinarian.

They can provide valuable insights and first-hand experiences that can help you make an informed decision. Whether it’s a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor who has used a pet sitter in the past, their recommendations can give you peace of mind knowing that someone else has had a positive experience with them.

So don’t hesitate to ask around and get recommendations from people you trust before making your final choice.

Explore online options

When searching for the perfect pet sitter or boarding facility, it’s worth exploring online options. Many websites and platforms offer listings of professional pet sitters, kennels, and home boarding services.

You can read reviews from other dog owners to get a better idea of their experiences. Some popular online platforms like Scount provide comprehensive profiles with information about the sitter or facility, rates, and availability.

You can also find specific types of boarding facilities such as luxury pet resorts or specialized medical care centers for pets with special needs. Exploring these online options gives you a wide range of choices and makes it easier to find the best fit for your furry friend while you’re away on holiday.

Types of boarding facilities

When it comes to boarding facilities for your dog, there are different options to choose from. Here are some types of boarding facilities to consider:

  1. Traditional Kennels: These are the most common type of boarding facilities. They typically have separate kennels or cages where dogs can stay. Some kennels also offer additional services like grooming and playtime.
  2. Luxury Boarding: If you want your dog to have a more luxurious experience, you can opt for luxury boarding facilities. These places often offer private rooms or suites with comfortable beds, TVs, and even webcams so you can check in on your pet.
  3. Doggy Daycare (Boarding): Doggy daycare facilities not only provide daycare services but also offer overnight boarding options. This is a great option if you want your dog to socialize and play with other dogs during their stay.
  4. In-Home Boarding: Some individuals or businesses offer in-home boarding services where your dog stays at someone’s house instead of a traditional facility. This can be a more home-like environment for your pet.

Considerations for kennels or home boarding

When choosing between kennels or home boarding for your dog during the holidays, there are important factors to consider. For kennels, take a tour of the facility to ensure it meets your standards.

Ask about their boarding requirements and any specific needs your dog may have. Home boarding is another option where your dog stays in someone’s home. Look for reliable and trustworthy individuals who can provide a safe and comfortable environment for your pet.

It’s crucial to discuss details such as feeding schedules, exercise routines, and emergency plans with both options to ensure the best care for your furry friend while you’re away.

Evaluating house sitters

When choosing a house sitter for your dog, it’s important to evaluate them carefully. Start by asking for personal recommendations or checking online reviews. Look for someone with experience and a genuine love for animals.

Consider their availability and whether they have the necessary qualifications or certifications. It’s also a good idea to meet them in person before making a decision to see how they interact with your pet.

Discuss their approach to dog care, including exercise routines and handling any special needs your dog may have. Lastly, trust your instincts – if something feels off about a potential house sitter, it’s best to keep looking until you find the right fit.

How to Prepare for You and Your Pet to Be Apart

A sad dog waits by the window with a suitcase.

Get peace of mind by following these tips to ensure a smooth separation from your furry friend.

Introduce your pet to the sitter or facility beforehand

Before leaving your dog with a pet sitter or boarding facility, it’s important to introduce them beforehand. This will help your furry friend feel more comfortable and familiar in their temporary environment.

Take the time to bring your dog to meet the sitter or tour the facility. Let them sniff around and get acquainted with their surroundings. This way, they can adjust better when you’re away, knowing that they’ve already been introduced to their caregiver or the place where they’ll be staying.

Introducing your pet beforehand ensures that they feel safe and secure while you’re enjoying your vacation.

Provide detailed care instructions

To ensure your dog receives the best care while you’re away, it’s crucial to provide detailed care instructions. Here’s what you need to include:

  1. Feeding schedule: Write down specific times and amounts for meals, including any dietary restrictions or special instructions.
  2. Medications: If your dog takes medication, clearly outline the dosage, frequency, and administration method. Include the medication name and any potential side effects to watch out for.
  3. Exercise routine: Describe your dog’s exercise needs and preferred activities. Mention any limitations or medical conditions that may affect their exercise routine.
  4. Bathroom breaks: Specify how often your dog needs to be let outside for bathroom breaks. Provide information on their preferred spot and any signals they give when they need to go.
  5. Behavioral considerations: Note any quirks or behavioral issues your dog may have. This can help the pet sitter or boarding facility handle situations appropriately and prevent any mishaps.
  6. Comfort items: Inform the caregiver about your dog’s favorite toys, blankets, or bedding that will help them feel more at ease.
  7. Emergency contacts: Provide contact information for yourself, a trusted friend or family member, and your veterinarian in case of emergencies.
  8. Vet preferences: Let the caregiver know if there are specific veterinarians you prefer they use in case of a medical issue.
  9. Grooming needs: Indicate if your dog requires regular grooming such as brushing, nail trimming, or bathing during their stay.
  10. Any additional instructions: Include any other relevant information such as training cues, fears (e.g., thunderstorms), preferred walking routes, or favorite treats.

Pack essential items for your pet

Make sure you have these important things ready for your pet:

  1. Food and water bowls: Bring enough food for the duration of your pet’s stay, along with their regular bowls for mealtime.
  2. Medications: If your pet takes any medications, pack them in a labeled container and include clear instructions on dosage and timing.
  3. Bedding or blankets: Familiar items from home can help your pet feel more comfortable while they’re away.
  4. Toys and treats: Pack a few of your pet’s favorite toys and treats to keep them entertained and happy during their stay.
  5. Leash and collar: Even if your pet will be indoors most of the time, it’s still important to have a leash and collar handy for walks or outdoor breaks.
  6. ID tags and paperwork: Make sure your pet is wearing an identification tag with updated contact information. Additionally, bring any necessary paperwork or vaccination records that may be required by the boarding facility or sitter.
  7. Grooming supplies: Depending on your pet’s needs, bring brushes, nail clippers, or other grooming tools to maintain their hygiene while they’re away.

Set up a pet cam for monitoring

To keep an eye on your furry friend while you’re away, it’s a good idea to set up a pet cam for monitoring. This way, you can check in and see how your dog is doing throughout the day.

You can find affordable pet cameras that connect to your smartphone, allowing you to watch live feeds or receive alerts if something seems amiss. It’s a great way to ease any worries and ensure that your pup is safe and comfortable while you’re not there.

Minimize your pet’s stress while you’re away

Leaving your furry friend behind can be tough, but there are ways to minimize their stress while you’re away. One important step is to introduce your pet to the sitter or boarding facility beforehand so they become familiar with them.

Providing detailed care instructions and packing essential items, like their favorite toys or blanket, can also help them feel more secure. Consider setting up a pet cam for monitoring and don’t forget to follow kennel boarding basics and travel best practices to keep your pets happy during the holiday season.


A dog happily plays with a pet sitter in a park.

In conclusion, whether you choose a pet sitter or a boarding facility for your dog’s holiday care, it’s important to do your research and consider what will work best for both you and your furry friend.

Take the time to find a reliable and trustworthy caregiver who will provide the love and attention your pet deserves while you’re away. With proper preparation and communication, you can ensure that your dog has a safe and happy holiday experience.


1. What is pet care during a vacation?

Vacation pet care means using services like a dog sitter, PetHotel or overnight dog boarding for your pet while you’re away.

2. How can I find the right dog sitter?

Finding the right pet sitter involves looking at their experience and reviews to make sure they provide good dog care services.

3. What’s the difference between in-home pet care and an animal boarding facility?

In-home pet care offers extended service where a caretaker comes to your home, whereas animal boarding facilities are like a “home away from home” for dogs with overnight stay options.

4. Are there long-term options for holiday pet care?

Yes! There are longterm pet care options available that include both temporary and extended stays at either dog kennels or overnight pet sitting services which could serve as perfect solutions especially during holidays.

5. How do I choose between different dog boarding options?

Choosing involves checking out various factors such as cleanliness of facilities, staff friendliness and behavior management policies apart from price efficiency when selecting the best option among Dog kennels, PetsHotel or other Dog Boarding Services available around you.

6. Will my dog be safe if I use these types of services?

Your furry friend’s safety hugely depends on quality standards maintained by chosen service providers offering Inhome Care , Overnight Pet Boarding or any other Pet Care Services making it essential for owners to conduct proper studying & research.

Check out our other Pet How To’s and Guides!

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Jamie Wilkinson

Hey! My name is Jamie and welcome to Surviving the Day. I'm a jack of all trades but master of none. I love learning new things and living a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, you'll find some of the information I share useful to you and your family. Feel free to drop me a line and I'll be sure to respond!

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