Boarding or Sitting: How to Get the Best in Overnight Dog Care

Boarding or Sitting: How to Get the Best in Overnight Dog Care

Your boss calls on a Friday evening. An out-of-town client is having issues and needs you to be onsite by Monday afternoon. You look down into the brown eyes of your dog. Your closest friends are on vacation, you don’t know your neighbors all that well, and your family is 200 miles away. In short, the people you would trust the most to care for your dog -- feed her, take her out for walks, play with her, give her some love -- aren’t around. 

When you work in a high-stress field or serve in a managerial role, stress is already at very high levels. The last thing you need when you’re unexpectedly called out of town is the increased anxiety of finding someone you can trust with your dogs. Thankfully, you have options, including dog boarding facilities (such as a dog hotel or a kennel) and a professional sitter. Both provide care and companionship for your dog. In a boarding facility, your dog is put in with others, normally either in separate kennels or rooms. You send along the dog’s food along with any bedding and toys. 

A local dog sitter, however, will come to your home to check in with your dog several times a day for walks and feeding and playtime. The difference is that you won’t have to pack up her belongings for an overnight stay, plus she can stay in the comfort of her own familiar home, which will minimize the stress she already feels because you’re away.

In 2020, pet owners spent more than $8.1 billion on boarding and grooming, and there are plenty of sitting and boarding services in nearly every market in the US. The question is, with an industry so large and so many choices, how do you make the best decision for your dog? Which one is the best: a sitter or boarding? 

Below, Brutus Bone Broth presents three factors to consider when deciding so that you can be sure your pup is in good hands the next time you have to hit the road, whether you’re going on a two-week vacation or a two-day trip out of town and back.

Which One Can Handle a Last-Minute Booking?

Since you might need a sitter or boarding service at the last minute, which one is more accessible to you? A boarding service normally has associates on staff 24 hours a day to care for the animals, but might not be able to take in dogs during later hours. Dog sitters, on the other hand, might be able to take you on if you need immediate care for your dog, or they might be booked with other clients. Call both and ask if they can take on a new client immediately. With either, however, it is important that you introduce your dog to the sitter or boarding facility ahead of time as soon as you can. It will establish trust and minimize stress on your dog, which will make the experience good for all of you. 

Interaction With Other Animals

If your dog is social and plays well with others, she will probably like being at a boarding facility. Here, she can play with other dogs during designated times. The staff is trained to watch out for any hostility, so your dog should be safe during her stay. However, your dog must have all of her vaccinations current, including bordetella. You will need to provide proof from your veterinarian to either the boarding facility (or the sitter) that your dog is completely vaccinated. 

Pick-Up Times and Cost

Know the costs associated with the type of care you choose. It’s also important to understand that some facilities have a fee schedule that includes the times when you must pick up your dog or else get charged for another day’s boarding. Dog sitters might be a little more flexible. Since they only come by and feed and care for your dog several times during the day, you don’t have to worry about getting in too late and being charged for an extra day.

Regardless of which one you choose, you will always want to leave your dog with the best care possible. That way, you can relax and know that your best friend is in the best hands. 


Give your dog's food a boost with Brutus Bone Broth. Not only is our broth a great treat for dog, but it can also help with digestion, improves joint health, and contributes to your dog's overall well-being.


Author: Lauren McGee - 

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