Many pet owners prefer to take their pet with them everywhere they go. But, sadly, this isn't a realistic option. Whether you're about to embark on your honeymoon or an annual vacation or if you're leaving town on a business trip, you may vacillate between boarding and hiring a pet sitter. There are definite advantages to both, but boarding your furry buddy may offer more benefits than you initially thought.

Professional Care

When you choose to leave your pet at a boarding kennel or an animal hospital that provides pet boarding services, you can generally be sure your pet is cared for by professionals with the training and skill to provide that care.

While there are pet sitters that have professional qualifications (such as a certified trainer or licensed vet tech), they can be hard to find and often get booked up quickly. Plus, a professional business has a vested interest in ensuring that their staff meet certain qualifications, giving you peace of mind when you board Fluffy or Fido.

This is particularly important if your pet has a health condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, and you board them at an animal hospital. Knowing a veterinarian is there should they have seizures or experience a sudden surge in blood sugar can bring a lot of comfort.

No Medication Issues

If your pet takes medication multiple times a day, you'll have to hire someone who can stop by and administer the meds on time, and this generally costs extra. Many boarding facilities have staff on duty 24/7 to medicate your pet if needed, and a lot of them don't charge extra for this service.

Arriving to your home on time to make sure Fido gets his medication can be a challenge for some pet sitters, particularly if they work a full-time job.

No "Triggers"

Does your furry companion hide under the bed when they hear thunder? Does your neighbor like to shoot off fireworks every holiday, sending your cat climbing the walls with anxiety?

If you're worried about loud noises or any other external factors triggering your pet while you're not at home, then boarding is a perfect solution. Placing your dog at a boarding facility doesn't preclude those possible triggers from happening, but at least you know your pet will be monitored if something were to happen.

You can also speak with your vet about prescribing anti-anxiety medication while you're gone to help with that.


Dogs are, by their very nature, social creatures. They naturally gravitate to other dogs and people.

If your dog gets along with other pets, leaving them at a boarding facility that allows dogs who "play nice" to interact can be a wonderful way to give your 4-legged friend some much-needed socialization. Most of these boarding places will advertise a play room or play area, ensuring your pet gets plenty of exercise and play time.

Never a No-Show

If you've ever hired a pet sitter, you know the fear that comes with worrying about whether they will show. Most professional pet sitters are reliable, but what if something were to happen outside of their control, such as an emergency or a car accident?

No one wants to think about these possibilities. But when you board your pet, you have the peace of mind of knowing there will always be someone there to care for your fur baby.

Possible Training

If you've given thought to professionally training your pet, there are actually facilities that offer boarding and training together. Find out how long the training is expected to last, as a lot of it will depend on your dog's current level and what your expectations are. The entire process can take up to several weeks.

To find such facilities, look for dog training centers in your area.

Preparation for "Emergency" Situations

Getting your pet used to boarding can be especially useful in preparing them for emergency situations. For example, suppose a bad storm rolls in and your home floods. You have to leave the house for several days in order to let the clean-up crew do their thing.

If your pets aren't used to staying somewhere different, this can be a major stressor for both you and them. Knowing you can place them in a kennel they've stayed in before will leave you with one less thing to worry about as you focus on making the needed repairs to your house.