Who Cares For Your Dog When You’re On Vacation?

When you are heading out of town for a trip that you just can’t bring your pet on, it can be a tough choice to figure out who will care for them while you’re away. Most people do one of three things: have a friend or neighbor take care of their pet, board their pet, or hire a pet sitter to care for them. There are pros and cons to each option and it’s important that you consider these when you make your decision about who will be caring for your pets. After all, they are your furry babies and you want the best for them!

Ask a Friend, Family, or Neighbor


          • This is often the cheapest option, which can make it appealing.
          • You know them already and they probably know your pet, so you already trust them.


          • You can feel like you are a burden by asking them to help. They also might not keep you updated on how things are going. You could feel like you’ll come off as intrusive and like you don’t trust them if you ask, so you end up just worrying.
          • Your pet is probably not going to be their priority. To them, it’s a favor and they still have their regular life to lead. If they don’t have other pets then they also may not realize the potty break routine that your pet needs.
          • It’s unlikely that they have been trained to handle an emergency situation with a pet. Do they know what to do and where to take your pet if something were to happen?
          • They probably don’t have a backup plan in case something comes up (have to work late, unexpected emergency, etc.) and they can’t get home to your pet.

Use a Boarding Facility


          • Not too expensive
          • This is a great option for the friendly, energetic dog! They can play with their dog buddies throughout the day and get lots of exercise.
          • A lot of facilities have cameras so that you can even watch your dog online.
          • Good boarding facilities will require their staff to be trained in emergency care.


          • Despite requirements for updated vaccines, it’s extremely common for pets to come home with kennel cough and other illnesses.
          • Pick-up and drop-off hours can be limited at night and on weekends. This means that if you need to leave too early to drop off your pet or if you get home too late to pick them up, you’ll have to pay for an extra night of boarding.
          • Most boarding facilities are not staffed 24 hours a day. Typically, pets are kenneled at night and then the facility is closed and unattended for the night.
          • It can be hard for some pets to be alone and kenneled overnight (especially those who like to curl up in bed with you!).
          • Some dogs just aren’t social and don’t enjoy being in a doggy daycare environment. If they are uncomfortable, it can trigger fights and aggressive behavior. They would be stressed out and would much rather have been home with their normal routine.

Hire a Pet Sitter


          • Your pet gets to stay home in their own environment and can stick to their normal routines. The pet sitter will come a few times throughout the day for potty breaks, play time, exercise, and feeding. They typically offer longer visits so your pet can get lots of love just like they would when you are there!
          • Your pet gets individualized care and all of the attention is focused on them.
          • A good pet sitting company requires their staff to be trained in pet emergency care. They will know what to do in case of an emergency and how to get your pet immediate help.
          • You can expect to receive updates with pictures after every single visit from the pet sitter so you always know how things are going.
          • Your pet won’t be exposed to other dogs who could pass along illnesses.
          • There’s no need for you to drop off or pick up your pet – they’ll be home waiting with a smile when you get there!
          • The pet sitting company will have a backup plan in place in case your sitter has an emergency and cannot do the visit, that way your pet always gets their scheduled care.
          • Pet sitting is a job for the person you hire – which means they take pride in providing your pet with the best possible care.


          • Choosing to hire a pet sitter can be more expensive – but you also get what you pay for. You are paying for individual care from a trained professional where your pet is the top priority.
          • It can be stressful trusting a stranger with your house and pet. It’s very important to do your homework before hiring a pet care company. Read online reviews, call and talk to the company to make sure you feel comfortable, and make sure the pet care company insists on a Meet & Greet so you can get to know them first.

Choosing Who Will Care For Your Pet

You have lots of choices when you need care for your pets, but it’s really important to think through the pros and cons of each option to ensure that your pet is in good hands. If you’d like to hire a pet sitter, check out Charleston Dog Walker – we’d love to care for your pets!

Charleston Dog WalkerCharleston Dog Walker provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in your home that is customized to your pet’s needs. We’re so happy you found us (and we know your pet is, too!) and we would truly be honored to be your pet care provider. Give us a call at 843-580-2212 or contact us to get more information about how we can help your pet!