Pet sitter or boarding kennel: Who should care for your pet while youre away? – Part 5

The choice between hiring a pet sitter or boarding your precious, yet furry loved ones is not always clear. Having become a doggie-mom after the passing of a close family member, I learned quickly the pros and cons of choosing a pet sitter or a kennel.

When I was younger, we always boarded our dogs when we went out of town. Living in Texas, the cost was minimal, and we didn’t have to worry about trusting a nosy neighbor kid to feed our pets while we were gone.

Twenty years later, I have a different take on the situation.

I inherited three adorable geriatric dogs; one with epilepsy, liver and kidney problems, one with extreme allergies, and finally one with social anxiety disorder. Being an overnight doggie-mom in a new city (my furry family and I live in Miami), with an extreme travel schedule, I harkened back to my childhood and decided the best pet care during my absence would be at the vet’s office. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My dogs love me. I am their world. Without me, or people they know well, they each develop additional “issues”. The first time I left the three of them at the vet, my heart was in the right place, and my wallet was wide open for the taking. I was gone for work for four days, but because of the boarding schedules, I had to leave my pets at the kennel until Monday morning. Because my little ones were there more than three days they each had to have a bath before returning home. They each had to have the kennel cough shots, and because of their illnesses, special diets, and pill regimen I paid, and paid and paid. And PAID. The care the vet gave was primo; however, the dogs each manifested an additional issue while they were away. Austin lost a few pounds (the one with social anxiety disorder). Heidi (little miss allergies) rubbed her nose against the grate until her little black nose turned pink. Baby Jake (the 14 year old with epilepsy) came home and had a big seizure. I knew I needed to do something else. I needed someone to take care of my puppies at my house, in their territory. Hopefully for less than $300.00 for a four day trip!)

I needed a Pet Sitter.

Having always been a private person, I didn’t want my neighbors to come over and help out. So I started looking at my friends who lived nearby. Because of Austin’s social anxiety disorder, I rarely have people over. He was medicated at the time, however he remained snippy. So, after conducting interviews with the potential sitters, I picked two people that I knew well to help me out. Yes they are my friends, but I still pay them. $20.00 per day to come over, play doggie pharmacist, clean up any puppy mess and to love and pet my animals. This has been a wonderful arrangement for my sanity and for my animals. The sitters are happy to help out, and to hang out at my house playing video games or studying or swimming at the pool. Most importantly, the puppies are happier getting to stay home and play all day.

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