Benefits of In-Home Pet Boarding
Before setting off on that island getaway or action-packed tour, there’s still one big question that all pet parents must consider before saying bon voyage: Who’ll watch your pets?
As the pet population and spending continues to grow, dog owners have more options for vacation care than ever. According to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. pet industry spending reached around $51 billion in 2011. The number of insured pet-sitter business is already at 10K nationally, and from 2010 to 2020 the number of animal care and service workers is expected to grow by 23%. So if your go-to move is usually traditional kennel boarding, it may be time to consider another option — in-home boarding.
WHAT IS IN-HOME PET BOARDING?In-home boarding works like this: Pet owners search for a registered home nearby, namely through national website services catering to this need. It’s 24-hour care in the hands of trusted professional for an affordable rate.
Most in-home boarding sites are free to browse, and they perform background checks on canine hosts to ensure they are qualified to watch your dog. When a pet owner finds a sitter or host that’s a match, they work with the service to connect with sitter and ensure that the potential dog watcher is a good fit for Fido, based on location, personality and daily routine. Payment is worked out through the service, and the pet parent brings the pooch over to the host’s house before they leave for vacation.
In-home pet boarding services offer dogs individual attention, regular walks, trips to the park, and the opportunity to socialize with other dogs in the household. They can also keep up with your pet’s regular routine — including eating schedules, bathroom breaks, grooming necessities, and daily exercise requirements — so your pooch has less anxiety while you’re away. If your pup isn’t the easiest to handle, you can even opt for in-home pet boarding with a professional trainer!
A number of national websites, such as DogVacay.com and Sleepover Rover, are culling perfect environments for pet owners to search for in-home pet sitters. DogVacay.com, founded by Aaron Hirschhorn and his wife, was born after the two experienced firsthand the stresses of finding trustworthy sitters at affordable rates for their two dogs. “DogVacay’s sitters offer in-home care, and most charge less than $25 per night,” says co-founder and CEO Hirschhorn. Kennels, he notes, can be anywhere from $35-$70 per night, depending on location.
While price is certainly a consideration, how your dog will be cared for while you’re away is paramount. One DogVacay online reviewer (out of thousands of satisfied customers), Ethan C., said that his dogs “...who usually hate boarding of any kind (and make us feel horribly guilty about leaving them) came back exhausted from their play and walks, and looked at us as though we'd taken them away from a romping good time.”
Hirschhorn adds that DogVacay isn’t just about connecting owners and sitters, but also ensuring quality through pet sitter reference checks, reviews, phone interviews, online training, and insurance policies (for both pet sitters and pooches). “During the pet owners’ time away, we also provide them with a daily email updates that include a picture of their dog,” says Hirschhorn. The in-home dog boarding service also provides a no cost, no obligation meet and greet for the pet and potential sitter to see if it will be a good fit.
QUESTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT IN-HOME BOARDING PET SITTERS
When deciding upon the in-home boarding spot right for your dog, Hirschhorn says some of the most important considerations are getting a feel for the environment and a sense of how your dog and the sitter get along. Keep these questions and consideration in mind when meeting with any potential pet sitter:
1. Is the pet sitter’s home clean and safe? Before you head out to tropical paradise, head over to the facility that you’re considering to confirm your pet will be placed in a pet friendly, secure home.
2. Are the pet-watchers/homeowners responsible and reliable? The same way that you would consider whether or not a family member or friend could do the job of watching your pet, do your due diligence on the in-home boarding homeowners. Read other customer reviews, and ask specific questions about their pet experience and daily routine.
3. Are there other pets in the house? If so, how many, and what types? If your dog loves to play with other dogs, consider whether this household is home to small pets or large dogs which may frighten your pet. Also consider if there are any other animals, such as cats, present in the household.
4. What’s the daily routine? If your pooch needs his pill at a certain time of day, or likes to go on long walks in the morning, be sure that the in-home boarding care will be accommodating. Consider feeding, medication, physical needs and hygienic needs (baths or teeth-brushing) when you ask about the schedule.
5. Provide full disclosure. In addition to interviewing the in-home dog sitter, providing an out-of-town contact number and asking about the nearest animal hospital, it’s a pet parent’s job to be open and transparent about a pet’s needs, says Hirschhorn. Share as much info about your pet’s personality, needs and medical history as possible to ensure your pet has a fabulous time on his vacation!
I like that you point out that it is important to think about the care the facility will give to your pet. I can understand why this would be an important factor when deciding where to leave your friend. It seems like this would also help you not have to worry as much about how he/she is doing and if they are being cared for.
7/6/2017 04:17:36 pm
It's interesting that cat boarding is essentially a home that is registered nearby to cater to their needs. This would be really helpful if you are going out of time for an extended period of time and worry that your pet might get into trouble or not eat while you're gone. Essentially it is an extended daycare for your pet which would allow you to have a carefree and enjoyable time not worrying about your animal.
8/23/2017 03:08:02 pm
Thanks for mentioning how pet boarding services can walk your pet regularly and even take them to the park. I'm planning to go on a cruise, and I don't want him to be stuck at home while I'm gone. A boarding place might be a good choice because then he'll be able to be active while I'm away.
8/23/2017 05:17:52 pm
Thank you for mentioning that I should check to see what other types of animals or dogs may be at the pet boarding service I am considering using. My husband and I will be on vacation for a few weeks so I want to make sure that our playful puppy has a good time wherever they are staying. I will be making sure whatever pet boarding service we employ has dogs of equal size to ours, so she has some friends to play with.
11/2/2017 07:12:41 am
I like how you said that while price does play a part, the most important thing is knowing the quality of service at the dog boarding service. Knowing exactly how your pet will be treated would be a good thing to know considering that they are basically a part of the family. You want them to be comfortable and have a good time while you are gone rather than moping by the door or something like that.
11/7/2017 03:51:38 pm
It was amazing how you suggested making sure that the people who will be taking care of my pet while I'm away are responsible. Looking at the reviews and referrals is probably a good way to know about this because you definitely have to be sure. I'm going to my parents' house next week, and since dad is allergic to dogs, I'll be living my pet at the animal boarding. Thanks for giving me tips regarding what to consider.
1/30/2018 07:26:01 am
I like how you suggest reading customer reviews when it comes to hiring a pet boarding homeowner. We just bought a little puppy a few months ago and we love him to pieces! Unfortunately, we are going on a vacation next week and can't take him with us. We'll have to do some looking for a good homeowner where we could leave him nearby.
I like that you mentioned that a pet-sitter can cater to your dog's needs. My wife and I are planning on going out of town for a few weeks, and we need someone to watch our dog. Having someone reliable and trustworthy watch our dog for us would give us peace of mind, and assurance that the puppy will be okay. Thanks for the information.
5/9/2018 04:29:19 pm
Thanks for the advice about considering if a dog boarding service has a good daily routine. Finding something that will be able to look after your dog all day would be helpful. My husband and I are looking for a boarding facility, so we'll have to consider what kind of routine they have.
7/17/2018 08:28:04 am
You made a great point that we would want to do our due diligence with pet boarders. We're going on vacation and we want to make sure that our pets are well looked after. We don't have any friends or family in the area to watch them, so I think that this might be our best option. I will definitely be doing some investigating on the people that they'll potentially stay with so that we can be sure that they get treated well while we're gone.
8/22/2018 11:24:09 am
I really liked how you explained how in-home boarding is twenty-four-hour care in the hands of a trusted professional for an affordable rate. We need to go on vacation soon and I cannot find any hotels that are cat-friendly, so I want to find a boarding situation that will take our cat and make sure she's alright. Thank you for the information about how I can search for a registered home nearby through a national website service catering to this need.
8/27/2018 05:45:27 pm
I like that you talked about pet boarding and how it works. It's hard to go on vacation when we do not have any place to leave our dogs with. Like humans, our pets also have special needs to be considered. I'll definitely consider pet boarding when I have to be away for work or vacation.
It is good that you pointed out that dogs can also have regular walks or trips to the park and could interact with other dogs when put in the in-home pet boarding. As we are always in the office daily and also busy after that, we seldom take the time to attend to our dogs and pay attention to their needs. Since you mentioned what the pet boarding could actually do, that will encourage us to try the service of those who are in the business to give our dogs full attention.
3/21/2019 02:35:53 pm
That is nice that you could have someone do pet boarding in their home. Maybe it would be good to get someone to help out. Then I would be able to go out of town without worrying about my cat.
4/17/2019 06:06:45 am
Wow, I like that you said that in-home boarding websites are free to browse so I may be able to find one for my cat. I believe that if they can keep up my cat's regular eating schedule, she'll be taken care of very well while I'm on vacation. As long as the home is clean and safe, I'm sure that my cat will have no problems going to one.
10/11/2019 02:44:30 pm
That is a good point that dog boarding offers dogs individual attention. Maybe this is something I would want to look into getting sometime soon. Then my dog could feel loved while I was on vacation.
10/18/2019 09:54:46 am
I like that you said that it is important to check on the experience of the people that are going to watch on your pet and their daily routine. My wife told me that she was planning to leave her cat with a pet sitter because she can't take him with her. I'm going to check online for a good boarding place for her cat.
12/31/2019 10:41:21 am
Thanks for helping me know how to prepare for our trip better. We can't take my corgi with me, so we'll want to make sure he's taken care of while we're gone. Finding out beforehand how he'd get along with the carer would make it less traumatic for him.
2/18/2020 03:46:11 pm
Thanks for helping me understand the benefits of in-home pet boarding services! I'll be leaving for Tokyo next week for a business meeting and I don't want to leave my dog alone. I like how you mentioned that in-home pet boarding services offer dogs individual attention, trips to the park and regular walks, which helps me!
10/27/2020 02:39:03 pm
My cousin has been thinking about boarding her golden retriever while she is going to be away on a trip. Getting her taken care of by a professional could allow her to feel more secure about leaving her. Thanks for explaining how they should have the right qualifications and keep up with the schedule to reduce anxiety.
4/18/2021 08:44:35 pm
You made a good point when you shared that it is important to disclose as much info about your pet’s personality, needs, and medical history to the pet sitter. My friend just mentioned the other day that she has to go on a business trip next month and she needs someone to look after her dog. I will suggest to her looking for a reliable pet sitter to help take care of it and make sure to provide all the important information regarding her dog.
11/1/2021 09:14:03 am
I want to make sure that my dog is taken care of while I'm out on vacation. It makes sense that I would want to take my dog to a boarding facility! I'll make sure that I do my research to ensure that they will take good care of him.
10/11/2022 04:03:02 am
I liked how this post shared that the pet sitter and your dog must get along. My friend wants an in-home pet sitter. I should advise him to choose one that is pet friendly.
10/31/2022 09:52:59 pm
Thank you for mentioning that in-home pet boarding services provide dogs with individualized attention, frequent walks, outings to parks, and the chance to mingle with other dogs in the home. My friend is traveling to another city for work. She had a dog, but nobody could watch over the pet. I will assist her in her quest for dog lodging services so that her dog can be cared for.
12/15/2022 01:53:27 pm
My sister needs to travel for a business conference next weekend, and there's no one available to watch over her dogs, so she's very worried about what to do. That's why I think your article will help my sister ease her worries by teaching her how to find the right pet sitter for her dogs. I appreciate your advice on checking a pet sitter's reviews and experience before hiring one.
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