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Should you board your dog or use a pet sitter?

Should you board your dog or use a pet sitter?

We are just around the corner from the hectic travel time of spring break and while many of us might want to take our pets to our vacation destination, sometimes it’s just not possible. Thankfully, resources are available to make sure your pet enjoys his or her vacation time too!

March is National Pet Sitter’s Month. Many people have only considered using a boarding kennel when they leave their pet, but there is a growing industry of individuals who will care for your pet in the comfort of your home.  In some cases, these pet sitters might even stay at your house in order to provide the highest level of care.

When searching for someone to care for your little four-legged family member, it’s important to understand that by in large, this is an unregulated industry. Thomas F. Dock, Director of Communications/Public Information Office, Noah’s Animal Hospitals has tips on how you can find that right match for you and your pet.

1. Finding a good, trusted, and reliable pet sitter may not be as difficult as you think. First step, ask your veterinary team if they have any local recommendations. Often, veterinary team members will moonlight as pet sitters and who better to be there for your furry friend than someone they already know!

2. Other options include using a certified pet sitter (yes, that’s a thing!) from websites such as and These can help point you to local resources and offer certification courses for prospective pet sitters. This will help pet owners find qualified and dedicated individuals to care for their pet.

3. Some pet lovers have also had luck using sites like or or even the Wag! app

4. Once you have made a connection, it’s time to see how your pet feels about this new person. Arrange a meet and greet so that you can see how your prospective pet sitter interacts with your pet. 

5. This is also a good time to discuss the details. Does your pet sitter have an emergency plan? Are they experienced in giving medications to pets?  Do they have written proof of liability insurance? Are they bonded to protect against theft? Can they give you a list of references?

6. Once you have found the right fit, double check the contract. Is the pricing what you agreed to? Do you both have emergency contact information in case of an unfortunate incident or a delay in returning home? How will you verify that the services are done?

7. Many pets will do better in the comfort and familiarity of their own home when owners are gone. But, if your pet has more serious needs, like insulin injections or multiple medications given daily, It could be worth investigating a boarding kennel or veterinary hospital.