With Spring fast approaching it’s soon to be “Traveling Time in Tennessee.”
Although the snow may have put a damper on your travel plans this winter, Spring Break and Easter will be here before you know it, and maybe you’re already day dreaming about your upcoming summer vacation. If you’re a family with pets, one part of going on vacation that you’ll likely spend a lot of time considering, is who will be taking care of your furry family members while you’re away. In Knoxville and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, you have two quality options, boarding and pet sitting. Some dogs and cats are better suited for one option, while others take better to another. Today we’re comparing boarding in a kennel vs. pet sitting options in the local area so that you can make the best decision for your pets. To keep things consistent, we’ll look at PetSafe Village for boarding and Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking.
Boarding – PetSafe Village offers a variety of room options ranging from indoor only, to indoor/outdoor suites, and condos for the cats. Most rooms are in a range from 4x4ft to 4x8ft, with cat condos at 3x3ft. There are also several Luxury Suites with a bit larger space. Several include a raised cot and a webcam.
Pet Sitting – Your pet will stay in the comfort of their own home. Does your pet normally sleep on a cozy mat by the foot of your bed, or on their “pet couch,” or in the safe haven of their crate? Great! Then that’s where your pet will continue to sleep during your time away. Your pet sitter will follow your pet’s regular routine. So whether your cat is used to having the run of the house, or your dog is used to having indoor/outdoor access through your doggie door, then that’s what your pet sitter will continue to allow your pet to do.
Boarding – Depending on the room type purchased, PetSafe always offers 3 potty breaks per day for dogs confined to the indoors. Solo playtime can be added for $4.95 (which is 15 minute of unsupervised play in the yard). So really unless your dogs likes “playing” by themselves, this really isn’t going to do much for them. If you want your pet to have playtime with an employee, then the charge is $7.95 per 15 minute session. A final tuck-in (last bathroom break and treat) can be added at night for $3.95. This is of course per dog, so if you have several you’ll need to multiply the prices.
Pet Sitting – Pet sitting allows you to personalize your pet’s schedule depending on how many visits per day your pet needs. Your dog is used to just a morning and evening feeding and walk? Perfect, then we’ll make 2 visits per day. Your pet like to have opportunities to go out in the morning, at lunch, at dinner, and before bed?. That works too, we’ll visit 4 times per day. Pricing is based on the length of each visit, so you can customize an exact schedule that works for your pets. Playtime, walks, and one-on-one attention is always included at no additional charge. Our visit price is based on up to 3 dogs, or 4 pets, so for most pet families all of their pets are included in the base visit price.
Home and Pet Safety:
Boarding – PetSafe requires all of the pets that they board to be current on vaccinations. However, you simply can’t guarantee the full health of all pets when housing such a large number under one roof. Your pet does run the potential risk of picking up a contagious disease when being boarded at any facility. This can be especially dangerous for young puppies and kittens. You’ll also need to think about the safety of your home since there will not be anyone in it while you’re away, and you may have to impose upon friends/family to stop by to check in.
Pet Sitting – With pet sitting your pets stay in the safety of their own home, and they will not be exposed to any diseases, viruses, or parasites due to other animals. They also will not have to deal with the stress of the unfamiliar sights, smells, and loud sounds of a kennel environment. Pet sitters can perform complimentary tasks such as bringing in the mail/newspaper, alternating lights, and turning on/off the TV or radio, to give your home a lived-in feel while you are away. The action of a car arriving at your house several times per day is enough to ward off most would-be burglars.
Boarding – PetSafe Village’s rates for a cat condo range from $16.95 – $37.95 per night depending on the size of the space. For dogs, the rate for a single dog starts at $26.95 per night in a standard indoor/outdoor suite and goes up to $47.95 per night for the Luxury suite. Remember this is only for 1 dog. Each additional dog is 25% off the room price. If you want to add in any playtime be sure to add in the $4.95-$7.95 fee, per 15 minute session, per pet. If your pet needs medication, or wants a peanut butter filled treat that’s also an additional charge.
Pet Sitting – Pet Sitting visit prices are based on the length of visit scheduled. A 20 minute visit is $18, a 40 minute visit $22, and a 60 minute visit $26. These prices are for up to 3 dogs, or 4 total pets included. During the visit, your pet sitter will be giving your pets one-on-one attention. This could be playtime in the yard, long walks at the park, or cuddling on the couch – it’s whatever your pets want and need to be happy and healthy! Treats, medication, and bathroom breaks are always included at no additional charge.