I’d love to say that every dog is the perfect candidate for dog sitting while the family is away on vacation or business. But as much as I don’t want to admit it, that simply is not the case.
There are many dogs that have a wonderful experience being cared for by a pet sitter. Those dogs enjoy the comfort of the smell and surroundings of their own environment, and love having a friend that visits them for special attention and exercise several times throughout the day. But other dogs simply aren’t cut out for it, and do better in a boarding situation. So does your dog have what it takes?
When deciding if your dog is a good fit for pet sitting, there are 3 main things consider:
1. Age: We provide pet sitting services for dogs of all ages ranging from rambunctious young’ins to calm and collected seniors. We’re happy to go on fast-paced walks with the purpose of getting out your dog’s energy, or we can snuggle up and give hugs with the best of them, depending on your dog’s preferences and activity level. However if you have an elderly dog that has trouble getting around, or you worry about him/her falling, then boarding may be a better option so that it is a more confined space with constant observation. On the other hand, if you have an extremely young puppy who “gets into everything” or needs bathroom breaks every 2 hours, once again in-home boarding or kenneling may be a better option. We love puppies, but the very youngest ones are not the best match for pet sitting. (However we would love to help you with potty training during the day! We offer some great dog walking options for while you’re at work).
2. Personality: When considering pet sitting, your dog’s personality is something else to think about. Although we won’t be strangers to your dog since we’ll have met at our “meet and greet” initial consultation, we will be a fairly new person in your dog’s life if you are a new client. Some dogs love meeting new people and think the more the merrier, but others are a bit more protective of their house or reserved. As pet professionals we’re happy to work with dogs of all temperaments ranging from outgoing to shy to protective. However we can’t take care of aggressive dogs, so if your dog does have aggressive tendencies towards people, a kennel is likely a better option. Most dogs are used to being at home by themselves or with their doggie brothers and sisters during the day while you’re at work, so pet sitting often mimics your own daily routine. They are used to exploring the yard or relaxing on their doggie bed during the main part of the day, so pet sitting is a great way not to disrupt their regular routine.
3. Home Environment: Some homes are perfectly suited for pet sitting. Think about where your dog stays when you are gone. Do you have an area of your house gated off, or perhaps a “doggie room?” Maybe you have a dog door with access to a fenced area. Or perhaps they are outdoor dogs with the run of the yard. Or maybe you’re lucky enough that you have a dog that can be trusted in the main part of the house. All of these are ideal scenarios for using a pet sitting service. If you are crate training your dog we are able to work with you too, but it’s important that you schedule at least 3 visits per day and preferably at least one longer visit to allow for a good exercise walk. Plus with pet sitting you have the added bonus of a person coming to your house several times a day, turning on and off lights, collecting the mail if you like, and doing other things that give your home a lived in look.