You are heading out-of-town but what to do with your furbaby? How do you choose between dog kennels or dog sitters?
In a national study of pet ownership, Animal Medicine Australia revealed finding affordable boarding is one of the key difficulties experienced by pet owners.
Pet Owners want their pet to be safe, cared for, and comfortable while they are away but every four-legged family members is different so we explore how to find the best care your furbaby.
Home Based Dog Sitters
Home Environments makes dogs happier and less stressed
The RSPCA Queensland recommends there are advantages to booking pet sitters over other pet-care options, particular when the pet is cared for in its own home. “Pets are happier and experience less stress in a home environment,” the RSPCA Queensland explains.
Most Sitters will allow your dog to sleep on the bed with them at night, or hop on the couch to watch tv together, enabling your pet to continue the same type of loving care they receive at home with you.
Upon request, all reputable Pet Sitters will be most happy to enable you to tour their property so they you can see where your pet is going to safely play and sleep. The purpose of a Property walk through is to identify any potential ways to escape or hazards and solve how they are going to be fixed before the stay takes place.
Low volume and higher hygiene means less risk of disease and stress.
“Diet and exercise routines are continued, travel trauma for the pet is minimised and the pet’s exposure to illness is minimised.”
Pet sitters are a more attentive form of care as sitter will generally have fewer pets to care and are able to provide one-on-one time with your pet.
Higher supervision and more personalised care
Your furry family member will also not be left alone in the evenings. Dr Ken Tudor, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, told PetMD.com pet sitting reduces stress to your dog, especially with live-in sitters, as it is as close to the pet’s normal environment as possible.
“[Pets] show signs of stress when their owners are away but it tends to be less severe when they are in the familiar surroundings or their own homes,” Dr Tudor said.
“In 30 years I have yet to treat stress induced bloody colitis in a pet that has been cared for by a sitter.”
With PetCloud you can choose a sitter in your local area who is suited to your pets exercise, social and health needs with many have accreditations, checks and even qualifications.
Whether at your place or their’s PetCloud sitters charge from $15 to $50 per pet, per day and will love your furbaby like their own.
Dog Boarding – also known as ‘kennels’
The RSPCA recommends to visit the boarding facility site in person to check living conditions and housing areas to assess if you are comfortable with the space provided and general conditions.
“Find out what sorts of daily procedures they have in place for providing food and water, exercising, cleaning and observation/care of the animals…and if the facility have contact with a veterinarian in the area in case of any medical problems arising,” the RSPCA advises.
Dr Tudor advises stress is the biggest problem with boarding of any sort as pets are uncomfortable outside their normal environment. “Often stress results in vomiting and diarrhoea… fear and timidity may reduce appetites and often pets will loss weigh when boarded,” Dr Tudor said.
Concerns with Kennels
Some Kennels make dogs feel like they’ve been punished.
This looks like a solitary confinement cell for a prisoner:
Some kennels have no overnight staff supervision
Many kennels will not have a staff member staying at the facility overnight, meaning pets are left alone, anxious, distressed, and some have to fend for themselves against other dogs.
Price range varies as much as the quality of dog boarding facility and pricing for boarding alternatives, like pet hotels with amenities, can quickly become expensive depending on the level of services and add-ons chosen. The average price for a kennel is about $75 per night.
Some Kennels will not allow you to have tours of the property because they don’t want you to see the state of them.
If you ask to have a tour of the facility, you may be given an excuse such as “Oh no we don’t do that.” When you ask why, reasons you are given include answers such as; “It upsets the other dogs.” Usually its because the health of the pets are disregarded as hygiene is poor, the environment is highly stressful, and daily exercise is not a priority.
Some Kennels are only focused on maximising their profits over peak periods.
“Stacking” is a practice used by some boarding operations (kennels) where multiple pets, in multiple crates or cells, are placed on top of each other vertically and horizontally maximising the volume of pets boarded at a time, in order to maintain a low overhead and maximise profits.
Increased Risk of your Dog catching Kennel Cough
Some Dog Boarding Kennels are Petrie Dishes for Growing Diseases. Dogs catch Kennel Cough when they inhale bacteria or viruses into their respiratory tract, causing inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe). The virus can also be spread through contaminated surfaces.
Because of the high volume of pets in Dog boarding facilities, with varying levels of care requirements and anxiety levels, this can lead to an increased rise of disease and distress.
How can you prevent kennel cough?
- Board your dog in a low volume environment such as a Pet Sitter’s home,
- Ask your Vet for a Bordetella vaccination for your dog.
- If you’re a Pet Sitter, disinfect bowls and enrichment toys with pet safe disinfectant, and
- Always wash hands after interacting with pets.