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When exploring options for pet care when you travel, the 2 top choices are taking your dog to a dog kennel or hiring a pet sitter. So how do you know which option is best for your dogs?

First let’s look at dog boarding in Mesa.

PROS –

  • Price  – for *base* care for one or two dogs, this may be less expensive than pet sitting. Do consider that most kennels require you to pay extra for longer play time, larger kennel space, walks and medication administration.
  • Socialization with other dogs. Your dog will probably get to spend time playing with other dogs. For highly social dogs this is very nice.

CONS

  • Vaccinations – most boarding facilities require proof of current vaccinations (another expense you may not have been counting on.)
  • Staff – most kennels are not staffed by someone 24/7. Not ideal for a pet who may be receiving medical care or for your pets who are used to sleeping with their human companions.
  • Kennel Cough (and exposure to parasites) – many dogs catch this highly contagious disease when in a dog boarding facility, which can lead to a several week illness, loss of weight in your pet, and an expensive trip to the vet for an appointment and medication. Yikes!
  • Potential injury – Most kennels provide a play time for dogs. Now your dogs may be the most well-behaved and loved dogs in your entire city, but you’re dealing with *other* dogs here. And no matter how careful a facility is about behavior assessment or evaluations, the fact remains that dogs are pack animals that will try to establish dominance in a group. This can lead to cases of aggression from minor skirmishes to outright deep bites and gashes. Again, another possible trip to the vet when you get home, especially if the wound is not treated properly.
  • Dogs are fed on the kennel’s schedule, not necessarily the schedule your pet is used to.
  • Separation anxiety – Some dogs don’t do well in a kennel because they miss their owners so much. They may not eat due to the stress and concern they feel over being left. This can lower your dog’s immune system and may lead to potential illness.
  • Price – I know, it’s listed under both. But the reality is if you have more than one or two dogs (or pets), or want your pet pampered with lots of extras, it begins to get quite costly!

Now let’s look at using a dog pet sitter.

PROS

  • One-on-One interaction – as pet sitters much of our job is to provide your dogs with as much love, attention, exercise, and interaction we can at our visits. And because CCPS visits are based on the quality of time we spend with your dogs, not an *amount* of time, your dog will be getting a lot more people interaction than they would in a kennel. If your dog is a huge people person, in home dog sitting is definitely the best option for your pet.
  • Price – Critter Caretakers doesn’t charge for every little thing. Our visits include medication administration, walks, and playtime. Do you want us to give your dog a peanut butter kong before we leave? We’re not going to charge you an extra $3 for it. Does your dog need an insulin injection? We’re not going to charge extra for that either. All the little extras that most kennels charge for are part of our service with a smile. Pet sitting in households with multiple pets is actually quite reasonable for the level of care they receive.
  • Familiarity for your dogs – As mentioned above, some dogs don’t do well in a kennel. While they will most certainly miss you, allowing pets to stay in their home provides them with the comforting smells of their family and their favorite toys and beds. It also maintains their diet.
  • Close watch on your pet’s overall well-being. Your pet sitter will be sure to monitor your dog’s well being, appetite and elimination habits. Sounds strange, but by monitoring your dog’s eating and elimination habits, we can head off potential illness. In a kennel this is harder to do since dogs are often let out in a large group to potty.  CCPS keeps notes of each visit we make and sends you daily updates and pictures so you know exactly how your furry family is doing while you’re away. No surprises!
  • Finally we will take your trash to/from the curb, collect your mail, remove flyers & business cards from your home, water plants, rotate blinds/lights, and check your property in case of a storm. Additional peace of mind your home is well cared for while you’re away.

CONS

  • They may get lonely. If your dog is used to you being home all the time, they may enjoy the socialization that a dog kennel provides during group play time. (Keep in mind Critter Caretakes offers overnight pet sitting as one of our service choices).
  • We’re not prepared to provide services for pets that are extremely ill or have had recent hospitalization. If your dog has recently been ill, we encourage you to choose a veterinarian kennel that is staffed 24 hours to monitor your dog’s health.

In reality there are no ‘bad’ choices when it comes to your pet care services. Ultimately, you know what is best for your particular pets’ needs. But now you have a little more insight into each option and can make an informed decision.

We hope you’ll call Critter Caretakers Pet Sitting at (480)553-0105 and give us a chance to show you we feel using a dog sitter is the most ideal choice for your dogs.

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