There are advantages and disadvantages to both boarding and pet sitting.  Since this is the time of year when people tend to travel, I thought I'd give you a few tips on the best choice for your dog.

All dogs are different - some will react better to kenneling while others will do better with a sitter.  It depends on your dog's personality, as well as the individual kennel or sitter.

Kenneling your dog means that you will not have to give anyone access to your home while you are gone.  You will also know that your dog will be safe in a trustworthy location where professionals will monitor him and care for his needs.  That can really put your mind at ease.  But before you sign Fido up for a vacation, do your homework.  Make sure the facility has a good reputation and appears safe and clean.Some dogs can come home sick if precautions are not taken. Eating a different diet can upset their stomachs for days after. (I recommend choosing a kennel where they get to eat their regular food.) Dogs can catch infectious diseases such as "kennel cough" when they are boarded.  Please make sure all of your dog's vaccinations are current before kenneling.


The second option is using a pet sitter. Many dog owners choose a pet sitter to care for their dogs while they are away.  They feel that the dog will get more attention and exercise.  (Some kennels will provide extra playtime and walks, but they usually cost more.)  Many feel the dog will be more comfortable at home with a pet sitter because they will be in a familiar environment. This is a good option for dogs who get very stressed by traveling, or if you were already planning on hiring a house sitter. Hiring a sitter has its downsides, however. Make sure that you get good references before handing over your keys. It's best to have the sitter meet your dog before you leave, especially if your dog is territorial. Finally, pet sitters can be much more expensive than kenneling and do not allow your dog to socialize with other pets outside the home.

Either way, it's not uncommon for dogs to miss their humans when they are away. A good way to help ease the separation anxiety is to give them something with your scent on it to help them through the day.