Calgary Pet Sitters: Better Than Boarding?

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Weighing the Pros and Cons for Your Pet's Care

The Purr-fect Choice for Your Furry Friend: Boarding Facility or Pet Sitter?


Choosing whether to hire a pet sitter or sending your dog to a boarding facility is probably one of the hardest choice a pet parent can make. In Calgary, you're spoiled for choice between boarding facilities and dog sitters. Both options have their pros and cons, and your decision should hinge on your pet's unique needs and personality.

Boarding facilities are often the first choice for many pet owners. These are professionally run establishments where your pet will receive round-the-clock care from trained staff. (Unfortunately, there are also many boarding facilities that don't staff overnight. If you come across any, run!)

They offer numerous amenities like on-site veterinary services, socialization opportunities, and a structured schedule that benefits many pets. However, these facilities may not be the best choice for every pet, especially those with specific needs.

Older pets, for example, may find the new environment and routine stressful. Similarly, pets with behavioral issues like anxiety or aggression may not be well-suited to a boarding facility's social settings. Then there are pets with medical conditions that require specialized care—something a busy facility may not be equipped to provide.

This brings us to the option of hiring a pet sitter. Calgary offers a lot of options when it comes to long term dog sitting services. Pet sitters offer a more personalized care approach. This can be especially beneficial for pets that need individual attention, such as seniors or those with medical or behavioral needs. A pet sitter can adapt to your pet's regular routine, reducing stress and making your absence easier to cope with.

Advantages of Boarding Facilities

Boarding facilities provide several benefits for pet owners. They typically offer a secure, professionally managed environment where pets receive consistent care from trained staff. Key benefits of boarding facilities include:

Professional expertise

One of the biggest perks of using a boarding facility is the access to a team of pet care professionals. The staff is usually well-trained in animal behavior, basic first aid, and the day-to-day needs of pets. This ensures that your pet will receive qualified care during your absence, making it a reliable option.

On-site veterinary care

Some boarding facilities in Calgary offer the added benefit of having a vet on-site. This is a significant advantage, as it means immediate medical attention is available if your pet falls ill or gets injured. You can travel with peace of mind knowing that professional medical care is readily accessible for your pet.

Socialization opportunities

For pets who enjoy the company of other animals, boarding facilities provide ample socialization opportunities. This allows your pet to engage in group playtimes, enhancing their social skills and overall well-being. It's an excellent way for your pet to stay active and stimulated while you're away.

Structured environment

Boarding facilities operate on a set routine, including scheduled feedings, walks, and playtimes. This structured environment is beneficial for pets who thrive on consistency. It helps reduce anxiety and gives pets a sense of what to expect, making their stay more comfortable.

Limitations of Boarding Facilities for Certain Pets

However, large-scale boarding facilities may not be suitable for all pets. Some pets need specialized attention and care, which might not be readily available in such settings. Factors that could make a pet less suited for a boarding facility include:

Senior pets

While boarding facilities offer numerous advantages, they may not be the best fit for older pets. Senior animals often have specific needs, such as special diets or medication schedules, and they may find adapting to a new environment stressful. The hustle and bustle of a busy facility can be overwhelming for them, leading to increased anxiety.

Behavioral issues

Pets with behavioral challenges, like anxiety, aggression, or fear of other animals, can struggle in a boarding facility setting. The social nature and group activities that are advantages for some pets can exacerbate issues for those who are less adaptable or sociable. For these pets, the environment can be more stressful than comforting.

Medical needs

If your pet requires specialized medical attention, a boarding facility may not be the most suitable choice. Administering medications, adhering to strict dietary requirements, or the need for frequent veterinary checks can be challenging to manage in a large-scale facility. Personalized care for such needs is often lacking.

Pet Sitters as an Alternative Option

In cases where a boarding facility is not suitable, a pet sitter might be a better option. Pet sitters offer a more personalized, intimate, and attentive care experience. Advantages of using a pet sitter include:

Individualized attention

One of the main advantages of hiring a pet sitter in Calgary is the personalized care your pet will receive. Unlike in a boarding facility, a pet sitter can focus solely on your pet's individual needs. This is particularly beneficial for pets requiring specific attention, whether it's administering medication, special feeding routines, or one-on-one playtime.

Familiar environment

Another benefit of opting for a pet sitter is that your pet can stay in a known environment, either your home or the sitter's. This familiarity can significantly reduce the stress and anxiety associated with being away from you. The comfort of known surroundings can make your absence easier for your pet to handle.

Consistent routines

Pet sitters offer the added advantage of maintaining your pet's regular schedule. Whether it's feeding times, walks, or bedtime, the routine remains consistent, which helps your pet adjust more easily to your absence. This is especially helpful for pets who thrive on routine, including senior animals and those with behavioral issues.

Special needs accommodation

For pets with specific medical or behavioral needs, a pet sitter can provide specialized care tailored to meet these requirements. Whether your pet needs regular medication, specialized diet, or individual behavioral training, a pet sitter can adapt to meet these needs more readily than a boarding facility.

"A pet sitter can either provide care for your pet in their home or come to your home and take care of your pet in the familiar surroundings"

Choosing between a boarding facility and a pet sitter depends on your pet's needs, temperament, and overall well-being. While boarding facilities offer a structured environment and socialization opportunities, they might not be suitable for all pets, especially those with special needs. Conversely, pet sitters provide a more personalized and attentive care experience, making them an ideal choice for senior pets, those with behavioral concerns, or pets with specific medical requirements.

By carefully assessing your pet's unique situation and weighing the benefits of each option, you can make an informed decision that ensures your pet receives the best care during your absence.

If you think a pet sitter is the right choice for your furry companion, contact us for all your pet sitting needs.

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