How To Choose The Best Dog Sitter

Unfortunately, it’s not always appropriate to take your dog with you on holiday. If you do have to leave your pooch in the care of someone else, make sure you put a lot of thought into it and don’t just pick the first place you see!

Give yourself time

A good dog sitter or kennels can book up months in advance, especially during the summer. Give yourself lots of time to find somewhere to avoid disappointment.

Kennels or home boarding?

Home boarders are becoming more and more popular. There are pro’s and cons to both

Home boarder

  • Your dog will be in a home environment
  • Your dog should have more one on one time
  • Most settle quicker in a home environment
  • Most home boarders will mirror your dogs routine from home
  • But they have limited availability


  • More convenient
  • A secure environment to exercise in
  • Some dogs find it harder to settle in this environment
  • There will be more dogs around, which means your dog could get an illness (e.g. gastro bugs or kennel cough).

What to look for in a kennel?

The first thing to do is to check their reviews and have a good snoop on the internet. See what other clients think of them and if they have a good reputation. The next step is to check they have a license – kennels must be licensed by the local authority and will have to pass certain checks to take in dogs. You should then visit the kennels and get a feel for the place – go with your gut instinct. Things to look out for are;

  • Is there somewhere clean, warm and dry for them to rest?
  • Are the staff sufficiently trained?
  • Are the kennels big enough for your dog to stretch out?
  • Do the dogs have access to toys or home comforts?
  • Is there somewhere for the dog to exercise? If so, how long will they spend out of their kennel per day?
  • What regulations are in place? e.g. do dogs have to be vaccinated and parasite treated before being accepted?
  • Do dogs from different households mix either in kennels or in an exercise area?

What to look for in a home boarder?

Similar to kennels, home boarders must be licensed by the local authority, so make sure they are allowed to board dogs at their premises. You should also check out reviews and then arrange to visit. Things to look out for are;

  • Where in the house will your dog stay? Are they allowed in every room, or limited to one?
  • Will they have access to a garden? Are the fences secure? Any ponds that could be a hazard? Are side gates locked?
  • Does the border have any resident animals? Can your dog have time on their own if desired?
  • Will dogs from other households be boarded with your dog?
  • Will your dog be left on their own during the day? If so, where will they be in the house and for how long?
  • Will your dog be walked? If so, will they be let off lead and are you ok with that?
  • Do dogs have to be vaccinated and parasite treated before staying?

Always follow your gut instinct. If you don’t feel comfortable, then don’t leave your dog there. You are not out of order to ask to see a copy of their license either, after all, you are just doing what’s best for your dog. Your dog’s happiness and well being is the number one priority, so take your time and make sure the place you choose is the best place it can be.

Have you thought about setting up your own pet care business?

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