A woman walking four dogs at the park.

If you ever have to leave your pet for any extended time, there are usually two options: boarding or a pet sitter. Boarding can be an excellent choice, especially if the facility is part of or adjacent to your pet’s veterinary hospital (like the St. Francis Pet Resort). The other choice might be to hire a professional pet sitter to come and stay with your pet so they may safely remain at home while you’re away. When faced with this important decision, it’s not always easy to know what’s best for your pet. That’s where we come in.

Weighing All the Good

There are obvious plus points to both boarding and hiring a pet sitter. For pets with medical conditions or a complicated health history, it makes sense to board them next to a hospital where they can get treatment if needed in your absence. The St. Francis Pet Resort goes further than medical boarding, though. With play times, environmental enrichment, and luxurious add-on features, it’s a bit of a fun, valuable vacation for our canine and feline guests. 

If boarding your pet this way sounds great, please inquire about our options at (757) 253-0656.

Hunkering Down

Many pets object to a sudden change in location, and are highly territorial about their space. Consequently, hiring a pet sitter is a viable choice. Your pet can stay at home, in their own bed, surrounded by all that is familiar. 

Many pet sitters are veterinary technicians or specialists. It is important to search for a pet sitter that meets all of your pet’s needs and can keep them safe and healthy while you’re away.

The Thing About Routine

While we have a strict schedule for our boarding guests, they are still away from everything/everyone they know. If you hire a pet sitter, your pet’s routine remains priority number one. Designated and relied upon bathroom breaks, meal times, opportunities for exercise, environmental enrichment, and so much more never get close to disruption.

What they do have to get used to is relying upon a new face to help them achieve their hard-earned equilibrium. Many pets are pleasantly open to new friends, but others need a significant amount of time to trust someone new.

Introducing a Pet Sitter

We highly recommend asking close friends and family members for their personal experiences with their pet sitter. Once you meet and interview candidates, it is essential to call their references. Be sure that your pet sitter is certified, bonded, and insured, knows the signs of a pet emergency, and what to do if your pet needs help. 

When you find the right pet sitter for your pet’s needs and your budget, it is essential to introduce them to your pet. If the experience is light, positive, and short, your pet is more likely to enter this new relationship with an open mind. 

It’s All Up To You

When you leave your pet in the care of a professional pet sitter, you can determine all the rules and schedules. Elect daily video chats with your pet, or schedule photo messages. Since they’ll be at your house, you can also ask them to take care of certain tasks like getting the mail, turning on the sprinklers, and keeping the house safe. 

If you have questions about leaving your pet for a short period of time, please call us at (757) 253-0656. Our caring, compassionate staff members at Godspeed Animal Care are always happy to help.