Dog Walking vs Pet Sitting

Pet owners, whether you’re going on vacation, leaving for extended period of time (perhaps for work or school), unable to secure a friend or family to dog sit, or you need on-going assistance for your furry friend during a busy time in your life, there are a few practical solutions to accommodate your wonderful pet. Dog walking (or pet sitting) and kennels are two options that pet owners commonly explore; however, these options differ in many ways,

and there are pros and cons for each. Let’s explore the differences so you can gain a well-rounded understanding of how to choose the right accommodation depending on your needs and your dog’s needs, too.

Understandably, choosing a care option for your furry friend comes with some anxiety. Several factors must be considered before making a decision regarding their well-being, safety, happiness, and existing schedule. Choosing a kennel, which is a secure environment where your pet is regularly fed by staff and provided a place to sleep, can be quite the task. There is also the option of dog walking (or pet sitting) where a trained and certified professional walks your dog, according to your set schedule, during the times you are unavailable. Let’s break each option down even further to better understand the pros, cons, costs, and other pieces of important information.

Kennels solve the following issues:

- Kennels provide basic needs such as shelter, food, and water. Depending on the facility, dogs are also groomed, encouraged to play and interact with staff and other dogs, and enjoy one-on-one walks.

- Several reputable kennels employ animal lovers who understand that a pet needs love and attention. So, those friendly staff members provide your pet with extra cuddles and playtime during the time you are away from your furry friend.

Dog walking solves the following issues:

- Dog walking allows trained dog sitters to tend to your dog, one-on-one, in your dog’s most familiar setting – your home. As a result, your dog remains comfortable and receives a high-level of attention without having to share his or her time with other pets.

- There is no risk of disease or sickness due to an alternate environment or the presence of other animals.

- Dog walkers adhere to the client’s schedule, so the convenience factor is unparalleled. You do not have to adjust your agenda or meet set hours and dates. Instead, they welcome your timeframe of needs.

- In the event of an emergency, dog walkers are trained to handle a range of issues.

- Dog walking guarantees outdoor playtime and exercise for your pet, several times per day, if needed.

Kennels face these particular issues:

- Boarding your dog at a facility is a common decision among pet owners; however, dogs are more susceptible to contagious germs due to the number of dogs in these kennels. Often, kennels are not exclusive to dogs, so there are other animals and their respective germs and diseases to consider when choosing a facility.

- Your dog may feel uncomfortable due to the new environment which sometimes results in loss of appetite, and coping with this newfound state of sadness or stress tends to lower immunity.

- The level of care does not align with the attention you give your pet due to the imbalanced number of staff versus the number of dogs.

Dog walking faces these particular issues:

- Your pet may quickly sense your absence and take on feelings sadness or stress regarding the person in charge of their walks.

The types of dogs best suited for kennels:

- Breed restrictions vary based on the kennel. However, kennels typically have an age requirement due to vaccinations or, on the other end of the age spectrum, kennels discourage boarding older pets due to their difficulties of being away from a familiar environment.

The types of dogs best suited for dog walking:

- Dog walking provides a wealth of freedom regarding the breed of dog that needs to be tended to. Typically, dog walkers do not have breed restrictions. Instead, they base their schedule on the type of dog because every breed requires a different amount of exercise per their body. From a Yorkshire Terrier to a Labrador, each breed needs various levels of engagement. Nevertheless, all breeds are typically welcomed with this service.

The average cost of dog walkers:

- Generally speaking, dog walkers charge between $15-45, per dog, depending on the length of each walk and the number of walks per day.

The average cost of a kennel:

- The cost of boarding a dog ranges quite a bit, depending on the accommodations, geographic location, and amenities. A kennel can cost anywhere from $20 per night to several hundred dollars per night.