As a dog owner, it’s no small thing thinking about what to do with your beloved four-legged friend if you are going away for a while. You can’t always take your pet with you of course, and it gets a little restrictive if you always do. Plus, you may not have a choice in your destination if you have to go away for work.

Thankfully there are a number of options out there with regards to dog sitting if you are going away. And the term dog sitting can encompass many types of care, not just the classic dog sitting option, although that can be a great way of ensuring your canine pal is well looked after too. Here are some of the options available to you.

A boarding kennel

This is a classic option, and involves taking your dog to an external kennel operator where your dog is cared for by professionals who take in a number of takes at any one time while their owners are away. The positives here are that the facilities are usually more than adequate, and the staff are well trained, although options can vary in quality (and are usually, but not always, reflected in the price). As for the negatives, not everyone likes the idea of leaving their dog in a big group of dogs, but do note that most kennels will offer a more VIP-style service (or should that be VID?) where your dog can be kept separately should this be an option that you wish to choose.

Dog sitters

Dog sitting has grown in popularity as people’s lives have become busier and busier, and many people employ these services year round if they have jobs that mean they are out of the house for long periods (which is of course not conducive for keeping a dog under normal circumstances). Dog sitters have facilitated people’s desire to have dogs, and are popular options in urban areas where you would often see an individual walking up to ten dogs at a time.

Dog sitting services offer a variety of options and so you could go for a basic package, which would involve a simple walking and feeding option, or go for a service which actually sees your pet going to live with someone on a one-to-one basis for the time that you are away. These services are obviously much more expensive, but they also involve a familiarity phase where your dog can get to meet his or her sitter in your presence so they can feel comfortable before you go. It really just depends on the level or attention that your dog needs. 

In-home boarding

If none of these options satisfy your needs, then why not go down the line of actually hiring someone to come and live in your house (or apartment) while you are away. The great benefit of this is that it keeps your dog in his or her natural environment, ensuring the greatest level of comfort. Visits can be organized before you go away so your dog develops familiarity with your sitter, and this is an option that facilitates the keeping of strict routines should your dog require that level of attention. 

“If your pooch has medical issues, then the one-to-one care offered by in-home boarding services can be invaluable, and will help to facilitate a comfortable vacation for you as you can rest assured that your beloved pet is receiving the greatest level of care while you are away,” says Molly Trent, a pet blogger at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting.

A friend or relative

Obviously you could always go down the route of getting a friend, neighbor or relative to take care of your pooch, which is definitely the most cost effective option, and can even mean that your dog spends your time away with a trusted and familiar face. 

“The downside of asking someone to mind your pet, though, is that people can feel obliged, and it can sometimes put a little strain on these relationships, so think carefully before going with this option,” warns William Patterson, a lifestyle writer at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK.


And there you have it, four great options for you to choose from. It’s impossible to say which option is best because it depends on so many variables, from the level of care that your dog needs to the amount you want (and can afford) to spend. Think it through carefully, and if it’s a vacation we are talking about, you can always plan one that includes your best friend.