If a dog owner plans to leave their pet at home while they’re at work or out of town, the doggy is going to have to at least go on a potty break. Sometimes our fluffy buddies require even more care. Luckily, you have several options when it comes to providing care for your dog when you’re not around. Depending on what your dog’s needs are, owners can choose between dog walking, pet sitting, or dog boarding. 

Choosing between a dog walker and a pet sitter is easy when you know what each of those services includes. A dog walker will provide your furry buddy with much-needed exercise and a chance to go potty outside. On the other hand, a pet sitter will provide some extra companionship for your dog, and they will take care of any special needs your best friend may have.

What is a professional dog walker? 

If the only things your dog needs are potty breaks and nice, long walks to get their daily dose of exercise, perhaps you should consider finding a dog walker. A dog walker will come to your home and take your pup out for a certain amount of time. Usually, the walks last for half an hour, and you can schedule multiple visits throughout the day if your dog needs them.

The services of dog walkers usually cost less than hiring a pet sitter or taking your dog to daycare. However, it’s very important to hire a professional who has lots of experience and a dog walker certification. There are many ads for dog walkers with no certification and no insurance, and you should always make sure you’re leaving your pet in good hands. 

Advantages of hiring a dog walker

  • They usually cost less than pet sitters 
  • Your pet gets the potty breaks and exercises they need
  • Dog walkers often leave notes letting you know how your dog was doing
  • They usually stick to a schedule, so you know your furry friend is always getting their exercise and potty breaks at the same time

What is Pet Sitting? 

A pet sitter comes to your home and takes care of your dog while you’re away. Usually, pet sitters stay at your house, but with some of them, you can drop off your pop at their home. Bringing the pet sitter to your house is a far better option because that way, your pet stays in a familiar setting. The dog will be far less stressed than he would be if you took him to a stranger’s home and left him there.  

Your dog gets one-on-one care with a pet sitter. A single person will give your dog full attention and address every need he may have. They will play with the dog, pet them, feed them, and make sure they don’t suffer from separation anxiety when you’re not around. 

Pet sitters are the best choice for dogs who need attention, dogs who have mental conditions, and dogs with separation anxiety. They are also a good option for puppies, as baby dogs need to go potty more often, and overall need more attention throughout the day. 

If you decide to go with a pet sitter, make sure you choose one with a pet sitter certification. Pet sitters insurance is also important because many unforeseen situations may happen. The pet sitter needs to know how to react to anything unexpected – it is the only way you can be sure your dog is in good hands. 

Pet sitter advantages

  • Personalized care for your dog
  • Your pet gets full attention, usually all day long, and they won’t be lonely
  • You will have a person you can call anytime and check in on your dog
  • Pet sitters often also do other small things like watering your plants or bringing in your mail

Pet sitting and dog walking: what’s better? 

Dog walking services are a little less expensive compared to pet sitters, but if you plan on going out of town for business, or a wedding, a reunion, or vacation, considering a pet sitter may be the best idea. Some people choose per boarding as their best option, especially for dogs who love socializing with other animals. If you wonder what is per boarding, imagine it as a puppy-hotel where you drop off your dog. They feed him, play with him, keep him safe and clean – and there are usually lots of other puppies who are staying at that same hotel, so he’ll never be bored. If you think it would be a good option for you, search for a dog boarding app and find a certified dog daycare in your area. 

Whether you should go with a pet sitter or a dog walker depends on the specific needs of your dog. Each option has its advantages, but whichever you choose, make sure to check for references. You should also make sure the caretaker is educated and trained in properly responding to medical emergencies. 


About the Author: Alex is a professional dog walker at Austin Dog Butler for nearly a decade. He is a pet care expert who is also a life-long pet owner.