Dog sitting vs dog boarding

Leaving your dog for any length of time is stressful both for you and even more so for your pets. Finding a service that suits your dog’s needs when you are absent is critical to helping them stay calm and happy at a stressful time. You can’t explain to your dog that you will only be gone for a few days so having suitable trustworthy support for them is essential. 

At first sight dog sitting, where someone comes to your home and stays with the dog sounds like an ideal option. Many dog sitters have jobs that will take them away from the house for long, and to your dog unpredictable periods. Many people assume that a sitter will be with their pet all day and night, a key question to ask a sitter is: “How long will you leave my dog alone?” 

Another aspect to bear in mind with a pet sitter is that while your dog will get walked it may involve a considerable change to their routine. A pet sitter may be looking after more than one household’s dogs at a time, so the second key question is. “When you walk my dog will it be solo walks, or will you be taking it on group walks?”

One of the main differences between a dog sitter who works out of your house, and a dog boarder who will care for them at their own home is that dog sitters are unregulated. Under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2018, people who look after dogs in their own home are inspected and licenced annually. The rules are, as you would hope, comprehensive. They include regulating the rooms where dogs can be kept, they have to be fit for humans to live in. All dogs that will be staying together need to have a trial together to check they will get along. Any cleaning products used in the house must meet DEFRA standards for use around animals, first aid kits suitable for dogs need to be provided. If dogs who aren’t used to each other are being boarded at the same time, there must be enough rooms to keep them separated if necessary. 

Once a licence for dog boarding has been awarded it “must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as, the entrance or reception area.” Records of all dogs must be kept. The licence should be easily found and record sheets for your dog prepared to avoid putting your dog at risk, especially if there are special dietary or medication needs to consider. 

Overall, the regulations that a dog boarder must comply with are very similar to the standards a guest house for humans to stay in has to meet, with rules around the provision of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Why would you want any less for your dogs than for yourself?

Separation anxiety in dogs has increased dramatically following lockdown so using a reliable, experienced dog boarder is vital to maintaining your pet’s mental wellbeing and to avoid storing up problems for the future. Poochee Care are fully insured and licenced by Newport Council. We have no resident dog and only accept one family’s pets at any one time. This means we can always give the dogs our full attention. Your dog lives with us in our family home and enjoys solo walks morning and evening. We would love to learn more about your dog and help to support them while you are away. Get in touch to discuss your plans and to tell us about your dog.