BY: Laurie Brzostowski, President, Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care-Round Lake.
Written by: Stacey Kalinnikova
Going on holiday and need to decide between placing your pet in a boarding facility or hiring a professional pet sitter? Consider where your dog or cat will be the most happy and healthy. Here are a few health reasons why a pet sitter may be the best option:
1. Disease and parasite transmission
At kennels, there is an increased risk for disease and parasite transmission due to the close proximity in which animals are kept. Bordetella (kennel cough) is an airborne disease that can be quite prevalent in such environments. Even if a dog is vaccinated they can still be at risk. Other potential risks include internal parasites that affect the gastrointestinal system and external parasites such as fleas and mites.
Although most kennels have a policy of only allowing healthy and vaccinated animals into the facility, even outwardly healthy animals can be carriers of disease.
2. Less stress
The kennel environment can be stressful for pets because it is an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar sounds and smells. It can be scary and intimidating for them to be left alone in a small cage for the majority of the day. Stress can contribute to a compromised immune system, which in turn increases the risk for illness. Pets will be more relaxed and stress-free at home.
3. Potential for injuries
In addition to the above point, stress can lead to self inflicted injuries. At kennels, pets may try to claw their way out by scratching or biting resulting in broken nails or fractured teeth. Pets can also begin to compulsively scratch or bite themselves as a coping mechanism.
Some kennels will allow dogs and cats time outside of their individual pens in group play sessions. This can be risky because free running animals are more likely to inflict injuries on one another. A pet sitter will be able to individually take your dog for a walk outside or spend time playing with your cat. If an injury does occur or something seems off, a pet sitter is more likely to notice it straight away and seek treatment immediately.
A pet sitter will be able to give your pet individual attention in the comfort of home. Your dog or cat will experience less stress, be at a lower risk for parasite or disease transmission, and in general be more comfortable and happy. Overall, pets do better at home.