When you go on a trip, it’s only fair that your dog gets a howliday of their own! That can happen in one of two ways: dog boarding or dog sitting, aka vacation or staycation. Wondering which option is best for your dog? We’re here to help you decide! Keep reading to get the scoop on dog boarding vs. dog sitting.

In This Article:

What is Dog Boarding

Why Dog Boarding Might be Right for Your Dog

How to Choose a Dog Boarder

What is Dog Sitting

Why Dog Sitting Might be Right for Your Dog

How to Choose a Dog Sitter

Comparing Dog Boarding vs. Dog Sitting

German Shepherd Dog Boarding roomies

What is Dog Boarding?

Dog boarding is when your dog stays overnight in a kennel. You are probably familiar with traditional dog boarding facilities or boarding offered at some vet clinics. In these places, dogs are kept inside most of the day and taken on short walks to get exercise. 

At Hounds Lounge, our guests stay in private luxury suites at night and spend the day in group play. We are a pet hotel, and we want our guests to have the best stay possible! Bonus points if they leave super sleepy. A tired dog is a happy dog!

Pup in Pool

Why Dog Boarding Might be Right for Your Dog

Dog boarding is a good option for many dogs. Here’s why:

  • Dog boarding can help alleviate separation anxiety. When dogs are left alone in their homes without their hoomans, they can feel serious stress. They might chew up a shoe or, even worse, escape from the house. At a dog boarding facility, dogs get the attention they need to feel comfurrtable without their pawrents.
  • At facilities like Hounds Lounge, dogs receive 24/7 care from trained professionals. Our dog watchers are certified in CPR and Pet First Aid, and they have completed a course on dog body language and play styles. If you are concerned about leaving your dog at a boarding facility, just know we are prepared for any emergency.
  • Dog boarding allows for socialization with other dogs and humans. This is valuable exposure, especially for younger dogs! However, we do have private retreat options available for dogs who value their alone time.
  • If your dog, like most, thrives on routine, dog boarding is for them. At Hounds Lounge, we keep a tight schedule to create structure for our guests. This helps reduce anxiety in an environment outside the home.
  • A big benefit of dog boarding is that the staff has experience administering medicine. If your dog is on medication, you can trust the boarding facility to give it to them correctly.
Dog pack at doggie daycare

How to Choose a Dog Boarder

Since your fur child is a member of the family, you can’t leave them at just any dog boarder. It’s important to do some digging. When you’re looking at a potential dog boarder, you should first read online reviews, then tour the facility. You want to make sure the place is clean, professional and safe. At Hounds Lounge, we welcome you to stop by for a tour any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Loving staff at Hounds Lounge

While you’re visiting the facility, confirm that they are staffed 24/7. Your fur baby should always be one bark away from a hooman.

You will also want to confirm that there are a variety of play options. Dogs are pack animals that crave socialization and mental stimulation! At Hounds Lounge, your dog can participate in group play based on size and temperament.

Dogs Play in Kiddie Pool

It’s also great to find a facility that offers grooming services so your pooch can get cleaned up before coming home!

If you choose a dog boarder and they do not ask for your woof’s vaccination records, run away. Reputable dog boarding kennels will require vaccination records to protect your dog and the rest of their furry guests. You can review our required vaccines online.

Dog with rubber ducky

What is Dog Sitting?

Dog sitting is when someone comes to your house to care for your dog. This person could be a friend, neighbor or hired caretaker. They could stay the night in your house or come over several times a day.

These days, you can use online services to find sitters that fit you and your dog’s specific needs!

Bernese Mountain Dog alone

Why Dog Sitting Might be Right for Your Dog

Dog sitting is a great option for dogs who do not need to be in a large group setting. For example:

  • Older dogs, especially those who have lost one or more of their senses, will likely be more comfortable staying in their own home while you’re out of town. Dog sitters are great for caring for these dogs without overwhelming them.
  • If your dog has serious medical issues, it’s ideal that you find a dog sitter who can provide round-the-clock care. However, before you put your dog’s health in their hands, you must ensure they are qualified for the job.
  • Dog sitters are a good choice for pooches who are aggressive toward other animals. 
  • If your dog is a homebody, dog sitters are perfect for them. Your woof can receive lots of one-on-one attention from a hooman without ever leaving the house (or, at least, the yard).
Gray dog getting belly rubs at doggy daycare in Little Rock

How to Choose a Dog Sitter

When it comes to choosing a dog sitter, you can always ask a trusted friend, family member or neighbor. However, there are dog sitters for hire. You can find them online through various dog sitting services. If you choose to use one of these people, make sure to get references from their previous clients. 

Most dog sitter services have reviews available online.


Comparing Dog Boarding vs. Dog Sitting

Now that you know the basics on dog boarding and dog sitting, let’s get into the nitty grrritty.

The Cost

The costs of dog boarding and dog sitting are actually quite comparable. You can see our pricing for overnight stays here. Since the expenses are similar, it’s important to take value into consideration. If you have a social dog, and you’re going to pay the same price for a sitter as you would for a pet hotel, why not allow your dog to go make furriends?

Golden buddies

Some of our overnight guests at Hounds Lounge are also doggie daycare regulars, so boarding with us gives them a chance to hang with their longtime buddies during the day!

The Availability

If you are traveling during a busy time, like spring break or summer vacation, it might be difficult to find a dog sitter. Dog boarders with lots of room, including Hounds Lounge, will always work to accommodate your dog. However, it is best to make boarding reservations well in advance of major travel holidays. Boarders tend to fill up around Christmas and New Year’s!

The Security

There is undoubtedly more room for error with dog sitting than dog boarding. Pets can escape, and sitters can be unreliable. Accidents caused by your dog and/or sitter can happen in your home. In contrast, pet boarding offers a high level of security and safety. 

Comfy Basset Hounds

Many dog boarders, like Hounds Lounge, have their systems down to a science. We care for dogs in a controlled environment, so there are fewer chances for things to go wrong.

The Professionalism

There are professional dog sitters who are highly qualified for the job. However, they are only one person, and they are human, after all! A person can easily make mistakes in an unfamiliar environment. Plus, many factors are out of a dog sitter’s control. Their car could break down on the way to care for your pet. They could even experience a family emergency, which would have to take precedence over your dog.

In most cases, it’s better to have an entire team caring for your dog. Hounds Lounge will never cancel on you!

Smiling dog

The Prepwork

Both dog sitters and dog boarders require a bit of preparation on your end. As you are getting ready for someone – maybe even a stranger – to enter your home to dogsit, you are probably going to want to tidy up your space. You will need to stow away any valuables. Consider anything that could go wrong. Remove plants your pup might want to eat, and pick up any small items that could be used as a chew toy.


Then, it’s time to write out your list for the dog sitter. This list needs to be extremely detailed, as it is the ultimate guide to your fur baby. You will need to include:

  • How to enter and lock up the house
  • Where all of your dog’s items are located
  • How often your dog should be taken out for bathroom breaks
  • When and how much to feed your dog
  • When and how much to exercise your dog
  • When and how to administer any medications
  • Your dog’s sleeping situation
  • Emergency contacts, including your veterinarian’s office

Depending on your dog, you might need to include additional points.

In comparison, there is little for you to do before taking your dog to a boarder. Furrst, you’ll need to call your vet ahead of time and have them send in your dog’s vaccination records. Once those records are received and approved, your prepwork is a walk in the park. You can simply pack your dog’s food, medicine and bedding (if you wish) and leave your home as it is. Then you and Fido are ready to go!

Bath time for dog

Take Some Time to Pawnder Over These Options

When it comes down to dog boarding vs. dog sitting, it’s all about what’s right for your dog. The most important thing is that they are as comfortable as possible while you are away.

If you choose to book a stay with Hounds Lounge, there are a few perks you should know about. You can add a grooming service, nail trim or $15 exit bath to your woof’s overnight stay. Stays longer than seven nights earn a complimentary exit bath! We also offer discounts to families who board more than one pup at a time!

Weigh the pros and cons of these two options, and give us a call if you have any furrther questions regarding what is dog boarding!

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