Dog sitter, alternatives to kennels

Share your favorite training tips, ideas and methods with other Positively members!

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:01 pm

Dog sitter, alternatives to kennels

Post by robb » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:50 pm


Has anybody used a dogsitter or taken their dog to a minder when they've been away. I've NEVER put my dog into kennels and having visited a lot recently can't see myself doing so. Sooo.. the alternative seems to be finding someone who will take my dog into their home and treat it as a their pet as I really need to leave her for a week this year. Has anybody done this, if so how did it go, I'm based in the north west so if anyone has used someone in my area even better.

Please share your experiences



Bumble's mom
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:22 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Bumble's mom » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:10 pm

Petsitters have always been a very good choice for me. I have had a couple of different ones over the years that would stay in my home with my pets. One of my current dogs, however, will not tolerate someone in my home when I'm not here (see the post about the deaf epileptic dog). Instead, my mom keeps them at her house, and they both do fine.

You might ask a couple of local vets if they have recommendations...
Shannon L. Hill

Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location: A little gambling town in the high desert

Post by Fundog » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:25 pm

I've left my dog on several occasions. The first couple of times, we boarded her at the vet's clinic. I didn't like that, because they didn't give her long enough walks to allow her to potty outside. Instead, she ended up pottying in her run, so when I got her back, she reeked. I'm sure that didn't help with her self-esteem, either. The next time, I boarded her at a commerical pet tender/kennel. I ended up not being too impressed with that either. They charged extra for playtime and cuddle time, in just 15 minute increments. And then, because it was raining while we were gone, she didn't get her outside time. And she was never walked-- just taken out to potty, and that was it. I was not impressed.

So the next two times, we got a friend to take her at his home. The first time, they enjoyed having her. The second time, they had issues with her not going potty when/where she was supposed to. Come to find out, they weren't taking her for walks-- they just let her out the door, to run on their unfenced property, watching at the doorway to see that she came back. Also, they had a little dog of their own-- my dog was pottying in a specific corner in the house all the time-- I suspect their little dog had gone there without their knowledge, so my dog thought that was the place.

The last time, I did more searching, and found in my area, a ranch resort for pets-- a pet fostering/boarding facility that took in all kinds of animals, from horses and llamas, to rabbits and chickens. It was called the "Doggy Dude Ranch," of all things! The dogs were specially matched up with playgroups, taken for walks, given planned activities, and had lots of room to run, and the price was sooo much better than at the other commercial kennel! My Annie had a ball. She came home dusty from playing outside with the other dogs, but she came home very, very happy and thoroughly exhausted, after being on vacation for five days.

I live in the west, so I don't know of anything like this in your area, but if you can find a facility like the one I just described, that's the way to go. Seriously. Short of that, do find someone who can either take the dog into their home, or someone you are comfortable having in your own home. Don't go to a commercial kennel/boarding center where the dog is kept in an indoor kennel and only taken out to potty. Find somewhere they are going to have some fun, so they don't pine after you all day.

User avatar
Posts: 575
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Texas

Post by DogzRule1996 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:14 pm

I live in the north and I have a very shy dog with some aggression issues. We took him to a boarding place and we told them his issues and they matched him up with the perfect home. I was so worried that he might act hostile while I was gone, but when we came back, we saw him playing around with the boarder. She told us a few tips on how to train him and help improve his aggression issues, and it was all for a very low cost. All you need to do is tell them his diet, any problems/issues he has, daily walks, what his regular feeding is, potty time, and all that stuff. You don't have to worry. You can trust them :D
(¯`'•.¸(¸.•'´ ¯)
♫♪(¯` ¸(¯`'•.¸**¸.•'´¯)¸.• ¯)♫♪
(¯`'•. --=-_Stop Animal Cruelty Now!_-=-- `'• .¸_)
(_¸-_(_¸.•'´*♫♪♫♪*`'•.¸_)`'• .¸_)
(._¸.•'´`'• .Â.=-¸_)

Posts: 1028
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:18 pm
Location: San Diego CA

Post by ckranz » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:22 am

One sitter I hired never showed up. I was glad our trip was only over a weekend. We did not have dogs at the time. Our cats were pretty resourceful and managed to tip a bag of dry cat food.

My upcoming trip my dogs are going to a Dude Ranch. (It the ranch that hosts my agility club). The owner is wonderful with dogs and for once I will have complete confidence in the care they will receive while on vacation.

INterview sitters and kennels carefully and do not leave your pets without checking references, tour of kennel facilities.

Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:31 pm

Post by joji732 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:04 pm

I found a local pet sitter that has dogs stay at her home using the Pet Sitters International website. You can find it at I was pleased with the person I chose.

Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:01 pm


Post by robb » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:11 am

Thanks for your feedback, I'm based in the UK though so US sites aren't too useful unless someone wants a good holiday!

User avatar
Horace's Mum
Posts: 1129
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:10 pm

Post by Horace's Mum » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:11 pm

Whereabouts are you? I can ask on another forum for you for recommendations. I use a fabulous kennels in south west scotland, but probably a bit far for you to travel!! But I know a few people in the north who have used sitters, maybe one of them can help.

Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:54 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Post by cruisintigger » Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:46 pm

I too have found great pet sitters thru And you can search internationally - under the 'locate a pet sitter' in the upper right screen, you can scroll down to search in different parts of world. You said UK, I found alot under Great Britain. :D

Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands

Post by emmabeth » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:35 am

Give us your location robb and we might have some suggestions.

Just as there are some dodgy kennels out there... unfortunately there are also dodgy pet sitters, so make sure...

They are insured. If they are coming to your house make sure they have the relevant police checks too as well as insurance. Check if your dog is going to them how many dogs they will be minding at any one time... and will your dog be mixing iwth strangers dogs?

I know of two kennels I would personally recommend, one in the north west and one in the midlands. Dont know any pet sitters but ive heard of a few franchises to avoid!

Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: Glasgow

Post by deborahmackay » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:14 am


i have a doggy pet sitting swap set up woth a couple that i met over the internet. they posted an ad looking for a dog sit swap, so we take their dog and they take ours. So far it has been working out great.

Obviously we were worried about them being scammer, so we both had house visits and a good chat before any animals were handed over, and then we did a couple of walks and 1 night sleepovers. Its worked so well for us as the dogs get on.

this could be something that you could look in to, its good also because its free and now when my wee dog goes to their to say he has a wee doggy pal to play with as well.

i would never put Archie is kennels as he would never forgive me, so i find this to be the best solution.

good luck

Deborah and Archie

Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:01 pm

Post by robb » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:22 am

emmabeth wrote:Give us your location robb and we might have some suggestions.
I live in Cheshire about 7 miles from Chester, feel free to PM me if you don't want to risk posting things on a forum.


Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:02 pm
Location: P'cola, Fl

Post by Laceface » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:13 am

Weekend after next my girl will be staying at a petsitter. We found someone who works at a vets office, and who is willing to deal with her half potty trained tendencies. We are going this weekend to visit her, so Quinn can meet her and make sure all is good before hand. I think all will be well for that weekend, so I'm excited!
Momma of Quinn

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:50 am

check with vet employees or new teachers (we need the cash!)

Post by dogsnkids » Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:20 am

Hi Robb,

I would suggest either checking with the vet techs at your vets office to see if they want to watch your pups for extra money. Or, the other option, is to see if there are teachers who are looking to moonlight for a little extra cash. I am a teacher in the states and that is what I do for extra money. It is relaxing and stress free. If the owners live close enough so I can get to work within 15 minutes, I stay there. If not, they bring their dogs to me. Since I have "shorter" work hours I can get home and walk them after 6-7 hours, and I love the company:) When they stay with me, the dogs sleep in my bed, I keep their favorite treats, and sometimes we ride up to the dog treat store at the local mall for bonbons. I even have car seat harnesses so they are safe in the car. For me it is a great way to earn a little extra money and I can still do my planning for school in the evenings (with a little help of course!). Just an idea.....

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:22 am

Post by daisiedawg » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:55 am

I have used various petsitters for my dog and have never had any problems, and my dog has anxiety issues. I use a company called PetStay that operate around the North, they have carers all over the place, and organise for you to visit the pet carer before you leave your dow with them, so you can be sure you are happy to leave your dog with them, I liked the company so much I even became a dog sitter for them.

Post Reply