Boarding & Kenneling vs In-Home Pet Care

April 25, 2022
By: Adriana Valle

Boarding and kenneling are popular options for pet parents that are planning to travel. Today, we will break down the differences between boarding and kenneling vs in-home pet care. We will also share why we prefer in-home pet care for our pets.


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Boarding facilities may be housed in small, intimate locations or large state-of-the-art spaces. Upscale boarding facilities offer individual rooms that are created to resemble living spaces with couches, beds, rugs, etc. The idea behind these furnishings is to help guests feel more at home. Many also offer doggie daycare for guest dogs to join daily visitors in play before retiring to their chambers.

Less complete boarding facilities offer cage-free boarding in small rooms but without the pomp and circumstance of modern, high-end facilities. Smaller facilities may offer one-on-one playtime, extra walks, and enrichment or snuggle time from an à la carte menu.


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Kenneling usually refers to a lower-end pet care experience than boarding or in-home pet care. Most “kennels” offer basic care and minimal amenities for pets. Most veterinarians that offer overnight pet care usually qualify as kennels because they cage or crate pets during their stay. Pets in kennels do not usually interact with other pets, are fed in their kennel, and may or may not have access to outdoor space.

Dogs in kennels usually only receive two walks per day, which may come with additional charges. Rural kennels with land tend to have dog runs attached, which allow dogs to enter and exit their enclosure through a doggie door. Some rural kennels may offer amenities and extras like interactive play, walks, hikes, etc. The specifics depend on the level of service that each kennel is able and willing to provide. 

In-Home Pet Care

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In-home pet care is exactly that: the pet remains in their home for the duration of their family’s travels. A pet sitter comes to the home multiple times per day, based on the client’s desired schedule, and cares for the pet by following their usual routine, feeding them, engaging with them, walking them, scooping litter, etc. In-home pet care can happen once a day for well-behaved adult cats and up to four times per day for seniors and younger animals. The visit schedule is designed to meet the needs of each of the pets in the household.

In-home pet care has the added bonus of home care. Pet sitters rotate lights and blinds, bring in mail and newspapers, take out and/or bring in trash bins, etc. They also keep an eye on the home during visits, clean up pet accidents, catch issues while homeowners are away, and make the home appears occupied.

The Best Travel Pet Care

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If you ask a professional pet sitter, they will tell you that in-home pet care is the best way to leave pets during travel. The benefits of in-home pet care are many. From avoiding illnesses and bad habits that pets often pick up in kennels and boarding facilities to avoiding pick-up and drop-off, in-home pet care can represent huge savings in time and money.

In-home pet care also prevents potentially traumatic interactions with other pets because pets remain in their home environment and do not interact with unfamiliar animals while in our care. These dynamics can be hard to manage when kenneling or boarding. With in-home pet care, pets remain at ease and in the comfort of their home, which is the best way to prevent the anxiety and stomach upset that many pets experience when kenneled or boarded.

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To learn more about Shoreline Happy Paw’s loving and low-stress in-home pet care options, contact us via our online form, call 860-964-0464, or email

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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