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In-Home Pet Sitting vs Boarding

It’s a question that many pet parents ask themselves: what’s the difference between in-home pet sitting vs boarding? Today, we want to dissect the four main differences to help pet parents make the best decision for their pets.

Adjustment Period

The adjustment period for a pet that stays at home while its family is traveling is minimal. When they stay home, pets remain in a familiar and trusted environment. They have to adjust solely to their family leaving. Adjusting to their family’s absence can cause stress for some dogs but it’s a lot less adjustment than for those that have to simultaneously adjust to being left behind AND in an unfamiliar environment.


Most boarding facilities require recent vaccinations for Bordetella and influenza because of the high likelihood that a virus or bacteria can spread amongst the pets in their care. Like a daycare environment for human toddlers, doggy daycare and boarding facilities bring together pets from different households to exchange germs. For this reason, only pets that are considered healthy enough to mingle with other animals should be boarded.

When left at home, pets usually only require up-to-date rabies vaccination per state law. This is because their exposure to other animals during in-home pet care visits is very rare. At Hearts at Home, we make sure that the pets in our care remain away from strangers of both the human and canine variety. We stay informed of local outbreaks, avoid encounters with other animals, and keep dogs in their neighborhood for walks.


In-home pet care is a premium service because we drive to our clients’ homes for every visit. According to pet industry personality and podcast host, Isabel Alvarez Arata, “

Boarding can be compared to going to a restaurant to eat while in-home pet care is more akin to having a chef come to your home to prepare a meal.” Because of the level of personalization and exclusivity, in-home pet sitting can add up. The good news is that, with a company like ours, you get what you pay for because we make sure your pet thrives while in our care. In addition, we care for your home while caring for your pets, which is a huge bonus for homeowners.


Boarding facilities tend to have a specific drop-off and pick-up time. They are usually a few hours in the morning and afternoon. For this reason, many travelers are forced to book the night before and/or after their departure when boarding their pets. They also have to drive them to and from boarding while packing or unpacking, which can certainly be a lot to manage.

With in-home pet care, registered pet parents just grab their bags and go. They schedule their visits to start after their departure and end before their return. If there are delays, our team ensures that the pets in our care are covered until their family gets home.

We believe that all pets benefit from in-home pet care. To learn more about our services and design a customized visit schedule for your next trip, please call 757-745-9868 or email

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