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How To Find Pet Care While You’re On Vacation

Written by | Updated December 11, 2019

Just because you leave your furry friend when you go on a trip doesn’t mean they have to be home alone. The right pet care option while you’re on vacation gives you peace of mind and keeps your pets happy and healthy. 

When you go out of town, it’s best to leave your pet behind in a comfortable, familiar setting—their home. They already know where their food, water, toys, and sleeping spots are, so it’s better to have the pet caretaker come to them. 

Professional pet sitters offer in-home pet sitting at your house or their house. Local dog boarding, professional kennels, and cat boarding are good options too. All these pet care options cost a little more than asking friends or family to watch your pet, but caretakers with professional training and experience can be worth it. 

Professional Pet Sitters

Finding pet care while on vacation can be as easy as asking family or friends to leave food and water for your animals.

While this is generally a cheaper option, professional pet sitters can do more for your furry friend in an emergency. This kind of in-home pet sitting keeps your dog or cat in familiar surroundings, letting the care come to them.

If your pet is a senior or has special needs, this is an option worth considering. Professional dog sitters generally ask for higher rates than your loved ones will, but they’re qualified and more experienced with tasks like giving medication or leash training.

Pro Tip
Care.com and the Rover dog-sitting app can connect you to pet sitters in your area. These caretakers undergo careful screening to qualify, so you know your pet’s paws are in good hands.

Dog Boarding Services

If an in-home dog sitter isn’t the best option while you’re on vacation, you can board your pet at a kennel with other pups.

Research to find the most reliable pet boarding services in your area. The best dog-boarding services have puppy play areas for your best friend to meet other dogs and stay entertained while you’re away.

You can also board cats when you leave on vacation, but their enclosure is not as social as the dog areas.

Websites like Thumbtack can connect you with local kennels and boarders in your area.

In-Home Pet Sitting

Our Recommendation
Rover logo


  • Catalog of local sitters
  • In-home socialization with other dogs
  • Secure payment platform through the Rover app
  • Daily doggy updates
  • Care for cats too

In-home boarding combines the best perks of pet sitting and traditional boarding.

Instead of leaving your pets at home, an in-home boarding professional can watch your furry friend at their home. You’ll have to bring your pets to their location, but they get all the comforts of staying at a house while you’re away.

Like kennel owners, in-home boarders require a license and qualifications to charge for their services. So you can feel satisfied knowing your pets will get exercise, medications, food, and water during your trip.

In-home boarding for dogs is more common, but you can find these same services for cats, birds, fish, and other small pets.

Get a Pet Cam

Our Recommendation
Furbo pet camera

The Furbo Dog Camera

  • Barking alerts
  • Easy setup
  • Compatible with Alexa

Whether you’re in a different state or a different time zone, pet cameras let you see your furry friend whenever you miss them.

Pet cameras suffice on their own if you’re gone for short periods, but they pair well with pet sitting services. If you don’t know your drop-in pet sitter well, you can see your pet and their sitter through the camera.

The best pet cameras have treat dispensers, two-way talk, and other extras to keep your pets entertained.

Some pet cams can connect to your security system or act as a security camera while you’re away. Check our picks for the best security systems for pet owners.


What happens if there’s an emergency while I’m gone?
Be prepared before you leave for your vacation. Leave your vet’s contact information and pet’s medication schedule with your pet sitter.

If you have a pet with medical issues, we recommend asking someone to stay on your property or hiring a pet sitter to keep your pet in their home while you’re gone.

Can a pet sitter give my dog their medications?
Sure, but you’ll need to give them clear instructions depending on the difficulty level of administering the medication. That’s why we suggest a qualified, experienced pet sitter instead of a friend or family member.

Can I get a pet sitter or in-home boarding for my cat?
Paw-sitively. Most services that cater to dogs can also help cat owners. Rover, for example, can connect you with pet sitters, in-home boarding, and in-home care for cats.

How much do professional pet sitters cost?
On average, pet sitters can cost anywhere from $10 to $40 per day. That said, prices change depending on where you live, how long you’ll be gone, and how many animals you have.

How do you find pet-friendly hotels?
If you decide to take your pet on vacation with you, it’s smart to check out the pet policy at your hotel before leaving.

We like Bring Fido for finding pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and even vacation activities your pup can enjoy too.

Written by Katie McEntire

Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more

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