Affordable Alternative to Long Term Pet Boarding: House Sitters

Affordable Alternative to Long Term Pet Boarding: House Sitters

Are you tired of trying to find an affordable long term pet boarding for your beloved critter best friend? If you have been looking and comparing prices for a few days already, then why instead of sending your pet to a boarding place, hire a house sitter instead and let your pet be taken care of for a long time in a place your friend is familiar with? And did we also mention, for FREE?

The holidays are coming and if you have a pet, for sure you might already be looking at booking an appointment for your companion in pet boarding houses. Since you and many other owners are doing the same thing, from basic economics the higher the demand the higher the prices, booking an appointment at this date in time will now come at a much higher premium than the regular fees. If you do not want the hassle of trying to find an affordable available spot for your pet, why don’t you instead try to hire a house sitter. Read more below about the differences of choosing to hire a house sitter vs sending your pet to a boarding house and choose what best fits your preferences this coming holiday season.


A. Price - Paid vs Free

Pet Boarding - $30 - $90 a day

Pet boarding prices typically range from $30 - $90 a day depending on what amenities you want to avail for your critter friend. The standard option that comes at a lower cost includes putting your pooch at regular kennel accommodations while the more expensive ones means placing your pooch in its own room suite for the duration of its stay. The cost for a long term 2 week pet boarding would probably range from $420 - $1260. If you are interested in boarding your pet, you may want to look at Dogtopia that has various locations around the USA or at Stay and Play Resort which has more affordable options as well as various locations around the Eastern coast. If you are choosing this option, you will also need to worry about the costs of hiring a gardener that ranges from $20-$150, depending on their services, for your plants as well as asking a neighbor or a relative to check your house once in a while while you are away.

Paying for Dog Boarding

House Sitter - Free

Hiring a house sitter either via us here at FreePetSitters by contacting us or browsing through a list of house sitters in HouseCarers, either of those choices come for free. The only payment the house sitters would ask from you is lodging in your home. This works because the house sitters would gladly take care of your pet, house and plants in exchange for getting to live at your home so they could explore and travel around the area where your home is located. If you would like to find out more about how to hire one, check out our how to find a house sitter dummy guides: browsing method and booking method. Hiring a house sitter means your plants are also taken care of so no need to hire a gardener. No need to ask your neighbors or relatives to check your house once in a while as the house sitter will be staying in your house for the whole duration of the sit.

Save More With House Sitting

B. Location - A New Environment vs A Familiar Abode

Pet Boarding - A New Environment for your Pet

If you will be sending your pet for long term boarding, this means that your pet will be heading to an environment new to it. Pet boarding usually involves giving dogs playtime by letting them socialize with other dogs and then depending on what room you have availed, they are provided with either a regular kennel spot to stay or a private suite complete with pet furnishings. There also will be the new faces of the pet boarding staff for your pet to familiarize itself with.

Dogtopia Dogs Socializing in Boarding
Photo from Dogtopia, another great dog boarding place  where the dogs are currently in Play Time and Socializing Time

House Sitter - A Familiar Abode for your Pet

In contrast to pet boarding, hiring a house sitter means your pet will not have to adjust to familiarize itself with your home. The only thing your pet needs to adjust itself to is the new face of the house sitter who will temporarily be on its side for the duration of the house sit. There will of course be no new pets to socialize with as well. The normal day schedule you have with your companion can be followed accordingly, you just have to brief the house sitter about it. 

Pet Comfortable at Own Home

C. Pet Type - Limited to Cats or Dogs vs Can Handle Anything

Pet Boarding - Most Pet Boarding Places are Limited to Either Cats or Dogs

Almost all pet boarding places are limited to either cat or dog boarding as these are the most common types of critter friends people have. If you have a pet dog or cat, you pretty much have more options on where to lodge your furry friend. What if you have a fish, or a rodent or even a reptile pet? Finding an affordable pet boarding place becomes harder as you are limited to places that handle those kinds of pets. There are some places that can handle all types of pets. Albeit being few, some good examples of this kind of all-around boarding places are The Animal Keeper and All Animals Veterinary Hospital.

Exotic Pet Iguana

House Sitter - Can Handle Any Type of Pet 

House sitters, on the other hand, can handle any type of pet you have as long as he/she has agreed to taking care of it. What that means is as long as he/she is aware of what pet you have as well as a briefing and hands-on training before the start of the sit, you are sure that the house sitter will be able to look after your pet, be that a reptile, rodent, fish or bird, while you are away. This means that looking for an affordable place for long-term boarding for your specific pet close to your proximity is not going to be your problem anymore as the pet sitter will be the one coming to your house. A disadvantage of this however is that not all sitters would be comfortable handling exotic pets especially if there is some stereotypical danger involved with them like with snakes, spiders and the like. Luckily, here at FreePetSitters, we assure you that our sitters can handle any pet you have just fine.

Pet Bird being Taken Care by House Sitter

D. Different Points of Interest per Concern - 3 Separate Contact people vs 1 Contact Person 

Pet Boarding - Three different points of interest

When being away from home, there are three different points of interest to look at especially if you are someone who has pets and plants: who will look after your home from time to time, who will take care of your plants and then who will take care of your pets?  When boarding your pet for a long time, of course the point of interest covered is only your pet. You cannot board your plants in the pet boarding place as that will seem very silly. That means you will be needing a gardener to look after your plants. Next point of interest is your home. You would either be asking your neighbor or relative to check your house from time to time or hire someone to do it. This is tedious because you will be concerned about these three points of interest separately as you have three different contact people per concern.

Calling Many People While On Vacation

House Sitter - Just one point of interest

If you decide to book a sitting as an alternative to long term pet boarding here at FreePetSitters, or find one at a house sitter community website like HouseCarers, all three points of interest are covered by your house sitter. Why is that? Since they are staying at your home, you could specify in the house sitting agreement contract that the house sit would include taking care of the plants as well as your pet. In this arrangement, you are centralizing the three different points of interest into one person only which makes things easier especially when asking about if things are still going well in your home.

Just the House Sitter as Contact Person

E. Amenities

Pet Boarding - Vacation Like Amenities for your Pet

Pet boarding places are kind of the hotel-staycation life for your pets. Depending on how much the rate is, the amenities vary depending on the pet boarding places but below are the common amenities offered:

  • Being fed a veterinary recommended diet two times a day unless there is a special requirement for your pet
  • Medicine and vitamins administration for pets who needs them
  • Daily check ups
  • Routined days that involves playtime and nap times in a place that looks like a daycare for preschoolers
  • Spa-like pampered treatment (grooming session)
  • Behavior training with trainers
Napping Dogs after Playtime
Photo from Dogtopia, where these pooches are taking a nap after their playtime

House Sitter - Limited to what is in your neighborhood and home

Since in hiring a house sitter, your pet will not be leaving your home, the sitter and your pet’s amenities are limited to what is around in your neighborhood and home. This could include your backyard if you have one and the dog park near you. Depending on your agreement with your sitter, if your sitter is going to travel around your area, your pet could also tag along with him/her!

Dog Being Walked Around Neighborhood

So there you have it, we have laid out the pros and cons of pet boarding vs hiring a sitter especially for long term durations. If you feel like it will be too costly to send your pet to a pet boarding place, then a house sitter is a very good alternative as not only will your pet be looked after, your house and plants will be taken care of as well at a minimal cost. If you are interested in booking a house sit with FreePetSitters, contact us at ejandra@freepetsitters or (762) 233-6687.

If you feel like your pet deserves a vacation as well while you are on one, and you feel like the rates of pet boarding, as well as hiring other people to look after your plants and home are justifiable for you then go for it! For sure, your pet will also enjoy the time in the pet boarding place while you are away.