Dog Walking Service vs Pet Sitting: What’s the Difference?

We would all love to spend all day every day at home with our dogs. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic for most of us in the Chicago area. We have work, school, or other commitments that keep us out of the house and away from our beloved furry family member. However, our dogs still need care if we’re away for an extended time. What type of care do they need though? There’s dog walking service, pet sitting, dog boarding, or even doggie daycare. What’s the difference between them? Which one is best for your pooch? Here’s a handy guide to help you know the difference.


Pet Sitting

Pet sitting involves caring for your pet in your home while you’re away. Usually it’s a service reserved for when you’re travelling and away from home for several days or more. A pet sitter will come to your home and spend 30-40 minutes taking care of your pets. This means feeding and giving them water, cleaning out litter boxes, engaging in playtime, and letting them out to do their business. The pet sitter may also spend the night to make sure any overnight needs are met, and that your dogs aren’t frightened or too lonely. It depends on the animal and how they react to such situations.


Dog Walking

A dog walking service involves someone coming into your home on a regular basis to either let your dog out for a stroll, or to let them out in the yard. This is more for people who are away from home during the day, such as at work or school, and can’t get home to let their pets out. A dog walking service is ideal for people who commute from places like Deerfield and it’s impossible to get home during a lunch break. Dog walking rates will vary, depending on the amount of time you’d like them to spend with your dog, and for what services you ask them to do. Aside from walking, they can always replenish food and water, and give out treats if the owner wants.


Pet Boarding

Pet boarding is when your pet is cared for outside of your home. This is another service for when the owner is out of town for an extended period. If your dog isn’t comfortable being left alone in between pet sitter visits, then they can be sent to a facility that can provide around the clock care. They will be given play times and provided with treats and stimulation. Because they’ll be in an unfamiliar environment, it’s always a good idea to send them with toys or blankets that smell like home to keep them relaxed. Much like with dog walking rates, boarding rates can vary depending on what services you’d like to have provided.


Day Care

Doggie day care is another service for animals that aren’t comfortable being home alone for an extended period. Instead of sleeping somewhere else, however, they are dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon, much like when kids go to day care. They get to play and spend time with other dogs, and their every need is met while you are at work. This is for dogs with extremely high energy and will be extra excited in the evenings if they’ve been relaxed and bored all day at home.


There are many options when it comes to caring for your dog in Chicago and the Chicago area. Depending on your needs and the situation, one of these four will probably fit the bill.