The professional pet-sitting industry is growing rapidly because many pet owners feel that there are advantages to using pet sitters, rather than traditional pet care options. Reasons people use pet sitters include:
Possible reduced stress on pets because pets are cared for in their own homes
No "travel trauma" to pets because they do not need to be transported anywhere
Exposure to illnesses and parasites of other animals is minimized
Required vaccinations are often less restrictive than those necessary at a kennel
Pets stay on their regular routines and do not need to adapt to a new environment
Not having to deal with neighbors, friends or family members feeling that they are inconvenienced
Professional pet sitters are often licensed, and insured for liability including care, custody, and control of the pets in their care. Many pet sitters are also bonded or insured for theft. Pet sitters usually have training, such as pet first aid certification, animal husbandry classes, or pet sitting accreditation. A number of professional organizations exist to help pet sitters improve their services.
In many areas, no special occupational license is required for pet sitters. The term "licensed" is often used by pet sitting professionals to refer to licenses to do business, kennel licenses, and/or animal transportation permits available within the coverage area of the business. These licenses may or may not be required, depending on the location. Licenses are not available in all areas.
This is a place where dogs are housed temporarily for a fee, an alternative to using a pet sitter. Although many people worry about the stress placed on the animal by being put in an unfamiliar and most likely crowded environment, the majority of boarding kennels work to reduce stress. Many kennels offer one-on-one "play times" in order to get the animal out of the kennel environment. Familiar objects, such as blankets and toys from home, are also permitted at many kennels. Similarly, many kennels nowadays also offer grooming and training services in addition to boarding, with the idea being that the kennel can be the owner's "one-stop shop" for all three services. In the United States the term boarding kennel is also used to refer to boarding catteries and licensing agencies do not always differentiate between commercial boarding kennels for dogs and other animal or cat boarding kennels. It is estimated that in 2008 people in the US will spend $3.29 billion on boarding and grooming services. In 2007 actual market surveys showed that $3.0 billion was spent on these services. Annual kennel boarding expenses for dog owners was $225, and for cat owners was $149 according to a 2007-2008 survey.