Good Alternative to Kennels: House-Sitting

11 Aug, 2023

Good Alternative to Kennels: House-Sitting

Spread the love

Every pet owner worries about what to do with their pet when they leave home for either a holiday or for a work trip.  In this article we share with you some ideas on a good alternative to kennels for your pet safe keeping.

Seeking an alternative to kennels

Meet Caspian. He’s a two year old Springer Spaniel and in this picture he’s just about to try and eat the camera I’m holding. And that’s his feed it to me face.

As you can guess, he’s a really lovely and excitable dog who will happily run until he can no longer support his own weight. He’s a healthy creature, much loved and very friendly.

Dog sitter

I left home years ago to go and do that job thing. So my dog stays with my parents and younger siblings while I am away, so I have never had to think about kennels or an alternative to kennels. And with the number of hours I work it wouldn’t be fair for me to get another dog.

However, with every year when my family go on holiday I get a week or two of pet-sitting myself to spend time with my dog. So I become the alternative to kennels.

I look after him as his dog-sitter where I can pretend he’s all mine for a little bit. That’s the routine, anyway.

Caspian a ginger mixed breed dog, the owners prefer dogsitters as an alternative to kennels
This is Caspian, our dog

Dogsitter near me

So now when I help my family look for a dogsitter I start by searching online. The automatic thing is to type ‘Dogsitter near me’ in the search bar. That brings up a whole host of options, from professional dogsitters with eye watering daily rates, to virtual petsitting networks that let you choose a sitter.

It is worth taking the time to review the housesitting platforms. Look for their reviews and what people actually say about the service. Some of them run on a trust and barter basis owners offering free accommodation in exchange for free care and attention for their pets and homes.

It can be a really good deal for both sides and you get a pet lover to look after your pooch. Not a bad idea!

Finding somewhere else as an alternative to kennels

This year I happened to be moving into a new flat at the same time as they went on holiday, and even if they went before, this new flat is up 101 stairs with no lift, which is a long way to be carrying this feller – my dog.

So what is our alternative to kennels?

This means they had to think of a new place for him to go, no other family where present or capable enough to care for him, so we had to think of a new solution. There was a stilted phone conversation with my dad while I voiced my immediate concerns:

You’re not, erm, he’s not going to a kennel, is he? We need to consider an alternative to kennels I thought.

Nightmare on kennel alley

While saying this, horrific images of dogs lined up like foie-gras geese in pens, crying for their homes, while the towering behemoth of a kennel owner stomps among them in a tee shirt saying I hate dogs. You know, the usual.

Oh, God, no! He said, signalling the end of the dramatic tension that I could justify putting in prose format.

Picking the bones

Before I go on, I should probably justify my concerns for kennels and my insistence on finding an alternative to kennels. If you have a good kennel near to you then you’re probably wondering why I got so stressed out about it.


Good kennels will generally let you come round to see the kennels. They require any dog staying there to have all the vaccinations and have a clearly presented health and safety policy. This gives some comfort and I felt better about the kennel option.

The bad thing is that some don’t do these things. And unfortunately, it’s the pets that suffer.

Our family has had a negative experience in the past that required us to get some Pfizer Spot On Treatment for fleas afterwards, which, as you can imagine, wasn’t good for our consideration and opinions on the kennel option. It is always worth considering a good alternative to kennels.

Good alternative to kennels

Much better to find a pet lover to look after your dog when you are away – a dogsitter is a great alternative to kennels

That’s why they decided to use a dog-sitting company, letting someone stay in the house to look after Caspian while they were away for a week. This works really well as it gives the sitter free rent in the house for a while, and they were sure that Caspian would get the time and attention they needed while they were away.

As the sitter came to visit before they left, they had a chance to talk through any special requirements he has.

If you have to decide for yourself whats best for your dog, you can by all means check your local kennel for quality, but be wary. At the end of the day, any personalised service is going to make your dog much happier than a kennel would. In my opinion it is worth considering an alternative to kennels.

Author Bio:

Brett Jane’s is a MA writing student at LJMU, UK, founder of literary organisation King Yeti and a member of The Wild Writers, a collective who run events and exhibitions throughout the Northwest. Also writes guest post for Vet Medic, who are one of UK’s leading pharmacists and vets who are genuinely passionate about pet health and medicines.

To find your petsitters through our trusted network register with HouseSitMatch as a homeowner

To register as a Pet owner and Homeowner follow this link

If you have pet care and homecare experience and want to travel and experience a new location why not register as on HouseSitMatch as a housesitter

To register as a House-sitter or Petsitter follow this link

Further reading about petsitters and housesitters

At we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

The affordable alternative to dog kennels

Top tips when taking on a petsitter or housesitter

Housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

Preparing a home for a house or pet sitter

What is House Sitting?

Spread the love


Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.