Every pet has different needs, and so do you when it comes to booking pet care for your furry friend. If you’ve ever looked into a pet sitting company, like V.I.C. Pet Care, then you’ve probably seen options that include both pet sitting and dog walking. So, what exactly is the difference and how do you know which one is right for you?

When someone refers to themselves as a “dog walker” or a “pet sitter,” it doesn’t necessarily mean they are less qualified for one versus the other. It simply refers to the job assignment they may be taking on for a particular pet. Dog walking is usually referred to the service that is booked when an owner will be gone for longer stretches during the day and pet sitting is typically referred to a service that you will book when you’re going out of town and need more care for Fido other than just letting him stretch is legs and take a potty break.

Booking a dog walking service is a great option when you are working long hours or taking a day trip that doesn’t require overnight care. When you hire a dog walker, they will usually show up at your home during a scheduled time frame and stay for an agreed upon amount of time. Most of the visit will be spent walking outside, allowing your dog to get energy out and have multiple potty breaks. Depending on your dog’s needs or the amount of time you’ll be gone, dog walkers can be scheduled to come once or multiple times a day and can also feed and administer medication. Booking a dog walker is usually less costly than doggy daycares and can also benefit your pet by keeping them on a consistent schedule.

If you are heading out of town, then booking a pet sitting service is your best bet. Your pet will have the benefit of receiving individualized attention in your own home multiple times a day. Like dog walkers, pet sitters will provide your pet with exercise and potty breaks, and will also spend time with them in-home, feed, and medicate. Pet sitters will also help take care of your home and do small chores like watering plants and bringing in mail and packages. Hiring a pet sitter is also a great option for senior dogs and puppies, who may need more attention. It’s also perfect for dogs who have separation anxiety since they can stay in their own home. Although the cost of hiring a pet sitter can be slightly more than a dog walker, you still have the advantage of not having to transport your pet to a boarding facility and you can usually request longer visits.

Whether you decide to hire a dog walker or pet sitter, it’s important to make sure you are going through a professional dog walking service or professional pet sitting service. While friends and family may offer to help, professional pet services have the advantage of being insured and knowing what to do in an emergency. They are also normally trained on medication administration such as insulin injections and subcutaneous fluids. Most companies will also have multiple sitters and dog walkers available to attend to your pet if an emergency or urgent situation comes up, causing your primary sitter to be unavailable.

Most importantly, make sure you go with a company that you feel comfortable with so that you can ensure that when you’re not there, your pet is staying healthy, happy, and loved.