Pet sitting vs. boarding in Miami

Pet sitting vs. boarding in Miami

Should You Choose Pet Sitting or Boarding for Pets in Miami? 

Pet sitting vs. boarding in Miami

The excitement of Spring break and a well-deserved vacation is around the corner! Your tickets are printed, bathing suits are packed, and sunscreen already applied, but what are you forgetting? Looking down you see your furry friend smiling and wagging their tail at you, leash in mouth, begging to join the adventure.  Unfortunately, your pooch pal can’t always join and your happy cat would never leave the house anyway, which leads to the question: what are the options for pet care in Miami?

Miami’s Pet Care Choices

Pet owners used to immediately think of asking a friend or family member to care for a pet when going away. However, excellent alternative pet care options have cropped up as the pet industry expands. Pet hotels with luxurious and cozy spaces for your pet have become available. In addition, in-home pet services are becoming a popular choice of pet owners, but how do you choose between services? Of course, it’s important to research the company, facility, or pet sitter.  All will have different training, staff, and environments for play and comfort. We’ve compiled some things to think about when deciding on the best care for your pet.

Miami Kennel and Pet Hotels Pros and Cons:

It can be a time-consuming process to research facilities or a find a kennel location close to you. Keep in mind references from friends, as well as features for each facilities. We’ve found the following to be true about kennels in general:


  • Kennels provide efficient care for your pet typically with supervised staff
  • Many kennels have a daily playtime with others where you can choose from individual or group play sessions, which helps if your dog is not socialized or can be unpredictable around others.
  • Your pup might make lasting friendships there
  • Kennels typically run on a schedule so your dog will have consistency

Possible Cons:

  • It can be an uninviting atmosphere with cold cement floors and not much time spent out of crates.
  • Taking your dog or cat to a new space can cause the body stress which can materialize as loss of appetite, diarrhea, or vomiting, not to mention depression
  • Emphasis on quantity means cleanliness is a must; being around more dogs unfortunately can expose your dog to disease
  • You have to pack for your dog’s stay and drive him over in Miami traffic

More upscale pet hotels and day cares that double as boarding facilities have popped up around Miami recently, which can offer a better alternative to kennels. These facilities sometimes offer individual rooms and more comfortable beds, as well as ample playtime. However, there are often upwards of 25 dogs in one space, which can be very stressful for your pets, especially in an unfamiliar, temporary space. More dogs means a greater potential for fights, transmission of illnesses, and potentially forming bad habits without proper supervision during play.

In-Home Pet Sitting Pros and Cons:

Pet Sitting consists of a pet sitter caring for your pet in the comfort of your home, abiding by your pet’s specific feeding schedule, giving potty breaks, and one-one exercise, playtime, and TLC. They can stop in throughout the day or stay the night. Other questions might arise such as, who is going to feed the fish? Who will take out the trash? How secure will the house be while I’m away? Your worries are answered! Here are the benefits of a professional pet sitter:

  • Security! Someone in your home discourages curious intruders.
  • Less stress on the animal. Your pet stays in a familiar and safe environment causing lower signs of discomfort.
  • Convenience: No need to pack for another. Leaving food, leash, toys at home.  
  • Doubles as a house sitter: household chores such as watering plants, collection of newspaper, etc. will be tended too.
  • Care for multiple pets: Dogs, cats, fish and birds.
  • Cost can vary depending on services requested. Typically lower than boarding.
  • Trusted Resource.  Many sitters are bonded and insured (may have special pet training or certifications as well).

Possible Cons:

  • You may be concerned about letting a new sitter into your home
  • You have to vet your pet sitter very carefully, making sure they have the proper licensing, insurance, experience, and great references 
  • Does your pet sitting company use employees or independent contractors?
  • Solo pet sitters may not have a back-up if they fall ill.

It’s important to know what kind of services each pet sitting company or individual pet sitter provides and how committed they are to their profession. With Equipaws Pet Services, you can choose from a variety of in-home care options: we have in home pet care where you can choose, mix and match a 30-minute pet sitting session with overnight stays in your home, or you can opt for simple pet sits.

Our company is bonded and insured and has chosen to have employees instead of independent contractors to ensure our staff is trained to our high standards. We also work as a pet sitting team in each area, so if one pet sitter can’t make it there is always someone to back them up. All staff has received Pet Tech CPR training and have been through thorough background checks. Wherever you are, sipping a tasty mojito on the beach or hitting the snowy slopes, Equipaws professional pet sitters can be trusted to take care of your fur friends while you are away!

If you’re traveling on vacation, going away for work, or have a long trip away, your pooch or kitten may need special attention for food needs, potty breaks and companionship. So do you choose a pet sitter or kennel? You decide!


Professional Pet Sitters Week

dog walkers Miami pet sitting Brickell

Thanks to Our Wonderful Pet Sitters!

March 1, 2015 marks the beginning of Professional Pet Sitters Week, a week designated by Pet Sitters International as a time for appreciation for pet professionals. Pet sitters like us practice home service and become essential members of our clients’ families. We believe that at-home care is the best choice for Miami’s dogs and cats, and are thrilled to be a part of elevating the home services industry with our professionalism, dedication, reliability, and love of pets!

We have had a great year, with hiring four new employees and meeting many new clients, and we could not be more grateful. We began this company in 2011 with a small core of just Flavia and Frankie, and with many people in Miami unaware of what pet sitting even was.

We’ve come a long way! We now have ten employees, all trained under Flavia, all willing to go above and beyond for our clients. They have been available for last-minute pet sits when our clients take ill and need to go to the hospital. They have helped Flavia bake homemade dog treats into the late hours of the night, and they volunteer at events that Equipaws helps sponsor supporting local dog rescues.

Our clients love us because of the quality of our care, and that’s a team effort. It is our mission to be a part of Miami’s pet professional community for as long as we live, and hopefully beyond (no, not as the ghosts of pet sitters, but through our families!). Working with animals is more than a job; it’s a calling for many of us. So if you see one of our pet sitters on the street, walking a pup or just enjoying themselves off duty, please tell them you appreciate them!

And for those who don’t know what a professional pet sitter does, please take a look at our blog posts:

  1. Pet Sitting Services: What to Expect from Equipaws!
  2. What Is a Professional Pet Sitter Anyway?
  3. Our Pet Sitting Policy on Shared Responsibility, and Why We Enforce It
  4. Why Hire a Pet Sitter in Miami

5 Last-Minute, Local Pet Valentine’s Day Gifts!

pets miami sitting dog cat loveres

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and we know many of you are scrambling for a last-minute pet Valentine’s Day gift for your loved ones, or worse… completely forgot that your dogs and cats love getting gifts, too! No worry- we have five wonderful, LOCAL gift options for the perfect Valentine’s Day gifts for the furry kids and humans in your life. We love all of these local, small businesses dearly and regularly refer our beloved clients to them for professional pet services, fine food, and pet gifts (and, shameless self-promotion since we’re including ourselves- we think we’re quality, as well!). We think your pets will be very pleased with these, so without further ado, your five local go-to’s for a great Miami Valentine’s Day!

1. A Day at the Spa with My Dog

Is your sweetheart wild about her dog? Give her pup a spa day with a MyDog gift certificate! MyDog is based in Pinecrest and is well-known for their wonderful staff and relaxing atmosphere. Your dog’s grooming experience begins the moment he walks in, so there is no waiting. Each dog is personally fluff dried by their groomer, and given lavish hugs, love, and treats (with parent approval). Our favorite parts? The delicious blueberry facial, which leaves your dog smelling divine, and the beautiful staff. They make pups and parents feel welcome with their hospitality and attention to service! Finally, they offer a pick-up service within a certain area free of charge. Call today: 305.298.5538

2. Cao Chocolates-this one’s for the pet parents!

We cannot recommend Cao Chocolates enough. It is our family’s favorite place for chocolate in Miami- heck, the whole of the United States! This place is a wonderland for humans. Owners Cao and Anelith craft their artisanal chocolate with love daily, creating new combinations to please all palates. Their cacao confections (fair trade, from Venezuela) are made in small batches to order and can be hand-delivered to your beloved. Our favorite are the passion fruit chocolate bonbon and the spiced, salted caramel bonbon. Call today:305.603.9747

3. Training with Applause Your Paws!

A fun Valentine’s Day gift to show your pups some love, buy them fun classes at Applause Your Paws! We are thrilled with Applause Your Paws’ service. Owner Dee recently opened her indoor dog training facility after years of success with positive dog training, and it’s a great place for a pup to be! The center is ann 8,000 square foot dog-training facility right by Tropical Park, perfect for agility training, obedience classes (private or group), play dates, board and train, and more! They always have something new and interesting happening on the weekend, from dog play dates to specialized classes for specific breeds, all with positive reinforcement techniques. We highly recommend them! Call: (786) 529-7833

4. Natural K9’s Delicious Offerings

Located Delicious baked treats are the quickest way to your pet’s heart, especially from Natural K9 Supplies. They are dedicated to high quality, natural ingredients in their dog, cat, and bird food, and sell everything from food, to toys, treats, supplements and biking accessories. We think the DoggyRide Original Dog Bike Trailer is a great gift for active pet parents who want to take their pups along for their bike rides. Best of all, well-behaved dogs are allowed in the store, so take them along to choose their own Valentine’s Day gift!Call toll-free: 1-877-284-0350

And as of this writing, they are offering a BOGO deal for Zuke’s Genuine Jerky Treats. Snap them up for your pups!

5. Gift Certificate from Equipaws Pet Services (a gift for pets and their parents!)

Give your dog the gift of exercise this Valentine’s Day! We offer gift certificates for all of our services. Dog walking is especially popular because so many of our clients can’t make it home midday to let their waiting dogs out. Dogs love us because it’s fun company in the middle of an otherwise boring day. They get to sniff and explore, relieve themselves (you know how uncomfortable holding it for hours is- imagine your poor dog!), and they get snuggles and a pet-approved treat! You can also buy a gift certificate for cat sitting, pet sitting, and our overnight stay services. Call us today to purchase the gift certificate: 305.794.3733.
We hope this helps! Let us know how you spend your Valentine’s Day, below!
pet gifts Valentine's Day