Pet Sitting VS. Dog Home Boarding: The Great Debate

We’re never thrilled about leaving our pooches behind, but certain situations, like holidays abroad, dictate we must. When you can’t take your dog along for the ride, there are generally two courses of action available: pet sitting or dog home boarding.

But which option is best for our furry friends? We’re going to throw you a couple of bones, if we may, as we gauge the benefits and drawbacks of both choices…

Dog home boarding – Pros

Dog home boarding is a popular alternative to kennels, giving you peace of mind that your pup is being cared for in a comfortable environment, whether that’s a friend’s house, or that of a professional dog sitter.

It’s ideal for dogs who have had bad experiences with kennels in the past, struggle with socialising, or simply require a few home comforts – especially older animals. With dog home boarding, your pet can be taken for regular walks, plied with cuddles, kept safe and healthy, and enjoy some companionship for the days ahead.

Most top-tier services (like us!) ensure you’re totally comfortable with the boarding experience beforehand; only when you’ve had a chance to meet the carer do we ask for a deposit.


While dog home boarding may sound like a luxury escape for your pooch, it’s not suited to every animal. For starters, if your dog isn’t toilet trained, or struggles with basic obedience, you could lose your deposit in the event of an incident at your carer’s home.

Plus, even though home boarding is a much nicer alternative to kennels, it can still place a lot of stress on animals with a nervous temperament, or those who are sick or injured.

Pet sitting – Pros

Most dogs take a while to adapt to a new place; they like to sniff, sleep and feel their way around a territory. With pet sitting, a committed carer will turn up at your door – armed with treats, toys, or just an overnight bag – and stay in your home for a prescribed amount of time.

By staying dry, fed and loved in a space they recognise, any dog will be calmer, mediating their separation anxiety. The pet sitter can have as much or as little influence on the day-to-day routine of your pooch as desired: merely popping over to walk them and filling up their biscuit bowl, perhaps, or camping over for a week or two. They can even water the plants…


Depending on the levels of service you ask for, pet sitting can be pricier than dog home boarding; after all, we’re asking someone to (potentially) spend every minute with your furry pal. It also requires a much greater degree of trust; while this shouldn’t be a problem with a reputable service, like ours, some people feel uncomfortable giving strangers free roam of their home.

There isn’t a single answer to what’s preferable here; it all comes down to your personality and, of course, the needs of the Main Mutt in question. Still can’t decide on the way forward? Contact Scamps & Champs Today, or delve into our range of pet care services, each of which can be tailored to you.

Pet Sitting: An Alternative to Dog Home Boarding

Although dog home boarding can be beneficial in several ways, this option might not be the best for your pet for several reasons. For example, even though your dog will be staying in a home, it won’t be the same as staying in his/her home as the unfamiliar routine and environment may cause your pet stress.

An excellent alternative to dog home boarding is pet sitting, a pawsome service offered by Scamps and Champs.

Why consider pet sitting?

Wondering why you should opt for pet sitting? Here are some amazing benefits you should know:

  • Less stress for your pet

When you choose pet sitting for your dog, your pet is going to be staying in the comfort of his or her home where all the sights, smells, and sounds say home! Since it’s an environment they are familiar with; your pet will feel safe and secure. This will help keep your dog remain calm and relaxed while you’re away.

  • Daily routine of your pet remains uninterrupted

Pets tend to get used to set routine overtime and interrupting their routine can make them anxious and stressed. A routine includes your pet’s customized diet, medication, and exercise. Pet sitters from Scamps and Champs understand the importance of a routine and stick to it so your dog can be safe, healthy, and happy.

  • Security

It’s not unusual for many pet owners to have security concerns about their home while they’re away. Pet sitters from Scamps and Champs can help ensure your home is protected from security risk by bringing in your post, turning lights on and off, bringing in and putting out recycle bins and closing the curtains in the evening.

  • No extra travel for you

With dog home boarding, you have to travel to where the host family of your dog stays to check whether the setting is right for your dog as well as to drop them off and pick them upon your return. You might be unable to make the extra trips due to time constraints or the inconvenience it can cause. But when you choose pet sitting, you can leave your dog at home, which will help save you time.

  • No travel trauma for your pet

Some pets don’t handle traveling well as they sometimes get traumatized during the trip in the vehicle or travel sick.   Even if you do all you can to make them comfortable during the trip, there’s no guarantee that they will enjoy the experience.  With pet sitting there is no travelling involved.   

  • Pet sitting experience, license, and insurance

Since you’re planning to be out of town for a while, it’s essential to hire a professional pet sitter who is experienced, licensed, and insured. An experienced pet sitter has seen it all with dogs and knows how to handle an emergency. They also have a vast network of resources at their fingertips. Similarly, they’re licensed to operate and are fully insured.

  • Special services

Apart from caring for your dog, pet sitters can provide additional home services such as keeping the house clean, watering the plants, bringing in the mail and newspapers. You can even ask them to run errands for you while you’re gone.

  • Health concerns

Since your pet will be staying at home where they are used to, there’s minimal exposure to illness from other animals. And should your pet fall ill, you can rest assured that they will receive adequate TLC from the pet sitter.

  • Peace of mind

While you’re away, you can feel confident that your pet is in the right hands, and that your dog will be relaxed because they’re in a familiar environment. Your pet sitter will send you daily updates with photographs so you can monitor the wellbeing of your pet. This will contribute to your peace of mind and make you feel more relaxed as well.


Whether you need to go out of town urgently, take a long holiday or need some help caring for your pet because you’re unwell, a pet sitter from Scamps and Champs can help give your dog the care, love, and individualized attention he or she needs at all times.

Please do contact us if we can help in any way at all with your Pet Sitting Service Enquiries via our online form and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible. To view our full range of Pet Care Services please visit our Scamps and Champs Website.

Dog Home Boarding in Stockport

What Is Home Boarding For Dogs?

Dog home boarding is when you take your dog to the pet sitter’s home where he/she will stay while you are away.

We have a number of experienced dog carers around the Stockport area. We would carefully match your dog to a suitable dog carer and first of all we would arrange for you to take your dog to meet the dog carer and look around the home and garden. Only once you are happy will we proceed to take a deposit and confirm the booking.

While many Stockport home boarding companies look after numerous dogs at once, including their own, we have opted to provide a very personal one to one level of care where there will only ever be the dog carers own dog in the home. Many of our Stockport home boarding families don’t have a dog of their own.    They will have had extensive experience with dogs, but they may be retired now and don’t want the full-time commitment of their own dog or are not ready to get another since the loss of their own dog.

Our Stockport families are typically retired, semi-retired, work from home or are stay at home Mum’s with older children at school.   Your dog will never be left alone for longer than two to three hours maximum.

The pet sitter will care for your dog according to your specification instructions and will send you updates every day.

Scamps & Champs Stockport only look after dogs from one family at a time.   We never mix different family’s dogs together.

With dog home boarding in Stockport, your dog will get to stay in the comfort of a home rather than in kennels.

Your dog will receive plenty of one-on-one attention and will enjoy regular walks as well as lots of cuddles.

Our Stockport dog home boarders will be easy to contact and will keep you updated as to how your dog is doing with regular service reports and photographs.

All of our home boarding families have been carefully vetted, have secure gardens are covered under our company insurance policy, have been inspected by the local council and are listed on our dog home boarders’ arrangers’ licence with Stockport MBC.

Your dog will be walked and fed according to his usual routine.   We ask you to bring your dogs usual food and treats with you to minimise the risk of any tummy upsets. Your dog will never be walked off the lead unless you have given your written permission and your dog can demonstrate a solid recall.

If this sounds like the kind of Home from Home environment, you would love for your pets then we would love to hear from you and see if we can match you with one of our Stockport dog home boarding families.

How Much Does Stockport Dog Home Boarding Cost?

The cost can vary depending on how many dogs you have and how many nights you are going away for but prices start at £19.50 per day for 1 dog.

Licensed by Stockport MBC

If we can help you with a home boarding enquiry or question please do contact us via our online form. You can also find out more about our Dog Home Boarding Service via our Scamps and Champs Website.

How Do I Prepare for a Pet Sitting Visit?

So, you’ve made the pact – someone will be pet sitting your furry friend for an agreed portion of the week. You could be flying hither and thither on a work schedule, or going abroad with the family. Whatever the reason, it’s nearly time for a pet sitter to visit your home.

But what should you do in advance? How can the sitter feel informed, welcome, and familiar with the pet in question? Read on for some prep tips from Scamps & Champs Stockport…

Arrange an introductory visit

Dogs and cats rely on their sensory experience to make sense of something new. If they’ve never smelt, seen or had physical contact with your pet sitter before, it may take a while for them to feel comfortable around a stranger. We will always arrange a meet and greet session – in which your Stockport pet sitter can spend time with your pet, with you by their side, to lay the first stone of a relationship.

List any household instructions

Longer pet sitting periods will carry extra responsibility for looking after the home so write a guide for anything your Stockport pet sitter needs to know.  How often, for instance, should the plants be watered? Does a window stick more than others when you’re trying to close it? What appliances should be left on at night? Simply having these instructions written on your online profile, will ensure the handover goes smoothly.

Tidy up anything that isn’t pet-friendly

Kids’ toys, chocolate, random batteries, loose change… All of these represent a hazard for dogs, or other pets who like to chomp whatever’s in sight. You don’t want your pet sitter to comb the house in a bid to move everything out of harm’s way. So do it yourself, a day before the pet sitting is due. Further precautions may include setting up all the necessary child security gates, barring your pooch, kitty etc. from off-limits areas.

Set timers and security systems

As we’ve mentioned, a long-haul sitting schedule is about more than feeding, watering and exercising your pet. The chosen pet sitting professional will also (to an extent) guard your home from intrusion. To do this, they must have the alarm code to prevent an unwarranted emergency, as well as any timer/switch information for security lights at night. Do them an additional favour by revealing how the boiler and thermostat work, just in case they need to take the chill off your home.

Detail your pet’s fears, allergies or medicinal routine

Like people, no two are pets are ever the same. Dogs and cats are vulnerable to their own fears – the hoover, for instance, or being stroked in a certain spot on their belly. Tell the pet sitting expert about them in advance. Similarly, break down any dietary/medicinal requirements that your dog or cat may have. This should include allotted portions, the types of food they’re able to digest well, and how often it’s supposed to be topped up.

Provide Working Keys & Home Security System Details

We require access to a set of keys when you schedule your Stockport pet sitting service with us. Please ensure you try the keys first and ensure they work if you have just had new copies made. It can be common for brand new keys not to work after being freshly cut.

If you have a security alarm, be sure to update the alarm code in the pet sitter software.   This is completely safe and confidential. This will avoid any uncomfortable or stressful situations for your pet sitter once you have left. Please always leave emergency instructions should your alarm go off during the pet sitters stay. It is common for pets to trigger an alarm sensor.

Update your pet’s profiles

A successful visit with your pet begins with proper instruction from the pet parents and makes it more enjoyable for your pet. We’d rather spend time loving and caring for your pet than searching for supplies or food. In each of your pet profiles, please update:

  •  Photograph of your of Pet
  •  Pet’s Daily Routine
  •  Pet Temperament, Quirks
  •  Feeding, Allergies & Medication Instructions
  •  Where are Toys/Treats Kept?
  •  Rooms/Areas Your Pet Is Not Allowed
  •  Favourite Spots to Hang Out or Hide?
  • Anything your pets don’t like or are frightened
  • Anything they particularly enjoy
  • Veterinarian Information

By taking these precautions, you have a masterplan for pet sitting success! All that’s left is to scour the web for someone to do the job… But you don’t need to, of course, when Scamps & Champs Stockport are right here, poised to offer the best pet sitting services in Stockport.  Browse our site or speak to our team now for availability.

Best Dog Walking Places in Stockport

Stockport, Greater Manchester, is a lovely place to visit.   The place is rich in history, and there is so much to explore.   Stockport has some pet friendly hotels and there are plenty of parks for you and your best friend to enjoy dog walking in and around Stockport.

Reddish Vale Country Park

When you visit Stockport, you really have to visit the Reddish Vale Country Park.   It is a beautiful place, and the Reddish Vale Country Park is pet friendly too. It is a large place, and part of it is designated as a local nature reserve.  

There are plenty of places for you to explore with your pet.  There are many open spaces for off lead adventures.  Lovely park where you can go for a walk, to see the animals. There is also a cafe at the entrance where you can enjoy a range of hot drinks and even ice cream if the weather allows it! Family friendly park.  Fantastic routes for dog walking, including a river they can swim in.  Free car park at the visitor centre.  Beautiful walking trails.

Etherow Country Park

Etherow Country Park is another local nature reserve that is located in Compstall, Stockport.

Located in the Etherow Country Park is a mill pond as well as the, Compstall Nature Reserve, which is a 12.8-hectare area that is designated to be a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its wide variety of plants and habitats.  This beautiful place is very scenic.  Etherow Country Park also offers good facilities; with pay and display parking, Visitors centre, cafeteria and toilets at the car park and near the Weir.  Popular with anglers so you may need to keep your dog on a lead.

Cale Green Park

This park in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, is a Victorian style park that is friendly to pets.   The Edwardian park which is such a welcome feature of the Davenport / Cale Green area once was part of a working farm.  Popular with dog owners and there is a children’s play area, tennis courts and toilets.  Close to shops and parking.   Activities in the summer and a quiet place to picnic.

Woodbank Memorial Park

Woodbank Memorial Park is situated adjacent to Vernon Park, Offerton, Stockport It is ideal for a leisurely stroll in its wide open spaces.  The park connects with the River Goyt and the Goyt Way. Footpaths can lead you through Poise Brook or towards Otterspool and Bredbury. The Midshires Way and the Fred Perry Way also pass through the park.

Lovely riverside walks with a pebble “beach” area which is perfect for dogs to play.   Large open spaces, children’s play area.  Plenty of parking. Woodbank Memorial Park is home to Stockport Harriers Athletic Club.

Vernon Park, Stockport

Vernon Park is the oldest country park in Stockport.    Well maintained gardens. Extremely steep in places so keep that in mind for the elderly or wheelchair users. Lots of benches and ducks in the pond. Newly refurbished café.  Free parking. Connects to Woodbank Park.

Bramall Hall & Park

Bramhall Park is a large scenic park in the grounds of Bramall Hall. The park consists of magnificent landscaped grounds, woodland and trails. A stream runs through the park and there are large ponds for play fishing and feeding ducks.

There is a fenced off smaller children’s play area, larger childrens wooden climbing frame and picnic area plus opportunities to play bowls and boules.

The park does have many landscaped gardens that are very beautiful and scenic. Being pet friendly, you can bring your dog along to run in the parks.   Landscaped parkland with lakes, woodland, and gardens.

Fletcher Moss Park & Botanical Gardens

This area is one of the must-visit places when you are in Didsbury, Manchester.   This 21 acre park was acquired as a gift from Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1914. Renowned for their botanical beauty, the gardens contain many antiquated and unusual plants and flowers. The park has retained many of its original features such as the rock and heather gardens, and there is an Alpine house in the gardens adjacent to Fletcher Moss.

You might need a few hours to properly explore the area with your dog.   From wide areas to dedicated gardens and rivers, there are so many places for you to relax with your furry companion.

Roman Lakes

If you are making a trip to Marple, then we will strongly urge you to visit the Roman Lakes. It is a pet friendly area that allows you and your pet to have a good time exploring the area.  Walk or cycle around the lakes, have a fun run around in the play area, try canoeing or mountain biking.  Picnic area, free parking, tea rooms, toilets, kiosk selling hot and cold drinks, children’s play area.  Popular with anglers so you may need to keep your dog on a lead.

Brabyns Park

A visit to Marple will not be complete if you omit visiting Brabyns Park.   It is the largest park in Marple, and it is surrounded by the river Goyt as well as the Peak Forest Canal making it a joy for you to bring your dog along for a nice stroll in the park.

There are many activities for you and your dog to do here. You can play with your dog in the endless fields, or you can choose to lie down and have a picnic with your family and your favourite pet on the parkland or woodland. As there many open spaces, it is a prime area for dog walking.  Free parking, children’s play area, playing fields. Woodland & riverside walks; Picnic areas; Horse riding area; Car park.

Brookside Garden Centre, Poynton, Stockport

The Brookside Garden Centre is another dog friendly day out.  Family shopping attraction with garden plants and tools plus mini train rides, model shop and a dog friendly cafe.

Wyvale Garden Centre, Romiley, Stockport

Wyevale Garden Centre is a dog friendly shopping attraction with garden plants, garden furniture, pet products and much more.   There is the miniature railway which is always a huge hit with children and a dog friendly café.   Soft play centre for children inside the café area.

Alexandra Park

Alexandra Park, located at Edgeley, Stockport, is a place that dog owners love to bring their dog for walks. This is due to the big and open space that is extremely inviting for dog owners to bring along their family and dog for a lovely picnic.   Plenty of dog bins to dispose of your “doggy bag”.  Alexandra Park offers crown green bowling greens, children’s play area, tennis courts, skate park, picnic areas.  

Alexandra Park is also a popular place for anglers. They take advantage of its reservoir which offers plenty of freshwater fishing opportunities. The reservoir is also home to a diverse array of wildlife. 

Abney Hall Country Park

Abney Hall is a substantial Victorian house surrounded by a park in Cheadle, near Stockport.  Abney Hall Park provides natural woodland recreational facilities to local residents and visitors.   You can explore the wetlands, historic hall, secret pathways, ponds, waterfalls and a pet cemetery. There’s lots of wildlife to enjoy.   Free access and free parking.   Children’s play area.   Abney café.

Didsbury Park

Didsbury Park is located near several pet friendly hotels.  As such, Didsbury Park is a natural choice when it comes to bringing the dogs out for walks! It is a tranquil place that offers the owner and the dog to have a time away from the city life. Though it is not exactly a big park, there are many areas for you and your dog to have a good time. In fact, there is a rich history behind this park itself. Why not have a little chat with the locals to find out more!

Children’s play area, football pitch, bird garden, two bowling greens, picnic area and a café.   Dogs are not allowed in the bird garden, football pitch or children’s play area. Disbury Park, which holds a Green Flag’ award for excellence, is situated within easy walking distance of the many shops, restaurants, pubs that makeup Didsbury village. 

Debdale Park

Debdale Park is considered to be an inner city park, and it is one of the largest of its kind in the area.   Debdale Park is located in Gorton, Manchester.

Activities include a children’s play area, Multi use games area, skate park, tennis courts, football pitch, pitch and putt, bowling green, toilets, visitors centre and community centre. Two large reservoirs for licensed fishing.

There is also an outdoor centre with various activities including dinghy sailing, kayaking, canoeing and much more.

Free parking, off lead areas.

Haughton Dale

Sandwiched between the Peak Forest Canal in Hyde and Haughton Green, on the sometimes steep-sided Tame valley is our largest Local Nature Reserve. Haughton Dale is rich in both natural and industrial heritage on both sides of the river Tame.   This woodland walk can be accessed near the Stockport Sports Village in Woodley, Stockport.   Lovely dog walk and also popular with cyclists and horse riders.

Chadkirk Chapel & Country Estate

This pretty country park is located on the River Goyt near Marple. The estate includes a 60 acre farm, an old orchard, woodland and a 16th century chapel with an audio visual presentation on the history of the site. The Etherow Goyt Valley Way runs through the park so you can continue your walk through the beautiful Goyt Valley on this trail.

Contact Scamps and Champs Stockport about our Dog Walking and Pet Care Services using our online form and one of our team will be back in touch as soon as possible.