Our Blog

Houseguard vs. Kennels

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Houseguard Housesitters vs. Kennels

Cat in a suitcase

Why choose in-home pet care with Houseguard

rather than Kennels?

Bags packed    Boarding passes printed  Taxi pick up scheduled

Arrangements for your pet(s) — uh oh!

Making preparations for a pet’s care during your absence can be stressful and overwhelming, not only for you, but for your pet(s) as well.

The debate ensues - which is better – an in-home pet sitter or a kennel?


The benefits to in-home pet care for you and your pet(s) are tremendous. Much of the stress they feel while you are away is eliminated by remaining in their familiar environment.

Plus we bring the added benefit of being great insurance against crime and the unexpected happening  in your home.



… ah the comforts of home …

Having  Houseguard come to care for your pet is a great way for you to have the security of knowing your pet remains the most comfortable in their own surroundings. It’s bad enough, that from their point of view, their family has run off and disappeared without warning. But at least they hasn’t lost their territory. Just having that security can make a big difference in whether your pet stresses during your absence or whether they take it in stride. Being placed in a boarding  kennel, no matter how well run, is terrifying.



Pets placed in Kennels often experience:

  • Smaller spaces than they are accustomed to
  • Loud, continuous barking  & noises from neighboring animals
  • Exposure to illness
  • An increase in stress due to the many changes
  • Constant commotion with numerous employees and upset pets
  • Limited time outside of the enclosure
  • Increased stress levels often result in a loss of appetite
  • Not enough one on one attention
  • Limited pick up and drop off times
  • Another stop to make on already busy times

Benefits to in-home pet care with Houseguard:           

  • Pets are in the comfort of their own home so they are more relaxed.
  • Your sitter learns your pets’ unique needs and temperament.
  • Your pet’s routine will remain the same bringing less stress.
  • Playtime & favorite toys and chew treats are available
  • Special dietary needs or preferences remain the same
  • No extra stops to make at already busy times
  • Your home is also cared for and will meet your specified insurance requirements.
  • Your mail, newspapers, and packages will be taken care of
  • Your plants will be watered
  • Little or no stress (including you)
  • Last but not least, your pets will be much happier and healthier!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Thank you for the exceptional service looking after our home while we were away. We appreciated meeting the sitter prior to leaving and were very pleased to see the notes that were left detailing the visits. Will definitely call Houseguard again! 

Thank you,


March 20, 2017


Gives us peace of mind and allows us to better enjoy our time away. Thank you for the great service.


February 27, 2017


Houseguard looked after my home and two cats for 4 days.  I  was so impressed with the care and attention to detail.  I felt like I, my home and my pets mattered and were important. Thank you!


March 21, 2017


Going on Vacation? Do You Know What You’ve Agreed To Do With Your Insurer?

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Going on Vacation? Do You Know What You’ve Agreed To Do With Your Insurer?

Going away? Here are some insurance tips


Your arrangements are finalized, your bags are packed, and you’ve arranged with someone to pick up the mail and clear the snow from the front walk.  You’re all set to leave, or perhaps as I’ve done many times, you’ve headed up north for a couple nights and it quickly turns into four or five. Such are the realities of living through a Canadian winter.  Everyone looks for a break from the bitter cold and dampness.


What most people don’t know, and many people in the insurance industry don’t tell you, is that you’ve made a promise to your insurer that you’ll do certain things in the event you leave home for four or more days.  It’s important to note that unlike automobile policies, there is no uniformity amongst property insurance policies.  That being said, I have yet to see a property policy without a warranty along the lines of the following:


“… We cover damage caused by water (they then go on to define what water damage is), but we do not insure loss or damage caused by freezing during the usual heating season, of any part of a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning system or “domestic water container” within a heated portion of your “dwelling” if you have been away for more than four (4) consecutive days…”


It will go on to say, “… However you would still be insured if you:


have arranged for a competent person to enter your “dwelling” each day you were away to ensure the heating was being maintained; or

– shut off the water supply and had drained all the pipes and “domestic water containers”; or

if your heating system is connected by a monitored heating alarm to a station providing twenty-four (24) hour service…”


In essence, if you’ll be away for more than four days, you need to take some steps to ensure your insurance policy remains in force.  Ideally, you need to have someone come in and check the heating of the home on a daily basis, or, alternatively, you need to drain all of your “domestic water containers” which include your hot water tank and toilets.  You would also have to drain all of your pipes.  If we’re being honest about it, I personally don’t take the second option. I just am not comfortable messing around with the plumbing system in my home.  The third option above is the one that I see used the least.  A monitored heating alarm is an additional expense and isn’t practical for most home applications.  It is more common in a commercial setting when the business operation is a temperature sensitive one (food processing facilities comes to mind).


The easiest and most practical option the insurer gives you is the first one.  Arrange for someone to check the property to ensure the heating is operating properly.  The key is you need to plan it, and be able to show you’ve taken the necessary steps if required to.  


The insurer puts this clause into the contract to protect themselves from a property being unwatched for days on end.  The longer water flows the more it will cost them in the end.  If a situation is discovered and promptly dealt with, it works out better for everyone involved.  I would suggest you get your insurance policy out, review the water damage section and the statutory conditions section to verify what your exact situation is.  If you’re unsure, contact your insurance advisor and verify exactly what your obligations are, and follow up in writing. A conversation and some planning ahead of time can be your best defense against a very stressful situation later.