Navigation

Things to Consider Before You Get A Pet This Christmas

Cute pets wearing Santa Hats

Should You Really Get Pet This Christmas?

It seems perfect, right? The family has been talking about getting a pet why not surprise them? The kids need more responsibility, a pet would be the perfect way to give them that. But it’s not always perfect. Here are some things to consider before you get a pet this Christmas.

#1. Does Everyone Want A Pet?

Before you set out to get a pet you might want to make sure everyone is on board with the idea. Everyone should also agree on what kind of pet your family might want. While you are thinking of a cute little kitten, your family is thinking more along the lines of a Golden Retriever.

#2.  Aren’t you Already Busy?

Christmas is a very busy time of year for everyone. There is shopping to do, presents to wrap, parties to attend, and family to entertain. And what about after the holidays? There is work, school events, afterschool programs, and so much more. Puppies and kittens require a lot of work! Are you going to able to add that to your schedule? Puppies need training, playtime and frequent potty breaks. Kittens need playtime too, as well as training (yes, I said training). Routine is important for any animal, so make sure you can keep your pet on a regular schedule before you get a pet this Christmas.

#3. Holiday Visitors

Christmas is a particularly hectic time with family and friends dropping by to celebrate and exchange gifts. Your doors will continually be opening and closing. This is the perfect opportunity for your new puppy or kitten to get lost in the shuffle of Christmas celebrations.

#4. Cost

Those cute little furry kittens and puppies can cost a lot of money, so make sure you take all costs into consideration before adding a puppy or kitten to your home. Here are a few things to think about:

Veterinary care – From initial vaccinations to monthly heartworm treatment. There is also the accident or illness that may happen. And don’t forget your pet requires a yearly check-up just like you.

Supplies – There’s food, toys, beds, carriers, treats, leashes, bowls, collars and so much more.

Daily care – If you decide to get a puppy what will you do with that puppy every day that you are at work and the kids are in school? Puppies need to get out to go potty and eat in the middle of the day. If you can’t come home during the day, you will have to hire a dog walker to come in to care for your puppy while you are at work. Kittens also need a lot of personal interaction and feedings, so unless you already have other pets in the house and open feeding your kitten will need attention during the day also. A pet sitter is a great way to socialize your kitten as well as provide much-needed playtime and food.

This list only scratches the surface of the costs that can arise.

#5. Are You in It For the Long Haul?

So you get a pet this Christmas, but it will be with you for many Christmases to come. A dog or cat is a long-term commitment. Our shelters are overflowing as it is and after the holidays it gets worse. Pets are not something to play with on Christmas break and the discard at the animal shelter when it gets too difficult or costly.

Cats and dogs can live for 20+ years. Are you willing to make that commitment? What are your future plans? Are you moving? Traveling? Planning a family? How will your pet fit into your life not only now, but in the future?

#6. Do You Have Other Pets?

Before you get a pet this Christmas, take the pets you already have into consideration? Christmas time is very stressful for everyone, including your pets. It might be a good idea to wait until after the holidays, when everything has calmed down, before adding another pet to your family. How will your current pets accept a new pet into the family? Remember, most of your pet care costs are going to double when you add another pet to the family.  

Final Thoughts

If you have decided to get a pet this Christmas, please consider adopting from your local rescue or animal shelter after the Christmas holiday. This will give your pet time to adjust to its new environment and you will be saving a life. Millions of unwanted pets are euthanized each year across the United States. These unwanted pets are wonderful animals (I know I have six) who just need a family to love them. Most rescues and shelters offer gift certificates and you can make it a fun family outing after the holidays, while still giving the kids something to open on Christmas day.

How can Dances with Dogs help? Our Professional Pet Services can take some of the pressure off your busy schedule as well as help you with training your new dog or cat. Contact us!

 

 

 

 

The Key Lock box: Convenience or Asking for Trouble

close up of combination lock with numbers 987

A key lock box may leave your home vulnerable

It seems the new fad for pet sitting and dog walking companies is to offer their clients a key lock box so that the company doesn’t have to bother with client keys any longer, but what is the risk to your home and pet?

What is a Key Lock Box?

A key lock box is a small metal box that can be attached to your door or home. It is equipped with a combination that opens the box. Inside you are supposed to place the key to your home for easy access. It is the same thing that realtors use for houses they are trying to sell. The big difference is most homes with a lock box are empty.

How Secure is a Key Lock Box?

I did a little research and I found several YouTube videos with step by step instructions on how to break into a lock box. All the thief needs are a pair of scissors, an aluminum can and a little knowledge. The thief can break into that lock box in less than three minutes. Once the thief does that he or she has the key to your home where he or she can let themselves in to not only steal from you but either harm, steal or release your beloved pets.

But I live in a Secure Building.

A secure building does help, but these building also have workers coming in and out. If someone is adept at breaking into lock boxes it won’t take them very long before they have your keys in hand. And while a lot of these building have security cameras, someone intent on getting in and out of your apartment or condo without being caught on camera is going to do just that. Why give them extra help by providing them with a key?

Why We Decided against them

When I was selling my mother’s home our real estate agent would not put a lock box on the door because she felt that it would make my mother’s home vulnerable. There were still items inside the home. I’m sure a lock box would be fine for a realtor who wants to sell an empty house but are you willing to take that chance with your home and pets. I know I wouldn’t be.

From the very beginning Dances with Dogs has taken the security of our clients’ homes very seriously and that is why we will not be jumping on the lock box train unless the technology improves considerably.

What is your thought on the key lock box?

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

dog wearing bee costume

Halloween safety tips that will help you keep your pets safe and calm.

Halloween is right around the corner and while we are planning what costume we will wear and what treats we will be handing out we also need to think about our pets. Here are a few Halloween safety tips for your pets.

Walk with Care

The Halloween decorations start showing up on our neighbor’s lawns a month before Halloween. Some of these decorations can be very scary for our dogs. Whether it’s an inflatable skeleton riding a motorcycle or a giant inflatable pumpkin, for our dogs those things can be terrifying. This is the time to make those walks as positive as possible. If your dog is too stressed out by those novel Halloween decorations it might be wise to skip your walk until the decorations are gone or contact a professional dog trainer who can show you how to make those decorations less scary for your dog.

Six children in costumes trick or treating at woman's house

Keep your pets away from open doors. People in costume can be scary for your pets.

Keep Them Calm and Secure

Halloween can be a very stressful time for our pets. Doorbells are ringing, there are lots of knocks at the door, there are strange people coming to the door dressed in costume, children are yelling “Trick or Treat!”. It’s all very stressful on our pets. The best thing you can do for your pets on this stressful night is put them in another room with the door closed and either turn on a radio, television or white noise machine. Do not leave your pets outside.

Identification

While you want to keep your pets confined and away from open doors accidents happen. Make sure your pets are wearing a collar with an identification tag attached. Collars can get lost, so your pet should also be microchipped.

Tire Them Out

Before the Halloween festivities begin, get your dog out for a nice run or game of fetch in the backyard. Breakout your cat’s favorite toy and get them playing. By tiring your pet out, you should be able to reduce some of their stress.

Ceramic pumpkin filled with Halloween Candy

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets Include Keeping All Candy Safely Out of Reach.

Keep Candy Out of Reach

Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, rapid breathing, and even death. The darker the chocolate the more toxic to your pets it will be.

Xylitol is found in many types of candy and gum. Xylitol can cause liver failure, a drop in blood sugar, and seizures in dogs. If you suspect your pets have ingested chocolate or any candy it is best to be safe and get them to the veterinarian.

two bernese mountain dogs dressed up like clowns on white background

Have “dress rehearsals” if you want to dress up your pets for Halloween.

Let’s Play Dress Up

Not all pets like to be dressed in costume. If you want your pet to wear a costume on Halloween practice “dress rehearsals” before the big day. When getting your pet used to wearing a costume make it a positive experience and if they are uncomfortable, don’t force it.

Are Your Pets Ready for Halloween? We Would Love to See Pictures of Your Pets in Costume!

 

 

All About the Pit Bull

Blond pit bull close-up

October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month. Here is why we love the breed.

Pit Bull Terriers have been getting a bad rap (pun intended) for a very long time, but why? There are so many falsehoods about the breed that have been told for so long that it has become hard to separate fact from fiction.

The breed was originally brought to the United States in the mid to late 1800’s with their British immigrant owners. Around that time the breed was named the Pit Bull Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The term “Pit Bull” refers to dogs with the same physical characteristics and personality traits. These include the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and dogs that are mixes of both.

Personality

Pit bulls are active and intelligent, playful and funny. Their intelligence can get them into trouble. Once they set their mind to something they give it everything they’ve got. So, if your dog is determined to scale your 6-foot fence then be prepared. Pit bulls don’t usually throw in the towel.

Trainability

Because of their intelligence, they are quick to respond to training. Their intelligence is also the reason you should start training your pit bull as soon as possible. Since pit bulls can be unfriendly to other dogs if not properly socialized at a young age, once your puppy has the proper vaccinations a group obedience class or puppy class can be a great way to expose your pit bull to other dogs.

Exercise Requirements

Pit bulls generally require a good amount of exercise, so if you are a couch potato a pit bull may not be the right dog for you. If your dog does not get enough exercise they will find their own way to expend that excess energy and you may not like the results, so get your pit bull out for some daily exercise.

Grooming Requirements

Because the Pit Bull has a short coat, grooming is easy. A daily brushing with a rubber curry brush, followed by a quick wipe down with a clean cloth will remove the dead hair and skin cells and stimulate the natural oils in your dog’s coat, leaving your Pit Bull’s coat looking healthy and shiny.

Breed Specific Legislation

Unfortunately, many cities have banned the breed. This breed-specific legislation bans all dogs of a certain breed regardless of each individual dog’s temperament. The fact is, any dog can bite from the smallest chihuahua to the largest St. Bernard and these breed bans are, in my opinion, unfair and ineffective. Thousands of dogs are euthanized each year, just because they are a certain breed. Most of these dogs are not dangerous and have no history of aggression.

If you are in a city where Pit Bulls are legal, and you want a smart, charming, funny, energetic dog that requires a lot of exercise, but little grooming then consider the Pit Bull.

Do You Have A Pit Bull in Your Life? Please Let Us Know Why You Love Your Pit Bull.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Dog Syndrome: What It Is and Why You Should Care

close up of a black dog on a black background.

A black dog is less likely to get adopted.

October 1st is National Black Dog Day, but thousands of black dogs sit in shelters across the country overlooked and unadopted. How could that be? Black dogs are just as wonderful as white dogs, or brown dogs, or grey dogs or fawn colored dogs or spotted dogs. Could it be Black Dog Syndrome?

What is Black Dog Syndrome?

I remember speaking with a friend who does dog rescue a few years back. She was out with a beautiful black lab mix puppy. I asked about the puppy and she proceeded to tell me that he had just been returned to her because the adopter’s husband felt the dog had the mark of the devil because he was black. I was stunned. Here was a beautiful, smart puppy who was returned because he was a certain color!

This is part of Black Dog Syndrome.

According to a study done by petfinder.com less-adoptable dogs are listed on their site four times longer than other dogs. What dogs are considered less-adoptable dogs? Senior dogs, dogs with special needs and black dogs. This survey included other pets too.

Why Does Black Dog Syndrome Happen?

While there is no clear proof as to why Black Dog Syndrome happens, it may as simple as the features of black dogs are harder to see, so they look unfriendly. I know that I have more difficulty taking pictures of black dogs than I do taking pictures of lighter dogs. Black, in general, is often equated with evil and bad luck. Look at the villains in old Western movies, they wear the “black hat” while the hero of the movie wears the “white hat”. Then there is black magic. Let’s face it, some people tend to associate black with bad.

What Can You Do?

Well, you could adopt a black dog, but if that is not an option to spread the word. Tell your friends and family about Black Dog Syndrome. If people are aware of the issue they can work to fix it. It may just be that you tell someone who was just getting ready to add a dog to their family and now they are on an active hunt to make that new family member a black dog. Awareness works! If you are a great photographer, volunteer at your local shelter to take pictures and show black dogs in a different light. When your local shelters post pictures of black dogs up for adoption, share those pictures on social media.

 

Disaster Preparedness for Your Pets

Blacktop road with yellow are you ready wording.

Disaster preparedness should include your pets. Are you Ready?

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. What most of us think about when we think about disaster preparedness is how do I keep my family safe? How many days of food and water should we have? How much water do we need per person? What important papers do we need to keep with us? What should we take with us if we need to evacuate?

You have prepared for your human family, but what about your pets? Here are a few things to help your disaster preparedness for your pets.

Identification

All dogs and cats should wear a collar and identification tag. It is a good idea to put more than one phone number on the tag if possible, in case you lose your cell phone. Pets can escape if your home is damaged or if you must evacuate and your pet gets scared and bolts out of an open door.

Microchip

Collars come off for a variety of reasons, so it is a good idea to have your pets microchipped as well. Make sure your information is up to date with the microchip company.

Pet Rescue Sticker

Some emergencies require you to leave your home in a hurry and scared pets can be difficult to locate. A pet rescue sticker will notify rescue workers that there are pets in your home. This sticker should be placed where it is very visible and should be updated to include current pets in your home.

Pet-Friendly Places to Stay

If you must evacuate with your pets you will need a pet-friendly place to go. Don’t wait until the last minute to try and find a place to evacuate to with your pets. Not all emergency shelters accept pets and once the pet-friendly shelters are full they cannot take in any more people and their pets. Some boarding facilities and veterinarians will board your pets during a natural disaster, but if they are under mandatory evacuation you will once again be looking for a place for your pets. These facilities also fill up fast, so make arrangements well ahead of time. You can also talk to friends and family that are out of harm’s way and close enough to get to, ask if they will take your pets. If you want to keep your pets with you, here is a list of pet-friendly hotel chains.

Who Near You Can Help?

If the disaster happens while you are away from home who can you call to help you with your pets? Choose someone who lives near to you that will be able to get into your home and evacuate your pets if you can’t.

Have an Emergency Kit for Each Pet

Each of your pets should have an emergency kit that includes the following:

  • Carrier – If you need to evacuate your pet you will need a way to contain them and easily move them. If you are going to stay in your home you should still contain your pets, in case your home is damaged.
  • Collar or harness and Leash – While your dog or cat should always be wearing identification, you should have an additional collar with identification in case the collar your pet is wearing should break or get lost. An extra leash should always be on hand.
  • Food and Water – You should have a week’s worth of food for each of your pets. This should be stored in airtight containers and stored with the rest of your evacuation items. If you feed dry food, make sure you change out the food every two months to prevent spoilage. Canned food should be changed out every three months. There is a possibility that authorities will declare the water unsafe to drink. Make sure that you have enough water for everyone including your pets.
  • Litter and Pans – If you are evacuating it might be easier to have several disposable litter pans that you can take with you. Make sure you purchase the pans that have the litter included. If you are going to be staying home have enough litter for at least one week and store in an elevated area where it will not get wet.
  • Pet First-Aid Kit – There are some great pet first aid kits on the market, but always check with your veterinarian to ensure your kit is complete. Your vet may suggest some items that are not included in a commercially available kit.
  • Medication – Plan to have at least two weeks’ worth of your pet’s prescription medication. Your pet should be up to date on heartworm and flea and tick preventative too. If their next dose is looming near make sure you have those mediations on hand also.
  • Photographs of your pets – If your pet gets lost you want to be able to post their picture on lost pet sites and make lost pet posters quickly. This is also important so that you can provide proof of ownership if your pet is found.
  • Vaccination records – You will want to have proof that your pets are vaccinated.
  • Small pets – If you have small pets such as gerbils or hamsters make sure you have enough extra bedding for their cages. Be sure to take a water bottle for them.
  • Birds – Depending on the weather, have a misting bottle on hand to keep your bird cool in warmer weather. You may need extra blankets to cover their cage if the weather is cooler. Having a catch net and heavy towel or blanket on hand is a good idea.

Are your pets prepared for a disaster? Share your disaster preparedness plans with us. We would love to hear how you have prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

Destructive Behavior in Dogs: Causes and Solutions

Golden retriever ripping up bed

Destructive behavior comes in many forms.

Chewing, digging and playing are all very normal behaviors for dogs, but sometimes they can get out of hand and become destructive behaviors. One of our dogs destroyed two sofas in a day. Any destructive behavior can be very frustrating, but there are things you can do to help your dog and correct these behaviors.

Why is your dog destructive?

There are several causes for destructive behavior. Here are a few of the more common ones.

  • Separation anxiety – This cause deserves to be at the top of the list as it probably the most common reason a dog exhibits destructive behavior. Dogs with separation anxiety can exhibit behaviors such as tearing through walls, urinating and defecating in the house, excessive vocalizing, and other destructive behaviors. These dogs are so attached to their families that they frantically greet their owners when they return home and may follow their owners from room to room. There are a lot of reasons for a dog having separation anxiety from a death in the family (human or another pet) to a move to a new home. 
  • Boredom – if your dog is not getting enough social interaction or exercise her or she may expend that excess energy on your furniture.
  • Teething – If your puppy is chewing on things it shouldn’t be, it may be because they are teething and their gums are painful. Chewing can relieve the discomfort.
  • Attention-getting – Sometimes negative attention is better than no attention. If you are not reinforcing your dog for being good, but reprimanding your dog for being bad, your dog may be being destructive just to get attention from you.
  • Fear – If your dog is afraid of loud noises such as fireworks or thunderstorms your dog may be trying to escape which can be destructive. Besides your doors, walls, windows and door frames being damaged this can be particularly dangerous for your dog. A panicked dog that is trying to escape can be severely injured.
  • Barrier frustration – Some dogs, like some people, don’t like to be confined to small spaces. So, if you are confining your dog to a crate, bathroom or laundry room they may be destroying things because of being confined in such a small space. Dogs with separation anxiety are prone to dislike being confined.
  • Investigating – Dogs investigate by using their mouths and paws. Your dog’s destructive behavior may be caused by him or her checking out something new or unfamiliar to them.
  • Playing – Your dog’s normal play behavior may result in damaging objects. Dogs love to dig, chew, run, shred, but they may be shredding your sofa, chewing your shoes, or digging up your garden.
  • Hungry – If you are inconsistent in feeding your dog you may have a dog who is destroying things because they are hungry and in the search for food.
  • Not feeling well – Just as with teething puppies an adult dog with gum issues may take to chewing to alleviate the discomfort. Dogs with pica will eat non-food items. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian. 

What you can do to help curb your dog’s destructive behavior:

For dogs who are bored or left alone for long periods of time you can hire a dog walker to come in while you are away. A professional dog walker knows how to alleviate the boredom and give your dog some much-needed exercise and mental stimulation.

If your dog is destructive because they are not getting enough exercise, get out there and walk or play with your dog. If you don’t have the time you can hire a professional dog walker or pet sitter to come in and tire your dog out. A tired dog is a better-behaved dog.

Keep your dog on a regular feeding schedule to help prevent him or her trying to make their own meals.

If you have a teething puppy make sure you are providing enough appropriate things for them to chew on.

For more serious issues such as separation anxiety, fears or phobias please consult with an animal behaviorist.

And if you suspect your dog’s destructive behavior is caused by a medical issue please consult your veterinarian.

Does your dog exhibit destructive behavior? Contact us for more information on our dog and puppy training as well as our dog exercise programs.

You Can Prevent a Disaster: A Step by Step Guide for Teaching Your Dog to Wait at the Door

Dog in front on door with leash resting on paws.

Teaching your dog to wait at the door may one day save their life.

You are running late and need to leave for work. You say goodbye to your beloved pooch and open the front door to leave. Just then your pup gets a twinkle in his or her eye and out the door they bolt with you running behind them yelling for them to come back, pleading with them to come back, begging them to come back, but your adorable dog is playing keep away and catch me if you can. Ugh! You are going to be late for work, again! If only you have gotten out the door faster! But wouldn’t a better way be that your dog had waited at the door and never went through unless he or she was granted permission to do so? Teaching your dog to wait at the door will not only help you get to work on time but may save your dog’s life.

Here is a Step by Step Guide to Teaching Wait at the Door:

Start working on this exercise when you have time. Do not start working on this when you are in a hurry, you are distracted, you are stressed, or your dog needs a walk or potty break.

Step One

Peron with a dog on leash at a door.

Start with your dog on a leash when teaching them to wait at the door.

You will start teaching wait at the door with your dog on a leash. Have him or her sit at the door and slowly turn the doorknob. If your dog continues to sit open the door slowly, an inch or two at a time. If your dog gets up and moves towards the door, take your hand off the knob or close the door and try again. Be careful when you are closing the door that you do not close it on your dog. You want to keep your training sessions short and end on a high note, so if your dog will sit and wait at the door while you turn the doorknob, give him or her a release word such as “okay” or “let’s go” and take them for a nice walk. Unless your dog does not enjoy walks, the act of taking him or her for a walk should be reward enough.

When you get back from your walk you can have another short wait at the door training session. Make sure you use your release word and take another short walk.

Step Two

Step two is the same as step one, but just a little more difficult for your dog. Open the door a little wider and ask your dog to “wait” for a second or two. If your dog gets up, make sure you close the door and try again. If your dog stays put for a second or two use your release word “okay and take your dog through the door and for a quick walk. When your dog can wait at the door without trying to walk through the door a minimum of four out of five tries you can proceed to make it even more difficult with the exercises in Step Three.

Step Three

Now you will challenge your dog by opening the door even wider. Work on this until you can have the door fully open and your dog will not attempt to go through unless you give him or her the release word.

Dog in crate with the door open,

Teaching wait at the door can be used to teach your dog to wait in their crate.

This is only the beginning! Work on this behavior with your dog exiting their crate and your car. And just because your dog knows to wait at your front door doesn’t mean he or she will know to wait at your back door, so you will need to work in different locations within your home too. You will also need to work on how long your dog will wait at the door and you will want to proof for distractions. It’s great that your dog will wait at the door when there is nothing going on, but will he or she wait if another dog walks by? You will also want everyone in your home to work with the dog. Your dog may wait at doors for you, but not your spouse.

While having a polite dog who waits at doors is wonderful, it could also save your dog’s life. A dog that knows to wait at the door is at less risk of getting lost or bolting into traffic.

Have you tried this exercise? What is your biggest challenge? Let us know!

 

Lost Pet Prevention: 7 Tips for Protecting Your Pet

Lost dog poster on light post

Lost Pet poster.

July is Lost Pet Prevention Month. It only takes a second for one of our beloved pets to get away from us and become lost. Here are 7 tips for keeping your pet safe so that you can prevent having to go through the heartache of losing your precious pet.

1. Entryways

Always make sure doors and windows are secure. It only takes a second for your beloved pet to slip out of a door that wasn’t properly latched or an open window. Teach your dog to wait at doorways until released. By teaching this valuable cue you could prevent your dog from walking or running out the door and becoming a lost pet before you even realize he or she is gone. Ask your friends and family to be quick when entering and exiting your home so that doors do not have to be open for too long.

2. Gates and Fences

Before you let your dog in your yard make sure all gates are closed and latched. It a good idea to do periodic checks of your fence perimeter to look for holes or gaps your dog could slip under or through. And never leave your dog in the yard unattended. 

3. Collars and Harnesses 

Avoid a Lost Pet, make sure your dog has a properly fitting collar with an identification tag.

Make sure your dog’s collar or harness fits properly. A loud noise or aggressive dog could cause your dog to panic and back out of his or her collar or harness. Always keep a firm grip on the leash when out for a walk.

4. Recall

Teach your dog to come when called. This could save your dog’s life in numerous situations, but if your dog does get away from you a good recall could prevent your dog from running away and getting lost.

5. Seatbelts and Crates

Avoid a lost pet when transporting to your veterinarian or groomer. Secure your pet in a crate when in the car.

Always have your pet secured in a crate when transporting him or her to the vet or groomer. If you have a large dog, you can secure them in a harness that attaches to your car’s seatbelt. Pets can find travel stressful and if they accidentally get loose in a strange environment they may startle and run. 

6.Identification

If your dog or cat does get loose it is important for them to have identification so that you can get your lost pet back to you as quickly as possible. Your pets should have a collar with an ID tag attached. But tags come loose, and collars come off and get lost so your pet should also be microchipped. Read our blog on microchipping to learn more about this invaluable form of identification.

7. Proof of Ownership

If your lost pet is found, you will probably be required to show proof of ownership. Having your pet’s records and a few photos of you with your pet will go a long way to you getting your pet back quickly.

Contact us to learn more about teaching your dog to wait at the door and come when called.

Choosing a Dog Walker? 5 things to Look For and Consider

Dog waiting and begging to go for a walk with the dog walker.

Is your dog left at home for long periods of time because you work long hours, you have a long commute, or because you are often asked to stay late? Or maybe you would like to stay at work later to work on that well-deserved promotion. No matter your reason you have decided you need to hire a dog walker to come in and give your dog a much-needed potty and some exercise break during the time you are at work. But how do you go about choosing a Dog Walker that is right for you? Here are 5 things to consider.

1. Are they a professional Dog Walker?

A lot of people offer to walk dogs to earn some extra cash, but are they true professionals? Do they have the availability you will need? What happens if they are unable to fulfill their commitment to walk your dog? Do they have an emergency plan in place?

Another thing to consider when choosing a dog walker is do they know how to handle emergency situations when walking your dog? Do they know what to do if they encounter an off-leash dog? Do they know how to keep your dog safe during hot summer walks? Will they be able to manage if your dog should become ill? Have they had any formal pet first aid/CPR instruction?

A lot of people love dogs, but not everyone can be a dependable, skilled Dog Walker.

2. Are They Online?

There are so many ways to check out a company. Read reviews from some of their clients via review sites, such as Angie’s List.

Do they have a professional presence on social media? What kind of information are they writing about and sharing?

Visit the website of the company you are considering. Do they make contacting them easy?

3. Ask Your Friends and Family Who Their Dog Walker Is.

Dog walking with a dog walker.

You most likely know someone who has a dog. Who do they use to walk their dog? If they love their Dog Walker they will be happy to share their experiences.

This is also a great way to find out what dog walking services their dog walker offers and why they chose to use that company.

If your friends

4. Can You Call and Talk to Someone?

What better way to start learning about a business than picking up the phone and talking to someone. It will give you a chance to not only learn about the people working for the company but also learn about what services they offer.

The initial contact with a company will give you a good indication of what you can expect in the future. 

5. What Types of Walks Do They Offer?

Professional Dog Walker Exercising Dogs In Park

Dog Walkers may offer group walks as well as private walks. While it is lovely to think of your dog out with a group of his or her friends on a group walk, it may not be a situation your dog is comfortable being in. If your dog is not the social type, walking with a group of dogs may not be fun for them. You should consider your dog’s comfort level around other dogs.

Private walks give your dog more one-on-one attention. If your dog is not the social type, private walks may better suit them. On a private walk, your dog will be able to go at his or her pace, taking time to take in the scents along the way. Getting a chance to sniff is very important to your dog’s health and well-being.

Contact us to learn more about our commitment to providing you and your dog with the highest standard of service and care.