Tag Archives: dog walker

Boarding Your Dog: Beyond the Kennel

At some point in the future, you’ll want (or need) to go on a puppy-less vacation or business trip and have to leave your pup in another’s hands overnight. Since entrusting your beloved furry child with another caretaker can be a cause for anxiety, it’s best to avoid scrambling at the last minute and be well-prepared by doing your research and selecting a dog-sitter, kennel, or pet hotel you’re comfortable with in advance, so you know exactly who to call when you need them.

The most common concern about dog boarding is the idea of a traditional “kennel,” which consists of many caged animals in close quarters for long time periods with breaks for exercise and walks. If your dog is used to free reign of his home, being in a caged environment can be quite stressful. Other dogs are completely comfortable in a crated setting. If you’re contemplating a kennel, make sure to visit and take a tour of the facility and get answers to the following questions:

– Does the facility look and smell clean?
– Is there sufficient ventilation and light?
– Does the staff seem caring and knowledgeable?
– Are pets required to be current on all vaccinations, including the vaccine for kennel cough?
– What is the protocol and schedule for exercise and bathroom breaks – is there an indoor or outdoor dog run?
– Are cats and dogs separated?
– Is there enough space within the kennels for your dog to move around comfortably?
– How often are pets fed?
– Are there veterinary services available?
– What about other services such as grooming and bathing?
– What are the rates?

These days, there are many alternatives to the traditional kennel, which you may want to look into to determine if they’re a fit for your pooch’s needs.

At-Home Dog Boarding
Online services like Rover.com  offer at-home dog boarding at vetted homes across the country. Similar to Airbnb, dog owners can search for potential pet sitters that fit their needs based on a set of criteria such as geographic location, available dates, and type of residence (apartment vs. home). In-depth profiles of pet sitters are provided, complete with multiple reviews, specific services and of course, rates.

Hiring a House-Sitter
If you’re worried about Fido adjusting to a new environment, it may be best to hire a dog sitter who will stay at your home, ensuring your pooch’s ultimate comfort level and the familiarity of his own space. Finding a good dog sitter can be tough if you don’t already have someone in mind. Rover offers in-home sitting as well as dog walkers if your pup just needs the occasional check-in.

Hiring a Dog-Walker
thumbnail-boarding-your-dogIf your dog is either older or doesn’t require a lot of attention and his basic needs are food, water and walks, hiring a frequent dog-walker may be a good option for you. While this can be a costly option, you avoid the potential issue of someone staying overnight at your home while you’re not there, while ensuring that your pooch’s basic needs are taken care of. This may be ideal for low-anxiety dogs or dogs who are used to being home alone.

Luxury Pet Hotels or Ranches
While you’re on vacation, your pup could be vacationing too! If money is no object, you may want to put your pup up in style with all the creature comforts. There are many pet hotels, resorts and ranches popping up that offer more than just your basic boarding needs. Luxury accommodations like these promote “cage-free” environments where your dog can enjoy amenities such as single suites equipped with real human-like beds, televisions and WiFi-enabled cameras so owners with mobile phones can check on their dogs anytime and from anywhere, day spa services, camp activities and access to acres of land to run free and socialize.

Careers and Canines: Tips for Dog-Owning Working Professionals

Time is often an important factor taken into consideration when making the decision to bring a dog into your home– time to train the dog, time to bond with the dog, and time for essential upkeep and daily care. So, does that mean working professionals can’t or shouldn’t have dogs? Definitely not! Many people worry that if they work full time, they won’t have enough time to care for a dog. The truth is, there are many happy, healthy dogs that live with working professionals. With the proper planning and arrangements, full-time employees can have furry best friends, too. To aid in the appropriate preparation, we’ve broken down the various considerations for busy employees to make the puppy adoption process smooth and easy.

Daycare or Dog-sitting Services: Because most people don’t have the option of bringing their furry friend to work, other plans need to be made for your pup while you’re out of the house. Dogs are social animals, and don’t generally enjoy spending long periods of time alone. Thus, the best option is to look for some type of doggy daycare or dog walking service, so your dog has people and other dogs to spend time with while you’re gone. Break up your dog’s day by having someone visit him at home, or drop him at a daycare center on your way to the office each day – there is no “right” way, so figure out which option works best for your lifestyle, budget, and schedule. You might also be able to rely on a trusted friend or family member to help out on certain days to save money and avoid using a professional service. Regardless, make sure you solidify a routine so that your dog gets used to his caretaker and environment. Switching things up too frequently can cause confusion and anxiety for your pup.

Bathroom Arrangements: Most pups can’t go all day without using the bathroom and will need to relieve themselves multiple times throughout the day. At a minimum, offering the dog the opportunity to go outside 2-3 times a day is ideal. Whether installing a doggy door or hiring a dog walker to let the dog out, by providing outdoor bathroom breaks, you will ensure the dog’s comfort as well as prevent accidents and promote cleanliness of the home. Do not leave your dog in a crate all day, because they may grow accustomed to wetting the bed and won’t learn to ever do their business outdoors. If you cannot install a doggy door or hire a dog walker, the best alternative to crating is to puppy-proof one room in your home, and confine your dog to a small space within the room with a gate or barricade while you’re out. Many people use the kitchen, because the tile floors are easy to wipe clean.

Distractions and Keeping Puppy Busy: Once you have a room ready for your pup, make sure to give him something to do while you’re gone. Otherwise, the dog will grow bored and anxious waiting for you to return, and will likely get into trouble trying to keep himself busy. Chew toys or long-lasting bones are suggested to prevent the dog from chewing on furniture or valuables. For example, fill a Kong toy with soaked and mashed dog biscuits or peanut butter and freeze it. Give the delicious toy to your pup when you leave and it will keep him happy for quite some time! Some dogs also enjoy the sound of the television or radio to keep them company while they’re home alone. Remember, bored dogs are noisy and destructive dogs, so find what works for your pooch to make sure he is as busy and quiet as possible in your absence.

career-thumbnailDog-Friendly Workplaces: If you are lucky enough to work for a company with a dog-friendly office policy, you have a slightly different set of issues to consider. First, will there be other dogs at work in addition to yours? If this is the case, make sure your dog is socialized and gets along well with other pups. Often, dogs need specialized socialization training in order to ensure they interact safely with fellow pooches, so keep in mind it might take a bit of work (and patience) to perfect your pup’s manners before letting them clock in alongside you. In addition to other dogs, your pup will also encounter people he has never met before, so he must also be able to socialize politely with human strangers in order to safely spend the day with you at the office. Other questions to ask yourself before introducing Fido to the 9-5: What is your dog’s energy level and personality like? Will you have the opportunity to take multiple breaks throughout the day to let the dog out? Is your dog independent and quiet enough for you to be just as productive as if he were not at your side?

Every dog and every family is different. You might have to do a little bit of research and trial and error to find what works for you and your dog, but being a working professional doesn’t have to limit you from enjoying the company of a canine friend!