Importance of Puppy Visits

Pet owners who have recently adopted (or purchased) a puppy might want to contact a pet sitting or dog walking service to arrange puppy visits. Professionals provide these in-home visits to help puppies adjust to their new surroundings and relieve the burden of care noticed by their owners.

During a puppy visit, a dog walker will spend around 30 minutes with the animal. During this time, a great deal of socialization takes place so that the puppy will learn to interact well with others. Some dog sitters also provide limited training during one of these sessions. The dog will also be walked on a leash if possible and given fresh food and water.

There are a number of benefits to scheduling puppy visits:

  • Makes Housebreaking Easier
  • Relieves Separation Anxiety
  • Prepares Dog for Being Walked on a Leash
  • Avoid Messes due to Accidents or Chewing

Another advantage of puppy visits is they are private. Puppies are not taken around other dogs, so there is no need to worry about them being harmed by an aggressive animal. Since puppies have not yet had all their shots, it also prevents them from contracting an illness caused by exposure to a sick animal.

Most pet sitters recommend puppy visits continue until dogs are around four months of age. After that time, they may be old enough to go to doggy day care centers because they will be mature enough for socialization at that point. It will also be easier for them to walk on a leash, which means they can be taken to places where they are likely to encounter other pets and their owners without worry.

Pet owners should use caution when choosing a provider for puppy visits. One of the best ways to find a reliable sitter is by asking a veterinarian to recommend one. If possible, individuals should also check references and spend some time getting to know the sitter before hiring him or her. By choosing the right provider, pet parents can make sure their puppies are well cared for during routine visits.

Photo: Flickr

An Overview of Pet Taxi Services

Working pet owners who have difficulty getting their animals to and from their appointments might want to rely on a pet taxi service to help them. This service is normally provided by a dog walker or sitter in order to get animals to a groomer or veterinarian. Pet taxi services can be used for any animal, but are most common with dogs and cats.

The way it works is that a pet taxi service will pick up an animal and then put it into a vehicle so it can be transported. When transporting cats, the courier service will need to have a cat carrier that can be secured with a seatbelt. For dogs, drivers can either restrain them in a dog kennel or with a harness designed especially for dogs. That way, the animals are sure to remain safe while they are being driven from one location to the next.

A good pet taxi service will be bonded and insured so the pets’ medical expenses will be taken care of in the event of an accident. This is extremely important, as regular automobile insurance does not normally cover medical expenses for pets. Pet owners who are considering a pet taxi service should make sure the provider has additional insurance coverage above and beyond a standard operator’s policy.

Before offering pet taxi service, a dog walker should consider what level of service he or she would like to provide. Some pet taxi services not only pick up pets from their residences, but wait for them at the veterinarian or groomer as well. They might then take them back home whenever the appointment is over. Others will simply drop a pet off and allow the animal’s owner to pick the pet up on the way home from work. The level of service provided can depend on the dog walker’s schedule and the needs of the individual customer.

Adding pet taxi services can be an excellent way for dog walkers to diversify their businesses. Those who take the plunge are likely to find there is a great deal of demand for those willing to perform these time-saving services.

National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and every dog lover can make this a special month for a shelter dog. The aim of this is to encourage people to adopt shelter dogs, rather than purchase them from pet stores or elsewhere. This helps dogs everywhere find homes filled with long-lasting love. and helps people find meaningful friends to spend quality time with.

The purpose of this special designation is also to help educate people as to what kind of dog they should adobt, how they should take care of it, where to find an adoptable pet, and many other things. There are many breeds of dogs out there, and it’s important to match what you need to the kind of dog. This helps creates stronger, long-lasting relationships.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) encourages dog owners to participate in the spay-and-neuter program, as well. This helps keep pets safe, encourages the owner to keep their pets longer, keeps the pets healthier, and results in more quality time spent together.

The concept behind Adopt a Shelter Dog month is truly quite simple: Adopting a pet from the shelter helps keep strays off the streets, which has many social benefits.  It also discourages cruel “puppy-mill” practices, which sometimes are detrimental to the physical and mental health of dogs. Since puppy-mills often don’t take into account the animal’s well-being, negligence is often the case.

Adoption can give a person their best friend. One can come home from a long day’s work to be greeted by a friendly, furry face. Or you can take them on ability competitions, which is great fun for everyone. Or they can help you do animal-assisted therapy. There are many opportunities that adoption can create, and these are just a few of them.

The best possible way to help with the Adopt a Shelter Dog program is to simply adopt a dog from a local animal shelter. So many wonderful and amazing things result from this one, simple, caring and loving act. Taking a pet home today could have a profound impact on your life, and will certainly be a positive impact.

Here are some resources for you if you want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter:

You are also encouraged to visit your local animal rescue organization or animal shelter to see if they have any dogs (or cats) available to adopt. You will not only be helping a beautiful animal, but you will be adding a member to your family.

Dog About Town

Dog About Town provides morning and afternoon off-leash dog walking adventures. Your pooch will get the exercise and socialization they need in a fun and safe environment, while enjoying one of the many beautiful East Bay Parks. Each group will play for a good hour before returning home happy and tired. You’ll receive photos and stories on a regular basis, so you know what your dog is up to during the day. Dog About Town is a Licensed, Bonded, and Insured Oakland dog walker.

Learn How to Walk a Dog

Anyone who owns a dog can tell you that it can be frustrating to teach a dog how to walk on a leash, especially if the dog is a young puppy or an older dog that was never leash trained. I think going on long dog walks, especially during the warmer months of the year, is one of the benefits to owning a dog. However, if you don’t know how to properly walk a dog (or if your dog doesn’t know how to walk on a leash), it can be an annoying experience.

Below is a YouTube video which gives some tips on good dog walking technique. If your dog doesn’t know how to walk correctly with a leash, or if you need some advice on how to correctly train your dog to walk on a leash, check out the video below for some techniques.

Teaching your dog how to walk on a leash will keep you and your dog safe, and make your dog walks a better, less frustrating, bonding experience. The video below can helo – and the best part is that it’s absolutely free!

Proper Way to Walk a Dog

This weekend on the blog, I shared a video that helped teach people the correct way to walk a dog. I want to share some additional insight and tips about how to walk a dog correctly, which will keep both the dog and the owner happy!

People often struggle with dog walking and have difficulty keeping their dog under control. The most important aspect of the walk is that the human dog walker is the leader and the dog is the follower. If the dog leads the walk by pulling, gets overly excited, dictates the pace and decides when to stop and start, it undermines the authority of the owner. The dog will behave as if he believes he is in charge of the owner’s house, yard, food and other belongings.

The dog walker must decide when the walk begins, when to pause, how fast to walk, what path to take and when the walk will end. The dog should walk beside the dog walker and not in front. If the dog sniffs the ground or tries to take the lead, a correction should be made by quickly tugging the leash up and back. Do not pull continuously on the leash or maintain tension. The leash must communicate the dog walker’s authority to the dog, and not physically restrain him the majority of the time. The dog must follow the dog walker’s lead willingly and accept the role of follower.

When walked this way, even excitable dogs will quickly fall into a relaxed gait. The dog should have his head up with ears relaxed and back. He should not pay attention to the ground or to people and animals nearby, because he should be expected to remain in following mode with his attention fixed on the dog walker. If he perks his ears up and forward, raises his tail or barks when seeing a human or dog, he should be corrected by pulling the leash up and back, possibly accompanied by a sharp noise. Maintain walking pace and pay no attention to the distraction.

Never yell at the dog or attempt to explain what you want. Dogs will respond best to short, immediate correction to unwanted behaviors, because the more time a human spends talking to a dog, the less sure he is about which behavior provoked a response and whether that response is positive or negative.

Sometimes large breed dogs physically overpower their owners and this can cause difficulty on walks. It is important to remember that in spite of size and strength, the dog wants to be led and that is the only way to truly establish leadership by triggering his pack instinct. Often small breed dogs are allowed to lead without correction, and even aggression goes unchecked because humans think this behavior is cute. Aggression from a small dog is not cute to other dogs and will trigger an aggressive response in return. Small dogs should fundamentally be treated the same way as large dogs.

Dog Walker Training

Dog WalksIt may seem as simple as putting up a few signs and picking up a leash, but if you are thinking about becoming a professional dog walker, be prepared to for a rewarding but demanding job. Putting one foot in front of the other is only the beginning. Dog walking requires training in four key areas, including physical, animal, people and business skills.

Dog walking is without a doubt a very physical profession. Not only do you need to build up an endurance for walking long distances, you need to be able to keep even the biggest dogs under your control. Consider some light weight training in addition to endurance. Learn your local neighborhoods along your walk routes so that you can walk confident in your knowledge of the area.

Watching a professional dog walker may make the task look easy, but not all dogs are well-behaved. Developing a good rapport with animals requires patience, diligence and confidence. Read up on dog behavior to familiarize yourself with challenges you may face. Master walking your own dog if you have one, and offer to walk some neighbor’s dogs to get a feel for handling different breeds, sizes and temperaments.

Along with dogs come their owners. To maintain positive relationships with clients, you must be unshakably reliable, considerate and communicate well. Remember that you will have to be in people’s homes and on their property to pick up their dogs. Be polite, honest and follow proper etiquette. While most customers will be warm and grateful, some may be particular, difficult and demanding. You must be able to keep your composure and remain courteous even with the fussiest client.

Good business skills are easy to overlook when considering walking dogs professionally, but there are factors to consider. To legally operate a business, you may need a local business license or a “doing business as” registration. Become knowledgeable about your local small business laws, including taxation requirements. You will also need to develop a system of record-keeping, invoicing and tax documentation before you start your business. Dog walkers should also be insured in case of accidents.

A dog walker’s best advertising will be word-of-mouth, and a well-trained dog walker will quickly develop a strong, positive reputation. Be willing to invest time and energy into business preparation, and you will be on the path to a great career or side business.

Photo: Flickr

Do You Bring Your Dog Trick or Treating?

dog trick or treatingMy wife and I had a baby (Hailey) at the end of March, and we are going to take her trick or treating to a few houses of our neighbors who want to see her in her Halloween costume. My wife and I were discussing whether we should put our dog (Lucy) in a cute Halloween costume and take her with us.

Ultimately, we decided that we aren’t going to bring Lucy with us as we go trick or treating, and I want to let you know how we came to this conclusion.

Lucy is a 5 year old puggle, and she has energy like a puppy. When she catches on to a scent outside, she still likes to pull and investigate. If Lucy is pulling as we are focused on Hailey, it won’t be easy to walk around the neighborhood. Similarly, Lucy is very curious, and when we visit neighborhood houses, Lucy will want to investigate and lick / sniff our neighbors. We want the focus to be on Hailey and not Lucy.

Another reason we aren’t bringing her is because she is a very friendly dog, but some children mistake her friendliness as threatening, and they back away from her. She’s a dog and doesn’t understand that this is a scared reaction, and she keeps trying to say hi. Instead of having to be concerned about her jumping on or licking another trick or treater, we will keep her at home.

Finally, with all the trick or treating in our neighborhood, there is bound to be a lot of dropped candy. Because of the aforementioned sniffing and curiosity, it’s very likely Lucy will find some dropped candy and eat it, which would most likely make her sick. That’s something we don’t want to see.

There is at least one good reason to take Lucy with us. She still gets a bit skittish when our doorbell rings, and with Halloween trick or treating, there will be many people coming to the door to ring the doorbell. If she was outside with us, that wouldn’t be an issue.

Ultimately, we are going to leave Lucy at home while we go out, and when we get back, we’ll keep the door open to prevent people from ringing the doorbell, and we will keep Lucy occupied upstairs.

Photo: Flickr

Reduce Thanksgiving Holiday Stress: Hire a Dog Walker

Hire a dog walker for thanksgivingDogs are part of the family, but sometimes their needs come at inconvenient times. Hiring a professional dog walker for Thanksgiving makes a great deal of sense, and it can certainly save you time and reduce stress. While Thanksgiving is a work holiday, most people don’t have time off from the obligations of family and friends that accompany it.

Decorating, cleaning and cooking for a houseful of guests can leave you with little time to walk the dog. Some holiday favorites must be carefully tended in the kitchen, making it impossible to leave the home. Plus, if a guest brings their dog to your home, the situation can become even more overwhelming for you, your guests and the dogs. Hiring a professional to walk the dog can allow you to remove one more thing from your long to-do list and make sure the day runs smoothly for all.

With the Thanksgiving meal eaten, family and friends naturally want to relax while playing games, chat or watch the big game. Leaving this time of companionship and excitement behind to walk the dog can mean missing out on important events. In addition, stepping out into what could be inclement weather to walk the dog can be an uncomfortable mess. Hiring a professional dog walker eliminates these concerns.

If you spend the holiday at a friend or relative’s house, hiring a professional dog walker can make sure that your dog can play, socialize and get enough exercise while you are away. You will be able to relax and enjoy the holiday knowing that your dog is well taken care of.

Whether you stay home or visit others for the Thanksgiving holiday, hiring a professional dog walker can make your life and your dog’s life easier. Slots with professional dog walkers fill up quickly, especially around the holidays, so book one as far in advance as possible. Doing so now will ensure that your plans for a memorable Thanksgiving won’t be interrupted.

I’ve booked my dog walker (she is coming twice – once in the afternoon and a second time in the evening), and I recommend that you be in touch with a dog walker soon, especially since most require advance notice and a previous introduction to your dog. Thanksgiving is a month away, so find a dog walker now!

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walking Rule #1

When it comes to walking the dog, whether it’s your own dog or professionally, the first and most important rule is to always pick up the dog poop! No matter whether you are walking the dog in a private neighborhood, on a trail, through a park, or anywhere else, common courtesy dictates that you should pick up the dog waste and throw it out.

There are many reasons why this is important, and a few are listed below:

First and foremost, it’s disgusting to step in, which often happens if a pile of poop is left in a path or on the sidewalk. People can track it elsewhere on their shoes, and not only does poop stink, but it’s also a health issue if it’s tracked into the home.

Secondly, dog poop stinks. Nobody wants to have smelly dog poop left in their backyard or on their driveway. It’s not fair for neighbors to have to pick up your dog’s waste, just as you probably wouldn’t want to pick up your neighbor’s dog waste!

Finally, it’s unhygienic. Whether you are in a park or on private property, there may be children playing in the yard, and it’s not healthy for them to touch dog poop. In addition, many dogs are attracted to other dogs’ poop, and if they see/smell it, there’s the possibility they will eat or roll around in it. That can be unhealthy, and it certainly can create a mess for that dog owner.

When you go for a walk with the dog, always be sure to carry dog poop bags or other bags for dog waste. Pick up the dog waste and be sure to throw it out in a trash can. If you forget dog bags (or run out), improvise and use something else to discard the poop… paper, shopping bags, plastic bags, and even leaves can help do the trick.

Many cities have ordinances with heavy fines to ensure dog owners and dog walkers pick up after their dogs. When you walk the dog, don’t forget the first rule – always pick up the dog poop!

Photo: Flickr

Weather Emergency Preparedness for Dog Owners

Every part of the United States is susceptible to dangerous weather conditions. There are earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, and many other types of storms that can cause problems for pet owners. In most cases, we don’t have much notice before disaster hits, so it is imperative to have a plan so that you know what to do quickly should destructive weather strike.

While most families have a good idea about what to do in the case of a weather emergency, and many families actually have formulated emergency plans, all dog owners need to take our pets into consideration since they are a part of our family and will need special plans made . Having a pet emergency kit ready and available in case of emergency is one important aspect of being prepared for an emergency.

Your pet kit should contain a few necessary items:

  • Any medications that your pet is taking
  • Food and water for three days
  • A collar with an ID tag with updated information
  • A leash and safety harness
  • Sanitation items (dog poop bags and hand sanitizer)
  • Decals that denote “Rescue Pet” to alert any rescue team that you have a pet in your home
  • Toys and blankets for comfort if you should have to evacuate

Keep a current picture of your pets with you at all times in case they become separated from you. Rescue workers will be able to identify your pets faster this way. Allow your pet to become more familiar with their crate or carrier. Your pet probably associates the crate with a visit to the vet, which can be stressful. Let your pet have some play time in their crate daily so they can get used to it should you need to use it for an emergency.

Have a map planned out for how you can make a quick get-away and confirm in advance that they will be pet friendly. Be sure to have a back up as well. Know how to pack your pet up and where to go. Check with the local shelters to see if they take pets in the case of an emergency. If you do have an emergency and are forced to evacuate, try to take your pet with you if at all possible. This is very important because many pets are left behind during emergencies, and it can lead to lost pets.

Most animal owners feel that their pets are a big part of their family. If your area is struck by disaster such as a flood, tornado, fire, hurricane or other emergency, your pets chances of surviving depend on how well prepared you are today. Regardless of the emergency, if you have to stay put or get out, having a pet emergency kit and a plan is essential for the safety of your pet.

Here are some great emergency resources for pet owners:

Photo: Flickr

Paula’s Pawsitive Pet Services, LLC

Paula’s Pawsitive Pet Services is a professional, reliable pet sitting, dog walking, loving care of your pet in your home company!

Paula’s Pawsitive Pet Services LLC is licensed, insured, bonded for the protection of your pet and home and we are trained in pet cpr and first aid. We are a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating.

Do you work long hours and can’t get home to exercise your pet or give a potty break?

Are your going out of town for business or a vacation, and you worry about boarding your pet?

Paula’s Pawsitive Pet Services, LLC can ease your worry by visiting your pet and providing loving care and attention.

Your pet will be more comfortable and less stressed by staying in their own environment. No change in diet. We will provide play and exercise for your beloved fur-baby.

While you are away, we will bring in your mail, water your plants, alternate lights in your house in the evening, and any requests you may have. We will send daily pictures of your pet. You will be able to enjoy your time away and see your pets are happy and healthy.

Please visit our website for detailed information of our services.