Pet Sitters, Boarding & Day Care
Dogs need exercise and entertainment or they go stir crazy!
Why would pet sitters be listed under "Behavior Solutions"? Unwanted behavior is often a symptom when don't get enough mental and physical stimulation and exercise. When a long work week drags on, your dog may take out his boredom and pent up energy on your furniture, for lack of any better entertainment. A trusted pet sitter can make a huge difference for dogs suffering from separation anxiety awhile making a successful transition to being able to feel safe alone.
Whether you are house training that new puppy or keeping that wild adolescent exercised, a caring and knowledgeable person who will stop by for a potty break or a walk in the middle of the day can be a lifesaver. Some will take your dog and care for them at their own home - a great option to leaving them in a boarding kennel when you go on vacation.
Choosing a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker
Pet sitters do much more than provide your pet with food and water while you're away from home. A good pet sitter also spends quality time with your pet, gives him exercise, and knows how to tell if your pet needs veterinary attention. But just because someone advertises themselves as a pet sitter or dog walker doesn't mean they are qualified to do the job. Interview them carefully. Ask other pet owners, your vet, your trainer who they recommend. There are good and bad ones out there. Don't trust your pet to just anyone. Just because the place looks good on the outside, doesn't mean it's the best place for your best friend.
Having a pet sitter come to your home is a nice alternative to a boarding kennel when you travel and can't take your pet along. Your pets get to stay in the comfort of their own home. While your pet relaxes in his own familiar surroundings, you have the benefit of having lights turned on and off and the mail brought in. Need a suggestion? Ask us!
Visit the Pet Sitters International website for more info on how to find the right pet sitter.
Make reservations early - the good ones get booked quickly!
Boarding & Day Care
When it comes to leaving your dog in the hands of someone else, whether it is your neighbor, a trusted family member, or handing your leash to someone at a boarding, training or day care facility, the first thing you want to know for sure is, will your dog be handled with the same care and kindness that you would? Is their training philosophy in line with yours? Will your dog's experience there be positive or traumatic? If there is trouble in the play room, how will it be handled? What if play gets too rough? Will human eyes be on the dogs 100% of the time so an experienced staff member can intervene before things go poorly?
Are the dogs matched with appropriate playmates?
Are small dogs separated from large dogs? Are shy dogs separated from the party animals? Are dogs screened carefully for appropriateness? Not all dogs are right for Day Care or the Dog Park. If the answer to that question is, "no problem, we can fix anything" go somewhere else. There are dogs there your dog should not be interacting with.
What screening is provided? Does the day care do their very best to ensure that only appropriate dogs are admitted?
Where do the dogs toilet? If the answer is "wherever they happen to be at the time" you must ask yourself, how will that effect your house training?
What will they learn while there? How to play nicely and have good manners with other dogs? Or how to get bullied or become a bully? Will they learn how to bark their heads off in high arousal which will carry over into their response to every dog they see?
Is there quiet time so dogs can rest?
Can you drop by any time to see the facility? Can you hang around and watch? If not, why not?
Are there cameras so you can watch from work?
How does your dog act AFTER his day at day care? Is he relaxed and satisfied from a good, healthy romp and hanging out with his friends? Or is he flat out exhausted from too much high arousal and stress? Is he irritable? Clingy? Or is he glad to see you, but contented and happy?
Is he better behaved, or worse? Has your quiet dog become a barking fool? How does he behave toward other dogs following his stay? More frustrated, more excited, more wary? Is he suddenly worried about certain sizes or colors or breeds of dogs? Is he worried about people when he wasn't before?
How does your dog smell when he comes home? Urine stench is not "normal" perfume from a day at day care. Any injuries? Accidents happen, but if the answer is "we don't know, we didn't see it" then that very well might be a red flag.
When you go back for another visit, does he bound out of the car, ready to go in? Does he seem reluctant, or worse, balk? If your dog says he doesn't want to go in, take him home. Perhaps a pet sitter or dog walker who can come to his house to play when he can't play with you would make him happier!