It’s easy to see the need to hire a dog walker or pet sitter while you and your family go on vacation. Of course, someone needs to be around to feed and let the dog out, grab the mail and check on the house. But what about when you’re not on vacation and just at work? Why then would you want to hire a daily dog walker? There are lots of great reasons to hire a daily dog walker, but here are just a few:
- You have a new puppy! – Congratulations! There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new puppy. Expect to be the most popular, or should I say “pup-ular,” person in your family and gang of friends for a bit. Everyone will want to come see the new puppy. But what about when all the excitement ends? Where is everyone when a mid-day potty break is in order, or your pup has pent up energy from being is his crate for 9-10 hours? Hiring a daily dog walker can alleviate the anxiety and guilt that you feel from keeping your new puppy in a crate all day, and expecting to find (and smell) the worst when you get home. And here’s a good rule of thumb to remember: puppies should only go 1 hour longer in a crate than the number of months old they are. Have a 3 month old puppy? Four hours in the crate at a time should be the max. Also, new puppies tend to need 3 meals per day, and that mid-day meal can easily be handled by a daily dog walker. Very young puppies really shouldn’t be going for long walks until they grow a bit older, but a walker can visit, do a let out, feed and water your pup, play, do a final let out and re-crate.
- You have a long commute – This one’s definitely not as exciting as a new puppy. However, it’s just as important to consider, especially for those dogs that aren’t quite puppies anymore, but not exactly adults either. Eight hours at work for an older puppy or adolescent dog that’s potty-trained to be home alone isn’t a stretch. But if you’re spending another 1-2 hours in the car each day commuting and stuck in traffic, you may very well be pushing your luck. There’s nothing more exhausting than a long commute, too. So once you do get home to your pup, he’s going to need your full attention immediately for pottying, walking, playing and feeding. A dog walker can help bridge that long span of time that you’re away, and provide peace of mind that all of your dog’s needs are fulfilled even though you’re unfortunately preoccupied with the less fun things in life.
- Lunch “hour”… seriously? – You have every good intention of going home and letting your dog out at your lunch hour. But then your morning gets going, your meetings run late and you need to get caught up on your emails (because you’ve been in meetings all morning). As soon as you know it, it’s 2pm, you haven’t eaten and you definitely missed the “lunch hour dog let-out” opportunity. Dogs thrive on routine, and if you work in a high-stress, high-demand, “work until it’s done” type of job, you can’t count on your lunch hour everyday to make it home. Skip the additional stress and expand your support network to include a daily dog walker.
Owning a new puppy, or even an older dog, can be stressful at times. But having a canine companion should overall enhance the quality of life, not be a burden. If you find that the responsibilities of having a new puppy or a dog are causing more stress, guilt and anxiety than benefit, it’s time to consider expanding your support network to include a daily dog walker.
Be sure to consider things like skill training, certifications, transportation, style of dog training and positive handling techniques when searching for a dog walker to add to your support network. (See “Why Hire a dog*tec Certified Dog Walker.”) Most importantly, you want to hire someone trustworthy to visit your home and care for your dog, so always insist on meeting with potential dog walkers ahead of time for thorough “meet and greet” and/or a practice walk.
For more information on dog walking services in St. Louis, MO, click here.