How Do I Prepare my House for a Pet Sitter

 

It’s mid summer and if you haven’t gone on vacation, chances are you are going on one soon. There is no doubt in the fun of getting out of town with our loved ones, but we can always take our four-legged family members with us. That is when we hire pet sitters to look after them while we are at home. This way you can go on your vacation with peace of mind that they are being taken of while still enjoy the comfort of being in their own home.

So, the vacation is planned, the hotel booked, and lists are being made, but now you may be left thinking, “well, should I and how do I prepare my house for a pet sitter?” Firstly, yes there are a few things you should do to prepare for a pet sitter and here is what you need to know:

Gather all of your pet’s care items as well as emergency contact information  in one easy to find location. Clear out a drawer or cabinet, or simple put everything in a tupperware and leave it on the table.  

Things to include:

  • List of emergency numbers and hotel/flight information – Don’t forget to include numbers of neighbors or family nearby and your vet  in case you are unreachable.
  • Explanation of daily routine/areas where they are or are not allowed. Include their general likes and dislikes, as well as sneaky habits if they have any.
  • Food & Treats including can opener and plastic bowls if needed. Throw in an extra bag of food just in case. Some dogs tend to eat more out of boredom when their owner is 
  • Harness, leashes and an extra set of tags (just in case).
  • Flashlight and batteries because with summer comes unexpected storms and sometimes power outages.
  • Medicine if they need it and detailed instructions plus veterinarian contact information. 
  • Paper towels and cleaning supplies
  • Plastic grocery bags

Once you have your drawer or box of supplies ready, it’s time to do a little extra dog proofing. Mundane items of the home may suddenly seems like something fun, including blinds, cords, books, videos, etc. Also, make sure to put away any toxic cleaners or plants while you’re away.

Just will help you prepare your house for your pet sitter and have a great vacation at the same time.

 

The Disadvantages of Off Leash Dog Parks

 

Last week we talked about how dog parks can be a great place for your dog to get exercise. Not to mention socialization while free from the constraints of their leashes. However, there are some serious disadvantages of off leash dog parks that you should be aware of before you head out to one.

Aggressive dogs and bad habits

Of course, one of the first things dog parents often worry about is their dog’s safety when around a big group of dogs. It is possible that your dog could get picked on my more aggressive dogs. And fights can break out. While this doesn’t happen all the time, it is certainly a possibility. Also, it’s possible that your dog can pick up bad habits from other dogs; like fear, nipping, aggression or ignoring commands.

Lax owners

Sometimes dog owner’s at the park just aren’t that responsible; they just drop off their dog in the park and retreat into their smart phone or cars. And what more is that all to often these are the dogs with the biggest behavioral problems. Also, some owners show a blatant disregard for park rules such as cleaning up after their pet or using the proper gates and areas.

Potential illnesses due to parasites or transmittable diseases

Another real disadvantage of off leash dog parks is the chance your dog could get sick. Fleas, ticks and other skin irritations from parasites can be picked up from other dogs. But more serious illnesses such as kennel cough and intestinal parasites like roundworm or hook worm can be picked up from waste that neglectful owners leave at the park.

Dangers of poorly designed or unkempt parks

Thankfully, this is a danger you can assess pretty well before deciding to go into the park. Make sure there are no broken fences or run down agility equipment that could let your dog escape or get injured. Also, a good park will have an area for both large dogs and small dogs so that they aren’t all together in one large area.

When deciding if an off leash dog park is right for you and your fur-baby, it’s best to weigh the advantages and drawbacks. One park may be perfect for your dog while the one just down the street from it isn’t as nice. Making sure your dog has proper tags and all of their vaccinations are a must when visiting a dog park, or going out with your dog in general.

What’s your favorite dog park in the area? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

Why Does My Dog Weave Back and Forth When I Walk?

It’s a beautiful day as you head out for an afternoon walk with your happy and eager pup…you take a second to look up at the fluffy clouds, then all of a sudden they blind side you as they weave from one side to the other and you almost trip right over them. It really does make you wonder, why do they do that anyway?

The Zigzag

Mostly they weave back and forth because they are super excited to be on a walk, which is usually the highlight of their day.  There are so many sights, sounds and most importantly, smells!  Dogs have a sense of smell that can is 1,000-10,000 times stronger than ours.  This can have them zigging and zagging all over the place as they track the scents that tells them what has been going on in the neighborhood.  If your dog has herding blood then it could also be a little of instinct of trying to get you to walk where he wants to you go, especially if they bark or nip while doing it. Lastly, it could be just a small bit of anxiety or even a little sensory overload from being outside with all the exciting stimuli.

How to Counteract

Even though you may be fine with the bob and weave, it can be a safety hazard.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 88 percent of fall-related injuries were due to dogs and cats.  Not only can it hurt you, but you could easily break their legs or ribs if you fall on them.  That’s why it best to teach your dog how to walk properly.

  1. Pick a side and practice walking on a loose, but short leash in a distraction free area.
  2. If he begins to cross in front of you stop and use hand or verbal ques to get him back to the proper side. You can use a treat at first if he has a hard time picking up on these ques.
  3. As soon as he gets back on the original side as directed, begin to walk forward again.
  4. Don’t give up!  As with most training, it takes repetition and time.
  5. Lengthen the leash as they get better with the commands and staying on one side.
  6. Hire a dog walker to help burn off some extra energy and reinforce training techniques!

Walking should a fun way to spend the afternoon outside, not in the emergency room.  Helping your dog walk properly will ensure the safety of you both.

 

How Much Does it Cost to Use a Self-Service Dog Wash?

Depending on where you go in Fort Collins or Loveland and what type of bath package you choose, a self-service dog wash can range in pricing. Remember, all services are on a first-come first-serve basis. Be sure to hurry in as peak times are on the weekends during the middle of the day! Here are some of the different options that self-service dog wash locations offer.

Less expensive options:

If you are looking for a basic wash without all the bells and whistles, Unleashed by Petco is the place to go. At $10 per dog, you are permitted the use of an elevated tub, towels, grooming tools, an apron, a dryer, shampoo and conditioner.

Mid-priced options

Do you want to spoil your dog, but not break the bank? Then these self-serve locations may be best suited for you and your pups. Cosmic Dog offers a fun, spa-like atmosphere with a plethora of choices for shampoo, conditioner and even a spritz, all for $14! Doggie Baths and Beyond offers 3 different packages, ranging from a basic wash at $10 to a deluxe wash at $15. Poudre Pet and Feed Supply offers a $15 wash at select locations. Camp Bow Wow offers a $15 wash for current clients only. All of these facilities provide raised tubs, easy access stairs or ramps, no slip mats, dog dryers, aprons, and brushes, as well as a variety of shampoos and conditioners.

More expensive options:

For those looking for a self-service dog wash with a more spa-like environment with a variety of add-ons, The Dog Pawlour or Doggie Dips and Chips may be the place for you. Baths here run about $16 for your first dog, and offer a small discount on your other dog’s bath if sharing the same tub. Depending on where you go, these facilities offer the basics like a tub, grooming tools, and towels, as well as a variety of scented shampoos and conditioners to choose from.

So whether your pups had some fun at the dog park rolling in the mud or just need a bath to freshen up, think about taking them to a self-serve dog wash! Just remember that in Fort Collins or Loveland, self-serve baths will range from $10 to $16. It is worth the money and will save you time from scrubbing your bathroom tub!