Are you worried about your active dog while you are going to be out of town? Those of us sharing our lives with high energy dogs know how hard it can be to keep them busy! Active dogs need a lot of exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and mentally healthy, which means you need to have a pet sitting plan that can meet those needs.
If you are leaving your active dog with a pet sitter for the first time, then it may feel like the options are overwhelming. We work with you as a team to find a plan that matches your dog’s normal schedule so you know that your pup will be happy while you are gone, giving you peace of mind!
Here are three schedules that we have tested and found work very well for our high-energy canines. We can tweak these schedules as needed and we can even change your schedule in the middle of the trip if we find it is not working well for your friend!
Active Dog Option #1
For dogs that are used to companionship in the evening, this is the ideal schedule for them.
12 Hour Extended Overnight Stay
Your sitter will arrive in the early evening (around 7 pm) and take your dog for a walk or playtime, whichever is normal for her. Then comes feeding and some time for relaxation. Right before bed, your dog goes out for the last outing, either a walk or a potty break. You sitter sends you a picture with an update so you can rest easy knowing your pup has company. In the morning there is time for another walk or playtime and feeding. The overnight stay is especially good for dogs who are accustomed to having company and companionship during the evenings. In addition to the exercise, just having a person around the house can give something for the active dog brain to think about.
1 Hour Mid-Day Visit
Your sitter will use this long visit for a good walk and/or playtime. This visit should be set at a time when your dog would normally get some exercise, so she will be tired out during the day. A visit during the middle of the day like this means that your dog will only be alone for 6-7 hours, depending on the time of the visit.
Active Dog Option #2
This is an ideal schedule for dogs who like have multiple walks and play sessions
each day, but who do not need company overnight.
45 Minute Breakfast Visit
Your sitter will arrive nice and early and take your dog for a walk followed by breakfast. If your dog prefers some playtime then we can do that instead of a walk, or we can do both! Your sitter can set your dog up with a couple new toys to play with for the day.
30 Minute Lunch Visit
This visit is just for playtime and walks unless your pup is lucky enough to get lunch! Your dog will only have been home alone for 4-5 hours since breakfast and this visit will help keep your dog tired during the day. You receive a picture with an update of your happy pup!
45 Minute Early Evening Visit
Dinner visits are great for an evening stroll and dinner time. Your sitter can also turn on lights in the house to make it appear as if someone is home, and to keep the evening routine normal for your dog.
30 Minute Late Night Visit
This last visit is to settle your dog in for the night. You sitter can go for a walk, or just have playtime and cuddles. Some dogs are active at night and some just want to go to sleep! The sitter will set up the house in whatever way you normally leave it when you go to bed. They will turn off the lights and get your dog settled just like a normal night.
Active Dog Option #3
This is an ideal schedule for dogs who need a good walk during the middle of the day when they are most alert.
30 Minute Breakfast Visit
Your sitter will arrive early and take your dog for a nice walk to start the morning. After the walk, your dog can have breakfast and get settled in for the day. You sitter can leave on the radio for dogs who like music!
1 Hour Late Afternoon Visit
Long walk time! Your sitter can use this long visit for an extra long walk in your dog’s favorite areas. Does your dog love a local park or a trail nearby? This is the perfect length of visit to get some good squirrel watching in. After the walk your sitter can leave on lights and the radio, to give the appearance of someone at home and to give your dog something to listen to.
30 Minute Late Night Visit
To help your dog settle in, a late night visit is great. It is a nice wrap-up to the day. Your sitter can go for a short walk or have some playtime in the yard, followed by dinner. Or, depending on your dog’s normal routine, your dog could have dinner during the afternoon visit after the walk. Then maybe just a quick late night snack to help settle in for the night! Your sitter can turn out the lights and leave your home as you would when you go to bed.
For active dogs, we always look for ways to keep them busy, even when we are not there. Here are some ways we have devised to keep active dogs from getting bored:
- Use food toys such as Buster Cubes for meals.
- Swap out toys daily, so new exciting toys are always available.
- Provide dogs with stuffed Kongs whenever we leave the house.
- Give your pet something to listen to when they are alone by turning on the radio or television.
- Teach dogs new tricks. Mental stimulation can be just as good as exercise.
- When going for a walk, travel a different path each time. New things to smell and sights to see can keep a dog engaged.
Time to Customize!
We want to work with you to set up the best possible schedule for your dog, so you are all happy during your trip. We also know that each home is different, and a lot of people have more than just one dog! After you have the basic idea of your schedule we sit down to figure out the nitty-gritty:
- Are there any other pets in the home that need feeding, medication, etc? We make sure your visit has enough time to get everything done.
- We have time to clean out food and water bowls, clean up any messes, stuff Kongs, etc.
- Many people who love animals, also love plants! Normal visits have time for a small bit of plant watering. If you have beautiful summer gardens, then we need to see how long they take to the water and add that on to your normal visits.
- Household tasks like bringing in the newspaper, collecting the mail, turning lights off and on and taking out the trash, can all be done on your normal schedule.
- Do you want updates every visit? Many clients do, just keep in mind that your sitter will take 5+ minutes to send an update and that is time during your visit not focused on your pets.
- It will take a sitter a bit longer to get the work done then it takes you, especially if you have extensive routines for your pets and home. You have had years to perfect your system! We always try to make sure your pet sitter will have enough time for everything so she will not feel stressed and your pets will receive the focus they deserve.