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Man walking group of dogs

8 Times When You Need a Dog Walker

Man walking group of dogs

 

Most people believe that dog walkers are only needed by people who work 12 hours a day, and while it is necessary in that case, there are a bunch of reasons when a dog walker can be helpful. We are going to look at when you may need a dog walker and how professional dog walks work.

When Can I Use a Dog Walker?

  1. When you are working long days. This is the most common reason for people to hire a dog walker. They are working for longer than their pup can last and they want to make sure she gets out for some exercise and a potty break during the day. Usually these visits are scheduled during the middle of the day, but can also be arranged based on your work schedule.
  2. When your dog needs some extra exercise. Some of us do not have the time, or energy, to exercise our dogs as much as they need in a day. The average dog needs at least a 30 minute walk a day in order to stay happy, but high energy dogs can require a lot more than that.
  3. When your life gets crazy! We all have those times when everything piles on and we just cannot get to it all. Having a dog walker come in and make sure that your pup is happy can take a load off your mind and free you up to work on tasks that only you can do. Dog walkers can also help out by feeding your pup and taking care of other small tasks when needed.
  4. When you have a puppy. Puppies need to go out often and be supervised constantly. A standard rule of thumb is puppies can only hold it for one hour per month of age. This will vary based on the breed of puppy, their schedule and the puppy herself. It is hard to get anything done, when you have a puppy needing so much time and attention. Even if you are home all done, it can be nice to have someone help out for awhile so you can take a break.
  5. When you have problems with mobility. We have had quite a few clients that are injured or elderly and need some extra help. This includes folks in assisted living facilities who are able to keep their dogs but cannot get them out for walks.
  6. When your dog is bored. Maybe you are able to get your dog out but he is still bored during the day. A new friend coming in and changing up the routine will excite any dog and relieve the boredom.
  7. When your dog is elderly or ill. Older dogs often need to get out more, especially if they develop health problems. Dogs with injuries or illnesses may need medication during the day or supervision while you are gone. We have spent time with more than one dog in a cone!
  8. When your life is unpredictable! You have a job and kids and never know when the schedule is going to change. Dogs, as flexible as they are, thrive on routine. Knowing your pup is cared for, no matter what life throws at you, is a huge weight off your shoulders, and great for your dog!

These are just a handful of reasons you may need a dog walker. Really there is no end to the reasons you may need a dog walker in your life, nor should there be! A dog walker is there to provide your dog with consistency and you with peace of mind.

Some Examples Visits

Visits can be matched to your dog’s needs, but it is nice to get an idea of some possible schedules. We customize our visits and schedules based on the needs of your dog to make sure their visits are optimized.

  • Standard Mid-Day Dog Walk: Your dog walker comes in around noon (or whenever is a good time) and takes your pup for a walk. They go for a 25 minute dog walk, then the sitter refills your pup’s water, gives her a treat, sends you a picture of your pup to check in, leaves a quick note about the visit and settles your pup in for the afternoon. You know how your dog is doing and do not have to worry about her for the afternoon. These walks can also be longer for high energy dogs.
  • Twice a Day Visits: You are not on vacation, but you need a bit of extra help with your pup. You sitter comes in twice a day (breakfast and dinner), takes your dog out for a 20 minute walk, feeds her, changes her water and takes care of other critters. This way the basic care is done and you can enjoy the time spent with your fur kids without stress. This schedule is used by people who are busy, but also injured or elderly people who struggle with mobility.
  • Quick Potty Breaks: Some dogs do not need a walk but still need a potty break during the day. Your dog walker comes and let your pup out in the yard for 10 minutes, send you a quick update, change her water and settle her in for the day. These are great for dogs who do not need a lot of exercise but need to go potty and break up their day.
  • Long Exercise Visit: Many of us have high energy dogs and need help daily, or even just occasionally to burn off that energy. Your sitter comes at a good time of day and takes her for a 50 minute walk. During the summer we try to schedule these at times when the temperature is not too hot.

What to Consider When Scheduling Dog Walks

  1. Are your dog walks dependent on a specific time, like breakfast, dinner or halfway through the day, or just to get your dog some extra exercise?
  2. What times are you going to do be gone?
  3. How often does your dog need to go outside?
  4. How much exercise does she need to stay happy and healthy?
  5. What time of day is best for her to be out on a walk (if it is really hot or cold during the day)?
  6. Will she need to be fed during this visit?
  7. Do any other animals need care during the visit?
  8. Do you want visits regularly or just occasionally?

Let Us Help!

We are here to discuss your dog and schedule and figure out the best scenario for you. Contact us and let us know what is going on in your life so we can figure out a schedule that works for you and your pup! Our schedules are flexible and we match our visits to your needs, not the other way around.

Cute Pet Pictures

 

We have the cutest clients! Every day our sitters send tons of pictures and video of their furry friends to their parents while they are away. We like to share these on social media and here on our website (with client permission of course). We love showing off our friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See WAY MORE Cute Pet Pictures (we had too many for this page)

Why Does My Dog Not Like Walking In The Rain?

 

My three year old loves playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. But do you know who doesn’t love being in the rain? Our dog Rigsby. He hates going out in the rain, even to potty; that means taking a walk in the rain is absolutely out of the question.

So, why do so many dogs hate walking in the rain? We’ve compiled a few reasons why and ways to help get them out during rainy days.

 

  • Pelted Coats & Soggy Paws

Sometimes the reason is as simple as your dog doesn’t like the damp outdoors. Dogs coats are very sensitive. If you notice a dog getting rained on you can see their fur twitching, which has to be pretty annoying for them. Same goes for your dog’s paws. I mean, do you like walking on the wet ground in bare feet? I didn’t think so. Between the rain on their backs and the water on the ground, walking in the rain can be a pretty miserable experience for your dog.

 

  • Thunderstorm Phobias

A lot of times rain mean thunder and lightning. Animals have the knack for sensing storms before we even know they are coming. When dogs with storm phobias sense the change in the air and barometric pressure, the anxiety starts to creep up. A dog with storm phobia shouldn’t be forced to go outside because it may make it worse. Some dogs have a natural predisposition to have anxiety, others have had traumatic experiences with loud noises. But for the most part, there is no telling why your dog has thunderstorm phobias. All you can do is work with them and help them through it. 

 

  • How You Can Help

Rain happens and sometimes for days at a time. Your dog will still need to get out and use the potty at some point. Luckily there are some great products out there to help your dog through the distaste and fear of the rain.

Doggy Anti-Anxiety Stress Reducing Jacket 

Image from Amazon

Help your dog stay calm with this stress-reducing jacket. Similar to swaddling a baby, this jacket helps comfort your dog when they are feeling anxious.

Storm Stress Relaxing Drops for Dogs

 

Stress from storms, hurricanes or even strong wind can be reduced with these drops.

 

Dog Boots 

Keep their paws dry during the storm and even in the snow with these cute little dog boots.

Transparent Umbrella with Leash

Avoid the pelting rain with this cute leash umbrella combo. Perfect for the rainy and snowy days.

 

Waking in the rain doesn’t have to be a terrible experience for you and your dog. With a better understanding and a few good tools, there is sunshine at the end of the storm!

Why Does My Dog Not Like New Year’s Eve?

If you are asking yourself this question, then you’ve probably had a traumatizing experience with Fido while watching the Times Square ball drop at midnight. If you’re like most people, New Year’s Eve is a night filled with lots of family, friends, fun, and noise. LOTS of noise. Though the noise may not bother you, your dog’s hearing is four times better than yours. Their natural instinct is to RUN.

One minute you’re cuddling with Fido and the next he is nowhere to be found. He most likely ran outside or hid under the bed, searching for a secure place to hide. While you’re frantically running around looking for your precious pooch, you get a knock on the door from your neighbor saying they found him wandering in their front yard. You think to yourself, “I’m so lucky I found you”.

If you can relate to this scenario, your dog most likely does not like New Year’s Eve.

A few reasons your dog doesn’t like New Year’s Eve

  • Decorations

See those streamers, balloons and party hats? They may be fun for you, but for Fido? Not so much. He may be scared and not recognize you. This may lead to a change in behavior and his reactivity to you. If he shows signs of fear, take the hat off and reassure your pup that everything will be okay.

  • Loud Noises

Noise makers, cheering and laughter are all part of the New Year’s Eve festivities. These are all scary noises for Fido. You may find him trembling and whining in fear. Ask your guests to bring the noise down a notch, and put your dog in a separate room with the TV or radio on.

  • Crowds

Is it your turn to host the annual New Year’s Eve party? Whether you are hosting a huge party, or it’s a group of your closest friends, these people are getting in your dog’s personal space. Large crowds are scary and Fido may react adversely. If your dog is not a social creature, spare him the anxiety and put him in a separate room.

  • Fireworks

Are your neighbors the type to set off fireworks in the middle of the street and make a huge commotion? If you answered yes, this may be why Fido is shaking uncontrollably while you “ooh” and “ah” at the light show. Fireworks are some of the scariest, loudest noises for dogs. Turn up the TV and keep your furry friend in a secure kennel or bedroom. If you have the opportunity to, try to stroke his back while you reassuringly hold him.

The reasons mentioned above may just be the tip of the iceberg to why your dog does not like New Year’s Eve. Just remember, while you’re excited and ready to ring in the New Year, keep your furry friend in mind!

 

The Best Holiday Gifts For Dogs

Pets are a huge part of every pet parent’s life, so it makes sense to include them on holidays. But finding gifts for your dog that they will like can be challenging. Here is a list of gift ideas for every dog in your life.

For the dog who loves fetch

A favorite gift for Fido is the traditional tennis ball. Many dogs love tennis balls more than any other toy, and as a bonus, they are pretty inexpensive. Buy your dog a set of 3 balls and have a game of fetch in the yard or park. These are sure to be a great gift for the dog who loves fetch.

If you have a dog who likes to shred or break tennis balls, there are some really cool, hardy tennis balls on the market. Check out the Chuckit! brand balls or Kong brand balls for a more durable ball. Both of these are available online and at most pet stores.

For the dog who likes toys

There are so many cool toys available for your pup to play with. You can find toys specifically for what you need. There are waterproof toys, toys that float, durable toys, squeaker toys and many more. Try and pick one for what you want to do with it, like a floating toy for fetch at the lake.

Feeling crafty? There are lots of easy DIY toys you can make at home. One of my favorites is the fleece or t-shirt braided toy.

  • Fleece or t-shirt Braided Toy
  • Supplies: Old t-shirt or fleece, scissors, 2 rubber bands
  1. Start by cutting your fleece or t-shirt into 3 equal length and width strips. Make the width about 2 inches wide. Make the strips about 6 inches longer than you want the toy to be. Cut shorter strips for smaller dogs, and longer strips for larger dogs.
  2. Begin by placing the first rubber band 3 inches down your strip. Tie the rubber band tight.
  3. Begin braiding the strips together until you reach 3 inches from the bottom.
  4. Tie a rubber band at the end of your braid.
  5. Tie a large, tight knot at both ends of your braid.
  6. Cut the rubber band out of the knot using scissors.
  7. Give the toy to your dog to enjoy!

For the smarty pants

Dogs need to keep their minds active to stay out of trouble, here are some toys to trick your dog into using his brain.  Check out Kong toys, which let you hide treats or peanut butter in the toy. These are very durable and most dogs love them. Another great option is puzzle toys. These are available at most major pet stores. These toys allow you to hide treats in the toy; your dog has to move pieces around in order to get the treats. Check out Outward Hound’s puzzle toys for some cool gifts for Fido.

You can also DIY some puzzle toys from items you have at home. Check out our previous blog post “Reduce, Reuse, Ruff-cycle” for some great DIY toy ideas.

For the fashionable dog

Some dogs love to be up on the latest trends.  Every dog needs a cool collar or harnesses this season. Check out local pet stores for a new collar or harness.  Be sure to pick one that fits securely on your dog. Make sure the collar is not too heavy or likely to get caught on things. If you are a Fort Collins local, check local boutique pet stores for awesome CSU collars.

For the dog who has everything

Spending time with you is the best gift you could give to your dog. A great gift for any dog is going out for a special walk or hike. If your dog is not a huge fan of walking, try giving extra belly rubs as a gift.

These gifts are sure to be perfect for all the dogs in your life! Let us know what toys you give your dog this holiday season.


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Dogs with backpack

Important Items to Bring When Hiking with Your Dog

Dogs with backpack

I don’t know about you, but disconnecting from the world and getting out into nature is one of my favorite things. However much fun it can be, it does have the potential to be dangerous if you’re not prepared. This is even more true if you decided to bring your canine companion with you. Luckily, with a few important items hiking with your dog can be one of the best ways to spend the day.

 

Doggy Backpack

Image result for dog backpack

Hiking with your dog does mean extra supplies, so make them carry their own backpack with an extra leash and other supplies. Make sure not to overload it, the general rule is for the pack to weigh one pound to every 20 lbs of pup.

Collapsible Food and Water Bowls

Image from Amazon

A perfect item for you dog’s backpack is a collapsible bowl set for their food and water. This way no matter where on the trail you are, both of you can take a break for hydration and trail mix.

Paw Protecting Dog Booties

Image from Amazon

If you’re navigating particularly rocky terrain or if your dog is somewhat new to being outside on rough ground you may want to pack a pair of these puppy paw protecting boots. These are also perfect for hot pavement or sand.

 

Heavy Duty Waste Bags

Image from Amazon

The rule of the trail is what you pack in, you pack out. This is the same for waste unless your on a trail that allows you to scoop and bury someone off the main path. Either way packing heavy duty scent eliminating bags is essential. You may also want to bring a compact bag dispenser for them as well.

 

Me & My Dog Medical Kit

Image from Amazon

Bring a first aid kit is a hiking must, but having one made for both you and your dog is helpful and saves space of bringing extra doggy necessities on top of your own first aid kit.

 

Other things to consider

  • Make sure your dog is trained well enough to obey commands while hiking
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen for both of you (baby/kid friendly products work well for dogs)
  • Update ID’s and/or microchip and bring an extra set of tags if you can
  • Snap a picture of your dog before you head out
  • Make sure their shots are up to date

 

Hiking is blast. But it is more than just fun in the woods, being prepared is key to a successful trip.

What trails do you like to take with your dog? Let us know your favorite trails and hiking with your dog tips!

 

Should I Tip My Pet Sitter?

Should I Tip My Pet Sitter?

Should I Tip My Pet Sitter?

 

Should I tip my pet sitter? In the US we are taught to tip the waiter, taxi driver, valets and even the mailman at the holidays. But everyone wonders, “Should I tip my pet sitter?”

It is up to you!

Tipping your pet sitter is greatly appreciated, but it is not expected or required. Many of our clients do choose to tip their sitters, but this choice is made on an individual basis. Unlike waiters, our sitters are paid a reasonable wage without tips being included.

When to tip your sitter

Over the years we have seen many methods of tipping from our clients. Here are some ideas:

  • Tip at the end of visits.
  • Tip at the beginning of visits.
  • Tip only at the holidays.
  • Tip on occasions that you feel it is deserved!

Most clients choose not to tip before the first visits, instead waiting to see how it goes the first time. This is also true when they get a new sitter.

How to tip your sitter

Should you decide to tip your pet sitter, there are a few ways to go about it.

  • We can add a tip onto your credit card, before or after your visits.
  • Leave a tip for your sitter at the first visit.
  • Mail a tip (via check) to us after your trip and we will get it to your sitter.

How much to tip your sitter

Again, this is completely up to you. How often you tip will also effect the amount you choose to tip. Remember that any amount is appreciated! For our clients that tip regularly, we most often see a 10-20% tip for the sitter.

However much you choose to tip, that amount will go directly to your sitter. Our sitters never expect to be tipped, but it is nice when it happens!

Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day


When we think of Valentine’s day, we think of a day of love that is filled with chocolate and flowers. And there is no reason not to include your canine companion with these dog treats for Valentine’s Day. After all, they have a piece of your heart too.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!

 

Heart Shapped Pup-cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes

No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.


It’s true that many Valentine’s Day presents are chocolaty hazards to your dog. But, these delicious homemade treats are the perfect way to share the sweetness with your dog.

 

 

 

Fun Things to Do with Your Dog in the Snow

 

It may seem like winter weather has to limit you and your dog’s activities, but there are lots of fun activities for you and Fido when it’s snowing. Many dogs love playing in the snow so here are some activities to try.

Snowball Fights

Snowballs are a dog’s dream! They are edible balls that can be chased and caught. After a fresh snow, go outside with you dog and start throwing snowballs. Many dogs will try and catch them in their mouth, while others will simply chase the snowball. You can also try throwing a tennis ball or another brightly colored ball around the snow. Be sure to keep an eye on your ball or it will get lost in the snow.

Search and Rescue 

We have all heard about the amazing dogs that find and rescue people after avalanches, your dog can do (almost) the same thing. Start by burying your dog’s favorite toy or treats in the snow. The first few times let your dog watch you bury the object so that he gets the idea. Do not bury the toy too deep, just so it is barely covered by the snow. Then let your dog loose to find the the toy or treats. When your dog catches on to the game, bury the objects a little deeper in the snow.

Snowshoeing

When there is a lot of snow on the ground, snowshoeing with your dog is a fun activity for both of you. Leash your dog up and hit the trails. I would recommend using  a long leash (if in an open area) so that your dog is free to bound ahead or explore a bit more. Keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife or other hazards to your dog.

Sledding

There are many forms of sledding you can do with your dog. There is of course what we think of as dog sledding, seven dogs tied to a sled running through Alaska, and the more relaxed version you can do at home. For the less serious version of dog sledding find a small, lightweight sled and a harness for your dog. Attach a leash to the harness and the leash to the sled. Most dogs will not move on their own so I would bait your dog with food or get him to follow you. You can leave the sled empty or put a light child or object in the sled.

While winter is a great time to curl up next to the fireplace with your dog, it is also a fun time to get outside. Be sure to take proper precautions while playing outside. Do not stay outside for extended periods of time when it is very cold and keep your dog hydrated. 

 

 

 

How Do I know If It Is Too Cold to Walk My Dog?

How Do I know If It Is Too Cold to Walk My Dog?

How Do I know If It Is Too Cold to Walk My Dog?

 

Winter does not have to put a damper on you and your dog’s activities, but how do you know when it is too cold outside? There are a variety of factors that influence when it is too cold to walk your dogs, but here are some general guidelines.

Fur length

What type and length of fur your dog has can impact how tolerant to cold he is. Short haired or shaved dogs have less fur to protect them from the cold and wind, so they do not tolerate winter walks as well. For shorter haired dogs, do not walk them outside when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees fahrenheit) without a coat or sweater.  Long and thick haired dogs are more tolerant to the cold. These dogs can handle walks outside in the cold, but these walks should be kept short.

Size and body condition

Small dogs tend to have a harder time adjusting to the cold. This is because they are closer to the ground and generally have short hair. These dogs should not be walked outside in temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, even with a sweater or coat. Larger dogs are higher off the ground and tend to have more healthy body fat compared to smaller dogs. This helps larger dogs be more tolerant to the cold. Body condition is also an important factor in determining how cold is too cold. Fat helps insulate the body and keep your dog warm. Many dogs, particularly hunting dogs, have fat under their skin. This is why labs can jump into freezing lakes. For this reason, dogs who are underweight should not be outside for extended periods of time in the cold.

Health conditions 

Many health conditions impact how your dog will react to the cold. Dogs with arthritis or dogs with hip dysplasia should only be walked for short periods of time when the temperature is below 40 degrees fahrenheit. The cold tends to exacerbate these conditions and will make your dog extra sore and grumpy. Other health conditions, like thyroid issues, affect your dog’s ability to regulate his body temperature. Dogs with these conditions should not be walked for long periods of time in the cold. Talk to your vet to see if any health conditions your dog has can be impacted by the cold.

 

There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding how cold is too cold to walk your dog. In general, use caution when the temperature is below freezing. Keep walks short and brisk to help prevent your dog from getting too cold. Always be aware of other winter weather dangers, such as ice and sidewalk salt. For more information on sidewalk salt, see our previous blog post.