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Why Midday Dog Walks Are Important

Abbey waiting for her dog walker

When most people think about why their dog might benefit from a midday dog walk the most common reasons that come to mind are a potty break and exercise.

While mid-day potty breaks are a welcome reprieve for all dogs it is a necessity for others. Puppies often need extra breaks as their bladders are growing with their bodies.  As dogs age their bladder ages with them, so at some point you may find that your senior dog can no longer hold it until you get home from work.  

The number of hours you are gone each day also factors into the need for a midday dog walk. While most dogs can “hold it” for about eight hours, it is not necessarily good for them to do so.  Having your dog hold it for long periods on a regular basis can lead to the development of bacteria in the accumulated urine. Over time this can lead to a urinary tract infection or even a bladder or kidney infection. While it might seem counter intuitive, having your dog hold it for long periods can also contribute to incontinence as they get older.

According to many studies, exercise needs vary based on your dog’s age, breed, size and overall health, but most dogs should spend between thirty minutes to two hours on an activity every day.   Breeds in the hunting, working or herding groups need the most exercise.  Getting a midday dog walk of twenty to forty minutes during work days not only helps to satisfy the activity requirement but also gives the pet parent a reprieve on those days when you can’t or just don’t want to run home after work and take your dog for a good walk.

While your dog is getting their mid-day bathroom break there are other important benefits. If your dog is a napper and has little activity during the day this can lead to weight gain.  According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight.  Despite this worrying statistic, over 80% of pet owners believe their pet is at a healthy weight.  Just like with people, being overweight can lead to a shortened life expectancy for your pup.

Not all dogs are nappers. Some dogs left to their own devices and boredom can end up becoming disruptive, like barking, or destructive, such as chewing, digging or trying to escape.  Being left alone for long periods can also lead dogs to develop separation anxiety which in turn can also lead to destructive behavior.  

Taking your dogs for walks anytime is good for socialization and leash manners. In a 2015 study on the importance of early socialization in adult dogs, those who lacked regular socialization showed increased aggression and fearfulness as adults.  Walks are a good time for a dog to explore their surroundings, come across new objects and other people and pets.   Done on a regular basis, this will result in a calmer and better-behaved dog.

A mid-day dog walk or backyard playtime may be a small detail but it can make a big difference to a dog left alone at home. If you aren’t able to do this yourself, anywhere from one to five days a week, Pet Minders has experienced dog walkers ready to assist. Please call us to customize a schedule that satisfies you and your dogs needs.

 

 

What does an In-Home Pet Sitter do?

Those of us who have been in the pet sitting industry for decades think that everyone knows what we do and how we do it. However, I still get calls from pet owners who not only have never used a pet sitter before but really don’t know exactly how it all works.

To start, pet sitters care for your pets in your home. You don’t have to transport them anywhere and they get to stay where they are most comfortable – their home.  Animals thrive on routine so this helps reduce anxiety in your pets while you are away.

The pet sitter comes to your home at agreed upon timeframes to feed, refresh water, take the dogs for a walk or playtime in your backyard, clean out the litter boxes and provide personal attention to your pets.

The number of visits per day really depends on what type of pets you have and what their personal needs and routines are.   Most cats are fine with one visit per day, although we have many clients that have us come twice per day.  Dogs require at least twice per day visits as they need potty breaks. Some dogs, especially older dogs or puppies, may need more visits per day.   Each visit is about 30 minutes but time can be added to any visit if you would like the sitter to stay longer.

Pet sitting companies may also offer Overnight Stays where the pet sitter performs all the duties they would normally do in their visits but then they also spend the evening and the night in your home with your pets. This is a great service if you have multiple pets or pets with special needs.  But, we have many clients that just feel more comfortable if someone is there at night with their pets at any age.

Pet sitters also provide important home watch services by bringing in your mail daily, picking up newspapers and deliveries, rotating lights and blinds making your home look like someone is still there.

If you have more questions about pet sitting please don’t hesitate to contact our office for more information and to schedule a free in home consultation by one of our experienced pet sitters.

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