Is Hiring a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker Right For You
In most cases a pet sitter or dog walker will be the perfect match for you and your pet. We used to take our hound dog to a kennel when we traveled out of town. Then one time he lost his voice and there is no sadder sound than a hound dog that can't ARRROOOOO. Our Corgi would always come back from the boarding facility with sever stomach issues and it would take at least a week before he was back to having his regular bowel movements. The stress and change in routine can be hard on many dogs and cage a cat in a cat condo can be even worse. Pet sitting for most pets is the best solution but it isn't always the right fit.
Why I'd like to say our services are perfect for every pet owner and they should all use a pet sitter or dog walker I know that isn't true. I've been working as a pet sitter and dog walker long enough that I know it isn't for everyone. One of the first dogs I took care of was a rescue dog new to his home. His owners hired us because he was destructive while they were at work and they felt that a mid-day dog walk would help or they wanted to find out if it would. For a lot of dogs 30 minutes of exercise and mental stimulation would have helped but this was a high energy breed and whenever I arrived to the home I would spend the first 10-15 minutes of the visit picking up the magazines he tore apart in his boredom. This particular dog needed more activity than a 30 minute dog walk could provide and I eventually suggested they try a doggy daycare as that would be a much better fit for this dog's personality.
While pet sitting and dog walking are the services we offer we're truly in the business because we care about animals and want the best for them. Another situation that we have had before is an elderly dog that the owner knew was nearing the end of his life and had serious medical complications. She had a trip coming up and preferred to use in home pet care. She wanted us there as much as possible but the best we could offer was an extended overnight with two mid-day visits. In this case pet sitting wasn't the right option as this dog needed round the clock care and close monitoring by a veterinarian and that is where the owner ended up leaving her dog. It was again the right decision as pet sitting would not have been the best fit and while we would have rushed the dog to the vet if need be a dog with as severe of medical issues as this one had needed closer supervision.
The two cases mentioned above are ones where a pet sitter or dog walker wasn't the right fit. We have been in similar situations a number of times. We have walked dogs that had issues with destructive habits or separation anxiety, but there are extreme cases where we simply cannot be present enough to be the right fit, and likewise we have taken care of our share of special needs and elderly dogs, but there comes a point when they are just too close to the end or have very sever medical issues. We have plenty of partially or fully paralyzed dogs we've taken care of but they had no medical issues that would require round the clock monitoring.
A counter to the tale of a dog needing round the clock monitoring for medical issues is the dog or cat that has progressed to a stage in life where the vet no longer feels it is necessary or productive to have them vaccinated. Dog or cat boarding requires a pet be vaccinated but if your pet is past that point and your vet has deemed it unnecessary then pet sitting is the perfect option. We don't require that a pet be vaccinated but we do like to know if they are so that we can take the appropriate steps between visits and make certain we don't bring any contaminates into the un-vaccinated pet's home.
Dog walking is also a great fit for many high energy dogs that could use a break in the middle of the day. The one I mentioned earlier was an extreme case of boredom. In his case he needed to go to doggy daycare because that is what he needed but the vast majority of dogs will be perfectly fine with a mid-day walk or play session to break up the day and give them the mental stimulation they need. Think about how your lunch break breaks up your day and how at some point you start looking forward to it, then it arrives, and ten the rest of the day is easier to get through. Your dog would prefer that you were at home, but you can't be because you have to make money to buy your dog food and treats. A mid-day dog walk is like a lunch break for your dog. They will start to look forward to it about an hour or two before it is time and then they will go on a walk or have a play session in your back yard and then be ready to relax until you come home.
While pet sitting and dog walking isn't perfect for every pet and there are those that need or would enjoy going to a boarding facility or doggy daycare it is my extremely biased opinion that pet sitting and dog walking is the best option for most pets and I don't think it is far fetched to say they'd rather stay at home if possible. I would personally dislike it if I had to go to a hotel every time my wife traveled out of town.