Choosing the Right Pet

A large dog sits on the couch taunting his dog walker

Being a pet sitter/dog walker isn't all puppies and rainbows as I've mentioned before, and at times we are called into a situation that is beyond our control. The dog has too much energy, is being destructive when his or her family is at work, and his or her family wants him or her walked to get it out. The problem in this situation is the dog owners view pet sitting/dog walking as a cure all, a magic bullet, that will get all the dog's energy out and stop the destructive behavior. A lot of dog breeds, especially the working breeds, require more activity than a 30 minute or even an hour dog walk will provide. We have learned, the hard way, not to take on clients like this.

We are your partners in pet care and that starts before a pet is even brought home. One of the biggest issues in the above scenario is that the wrong dog was chosen for the household. Dogs like German Shepards, Australian Shepards, and Border Collies need to work. They have to have a job to do. They aren't dogs that are going to be happy sleeping all day on a dog bed waiting for their owner to come home and then curling up next to them on the couch while they binge Netflix and munch on Doritos before going to bed.

Choosing the right pet is one of the most important parts of pet ownership, and as a pet care provider we have taken care of many breeds of dogs and cats and seen all personality types. Always do your research and keep in mind what the dog was bred for and if there are any health concerns associated with the breed and if that fits into your lifestyle. As a counter to the lazy lifestyle described above imagine that you're looking for a dog to go running with but also love the bat ears of a French Bulldog. Unless you're going to run with the dog in a baby carrier perhaps choose a more active breed.

This also applies to cats. If you want a quiet calm cat look into the American or British Shorthair. If you, however, want an active and playful cat then look into a Siamese or a Bengal, but be warned if you get an active cat you will have to spend a good amount of time playing with it or provide it a way in which to entertain itself. If a cat wants to climb and play it doesn't care if it is up a cat tree or an entertainment center. A cat that wants to do will do and consequences be damned.

My final bit of advice is to look at life expectancy. Like everything with choosing the right pet this is a personal preference. I have fallen in love with the Vizsla but I could never own one as their life expectancy is only around 9 years. My hound, Riley, is currently 9 years old and if all the time I've had with him was all I was going to get I'd be devastated. As it is thinking of his mortality saddens me, but I know we have a few more years together and they will be good years. I could not own a dog with a life expectancy on the short side.

Now, future pet owners, go forth and research dog breeds, head to your local shelter or breed specific rescue, and find yourself your dream pet whether it is a Ragdoll cat or a Boxer dog and if your new pet would like a mid-day dog walk or pet sitting when you're out of town give us a call.

#Riley #DogOwnership #Pets #Dogs #Cats #DogWalking #PetSitting #CatOwnership

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