Getting away can be an exciting time, whether it be for business or leisure. Sometimes, however, the thrill of planning and packing can be dampened by a sense of guilt and responsibility as you consider the best arrangements to make for your dog while you’re away.
Your paramount concern will always be your dog’s care and safety. If you’re lucky enough to have someone staying at home or a trusted neighbor who can make sure your dog is adequately fed and watered while you’re away, then you can allow your dog to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home without having to go into a boarding kennel. We are always looking for tips for inexpensive family travel and the ability to avoid paying for a boarding kennel is an excellent way of keeping costs down when you travel.
But looking after a dog is more than just providing food, water, and shelter. Every dog needs exercise, and sometimes the person who will be feeding your dog is not the right person to also exercise them. Luckily, there are plenty of dog walking services that you can hire to keep your dog’s mind and body active while you’re away.
The Benefits of Hiring a Dog Walking Service While You’re Away
A Tired Dog is a Well-Behaved Dog
If you’ve chosen to leave your dog in your home while you’re away, the last thing you want to think about is whether your dog is so bored and frustrated that they’re destroying the house. Boredom from missing out on their usual exercise coupled with stress and anxiety caused by their absent human and their normal routine interrupted can cause destructive behaviors even in normally well-behaved dogs.
Hiring a dog walking service will allow your dog to release any pent-up stress and energy, leaving them feeling calm and well-behaved when they’re at home.
Routine and Familiarity
Dogs, like many humans, are creatures of habit. Dogs feel happiest and safest when with their favorite human family members, in their familiar surroundings, and sticking to their normal daily routine. When you’re out of town, your dog will likely experience heightened anxiety as they wonder where you are and why their usual routine with you has been disrupted.
The next best thing you can do for your dog is to allow them to stay in their home environment and to stick to their normal routine as much as possible. A professional dog walking service will accommodate your typical schedule by taking your dog for a walk on a schedule that they’re used to. If you normally walk your dog first thing in the morning, a professional dog walker can too. If your dog normally looks forward to an after-work walk with you, the dog walking service you hire should seamlessly continue the same routine.
Guilt-Free Peace of Mind
The guilt of leaving your dog behind while you’re away can ruin even the most exciting trip. By hiring an experienced dog walking service to look after your dog and making sure they’re adequately exercised while you’re away, leaves you free to get on with the business of enjoying your trip, safe in the knowledge that your dog is being well looked after while you’re not there.
Canine obesity is one of the biggest health problems in dogs. It is only through an uninterrupted schedule of dog walks of an appropriate length and activity level, along with the right choice of food and portion sizes, that you can keep your dog’s weight under control. The last thing you want is to return home from a trip away to find that your dog has gained weight due to lack of exercise.
Rather than wonder how your dog is getting along in a boarding kennel while you’re away, imagine the happiness and reassurance you’ll feel when you receive ongoing updates from your dog walker. A simple email or text message with a photo of your dog enjoying their walk will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your time away without worrying about your beloved pet.
Essential Skills to Look For in a Dog Walker
Professional and Experienced
The importance of hiring a dog walker who is both professional and experienced cannot be understated. Anything can happen on a dog walk, and you need to feel completely comfortable that the dog walker you’ve chosen will be able to handle any kind of situation that may arise. A professional, experienced dog walker will be able to provide you with proof of their extensive experience and should provide references or contact details of other dog walking clients that you can contact.
Some people are dog people and some aren’t. The difference is usually immediately obvious as soon as your prospective dog walker meets your dog. If the dog walker seems awkward or unsure or isn’t down on the floor getting to know your dog and building a rapport, they may not be the right fit for you.
A professional, experienced dog walking service will also provide an excellent customer experience. The booking process should be seamless, and contacting your dog walker should never be a difficult process. A dog walking service with plenty of satisfied previous and current clients is an excellent indicator of a service that is customer-focused and easy to deal with.
Adaptable and Flexible
The best dog walkers will be both adaptable and flexible, ensuring that they can meet any situation as it arises. This comes back to our first point, which touched on the importance of hiring a dog walker that is both professional and experienced.
Imagine your dog was injured during a walk. You would want to know that your dog walker has the flexibility and adaptability to immediately seek medical care for your dog and take all steps necessary to ensure that your dog is cared for. The last thing you need is a “part-time” dog walker who is unavailable during an emergency because of pre-existing study or work commitments.
We talked a lot about the benefits of hiring a dog walking service while you’re away, and here’s one more bonus to add to the list. When you return from your trip away, your dog will be there at home ready to greet you. Never again will you need to return to an empty home and then make arrangements to pick up your dog from a boarding kennel. Imagine coming home from a trip away to be greeted by your dog: happy, healthy, and well-exercised.
With the plans now made for your dog, you can carry on planning for your trip without the guilt that comes with making plans for your dog. Read on for our ultimate checklist for packing your summer suitcase.