Do’s and Don’ts of selecting a dog walker, a daycare or a boarding facility

Here is a short clip of surveillance footage that I recorded. What is happening in the video? 3 hours and 32 minutes after I left the house, my dog woke up. She soon got bored and decided to rip apart the mail. That's the kind of things that are happening in the Zuberg house these days. How is it going on your side?

Today I am back with a new post. If it is your first time reading from my blog, welcome! In this blog, we talk about keeping our dogs that stay home alone happy. I release a post every few days where I share tips, experience and research. All of that will converge to a book called '9 to 5 Dog'.

Here is what we've done so far. In week one we have launched the blog. We started with some self-assessment. We talked about games and equipment for our home-alone pups. I've posted a list of 50 activities that I share with my dog. We discussed socialization and making new canine friends. In week two we talked about getting help with your dog from neighbours, friends, relatives and owners of your dog's friends. And last week I suggested 3 games to tire out your dog.

The blog is definitely gaining some ground. The number of readers grew by 80% in the past week. A few days ago Mike reached out through the website, and he wanted to know how to find the best dog walker. Thank you for your question Mike! So what I wanted to do today is essentially share some key insights about hiring professional care for your dog. We will dig deeper into different kinds of programs and facilities available for our dogs later in this blog. In this post, I want to talk about things to consider when making a decision. What you should do and should not do to ensure your dog is in the right hands.

"Do become an expert on all the options available to you - dog walkers, doggy daycares and boarding facilities." This is the most important piece of advice in the world of dog care. Try different facilities, experiment with your schedule, and do things you've never done before. It is important to establish a safe and proven routine that works for everyone and that you're comfortable and familiar with.

A full-time job and a happy, active dog are the product of many things, but it's most important to do all the little things right and control what you can.

Do's and don'ts of selecting a dog walker, a daycare, or a boarding facility

Here are some of the dog care do's and don'ts.

1. DO aim for at least two to three weeks of planning and selecting before you have to leave your dog with someone else. DON'T stress out because you are leaving your dog with a random person you found online.

2. DO set an alarm and be on time for pick-up. DON'T stress out because you are running late or forgot something.

3. DO make sure you have everything ready. Prepare for the weather, pack dog food, medications and other things that your dog may need. Check your dog's tag to make sure the information is up to date. Prepare vaccinations and any other required documents. DON'T forget to explain every detail to the person who will take care of your dog.

4. DO discuss any issues you have right away. If your dog is skittish, does not like children or has any other problems, DON'T forget to mention it right away.

5. DO adjust your dog's food. Your dog will need to refuel the energy he used. It is ok to leave a snack. DON'T leave your dog with an empty stomach.

6. DO give your dog plenty of time to get used to the new people and activities. Start with a trial run. Ask to walk in and view the facilities or join on a walk. DON'T expect that your dog would be just fine because you paid the fare.

7. DO know exactly what your dog is doing. Where would they go for "walkies"? Would your dog be transported? Will they play organized games? DON'T forget to inspect the vehicle, indoor facilities, crates and any place where your dog will stay.

8. DO ask if your dog gets along with everybody (dogs and people). A new friendsis a sign of a good fit. However, DON'T rely on others. Although most of the dog care providers will try their best to keep an eye on every dog, you should always pay attention to your dog's behaviour to understand what's really going on.

9. DO inspect your dog's body to make sure there are no scratches or bruises immediately. DON'T wait until next time to talk about it.

10. DO monitor your dog's health to ensure he is fit and ready to be cared by others. DON'T ignore diarrhea, fever, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting or any other symptoms of a potential disease.

11. DO have a backup plan. You should always have some idea as to what you will do if your daycare or boarding facility closes or your dog walker does not show up. DON'T wait until the last minute to find a backup facility.

12. DO thank the staff. Remember you want them to associate your dog with good things. DON'T ask for special treatment for your dog.

13. DO pay attention to how your dog greets the new caregiver. Unless your dog is very shy, he should love them right away. DON'T hire a person you are uncomfortable with.

14. DO make sure the person who will take care of your dog has appropriate training. DON'T just assume they do.

15. DO make sure your dog comes home tired but happy and relaxed. DON'T ignore anxiousness and stress related tiredness.

OK, that's where we will leave it for today. If you want to get more details on this topic and everything we talk about here: more of the behind the scenes, more tips, more advice, join the newsletter. That's where I send all of that staff. It really gives people the insight on what's going on here. If you don't like reading emails visit our Facebook page. A few dozen of people sign up for the page updates every day. The responses from people have been absolutely great. Over a thousand people have become fans in the first month! So good. Thank you for joining us! Keep the comments and messages coming. I read every one. Talk to you next week.

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