Pet Sitting 101

Are you going overseas, but your pets will have to remain at home? Pet sitting is one option for you as a pet owner.

What is in-home Pet Sitting?

A Pet Sitter is used when you or your entire family will be away from home (holidays, vacations, trips) but your pets are left at home alone. Pet sitters will go to your house and take care of your pets. A pet sitting service could include feeding, playing with your pets, walking your dog, cleaning up of the potty area, watering your plants etc.


Why use a Pet Sitter vs Pet Hotel?  

There are many advantages of using a trust worthy pet sitter versus placing your pets in a pet hotel. You would have to decide which is more suitable for your situation!

  • Your pets do not have to travel to and fro the pet hotel or pet boarding place. Some pets travel badly, some pets have separation anxiety and would not enjoy staying in a strange place. They stay put right at home, and we go to them!
  • No exposure to possible diseases or viruses from other animals. In pet hotels or pet boarding services, many other pets have been in and out of these places. Many places do not and are also unable to fully disinfect or sanitise their areas after every pet. For frail, weak or sick pets, they might need isolation from other animals.
  • Their regular and daily routines can be maintained. No need for them to switch to a strange environment, especially if your pet is on medication or is not good with changes and other animals. Just specify what you need to be done, and we will take care of it 100%.
  • Less stress on your beloved animals. They get to stay in their usual, comfy homes.
  • Any domestic pet can benefit from pet sitting. We follow your instructions and routine. Many pet hotels and pet boarders do not accept every type of animal. Sometimes, due to breed types, your pet may be refused too.


Types of Pet Sitting Services

Daily quick visits: We will go to your home to follow through your instructions (feeding, walking, playing etc) for a pre-agreed number of hours every day. Your pet’s daily schedule and routine can be followed without any changes to feeding time, sleeping time etc. You would have to prepare a list of tasks and the timings to carry it out.

Overnight stays: On top of taking care of your pets, the pet sitter will also stay overnight at your  place. This is similar to house sitting, and allows for much more interaction and contact hours compared to quick visits. It would also mean that someone is looking after both your house and your pets at the same time!


K9 Pet Care provides pet sitting services in Singapore, so go ahead and travel while we ensure that your home is taken cared of!


Read more from: 
Wikipedia: Pet Sitting / Pet Sitters

Ways to Exercise your Dog Indoors

8 Ways to Exercise my Dog Indoors

There are many instances in a week where dog owners get too busy, too tired or just a little lazy to walk their dogs. What if it is raining? What if it is raining for a few days in a row, during your scheduled dog walking time? If you are injured or have walking issues, walking may not be something you want to do either… How to exercise my dog without walking it?

Yes you can still exercise your dog at home, without going on for a walk in such situations! Indoor exercises cannot replace actual walks; you have to make efforts to walk your dog outside or have someone else do it, so that your pups get to use all their senses (smell, sight etc), engage their minds and use up any excess energies. Exercise and boredom are two different issues! Here we compile replacements for outdoor exercise.

Here is a list of some ways on how to exercise your dog inside/indoors, see which ones work for you! Hopefully your pups will play simple games with you in lieu of their daily walk J


Simple and Affordable Ways
  • Fetch

This classic game has always been a simple and does not cost very much. All you need is a dog toy or item safe for throwing and retrieving, and you toss it away from you! Some pups need to be trained to play this simple fetch game, but sometimes, they will just retrieve the item for you in order to please you (their owner). Dogs who enjoy this game would be able to get their exercise indoors, and the best part – you can do it anytime of the day!


  • Chasing Toys/Treats

Tie a toy or treat (or treat inside a toy) to a string by itself, or to a string and a stick, and let your pup chase it! You can even do this while seated in front of the tv. Or you can try and play football with some breeds of dogs (herding dogs), it might be quite instinctive to them!


  • Indoor Obstacle Course

Have cushions, boxes, pillows and toys? You can consider making your own obstacle course for your pup at home! Go big on the ideas – make a network of tunnels, or just a simple one with cushions. If you change the layout, your pup will be very excited as it would seem like a new ‘game’ to it!


  • Stimulate their Sense of Smell

Try to hide their meal or treats inside a treat dispensing toy, hiding places or in a box, and let them try to get the food out of it.


  • Hide and Seek

Hide their favourite toy and let them find it, or hide yourself and let them find you!


Other Ideas
  • Stair climbing

If you have a stairway at home, you can engage you dog in exercise by playing fetch on the stairs. For example, you could wait at the top of the staircase, throw the toy down and let your dog chase after it – then call it by its name and let it bring the toy back to you… and you can repeat it a few times!


  • Treadmills

Dogs can utilize a treadmill too, in a similar way that we humans would use it. Set a moderate pace and keep your eye on your pup all the time, for safety reasons! There are also dog treadmills in the market… if you have the space for any treadmill at home!


  • Training Time

You could use the opportunity to train your pup something new, or reinforce any learnt tricks and commands.


Not Recommended:
    • Laser Pointers – May drive your dog into too much excitement and lead to problems such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), neuroticism (madness) or paranoia. They might keep on looking for the laser even after you have stopped the game. Also runs the risk of the laser on the eyes, which is potentially harmful to the retina of both your and your dog’s eyes.


  • Tug-of-War – Unless your dog will respond to you asking it to drop the rope on command, it is not a good idea to play this game. It can go wrong when the dog gets too excited and the tugging brings out the aggression in your dog.


Remember, taking walks with your pup outdoors are great for both of you. Even if you don’t have the time for a nice slow walk, you can probably afford 15 minutes every day. Otherwise, engage our professional team on a regular, fixed schedule basis for a peace of mind! Routines are good for dogs!  Do note that we do pet sitting at the comfort of your own home too.


Important Note

As with all dogs and pets, please ensure that your fur kid is in good health with regular check ups and monitoring of their health status. Any unusual behaviour or appearances should be investigated further. Do not begin a new exercise routine your dog without consulting your vet. Do not exercise a sick, injured or recovering dog; it is not recommended to exercise some dogs vigorously right after meals. Do keep them hydrated and well rested. If unsure or in doubt, please check with a professional or your vet. Do your research on the activity that you wish to partake with your dogs before starting on it.

How to Potty Train Your Dog?

Potty training is a mandatory part of training your dog; after all, no one loves the messy situations created when your dog is not trained. While this is certainly not one of those fun things to do, the earlier you get to learn how to potty train your dog, the better it is for you. There is no way to avoid this form of training, but there are things that you could do to make sessions easy, both for you and your canine. Matter of fact, this is not complicated. You need only do it well and be patient enough.

There are many techniques which can be used, but those with the highest success rates will usually have four major pillars to support them/ the four pillars are seclusion of the dogs, training, proper timing as well as recognition of efforts made by the dog through praise. While those four pillars would normally be related to the dog, you would also do with two key elements. You will need tons of patience and perseverance, after all, you are seeking to create a new routine and that will take time as is expected.

At the beginning of the dog potty training sessions, one could use old newspapers to collect the poop. Alternatively, training pads for pups may be used. While these methods give excellent results in the short term, they can lead to confusion when the pup is a little grown and needs outside potty training. To avoid these shortcomings, you could opt to go directly for outside potty training. This technique is not only fast, it is less complicated for the dog as well.

This technique makes use of a dog crate for the purposes of confinement. The principle here is that there is certainly no dog which wants to relieve itself where it sleeps. The crate ought to be big enough to allow the dog to stand comfortably as well as turn around. Avoid using large crates as they could lead the dog to sleep at one end of the crate, and ‘do its business’ on the other end. After sometime, allow the dog to go outside, say after an hour or so. This will provide time to relieve themselves as well as play around. After this, make sure you commend the dog. Allow a few minutes of play before the dog resumes the crate. With time, the dog will learn that relieving is done outside of the crate, hence successful potty training.

Save Our Stray Dogs

What to do if you find them

If you are an animal lover and you spot a dog roaming around without food and shelter, you may find it difficult to just walk away. Dogs on the streets could either be strays, lost, or abandoned.

Make sure that it is really alone before you attempt a daring rescue. The dog could simply have been separated from its owner temporarily, or it might be part of a pack – in which case his “buddies”, if any, might come after you.

The first step is to get it in your possession. This can be dangerous, especially if the dog is defensive or hostile due to prior abuse or neglect from its owners, or it could simply be because of its innate temperament. If it appears to pose any threat of biting or attacking, do not approach it. Instead, call the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority’s (AVA) Centre for Animal Welfare and Control for help and inform them of its location.

If the dog is friendly enough, win its trust by making a peace offering, such as presenting food. Once the dog is comfortable with you, you can attempt to place a leash or rope around its neck. If it is a puppy, you can place it in a large box or crate. Check for any signs of domestication, such as a collar which may contain information that may lead you to the dog’s home or owner.

For a dog with a collar but no license, see if it can understand basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “down”, as the animal could be either lost or abandoned. You can bring the dog to the vet to scan for a microchip. If the dog has one, you can use the information to obtain the dog owner’s contact from the AVA.

If it has no collar or license, does not show signs of domestication and looks like it needs help, you can contact non-profit/volunteer/support groups such as Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD), Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) or the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

How to adopt them
Before you decide to adopt a stray dog and give it a place in your household, there are a few things you need consider.

First and foremost, before you bring the dog back into your home and expose it to your family and other animals, a visit to the veterinarian is a must for preventative shot, flea/tick treatments, vaccinations and sterilization if necessary.

Next, ensure that you have the finances to take care of it. Just because the dog is a stray does not mean that it does not require any expenses; you will need to pay for food, snacks, toys, medical treatments, grooming, necessities such as collars and leashes, and a kennel, cage or crate. It is also a good idea to get your new pet micro chipped in case you lose it or it runs away.

It is also important to speak to those living with you, including your parents, spouse, children, housemates/flat mates, and even domestic helpers, to see if they are agreeable to adopting the animal. Then, think about how well you are able to meet your dog’s daily needs and whether you are emotionally ready to handle this long term commitment, which can be more than 15 years.

Once you have made the decision to take in the dog, owners have to apply online for licensing, renewable annually, at the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) website. Keep the AVA is informed if there is a change of ownership of the dog or the address where the do is kept, or if the dog gets lost or passes away.

Do note that if you live in a HDB flat, you are only allowed to keep one dog of an approved breed. If you flout the rules, you may be liable to a fine of up to a maximum of $4,000. If you live in a non-HDB residence, you can keep up to three dogs.

Caring for them
Adopting a stray dog is a completely different ball game compared to buying one from a pet shop. The dog would have been used to living in harsh and dirty conditions and probably has no ideas, for example, that relieving itself on the floor at your feet is not a good thing, or, that the trash can is not exactly the best source of food.

Since stray dogs are probably not very used to human contact, get a special fence or crate for it, and make sure that you and your family members do not overwhelm the canine. For at least the first few days, confine the dog for most of the day, and place food, water a chew toy inside the crate. Bring it to roam one room at a time to get used to the new environment.

Strays also need to be slowly introduced to the dry dog food sold at pet stores or else they may get digestive problems. Consult your veterinarian on the best way to do this. Feed it with food and water in controlled portions on a regular schedule, so that you will be better able to gauge when it will relieve itself.

When you do catch your dog exhibiting conduct that is unacceptable in your household, firmly and harshly say “No!” or any word of your choice. Every time this happens, consistently use the same word so that the dog will identify with the word and know it has done wrong. Never punish the dog by hitting or starving it.

When your dog does get it right, edible treats, verbal praises and petting are all good ways to provide positive reinforcements during the housebreaking process, but it’s important to reward your dog immediately after good behavior is displayed.

Taking in a stray can be challenging, but the satisfaction of seeing your pet’s health and happiness improve will be your reward.

Source: The Sunday Times, August 25, 2013
Pets Corner
Written by Amanda Ng

Coping With the Death of a Pet

Loss is an inevitable part of life, and grief is a natural part of the healing process. Dealing with the loss of a pet who means the world to you can be one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Here are some ways one can cope with the pain and sorrow of a pet’s demise.

Express Your Feelings and Emotions

Grief and sorrow are normal responses to death. Feelings of loss are very personal, and only you would understand the significance of your loss. So vent your feelings the way you fee fit. Don’t feel embarrassed, or think that you will be judged by others – especially those who advise you to “move on” or “get over it”.

Help Yourself Heal

We mark important events in our lives through rituals like celebrations and ceremonies. If your pet is regarded as a member of your family and the grief of losing it is strong, you could hold a funeral to allow you and your family members to honor your pet and bid it farewell. Ignore people who think it’s inappropriate to hold a funeral for a pet.

The process of grieving can be stressful and exhausting. To get yourself through this difficult time and avoid falling into depression, it is important to keep yourself in good physical condition and look after your emotional needs. If you have other pets at home, remember that they may be affected by your sorrow, as well as need your care and attention. So, continue with the daily routines of feeding, exercising and playing with them.

Celebrate Your Love

Your can create “legacies “to commemorate the life of your beloved pet through various ways, such as preparing a memorial, compiling a photo album or scrapbook, planting a tree in its memory.

Find New Interest in Life

If your pet had been your only or closest companion, you may find it even more difficult to face up to your loss. Try to fill the void and boost your morale by picking up a hobby, staying connected with friends, volunteering for good causes, helping your friends care for their pets or reaching out to others who have lost their pets.

Helping a Child Cope with the Loss of a Pet

If the demise of your pet is your child’s first experience of death, it could be traumatic for them. Don’t try to shield them from the sadness of losing a pet by avoiding the issue, or pretending that the pet has “disappeared” or “gone to sleep”. Be honest with them about what happened, and teach them how to cope with the grief and pain that inevitably accompanies the joy of loving another living creature. Remember that the way you handle the grieving process can determine whether the experience will have a positive or negative effect on your child’s personal development.

Source: The Sunday Times, May 12, 2013
– written by Sheila Lim

Don’t Let Your Pet Get Obese! (Part 2 of 2)

Exercise Caution!
Without you to lead the way, your pet isn’t going to go for a brisk walk or run laps on its own! So it is part of your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure your pet gets to exercise safely on a regular basis.

Here are some precautions to take when exercising a pet dog:

– If your dog is overweight, take it to the veterinarian for a complete physical examination to assess its physical condition and general health, and prescribe a safe fitness regimen to get it back into shape.

– Like us, animals that are unfit or over-weight should start exercising a t a slower pace and gradually build up their fitness level to avoid sustaining injuries. It is a common misconception that dogs are built to run; however, like us, they are prone to muscle aches and joint pains too. Carry excess weight will also put additional strain on the heart, respiratory system and joints.

– Don’t run, bike or climb with your dog unless it is in tip-top shape. It is also advisable not to do so with young dogs below two years old as their bones are still in the developmental stage.

– Dogs can overheat easily because they do not perspire like us; and those with a thicker coat of fur are even more susceptible to this problem. So don’t overexert them – watch out for signs like excessive panting and lagging. Stop and rest if necessary. If the weather is hot, get it into the shade and give it water to drink.

– When you run on hard or hot surfaces, your feet are protected by shoes – your dog’s are not! So be mindful about this, otherwise, its feet can get hurt.

– If you think your dog is up for greater challenges, you could even consider signing it up for dog training or agility classes.

Exercise not only benefits your pet’s health, but is also a good way for it to release some of its pent-up nervous energy, which could cause it to wreak havoc around the house! Exercising with your pet is also a great way for you to bond with each other.

Source: The Sunday Times, April 28, 2013 Pets Corner
Written by Sheila Lim

Don’t Let Your Pet Get Obese! (Part 1 of 2)

Dogs and cats that are 10 to 20 per cent above their ideal body weight are considered obese. Obesity can lead to various health problems, or worsen existing ailments. And as a result, it can reduce both the length and quality of a pet’s life.

Some potentially serious medical conditions associated with obesity in pets include high blood pressure, heart, kidney and respiratory diseases, arthritis, skin diseases, diabetes mellitus and cancers. Obese pets may find difficulty in exercising as they are prone to respiratory problems or heat stroke because of their excessive weight.

Besides overfeeding, there are several other factors that can cause a pet to become obese:

Breed: Certain breeds have a higher propensity of becoming obese than others due to their genetic disposition.

Age: The propensity of becoming obese tends to increase with age due to slowing metabolism rates.

Desexing: Neutered dogs of either sex are more likely to be obese as they have lower metabolic rates.

Owner: It has been suggested that dogs with obese owners tend to be obese. A likely reason for this is that an overweight owner is less likely to exercise his or her dog. Some owners overfeed their dogs, or feed them inappropriate treats and supplements.

Underlying health condition: A dog may have reduced energy requirement due to hormonal diseases, such as hypothyroidism.

Obesity is a preventable problem. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight issues, consult a veterinarian, who can assess the amount of stored body fat in its body and also determine if there is any underlying health condition that is causing the weight gain.

Keep Your Pet Active, Trim and Healthy

Obesity results when the energy we attain from our food intake is more that that expended. Therefore, the two most obvious ways of preventing obesity is to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise routine.

– Providing an appropriate diet for your pet is a vital part of maintaining its health. Ensuring that it gets adequate exercise is equally important too.

– If you have more than one pet, keep an eye on the animals during mealtimes to ensure that they only eat their own food, and not indulge in extra helpings from the food bowls of the others!

– If you want to pamper or reward your pet with treats, try to give it healthier options like apples, carrots, lean chicken and turkey. But remember – don’t overdo it!

– One way of getting your pet to exercise on its own is to provide it with pet-proof toys to play with. You should be able to find an array of innovative items at pet stores that are designed to keep it busy and happy for hours on end.

– The easiest way to exercise your dog is to take it for walks around the neighborhood. A 20-minute brisk walk daily is recommended. Remember, the bigger your dogs are, the less they want to do. And the less they do, the bigger they get! When you take it for a walk on a lease, try to include bouts of jogging or stair-climbing exercises to give it a cardio workout and strengthen its muscles.

– You are absolutely cannot find the time to walk your dog regularly, seek pet service providers or dog walkers who can help you do so. Ask around for references if you wish to ensure that the service provider is reliable.

– There are various fun ways for you to keep your dog active and fit. For instance, you could take it to areas with open space and get it to chase after a Frisbee, stick or ball. Or hide some kibbles or a toy and get your dog to find it.

– Organizing “play dates” for your dog is another way to get it to exercise. You could make such arrangements with your neighbors and friends, or check out outline pet networks to connect with other like-minded dog owners. Who knows, you might end up making new friends too!

– If your pooch is obese and is not afraid of water, take it for regular swimming sessions to burn off the extra calories. Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise – it is non weight-bearing and your dog can move freely in the water without stressing its joints.

Health-Conscious Owners Are Putting Their Pets On Raw Food Diets And Organic Foods

Daisy, a 10-year-old papillon, dines on organic vegetables and fresh meats twice a day.
They are prepared by her owner, Mr Timothy Loh, 49, a public relations consultant, who started her on a fresh food, mostly organic diet when he adopted her last year.

"The kind of food that we feed our dogs is a hot topic, especially when it is elderly. Your primary concern is cancer. You ask do you want to feed it food with hormones and additives?" he says.

These days, health-conscious pet owners are tailoring nutritious or organic diets for their animals.

Mr Loh spends about $200 a month on fresh meat, organic vegetables, vitamin supplements and antioxidants for Daisy.

He is conscious about his own health and diet too, and feeding the dog tasty, healthy meals is a priority. "If you are healthy, you tend to feed your dog healthily too. It rubs off," he says.

Ms Melissa Lim, 37, a committee member of the Cat Welfare Society, put her seven rescue cats on a raw food diet of primarily raw meat mixed with vegetables and grains last year.

She has been a vegetarian and on-off vegan for the last 21 years, and the switch from commercially produced kibble to raw food was related to her interest in holistic, healthy and conscious eating.

"I was getting freaked out by the many food recalls of commercial premium food brands. I did some research and realized that many pet food brands use rendered meat and meat by – products, and I did not feel comfortable feeding such items to my cats."

She did research online and spoke to vets before putting her cats on a raw diet of antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken or premium beef, pork, or lamb, which she mixes with a raw food vitamin mix such as Alnutrin, and freezes into portions to feed. She thaws the food when needed and feeds her pets twice a day.

She says she spends about $150 a month and an hour a week preparing the food. Feeding her cats a raw diet costs just as much as feeding them premium canned cat food, she says, but with added benefits.

"I have noticed a huge improvement in their health. More vitality, no more over-weight pets and in the case of one cat, it cured him of his chronic constipation," she says.

Self-employed trader Paresh K. Kamani, 51, feeds his family's 10-month-old golden retriever Argo a mix of Natural Balance vegetarian formula kibble and vegetarian canned food.

He spent hours researching the dog's nutrition requirement online and speaking with vets before committing to the vegetarian diet for the dog. Argo also gets vitamins, and health and bone supplements with every meal.

However, some vets remain skeptical of home-made food and of raw food, in particular.

Their primary concerns are that the meal may not contain all the necessary nutrients for good health and that handling raw food improperly may cause the pet and its owner to fall ill.

Pet experts tell Life! that animals have finely tuned nutritional needs which may not be met by home-made meals, even if they include supplements.

A spokeman for Pet Lover's Centre says that vitamin deficiencies are a problem as much as vitamin over-loads.

"Vitamin A deficiencies are a problem as much as vitamin over-loads.

"Vitamin A deficiencies have been known to cause eye problems, lack of coat and skin quality, poor growth and a reduced ability to ward off infections, but too much vitamin A can cause your dog to have muscle weakness and bone problems," she says.

Likewise, too much or too little calcium during a dog's early years can lead to as many problems for bone health too, says Dr Vanessa Lin, a vet at My Family Vet Clinic and Surgery in Bukit Batok.

Experts point out that the animal's physiology, age and energy requirements should be considered when selecting their diet. What you serve your pets will depend on the animal and its stage in life, and should be determined with the help of a vet.

There may be a bridge across the divide, however, as more organic, sustainable and vegetarian commercial pet-food options enter the market.

Pet accessory and grooming shops, including Doll House Pets in Kampong Bahru, sell Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (Barf). These are pre-packaged, commercially developed raw food meals sold in packs which can be defrosted and served. They are on sale in stores and online at the Barf Singapore website, at $60 for 12 individual 8oz patties.

Alternatively, there is Fish4Dogs, a range of premium dog foods and treats made primarily from Norwegian salmon, which is available at Pet Lovers Centre at $27.75 for 1.5kg.

Commercial pet foods such as Natural Balance should meet the nutritional requirements for pets in order to be sold in stores, though buyers should research online and check with their vet to be sure.

Dr Ong also reminds owners not to serve pets leftovers from the table. "We have seen pets come in for vomiting, diarrhea or life-threatening issues such as pancreatitis, resulting from being fed table scraps by their owners.

Source: The Straits Times, Saturday, April 6, 2013
~ by Lydia Vasko

How To Enjoy The Holidays And Ensure Your Dog Is Taken Care Of

For a lot of people, having a pet such as a dog means no more family holidays, unless the family dog can come along. Unfortunately, many places especially camping grounds and hotels do not allow dogs. Sneaking a dog into a hotel, which may seem fun at the time, can end up costing a lot in hotel cleaning bills.

Dog boarding kennels traditionally provide accommodation for dogs when their owners have to go away. Dog boarding kennels usually provide your dog with a small space of their own and may provide daily exercise in a shaded area with full supervision. Boarding kennels may provide separate runs and yards for small dogs as well as an indoor and outdoor facility for dogs to enjoy.

There are boarding kennels that describe themselves as a pet holiday. These boarding kennels will go beyond the standard services providing pets with their favorite meals and treats, pre-recorded messages from their owners, complimentary hydro-baths and even a television so your dog can watch their favorite TV shows while you are away.

If you are worried about your dog, there are boarding kennels that offer extra security. They may assure you that your dog will be walked on a secure lead and by a trained dog handler. Extra security tags attached to their standard collar help to identify the boarding kennel. Five star boarding kennels may offer live feed webcam views of your dog that you can view at any time from any location over the internet.

Boarding kennels will differ in price depending on the services they provide. You may be asked to provide the same food that your dog eats at home for the duration of your dog's stay, lessening the chance of upset tummies adjusting to a new diet. You could also be asked to provide your pet’s bedding, leash, bowls, toys and a photo of the family. Most kennel owners will request certification of up-to-date injections, registration and ownership.

dog walkerBoarding kennels can be a fun and exciting time for your dog while you are away. Especially if your boarding kennel has employees that are experienced and trained dog handlers who are as passionate about dogs as you are.

Another alternative to leaving your dog at a boarding kennel is to have a personal dog caretaker come visit your dog each day in your own family environment. This is an ideal service if you need a person to look after multiple pets; dogs or otherwise.

Leaving your pet in their own environment while you are away reduces their stress and a friendly caretaker will give your pet plenty of attention and exercise. They will take them on walks that they are familiar taking with you and play games, just as they would if you were at home with them.

Home pet careers will look after all the basic things, such as feeding your dog, making sure it has plenty of fresh water and of course, lots of playtime. Some home care services will even go beyond making your dog happy and will bring in your mail, put out your garbage, collect your newspapers, and water your plants.

If using boarding kennels and home pet caretakers make certain your caretakers are experienced pet lovers. Some services provide full background checks on caretakers, will introduce you and your dog to the handler before you go on vacation and if you use the service multiple times, will provide you with same handler each time, so your dog feels happy and at home.


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How To Stop A Dog From Destructive Chewing

Is your dog driving you nuts with his destructive chewing?

Has your dog reduced your best sunglasses to an unrecognisable pile of plastic bits that you found on the carpet, or your best shoes to sodden misshaped bits of leather that will never again be fit for the purpose you bought them for?

If so, read on because help is at hand.

A bit about chewing first of all.

First of all there is chewing and there is destructive chewing.

Most dogs like to chew, while others don’t find it necessary to chew things at all, unless they are bored.

Destructive chewing describes your dog chewing on your belongings, furniture and other items that really you would rather they did not chew on.

Dogs chew things for three main reasons.

First of all, as I mentioned before, most dogs like to chew. For them, it is good fun and a way to pass the time. If the item that they are chewing on tastes good, then it is also a rewarding past-time.

Secondly, for a lonely bored or nervous dog, repeatedly chewing on an item is synonymous with comfort food. It is also an outlet for your dog’s emotions.

Thirdly, dogs that are not exercised enough will chew things as another way of using up energy and having something to do.

OK – So how do I prevent my dog from destructive chewing?

Step One.

Dogs are quite intelligent and can easily learn not to chew your possessions. It is up to you to help them learn what they can and cannot chew in your home, so you will need to put some effort into this. Are you ready….

Remember that your dog explores the world with his mouth so you need to make sure your home is dog proof. No matter how well behaved your dog is, you are not going to help them if you leave your possessions lying around. This will only tempt fate and is unfair on your dog.

So you need to make sure that everything you cherish or that you don’t want chewed by your dog is out of his reach. Bear in mind that your dog can climb on furniture, jump up or stand on his back legs to reach items placed on tables and shelves, so do put things well out of reach or in a cupboard where your dog is not going to have access to them.

Dogs like items such as glasses and sunglasses, books, shoes, crunchy things like a television control, camera’s and maybe even your mobile phone.

As well as the above, any food that is left out is a sure target as well. So do ensure that no food is left within reach of your dog. It is surprising how agile dogs can be if there is a snack available. Also, clean remaining scraps of food off plates and rinse the plates so that your dog is not tempted to lick your china.

Step Two.

Remember that prevention is better than cure and if you can stop your dog from chewing your things from the outset, he will find it a lot easier to know what you expect of him.

The more often that your dog gets hold of a forbidden object, then the more often those same items will be targeted in the future so you will probably need to confine your dog in an area that is dog proofed until you are sure that the house rules are well and truly understood.

Step Three.

Help your dog out here by not confusing him.

If you don’t want your dog to chew your brand new shoes, then don’t give him your old pair.

If you don’t want your clothes torn to shreds, don’t give him your old gardening jumper to lie on or play with.

Your dog is not going to be able to distinguish the difference between last year’s cast offs and this year’s brand new items.

Step Four.

If your dog doesn’t have some tasty, attractive and appropriate objects to chew on, then it’s not really his fault if he decides to start munching his way through your new trainers. Buy your dog a variety of items that he can chew on and allow him two or three items at a time.

Every few days, rotate the items that you have bought for your dog to chew on and this will ensure that they remain interesting for him.

Don’t forget that the chewing needs of a dog are more, if the dog is either a puppy or an adolescent.

Step Five.

Take plenty of time out to be with your dog and supervise them. Being in a crate for long periods of time is not good for your dog and no fun for you either. The more time you can spend in actively supervising your dog, then the quicker he will learn what he is or isn’t allowed to do.

Step Six.

If you catch your dog chewing something that you don’t want them to chew, clap your hands together and interrupt him. Immediately give your dog a tasty rawhide bone or a chewable toy and as soon as his teeth close together on this, then give him lots of praise.

The best way of helping your dog to learn that chewing his own toys is good and chewing everything else is bad, is by giving him lots of praise when he starts chewing his own toys.

Stay with it.

Try not to be unrealistic about your expectations with your dog. There are going to be times when he gets hold of something he shouldn’t, but remember he is just curious about his environment and every single one of us makes mistakes.

Remember also that it will take time for your dog to learn what you expect of him. Spend plenty of time with him and this will help him learn the ropes faster.

Even when your dog is reliable, he may well still choose something of yours to chew over one of his own chewable toys if he is left for a long period of time and he gets bored.

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