Why You Need To Hire A Dog Walking Company!

dog walking company

You decided to hire a dog walker for your little buddy, yay!  But who?  It seems that everyone these days claims to be a professional dog walker so how do you choose?  Your dog is a family member and you want to make sure you choose the right fit.  Before making a final decision, you should read about the pros of hiring a dog walking company.

Professional Dog Walking Company

Always have a backup in place

Having a specific person caring for your dog is beneficial; you trust them and they are an extension of you while caring for your dog.  However, life happens and that means that ‘your person’ is going to need a day off here and there.  They get sick, go on vacation, experience car trouble, or could have a general emergency pop up.  Then what?  And what happens if they decide to no longer walk dogs?  (GASP!)

Well, if you hire a professional dog walking company, they will worry about how to cover your dog’s walk – not you!  They will make sure that another background checked, experienced, and reliable dog walker of theirs takes great care of your dog while you (and your primary walker) are not able to!

Insurance

We live in a sue-happy world.  It’s sad really, but it’s reality.  What happens if your dog bites another dog while on a walk?  Who pays?  Or what happens if your dog is injured on a walk?  These situations are rare, but they do happen.  And when they happen, they are EXPENSIVE!  Insurance is crucial for businesses to have and dog walking is no exception.

A professional dog walking company carries LOTS of insurance.  They should have liability insurance, bonding insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance.  Liability insurance will cover injuries to your dog, an oncoming dog, and oncoming people while out on a walk with their walker.  Bonding insurance covers your personal assets if anything were to go missing in your home.  And worker’s compensation insurance will cover your dog walker if they slip and fall on your property.  Talk about peace of mind!

Work as a team

When you hire a professional dog walking company, you hire a team of dog walkers!  The individual dog walker gets to know your dog best and learns his likes, dislikes, personality, and quirks.  When your primary dog walker is unavailable, the substitute walker (who has more than likely met your dog with your walker at which time they relayed all pertinent information about your dog) will have access to the necessary information in order to provide seamless care while they are filling in.

Ongoing Training

A professional dog walking company is invested in its business.  And good business means, great customer service.  One way companies strive to surpass customers’ expectations is to provide ongoing training to its employees.  Ongoing training consists of dog behavior skills, communication skills, dog walking techniques, tips on how to train a dog, and many more.  With a team of people, there are lots of resources to tap into.  It’s an amazing thing.

Convenience

Another huge benefit with professional dog walking companies is they offer lots of conveniences to you.  Not only will they walk your dog, when you are not able to, but they also offer convenient ways of scheduling the care that you need.  A good dog walking company will have a scheduling & billing software that allow you access to your account.  This means that you can schedule services via a mobile interface – no more phone calls or emails and you will get a confirmation with your schedule so that you know for sure it went through.

How many times have you needed to add on a walk at the last minute or needed to cancel a walk at the last minute because you were home sick?  It happens and the logistics of adding/canceling can be a pain in the you know what!  If you have access to your account, you can make those changes easily.

More Convenience!

And with a convenient scheduling and billing software, you also have access to your billing & invoice history.  Have you ever paid a bill and wondered if it was applied correctly?  My guess is yes!  But did you actually follow up with the company about that payment?  Maybe not…and my guess is that you thought it would take too long to get someone on the phone and have it sorted out.  Well, if you have online access to your account, you can log in (24/7) and check yourself.  How convenient!

Do you still write checks to make payments?  Some people still do, however, most people don’t even have a checkbook anymore!  Having an online account means being able to make electronic payments easily – modern technology – it’s a wonderful thing for busy people like yourself!

Do Yourself A Favor & Hire A Dog Walking Company!

puppy bowl 2016

The moral of the story is that a good Dog Walking Company will, of course, walk your dog while you are not home, but they also offer MANY advantages for busy pet owners.  If you want to hire a true professional, do yourself a favor and hire a professional dog walking company like Muddy Paws who is experienced with different breeds, insured, bonded, provides a back up plan, offers an impressive scheduling software, and a convenient billing system.  After all, your dogs are your babies and they deserve the best care you can give them, even when you can’t be there!

 

Benefits Of Pet Sitting At Home

Pet sitting has been around for years, but has only recently gained popularity.  You love your pets and you would love to take them everywhere you go, especially when you travel.  The reality is that it just isn’t feasible all the time.  So what do you do?  You CAN’T bring them to a kennel, they are your baby!  A great alternative is to hire a professional pet sitter who can take care of your dog and/or cat in their own home.  That’s right, pet sitting in your home is an option!  Does that sound too good to be true?  Well, it’s not!

Benefits of Pet Sitting At Homepet sitting at home

 For the Pet Owner

  • In your absence, you would feel that your home is secure, knowing that someone will be going there multiple times each day.
  • Having pet sitting at your home eliminates the trauma of having to leave your pet while you are away or carrying it along with you.
  • You would not have to impose your pet on your friends and family and their homes.
  • Your home is set up properly for your pet(s) and you would not have to worry about your pet being in someone else’s home.
  • Pet Sitting at home IS NOT A KENNEL!

       For the Pet

  • The pets get to stay at home with his/her secure environment which he/she is used to.
  • He or she retains his/her familiarity with sights, smells and sounds. He/she does not have to adapt to any of those things in a new environment.
  • He/she follows his/her regular diet routine.
  • He/she receives love and personal attention from a professional.
  • Eliminating the trauma of having to travel or with an unfair environment.

General

Professional pet sitters are just what the description implies – professional.  While having friends, family, or neighbors care for your pets may seem like a logical choice, professional pet sitters have the experience necessary to care for your animals.

A Professional Pet Sitter Is:

  • Trained and experienced in working with all types of pet personalities and will know how to tailor your pet’s care based on their individual likes, dislikes, fears, and habits.
  • Someone who knows how to identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations, and can react quickly and effectively when necessary.
  • Someone who can administer medications.
  • Able to tell if your pet needs veterinary attention.
  • Someone with a backup plan in case of emergencies, car troubles or illness.

 

So the next time you have to go out of town, hire a professional pet sitting company like Muddy Paws.  In fact, you can schedule services at any time here.  Keep your pets home and in great hands!

 

 

 

How To Crate Train A Dog

crate train your dog

Congratulations, you decided to crate train your dog!

You will not regret it, I promise.  When you crate train your dog, it provides a sense of security for both your dog and you!  The crate will become their “house” and it keeps them safe from their own devices.  As a result, you will have peace of mind that they will not eat something that could do serious harm.  When crate training is done correctly, everyone will reap the benefits.

How long can a dog be crated at a time?

There is no real answer to this, but as a general rule of thumb, you can estimate this to be as many hours as he is months old, plus one.  Therefore, a 2-month-old puppy should be fine for approximately 3 hours at a time before needing a potty break.  Of course, everyone is different and what they ate, when they ate last, how much water they drank & when will all factor into when they will need to take care of business.  Don’t be afraid to change things that work for your dog’s schedule best.

 

cozy crateProper way to introduce your dog to a crate

The first thing you should do is make their crate comfy.  Try getting a bed that fits well inside.  Or you could try an old shirt or blanket that is folded up.  This will provide warmth and will have your scent on it, making him feel secure.

Now that the crate is dog-ready, it is best to provide your dog with a pleasant experience from the beginning.  The best way to get them acclimated is to toss treats or toys into the crate.  They will be excited for yummy treats so they will be eager to go inside.  Let them go in and out by keeping the door open while you are home.

Another great way to get your dog to enjoy his crate is to feed them in the crate (while keeping the door open).  Have him go inside and then eat his breakfast or dinner.
After your dog is somewhat used to their crate, you can begin closing the door.  You will want to make sure he is settled and will not try to fight his way out of it when you are not home.  If a dog cannot handle being locked up, he will do whatever it takes to break out.  This could mean, scratching incessantly, biting on the door/sides of the crate, manipulating the sides of the crate, etc.  All of these actions can pose just as much risk to your dog’s well being as leaving him un-crated; think broken nails, broken teeth, getting stuck between the wires in a metal crate, etc.  If your dog cannot be crated, try gating him in a puppy-proofed room where he won’t harm himself by trying to break free.
When you begin crate training with the door closed, have your dog stay inside for short amounts of time to test how they are.  Start with 5 – 10 minutes and gradually build on the time.  Don’t let their whining deter you.  Dogs are like toddlers, they are manipulators!  They know that crying can get them what they want.  The key is consistency.  A general rule of thumb for whining/barking dogs is to have them stay quiet for 3 minutes (or longer) straight before you take them out of the crate.  Otherwise, they are learning that whining and barking work.
If you give in, they will register that crying gets what they want.
Be strong, you can do it!

When can I stop using the crate?

When you believe your dog has matured and will not eat you out of house and home, you can try weaning them off of the crate.  My suggestion is to wait until they are at least 1 year old, preferably 2+ years old.  Even though a 1 year old day will be potty trained, they still have chewing tendencies that can get them into trouble.

The best way to do this is to give them small doses of “freedom” and seeing how they are at each interval.  Assuming things are fine, you can increase the length of time at each instance until you feel confident that things will be okay.  Don’t be surprised, however, that after weeks of perfect behavior, you come home one day to a house that looks ransacked!

If your dog is still getting into things and cannot be trusted while home alone, keep him crated.  It really is the best thing for everyone.

Just remember, a crate can provide peace of mind for both you and your dog.  The old adage is true, “Better Safe Than Sorry”!

Crate Training – It’s a GREAT THING!

If this looks familiar, think about crate training your dog!

Crate training

Crate training your dog is an essential in puppy training and keeping your dog safe.  Dogs cannot think like a person and, therefore, can be a hazard to themselves!  Do you feel bad that your dog is locked up?  Don’t!  Having them crated keeps them safe.  And if they are properly introduced to a crate, they will enjoy having a space of their own and will seek it out, when they want to relax.
Do you feel bad keeping your dog safe from harm?  Absolutely not!  You would do anything to protect your dog and keep him safe.  Would you feel terrible if your dog seriously injured himself by eating something that is toxic for him?  Of course you would!  So when you think about crating your dog, just picture the safety and well being you are providing by giving them their own space where they can relax their body and rest their brain.
3 Reasons why Crate Training Your Dog keeps them happy and healthy!
 
1.  Potty Training
One of the biggest reasons for crate training a dog is to assist with potty training.  The idea is to keep them in a crate that is sized perfectly to their body size so that they do not have an accident in their space.  Dogs have no problem going to the bathroom in your home, but they do not like having accidents in “their home!”  Your dog will learn bladder control with crate training and this will get them on a regular schedule, rather than just going whenever nature calls.  It really helps expedite the potty training process and makes everyone’s lives much better.
2.  Limits Destructive Chewing
Puppies specifically are prone to chewing.  Crate training a puppy will restrict them from chewing inedible objects which ultimately keeps them safe.  If a dog is left home alone or without stimulation, he will take matters into his own paws and find ways of entertaining himself.  A favorite method of entertainment is chewing on things that are not supposed to touch!  Dogs can become destructive if bored or fixate on chewing things they shouldn’t, keep them safe by crating them.
3.  Provides Security
Most dogs sleep the majority of the day and, therefore, do not need the space of an entire house to take a nap.  If a dog has too much space, he may become anxious/nervous being left alone.  This type of anxiety known as separation anxiety can lead to destructive behavior.  Crating a dog with separation anxiety usually keeps them calm and provides them with a safe place to relax.

 

Types of Crates

Dog crates come in different sizes, colors, and styles. There are molded-plastic crates and the open-wire types which have a removable plastic tray on the bottom.  Soft-sided crates.  And even decorative crates that are made to mimic furniture.

Molded Plastic

For dogs who prefer a cozy space with less distraction, the molded-plastic would be the best choice. Just note that they are not able to be folded up so having room for a larger crate like this can be tricky.  And you are not able to divide a molded plastic crate into smaller sections for a smaller dog.

Wire Crates

Wire crates are the most popular because many of them fold up and are easy to transport and/or store in an out of sight location.  These crates come with metal dividers so that your puppy can grow into their crate.  You do not want to give a puppy too much space in their crate because if they have an extra inch or so, they will use it to do their business!

Soft-Sided Crates

These are similar to the molded-plastic crates because they provide a more enclosed area that helps dogs to relax and be in a cozier space.  They are able to be folded up so they are similar to a wire crate as far as ‘putting them away’ and transporting is concerned.  However, the biggest difference is because it is soft-sided, dogs can easily break out of this crate, if they put their minds to it.  It is pretty much just fabric so if they keep scratching at it, they will eventually compromise the fabric and break free!  So they are not the best choice for a dog with separation anxiety.

Decorative Crates

These are great if space is limited in your home and you want a combination of both the molded plastic and wire crates.  They are made to look like furniture and it is hard to tell that this is actually a dog training crate, when decorated in your living room!  They are the most expensive, but it’s pretty much furniture for you so that is to be expected.  They usually do not have dividers so it would be best to get this for your dog, when they are fully grown.  And, of course, they are not able to be folded up.

Which Crate To Choose

The size of your dog should determine the size of their crate.  There should be enough room for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably.  The crate is a place where your dog can relax, sleep, and basically just chill out.  It is not supposed to provide them with room to be rowdy.

When choosing a crate, you should keep in mind the size that they will be, not necessarily their size at the time you get a crate.  A crate that comes with a divider is ideal for crate training a puppy.  The divider allows you to limit your puppy’s space and as they grow, the divider can be adjusted to give them more space.  The MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate is a great choice for puppies because the crate grows with them!

crate training

 

Whatever crate you choose, make sure you do not use the crate as punishment.  Their crate should be their own private home where they feel comfortable to relax.  If you associate it with punishment, it bring about anxious feelings.  Make their crate comfy, cozy, and serene.  Both yoou and your dog will have peace of mind!

 

Personal Pet Care Is Our Business

Personal Pet Care with Wedding Concierge Services

Muddy Paws loves your pets too much!  With us, it is not just business, PERSONAL Pet Care is our business.  In many instances business is business and you take the emotion of out things.

At Muddy Paws, this is NOT the case.  We are so ingrained in our customers’ lives and it is because of their pets.

Their pets are their children and as a result, we see it all.

We see couples adopt a puppy and we get to help them with the potty training and introduce them to new experiences.

We see the young couples get engaged.

We see the couples get married – we are lucky enough to be trusted with caring for their pets while they are partying at the wedding and/or relaxing on their honeymoon.

We see people have babies and offer advice for how to introduce their dog to the newborn.  And we help out with getting the dog extra exercise while the new mom is busy with all the challenges a newborn brings.

We see couples separate, unfortunately.  And we are there to help with the additional care that single pet-parents handle themselves.

We see owners lose their jobs, but we also see them find an even better job down the road!

And unfortunately, we also experience the worst part of this business – when the pet passes away.  It is by far, the most difficult part of our job.

Snuggling cat & dog - pet sitting

We see so many stages of each family’s life and are with them all the while.  We feel like we are an extension of their family.  And that their pet is one of our pets.  It is so difficult to lose them and we truly feel the pain.

Our Muddy Paws team is like an extension of your family and we take your pets under our wing and treat them like our family.  We get so attached to our furry friends.

So it is not just business, at Muddy Paws, Personal Pet Care is our business.