Thursday, September 29, 2011

Doggies in the Rain

It is no fun walking dogs in the rain. Some dogs don't mind it, but other dogs tuck their tail and try to hide when it's time to go out. I try a few strategies in cases like these.
  • I go out myself and lead the way. Some dogs may not be crazy about the rain, but they'll go if I go first and show them it's not so bad.

  • Gentle encouragement. This may mean sitting in the doorway with a treat and a soothing voice, reassuring the dog, and helping to remove the stress from the situation. It takes time, but you cannot rush a good relationship with a pet, it must be earned, and that takes time and patience.

  • Bribery. For many dogs, a treat is a great motivator. If they are really stubborn, I will bring out the freeze-dried liver treats - I have not known a dog to resist them.

  • Compassionate understanding. There are times when the weather is just so rotten, the rain or wind too fierce, or snow too deep, and a dog just flat-out refuses to go. Nuh-uh, no way, not gonna do it. And every signal they are communicating - the drooping ears, the tucked tail, the submissive licking (or even growling) - says "If you force me, it will damage our relationship. Please do not put me in that position." In those cases, we make the pooch as happy and stress-free as possible while we're there, and just try again next visit.
Maybe one of these tips will work for you if you have a reluctant, weather-weary pooch!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time Flies!

Hello online peeps, happy fall! Here in the Poconos, the leaves are starting to change color, always a spectacular time of year. The weather has been fair, always a good thing when walking dogs.

I just got back Friday night from an in-person board meeting of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. We're an all-volunteer board, and all of the board members give their time and effort to making the pet sitting industry better for sitters, and in turn, the clients we serve. It's a great organization, you can check them out at

One of the ways NAPPS benefits the pet sitting industry is through their Pet Sitting Certification program. It's a 3-credit course that covers a wealth of topics from business practices to first aid care for pets. I am proud to say I have passed the test and I am now a NAPPS-Certified Professional Pet Sitter! This was no easy test and I devoted many hours to studying and learning all I could. The knowledge was invaluable and has already been beneficial to my clients. The content was very in-depth, and covered almost everything a pet sitter should know, including when to take a pet to the vet, how to perform pet first aid, common ailments in dogs, cats, small mammals, birds, and reptiles, home security and client privacy issues, best business practices, and much more. It was very complete and detailed - they didn't skimp on the information.

(Hey, I worked hard for this certificate! Of course I'm going to show it off!)

I look forward to putting my new knowledge and skills into practice by providing only the best, most loving care for your beloved pets!