dog walking skills when choosing a dog walker

9 Dog Walking Skills To Look For When Choosing A Dog Walker

For those pet parents that just may not have the time or would prefer to find someone else to walk their dog for them, choosing a dog walker can be a strenuous effort. The following 9 dog walking skills should help ensure you have selected the best person for the responsibility of looking after your furry best friend(s). They are:

  1. Stamina
  2. Punctuality
  3. Organizational
  4. Flexible
  5. Calm
  6. Honest
  7. Experienced
  8. Great Customer Service
  9. Relationship With Your Dog


This may sound obvious – but we are going to stress it anyway. If you have enlisted a dog walkerthat is not going to be able to keep up with the energy of your dog, you are letting your pet down.

Advantages of a dog walker with stamina:

Willing to go the extra mile to make sure your dog receives the exercise it requires.

How to ensure your dog walker has stamina:

A consultation whereby the potential dog walker meets with you and your dog is the ideal time to ask any questions. Let your expectations be known before hiring. If you expect your dog to receive a long 30-minute hike, ask the potential dog walker if this is something they can commit to.


Ensuring your dog maintains a consistent schedule is great way to ensure their happiness from day to day. To do this, it is imperative that your potential dog walker understand the needs of your dog including the times they are to get some exercise at.

Advantages of punctual dog walkers:

The dog owner can ensure that their furry best friend maintains a regular routine.

How to ensure your dog walker is punctual:

Reviews are your best friend here. If possible, rely on those dog walkers that have been referred to you by people that you trust.


Organizing is all about keeping things in proper order for the comfort of the pet and its owner. If the goal is for your dog to shed a few pounds it, an organizational dog walker should understand this and the necessary steps to take in achieving this goal. If a dog owner is hoping to reduce the mess it comes home to, an organizational dog walker would understand the purpose of their exercise or pet sitting service, should be to keep the dog occupied and entertained to the point that it no longer needs to rely on couch cushions or electrical wires as its source of enjoyment. Organization allows you to get the most out of your investment, giving you as the pet owner a sense of control and increased productivity.

Advantages of organizational dog walkers

Organizational people are more efficient, have better management skills, are more trustworthy, reduce the amount of stress you encounter and enable you to track progress easily.

How to ensure your dog walker is organizational

Most reputable dog walkers offer free consultations to meet your pet before agreeing to paid services. This is the time to ask these questions and get a better feel for their personality and skill set.


Look, the last scenario you want as a dog owner is to run in to an emergency and not have someone to care for your furry best friend while you are away. A dog walker with a flexible schedule and adaptability is extremely useful when deciding which dog walking services provider to choose.

Advantages of flexible dog walkers

Dog walkers that are flexible reduce the stress you face as a dog owner as you know you can always count on them when you are in a pinch. This ensures your dog always has someone caring for them.

How to ensure your dog walker is flexible

Simply request their schedule when meeting them. Obviously, to ‘test’ their flexibility and adaptability it will require real life scenarios to occur and see how they react.


Some dogs are highly unpredictable. A calm dog owner realizes this and can examine the situation in is entirety to craft a successful solution. On the other hand, a less experienced, impatient dog walker may choose to react to a situation without fully understanding the entire situation. Rather than immediately disciplining a dog for barking, there might be underlying causes for its actions.

Advantages of calm dog walkers

A sense of calm for dog owners! Knowing that your dog is in good hands while you are away is a great feeling.

How to ensure your dog walker is calm

Reviews are useful here as well as asking qualifying questions during the consultation process with your dog.


Have you ever in your life preferred dishonest people when it comes to your own friends? No? Then why would you allow your dog to be left under the direct supervision of someone that you can’t trust is telling you the truth? News flash – you shouldn’t!

Advantages of honest dog walkers

You can trust them and what they are telling you. If your dog requires a certain level of exercise, say a 15-minute jog, rather than a walk at a snail’s pace, you are going to want to be assured this is happening. Not only for the sake of your dog’s health, but to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.

How to ensure your dog walker is honest

Test them! Unfortunately, unless you rely solely on word-of-mouth, there is going to be a bit of trial and error to determine whether your (potential) dog walker is honest.


We all understand the idea of hiring your best friend’s teenaged daughter because they could use the extra ten bucks. However, is that really who you want to entrust the safety of your dog to (imagine if your puppy were to bite someone while on their walk!)? With such a huge number of dog walkers available for hire, why not seek out those who are experienced and positively reviewed. Doing so will be worth the extra dough!

Advantages of experienced dog walkers

They can show you their portfolio of happy pets. They can provide you with reference information. They know the best routes and how to deal with all kinds of dog temperaments and attitudes.

How to ensure your dog walker is experienced

It should be relatively apparent once your dog walker meets your pet. No two dogs are the same and an experienced dog walker will likely take little time to get to know your dog and build a relationship.

Great Customer Service

Every dog walker is essentially a business owner. As such, they should act in a professional manner when meeting you and your pet. Additionally, the service booking experience should be more than adequate right through the completion of services.

Advantages of dog walkers who provide great customer service

It leads to more repeat business. This might sound like it only benefits the dog walker, but that’s not the case. Those businesses that provide great customer service tend to do get more referrals and business overall. By utilizing a dog walker skilled in customer service, rather than you know….a bad pet sitter, you can feel confident that they are providing similar service to other dogs in your area.

How to ensure your dog walker provides great customer service

Reviews once again will be your friend here. Additionally, you will want to make sure you take full advantage of free consultations to gain a full understanding of your dog walker’s personality and customer service traits.

Relationship With Your Dog

This most likely the top skill you should be requiring from your dog walker. Their time should be spent with the dog, playing with them, at times providing subtle teaching moments and paying attention to their reactions. By the end of the consultation process there should be a good understanding of how the dog walker and the dog communicate.

Advantages of a dog walker with a great relationship with your dog

 A seamless transition from you (the dog owner) interacting and keeping your dog company, to the dog walker.

How to ensure your dog has a great relationship with your dog

This is mostly subjective, but in our opinion, if your potential dog walker isn’t on the floor getting to know them on their level, it may be tough to fully build that relationship.


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The Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter

Let’s face it, none of us really like to leave our pets at home when we are going out of town, but situations can arise where taking your pet along is impossible. In these cases, hiring a pet sitter may be your best option. This article will take a look at the benefits of hiring a pet sitter and why this may be the best choice for your furry friend.

The Pet Sitter vs. Boarding Dilemma

Let’s start by taking a look at what our options are when it comes to caring for pets while we are away. For many, these options are limited to hiring a pet sitter or leaving our pet at a boarding facility. Let’s take a look at how a pet sitter might be the better choice in this situation.

Benefits of Choosing A Pet Sitter

Reduced Risk of Getting Sick: Pets that are left in a boarding facility are more likely to get sick due to exposure to other dogs who may be infected. Commonly called Bordetella, it is not uncommon for dogs to come back with highly contagious symptoms including fever, lethargy and a cough. It is an upper respiratory infection that requires veterinary treatment and can be treated with antibiotics. Obviously, leaving your pet with a sitter will greatly reduce any risk of illness.

Stress Free Experience: When pets are away from their owners, they can experience separation anxiety. This can be even more likely when pets are put in a boarding facility and is extremely common in rescue pets. Although most facilities promise quality playtime that can relieve anxiety, a pet sitter can provide them with the undivided attention they need to feel less stressed out.

Minimal Changes: The anxiety your pet may feel can be exacerbated by a change in atmosphere and schedule. When it comes to schedule, a facility will feed and care for your pet on their schedule. When you hire a pet sitter, you can leave them with a schedule to let them know when your pet is fed, taken for walks, etc. Keeping them on this schedule will help them to feel calmer.

Increased Communication: Another one of the benefits of hiring a pet sitter is increased communication. A pet sitter will be able to provide you with updates in the form of emails, text messages, etc. All this will contribute to your peace of mind making you feel more relaxed as well.

Pet Sitters Can Multi-Task: Not only will a pet sitter take care of your pet, they can also take care of your house. Having someone around will help to deter theft. And while they’re at it, they may be able to check the mail, water the lawn and perform other small household tasks as needed. Of course, these services may cost extra so be sure to talk with the sitter about fees if you would like additional services included.

Your Pet is in Good Hands: Professional pet sitters are certified by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and Pet Sitters International. This certification means they have a comprehensive knowledge of pet health and behavior and have received first aid training. Their first aid training helps them to determine the difference between emergency and non-emergency situations and assures they know how to react in either case. The one on one attention they provide your pet also ensures that they will notice unusual behavior and be able to act on it quickly.

Still Not Convinced? Other Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter


Pet Sitter vs. Travel: Though many pet parents would love taking a pet with them while they are on vacation, this isn’t the ideal situation in every pet-owner relationship. Many pets fear travel. They are not used to their surroundings and experience anxiety. If your pet is one that does not enjoy traveling, leaving them with a pet owner is a better solution.

Pet Sitter vs. Friend or Relative: When you are going on a trip, there is probably at least one person who’s going to want to know, who’s taking care of Fido? He or she might love your pet and jump at the chance of taking care of him or her. However, you have to wonder how responsible this person is when it comes to caring for your dog. Will they remember to care for them, walk them and feed them on schedule? Do they have the experience to care for them when they’re sick? Remember, you get what you pay for, and even if your friend is offering their services for free, it may be better to hire a professional for the benefit of peace of mind.

What to Look for In a Pet Sitter’s skillset

Even though there are many benefits of hiring a pet sitter, not every sitter is created equal. There are certain characteristics you should look for when choosing the best one for your furry companion. These include:

Calmness: A pet may act in unexpected ways that can make sitters impatient or angry. A sitter with a calm demeanor will maintain composure in these situations and not lose their temper making the situation a better experience overall.

Trustworthy: Because a pet sitter is likely to be in your home alone, it is important to hire someone you can trust. Although you can count on gut feelings to some extent, it is a good idea to check other references and run a background check before you make your decision to hire.

Experience: Any pet sitter you hire should have some amount of experience, but it is also important that they have the right kind of experience. This can especially be the case if you own a bigger dog or one that has a medical condition. In these instances, you will want a sitter who has dealt with pets in similar situations.

There are several benefits of hiring a pet sitter. They are knowledgeable, trained experts that can give your pet the type of care and attention they need. If you are going to be traveling, consider hiring a pet sitter in your area to enjoy a stress-free experience that comes with knowing your pet is getting the best care possible.

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The Symptoms Of A Dog Being Homesick

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Symptoms of a Dog Being Homesick

Dogs always seem happy as long as they are around their owners. It looks like you can go anywhere with your dog and he will still feel at home. This, however, isn’t always the case. Dogs, just like humans, get homesick. Our furry friends are creatures of routine and habit. Disrupting their routine might have some adverse results in their behavior. They also tend to get used to the smells, sounds, and visuals around them. They might even get attached to a favorite toy. One of the common triggers for homesickness in dogs is traveling. Spending too much time away from home might cause your dog to start missing home. Leaving your dog at a dog sitter’s house might also bring homesickness to the pooch. So what are the symptoms of a dog being homesick?

  • Dog Won’t Eat
  • Dog Is Whining A Lot
  • Dog Won’t Play Fetch, With Toys, Go Outside, Etc.
  • Dog Won’t Relieve Themselves

my Dog Won’t Eat

Dogs love gobbling down their favorite meals but not when they are homesick. A homesick pooch will in most cases not touch his food until he understands his surroundings or gets some reassurance from a familiar face. The anxiety and depression associated with homesickness in dogs do not allow them to enjoy meals. A homesick dog will just lay there looking very sad and whimpering. Of course, we have other dogs that will gobble their food down even in unfamiliar environments, but they are the minority.

Dog Whining A Lot

Homesick dogs tend to let out heart wrenching whines. Whining is a dog’s way of communicating their mental and physical state to the dog owner. In the case of homesickness, the dog whines while lying in a submissive position with his ears, head, and tail down. No matter how sad the whining is, you need to wait until your dog calms down before you do anything. Responding to your dog immediately he starts whining will train him to whine every time he wants something. You can help the dog calm down by sitting down close to him quietly until he stops whining.

My Dog Won’t play fetch, with toys, outside, etc.

A homesick dog is not very enthusiastic about playing. Even the most playful dog will act out of character and won’t be willing to play when homesickness sets in. In most cases, the dog will lie there whining, or cuddle up to you if you are present. It is just a way of trying to cope with the new surroundings. Sometimes giving the dog his favorite toy may help but it is not guaranteed.

Unwillingness to relieve themselves

A homesick pooch will in most cases be unwilling to relieve himself. Most house trained dogs have a feeding and toilet routine. They have a designated feeding place and a designated place to poop. When the dog is plucked from his usual environment, he gets confused on where he should relieve himself in the new surroundings. The confusion conflicts with his house training and he just decides not to relieve himself. As a dog owner or sitter, you should have a place set apart where the dog can relieve himself. You should also give the dog a treat when he relieves himself in the designated area. This reinforces the good behavior and encourages him to relieve himself.

Can Dogs Get Depressed? The science behind homesickness in dogs

Dogs are by nature pack animals, and that has not changed even after 15,000 years of domestication. Your family is your dog’s pack, and you are the alpha. Just like any pack animal, dogs thrive within their pack and territory. In this case, the pack’s territory is your family home. Dogs love their pack, and they respect their alpha. They also feel most comfortable when they are within the territory. When the dog is separated from the pack or plucked from the pack’s territory, he develops separation anxiety and home sickness. The reason why a dog will feel homesick when you travel is that he is not in a familiar territory even if all his pack members are present.

How to help your dog cope with homesickness

There are two scenarios when your dog can get homesick. When you are away and when you are present but in a different environment maybe when you are traveling. If you are going away, you will need to leave your dog with a dog sitter. If you leave your dog at the sitter’s house, the dog will feel your absence and most likely develop homesickness. Packing a few of your dog’s favorite toys and a blanket that smells of you may help calm things down. If the sitter is dog sitting in your house, the dog may develop separation anxiety when he notices your absence. Your sitter can take the dog out for a walk or play with him to distract him. Leaving him a blanket that smells of you also helps.

Travelling with your dog might sometimes cause him to develop homesickness. If this happens, you will need to distract him from concentrating too much on the new surroundings. You can play a game of fetch or take the dog out for a walk. Alternatively, you can take the dog to a dog park if he is a social dog. Interacting with other animals can ease homesickness. When you get back inside, you will need to stay close to your dog for the first few days. Leaving the dog alone in new surroundings will make homesickness even worse. The good thing is that homesickness does not last very long. With proper care and attention, your dog can get used to the new surroundings in a matter of days.


Most dog owners may panic when their dog starts exhibiting symptoms of homesickness. It is, however, no cause for alarm as homesickness is a manageable condition. A disruption in routine is undoubtedly going to cause some stress on most dogs. How you handle it, however, will determine how soon your dog gets used to the new surroundings. Make sure to get a good dog sitter that your pooch likes whenever you travel. If you are traveling with your dog, make sure to get spacious accommodation so that your dog can have enough room to move around.


FAQs about Homesickness in Dogs:

Q1: What are the symptoms of a dog being homesick?

A1: The symptoms of a homesick dog can include not eating, whining a lot, reluctance to play with toys or go outside, and unwillingness to relieve themselves.

Q2: Why won’t my dog eat when homesick?

A2: Homesickness can cause anxiety and depression in dogs, which may result in a loss of appetite. Dogs often need reassurance or familiarity with their surroundings before they feel comfortable enough to eat.

Q3: Why does a homesick dog whine a lot?

A3: Whining is a way for dogs to communicate their mental and physical state. When dogs are homesick, they may whine while in a submissive position, indicating their distress. It’s important to wait for the dog to calm down before responding to their whining.

Q4: Why won’t my homesick dog play with toys or go outside?

A4: Homesickness can dampen a dog’s enthusiasm for playing and exploring. Dogs may exhibit unusual behavior and prefer to cuddle up or whine instead of engaging in their usual activities.

Q5: Why is my homesick dog unwilling to relieve themselves?

A5: Dogs are creatures of routine, including their bathroom habits. When placed in an unfamiliar environment, a homesick dog may be confused about where to relieve themselves. This confusion can lead to a reluctance to use the designated areas for elimination.

Q6: Can dogs get depressed when they are homesick?

A6: Dogs can experience depression and separation anxiety when separated from their pack or taken out of their familiar territory. Homesickness in dogs is often a manifestation of their emotional distress.

Q7: How can I help my homesick dog cope?

A7: To help your homesick dog, provide familiar items such as their favorite toys and a blanket that smells like you. If you’re leaving your dog with a sitter, these items can offer comfort. When traveling, distractions like playing games, going for walks, or visiting a dog park can help alleviate homesickness.

Q8: How long does homesickness in dogs typically last?

A8: With proper care and attention, homesickness in dogs can often resolve within a few days. Dogs are adaptable animals, and they can adjust to new surroundings relatively quickly when given the right support.