Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Dog Owner’s Biggest Concerns

We all know that dogs bring joy, love, companionship and many other wonderful, positive attributes into our lives. We love them and treasure them. Our lives are richer because they are in it. But actually owning a dog also brings some concerns.

I recently read the response to a poll that showed some surprising results from dog lovers: “What Are Your Concerns About Owning a Dog?” The response to this poll was very interesting, with more than 3,000 dog lovers responding with their comments.

Here are the top seven things on people's minds when it comes to owning a dog:

1. Having to board and/or finding a pet sitter when traveling
2. Pet hair/shedding
3. Cost of veterinary care
4. Inappropriate urination in the house
5. Barking or whining
6. Aggression
7. Destructive behavior while home alone

Love on a Leash can’t stop your pet’s hair from shedding, but we sure have a handle on ways to help you with several of the above mentioned behaviors and concerns.

First and foremost I am here to tell you that you can own a dog and travel. It takes a bit more planning beforehand, but if you take the time to have a great dog sitter on speed dial it will help make things easier for you! You have your favorite dry cleaner, gym, manicurist, restaurant, etc. on file, why not your dog sitter? Check around with other dog owners and businesses in your area and don’t be afraid to ask for references. Further, a reputable company should have a web presence, be licensed, insured and bonded, be certified in canine first aid and belong to a national organization such as Pet Sitter’s International. These are some basic guidelines and accreditation that will help give you peace of mind ensuring that the business is serious about caring for your pet.

At Love on a Leash our reputation for reliable, responsible and loving in-home dog care is stellar and we work hard to keep it that way! Your wonderful pooch moves into our home with us where we treat them like one of the family. From puppy care to geriatric care, from purebreds to rescue dogs, from tiny toys to bully breeds, we love them all! Our service is one-of-a-kind and we even send updates and photos via email while you are away to help ease your mind and put a smile on your face. We tell our clients that your dog's stay at Love on a Leash is like Summer Camp for Dogs 365 days a year!

Destructive behavior in dogs such as urinating in the house, barking and chewing are often linked to boredom and lack of exercise. Aggression issues can often be attributed to boredom and lack of socialization. Dogs are pack animals. We fill in as their pack, but truly, they blossom with interaction with other dogs and the outside world no matter what their age. If you are at work all day, keep irregular hours, are on call and often have late nights at the office, you should consider the services of a dog walker. Again, Love on a Leash can help you in this area.

Penny Adam heads up our dog walking division and, along with her sister, Christy, you will find them walking dogs daily throughout Vancouver. Penny, like all our dog sitters and walkers, is certified in canine first aid and has completed advanced levels of training in dog behaviors and obedience. She takes dogs daily on walks: some in small groups, some on field trips to the beach or park and some just one-on-one ensuring they get out for an hour or more each day. Penny has been walking my dog, Casey, for four years now and Casey is still going strong: a healthy 14-year-old Bichon Frise.

This kind of interaction means more to your dog and will do more for them than you can imagine. They are happier, healthier, much more social, better behaved and in much better shape because of their daily walks and you don’t have to feel guilty about only having time to take them out for that quick around the block bathroom break. All of our dog walking clients adore Penny and look forward to the time she spends with them each day.

The bonus of a great dog walker and dog sitter is that your pet will get loads of TLC and exercise which will pay off in reduced vet bills and a dog that lives a longer, healthier, happier life. If you are anything like me you would like your dog to live forever. Doing what we can to ensure our dogs get the time and attention we are not always able to give them certainly helps them live longer. Though life is not forever, I will take as much time as I can possibly get with my dogs.

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