25 May

8 Reasons To Use An In-Home Pet Sitter

dog on a walk

Let your dog have a staycation at home rather than at an unfamiliar kennel. There are many benefits to in-home pet sitting.

When going on vacation, you generally have one purpose in mind – to unwind and enjoy a carefree time exploring the sights and sounds of your destination. Worrying about the condition and welfare of your pet while you are out of town would defeat the whole purpose of the vacation, so you want to make sure your pet will be happy, healthy, and safe.

There are a few options available to you: you could ask a family member to help, you could take your pet to a kennel, or you could get an in-home pet sitter.

dog in the woods

Your dogs won’t be unattended while you’re gone. In-home pet sitters will provide a stress-free way for your dog to be looked after when you can’t be there.

Of these 3 options, the last one is the most advisable for various reasons:

  1. No Place like Home: This statement holds true for both you and your pet. Like you, your pet feels freer and more comfortable at home than anywhere else. When you use an in-home pet sitter, your pet would be happier and feel your absence less because he or she is in familiar territory. And you’d probably be back at home before your pet begins to miss you because his or her needs are adequately taken care of.
  2. Consistency in Routine: Once accustomed to a routine, pets are easier to handle and care for. A sudden change in their routine might bring about stress and anxiety. Using an in-house pet sitter would ensure that there is no drastic change to your pet’s routine which is better for everyone’s sanity.
  3. Consistency in Behavior: Leaving your pet to an unfamiliar environment while you are away may be stressful for her and you may return to find yourself having to deal with issues that weren’t there previously.

infographic with reasons to use an in-home pet stitting

Boarding kennels house many other pets with different temperaments. Moving your adorable family member from the comfort of the home into such a terrain may be a bit drastic. Imagine thrusting your 5 year old kid into a boarding house with kids from other backgrounds for a week or two. The experience may not be pleasant initially and the child may adapt after a while. But you can be sure that certain things will change about your kid – new attitudes, behaviors and habits and all. With your pet it’s a bit more complicated.

dog in the woods

Your dog can enjoy 1-on-1 attention with a pet sitter. Exercise, food, medicine, and attention can all be provided at home while you’re gone.

  1. Close Monitoring and Supervision: With an in-house pet sitter, you can be sure that your pet won’t get into trouble while you are away. When left alone, accidents could occur, but with twice daily visits and possible overnight stays by your pet sitter, the well being of your pet is assured.
  2. Less Exposure to Health Risks: Your pet is less likely to contract diseases from other pets when at home. You don’t want to come back from a restful vacation to meet your pet sick and faced with health issues or frequent visits to the vet. An in-house pet sitter can detect health problems before they become worse and help you deal with them promptly.
  3. Exercise and Companionship: While you are away, a pet sitter will spend quality time with your pet and ensure that he or she gets much needed exercise and companionship so that you come back to meet a happy and healthy cat or dog.
  4. Convenience: Although your family and friends may not mind lending you a helping hand with your pet, it is an added responsibility for them. Rather than intruding into their daily routine and adding to their to-do list, using an in-home pet sitter is more convenient for everyone involved. Aside from the burden you are likely to place on them, your folks may not have the training or experience needed to take adequate care of your pet.
  5. Affordability: Contrary to what you might think, hiring an in-house pet sitter isn’t all that costly. When you put into consideration other services that an in-home pet-sitter will offer such as bringing in the mail or newspapers and keeping your pets fed, it is a better deal than using a kennel. You would be quite surprised to know how affordable it can be. If you reside in the Saint Louis area you can contact us to see how much it would cost for what you need.
18 May

How To Travel With Your Dog

dog in the driver's seat of a car


So, you are planning a trip or your next vacation and you’re thinking it would be nice to have your adorable pet travel with you. Good Idea! However, there are things you need to consider before taking your dog along with you. Because cars and planes are not adequately equipped to cater to the needs of your pet, the responsibility for his care rests squarely on your shoulders.

Traveling with your dog requires a bit of planning and training in order to ensure that both of you have a safe ride that is free of anxiety or discomfort. Apparently, the journey is much easier when you are driving or hiring a cab, but flying on an airplane is a different kettle of fish altogether. Here are some important tips to help make your journey pleasurable.

Of course, if you decide to travel without your pets, consider letting Saint Louis Dog Walkers pet sit while you’re gone. Your pet will feel more comfortable in its home environment rather than staying in an unfamiliar kennel. We can provide walks, food, water, and all the love and attention they need while you’re away.

Know the Rules

If you’re flying, it is important that you inquire from the airline about their regulations on pet travel. Understanding their dos and don’ts will help you decide whether to go ahead with your plan or not. Airlines are concerned about the safety and comfort of every passenger and wouldn’t want your pet to disturb on cause others any inconvenience. It is therefore important to ensure that she is kept as quiet and comfortable as possible.

Puppies and smaller dogs may be allowed to travel with you under a seat in the cabin as long as they are older than 8 weeks. Larger and heavier ones will need to stay in the cargo hold. You can keep her in a soft carry-on bag if she’s traveling in the cabin. Larger dogs will require a pet carrier that is approved by the airline.

Other regulations such as the type of carrier required and the health details also need to be ascertained.

Prepare Your Dog for the Trip

You have to get your dog well prepared in advance for the trip.

  • Exercises

Ensure that your dog is well exercised so that she can burn off excess calories and rest well during the trip. Getting her well exercised is better than giving sedative or other calming medications.

  • Training

Some training will be necessary in order to prevent anxiety or discomfort

You will need to get your dog accustomed to being in her carrier well ahead of your travel (two weeks should do) so that she can be relaxed during the trip. Also let her get used to being moved around in the carrier by carrying her around in it for a few days.

Don’t become emotional if you have to leave her in the cargo hold, be positive and calm so that your dog will know everything is okay.

Let her get used to the noise, busyness and smell of the airport by taking her for a walk around the airport a few times

dog carrier for travel

A dog carrier is necessary for airplane travel and is very helpful for car travel as well.

  • Carrier

Whether you are traveling by road or by air, you will need to get a carrier. Keeping her in a carrier while driving, will reduce the potential for fatality in the case of an accident and will also help you concentrate better on your driving. The carrier must be well padded with a newspaper, blanket, or doggy pad and should be large enough for your dog to stand in comfortably.

For air travel, you will need to fit her carrier door with a properly secured portable fan for cooling and two plastic dishes for food and water. Keeping some familiar toys or treats in the carrier will also be nice.

Ensure that there are no leashes lying around the carrier and that the collar fits properly to prevent the possibility of strangling.

Count the Cost

You will be required to make a separate reservation for your dog and the fee charged vary for each airline and whether your dog will be in the cabin or in the cargo section. Be sure to ascertain what it will cost you to travel with your dog

Get a Health Certificate

You will need to visit your vet to examine your dog to ascertain his health and fitness for travel and issued a health certificate. This is a standard requirement for pet travel and airlines differ on the amount of details needed. Be sure to confirm what your airline’s demands are. If traveling to a country different from yours, find out what the health authorities require in terms of vaccinations and other health needs.

Make Your Dog Comfortable

  • Feeding

When traveling, don’t stuff your dog up on food and water. Let her fast for at least 6 hours before the trip. She can eat a little bit more than usual a day before. Feeding just before the trip can make her have motion sickness. And feeding her while driving, is also not advisable. Feed her when there is a break and also take her for a walk or some play. During the trip, let her have enough water to keep hydrated but not full.

  • Consider the weather

When driving, don’t leave your dog in a parked car for any reason, even when the windows are down. The temperature in a parked car can rise fast in matter of minutes.

When it comes to dogs, airlines are quite concerned about weather conditions; you will therefore need to check for their policy on this when making reservations. Additionally, the temperature in the plane and cargo hold are not controlled while the plane is on the tarmac and before take-off and it can get pretty hot if there is a slight delay. Better still; schedule your flights for late night when the weather is cooler to be sure of your dog’s comfort.

  • Connecting flights

When traveling with your dog, it’s better to take a direct route in order to avoid the need to change planes especially if your dog will be checked in as excess baggage. This is to prevent her from being mishandled by careless baggage handlers or delayed from being transferred to the connecting flight.

Plan an Early Check-In

Because of extra security checks, getting to the airport earlier for your check-in is advisable.

Enjoy your Trip!

11 May

Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Grass And How To Prevent It

Dog eating grass

A lot of dogs are attracted to grass. It’s important to learn how to prevent your dog from eating grass as too much can cause problems.


Why does my dog eat grass? This is one question that may have crossed your mind during the last several weeks when grass has reappeared in the St. Louis area. Indeed, it can be quite a strange sight and a legitimate cause for concern to watch your dog chomping on some fresh grass in your yard.


Eating of grass or other inedible objects is referred to as Pica, is a phenomenon that is common with dogs. Since they can’t speak for themselves, it is difficult to tell why dogs choose to sometimes eat grass. Opinions differ on the reason for this behavior and some of the reasons put forward are as follows:

Natural Instinct – Like their other canids such as wolves and coyotes, dogs may eat grass as a part of their natural food cravings

Part of growing up – Puppies and young dogs may eat grass or other materials in their quest to investigate their environment.

Boredom – Dogs may resort to eating grass as a way of escape from the boredom of routine activities or eating routine meals.

As a dietary supplement –Since fresh grass is rich in nutrients, some believe that a dog may eat grass to meet some nutritional needs.

As a cure for stomach disorder – Another reason that has been put forward is that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting when they feel nauseous or as a result of bloating, viral or bacterial infection and some other gastrointestinal disorders.

Chihuahua smelling grass


While veterinarians generally consider dogs eating grass as normal behavior, it is important that you try to prevent your dog from eating grass as a habit because of its implications for his or her general well being.


Unless they are first crushed or semi-digested, the digestive systems of dogs are not wired to effectively handle plant materials. Grass eating should therefore be discouraged in order to prevent complications.

Can Lead To Compulsive Behavior

As earlier stated, puppies and young dogs may eat grass or other materials as part of their growing up. With some discouragement from you, this behavior should cease before they are six months old. If allowed to persist, grazing may become a compulsive behavior that continues into adulthood. Then it becomes a real issue, and dealing with it may cost you both time and money.

May Lead to Poisoning

Then, there is the danger of your dog eating grass that has been treated with an herbicide or pesticide. Also, some household and garden plants are harmful to dogs. Not curbing this behavior will make your dog want to eat grass any and everywhere, thus increasing the possibility of her getting poisoned from grass containing poisonous chemicals.



One good way of getting your dog’s attention off grass is by engaging him in fun interactive activities such as throwing a Frisbee, throwing a ball, or engaging in a tug-of-war. Taking regular walks is also a very good way to keep your dog busy. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this, you can talk to us at stlouisdogwalkers.com and we’ll be glad to help you out.

Provide Alternatives

Another thing you can do is buy toys and other play things that are durable enough to chew on without being broken into bits. These can help keep your dog mentally active and prevent boredom.

Close Monitoring and Training

Since compulsive pica will require more specialized help and a lot of reorientation, why would you want to go through that route? Curbing grass eating early is very important. You therefore have to be on the lookout for such behavior in your puppy. Training your dog to obey certain verbal cues such as “leave it” or “drop it” will help you to better communicate your disapproval of certain actions.

Diet Improvement

Giving your dog a high fiber diet regularly may help curb grazing. Certain instances may warrant a complete change of diet in which case, you may need to see your vet. You can also include probiotics and digestive enzymes into his or her diet to help improve his digestive system.

04 May

8 Top Benefits of Owning a Dog

Benefits to owning a dog

There are so many benefits to owning a dog. This list highlights some of the main ones.

“Dogs are man’s best friend.” I’m sure you’ve heard that before; many people would even consider it a cliché. However, you’ve probably never thought deeply about the benefits that owning a dog has for you or other members of your family. Indeed, owning a dog has immense benefits for your physical, emotional and social well being. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider having a dog at home.

  1. Companionship
Dogs provide companionship

Dogs are wonderful at providing their owners with companionship. It’s hard to be lonely or depressed for long with a loyal dog around.

Dogs help to prevent loneliness by providing physical companionship for their owners. This is especially important for the sick and elderly who are left by themselves most of the time. Dogs have been known to guide the blind and bring comfort to the sick. Retired and elderly people are prone to depression as a result of idleness or cessation of normal routine. A dog can provide good company and even amusement in times of loneliness or distress.

  1. Unconditional love

Your dog will never judge you and this is why many people consider them as their best friends. Dogs have no emotional or attitudinal issues like humans do. Your pet accepts you the way you are and you don’t have to try too hard to please him or her. The relationship is mutually enjoyable and beneficial.

  1. Mood enhancement

Research has shown that playing with or petting your dog can raise the level of levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These neurotransmitters are associated with feelings of pleasure and calmness.

  1. Reducing Stress

The joy you get from caring for and attending to your dog’s needs goes a long way in helping you deal with stress. This is because your morale, self worth and optimism is boosted in the process since a routine is usually involved. With a dog around you, there is very little room for depression, anxiety or stress.

  1. Build Resistance to Germs

Pets pick up germs easily. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it can actually be beneficial because the presence of such germs around you makes your body develop resistance against them. Folks who have dogs seem to fall ill less frequently and less severely than people without.

  1. Improved Social Interaction

When you take your dog to a park or for a walk, it is easy for people to strike up a conversation with you. Dogs attract attention and it is quite easy to start up a topic around them. This can be very helpful for otherwise shy people and can prevent social isolation. And you never know, it could mean the beginning of a romantic or mutually rewarding relationship.

  1. More exercises
dog are great exercise companions

Dogs are excellent exercise companions. Whether it’s for a walk, jog, or bike ride, dogs are always ready to join in.

Your dog can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. As you take him or her out walking, jogging or swimming, you too are able to reap the benefits. Taking care of your dog involves you being physically engaged and this is helpful in keeping you active and healthy.

  1. Better Kids
Dogs benefits kids

Children benefit in many ways from having a dog in their lives.

Although dogs are known to trigger allergies in people, children who grow up having a dog at home are less likely to develop allergies or asthma as they grow older. Studies have shown that kids growing up in a home with furred animals are less prone to the risk of allergies and asthma.

By learning to care for his dog, a child learns commitment, responsibility and compassion which are important for a balanced life in adulthood.

Children with autism or other learning challenges are often better at communicating non-verbally. Interacting with dogs may help them connect better with people because they are able to learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves in the process. Such an interaction may also help them learn to stay alert and attentive throughout the day.