03 Aug

10 Dog Walk Safety Tips

Pug on leash for a walk

When it comes to safety during your dog walks, the same safety measures apply irrespective of whether you live in a quiet neighborhood or a busy city street. Being safety conscious by taking necessary precautions isn’t something that you can afford to take for granted because it puts you in a better position in the event that the unexpected happens.

  1. Plan beforehand: Know exactly where you are going and what you would do on the way. If, for example, you would need to make a stop-over or go shopping somewhere, be sure to find out if pets are allowed at the location or not. This would also determine whether you’d want to have your dog on a short or a long leash.

If it’s not your usual route, you may need to make extra preparations such as getting a doggie boot for rough or snowy terrain or insect repellants for bushy trails.

Note: Let your vet recommend an appropriate insect repellant for your dog as the one you use may harm her.

dog on a leash for a walk

  1. Make your dog comfortable: It’s unlikely you’d wear tight footwear or uncomfortable clothes, so shouldn’t your dog. Ensure her collar fits properly and that the leash is in good condition.
  2. Go with enough water: Ensure that you have enough water to keep you and your dog properly hydrated while you’re out.
  3. No grazing: To prevent poisoning, don’t allow your dog eat or nibble at plants along the way
  4. Have your id: It’s advisable that you are with valid identification tags for both you and your dog before setting off.
  5. Pay Close attention: Keep a close eye on your dog during walks. Don’t let her loose and always let her approach others on a leash.
  6. Go with Piddle pads: Part of your responsibility as a dog walker is that you should be ready to scoop up after your pet. The quantity would depend on the duration of your walk.
  7. Evening Walks: For evening walks wear reflective vests for both you and your dog. Use reflective collars and leashes that reflect from both sides. Better still, LED gear is recommended as they provide protection even under the darkest conditions.

You shouldn’t forget to carry a flashlight for illumination. This not only makes it easy for you to find your way, it prevents you or your dog from stepping on unwanted objects in the dark.

  1. Train your dog to obey cues: You don’t want your dog jumping on people or lagging behind when you want her to move. You will therefore need to teach her to obey simple cues like “sit” or “let’s go”.
  2. During winter: Keep your dog away from metal to avoid the possibility of electrocution or having her tongue stuck.

Avoid snowdrifts as well as icy pathways to prevent slips or falls and don’t allow your dog eat snow so she doesn’t swallow sharp or other harmful objects in the process.

27 Jul

7 Ways to Make Dog Walks More Interesting

cute dog with leash

Apart from providing yourself and your dog the needed exercise for mental and physical soundness, regularly walking your dog also helps your dog to have a feel of his or her environment. However, walks may eventually become boring or even burdensome unless you endeavor to create an occasion out of them and make them more interesting. With a little bit of forethought and planning, you can achieve more from your dog walks. Try these simple tips for a more enjoyable time out with your friend.

dog with ball in mouth

  1. Break the Monotony: For the actual walk, trying out a different route from time to time breaks the monotony of walking the same route every day. Going on a hike or taking a trip to a dog park is also another way you can bring some variety into your walk.
  2. Plan Occasional Stops: You can plan your dog walks around some other activities as a way of breaking up the walk and alleviating monotony. For instance, you may decide to take a short break during your walk to do some shopping at a dog-friendly store or eat at a dog-friendly restaurant.
  3. Take In The Sights And Sounds: Take time to let your dog enjoy the surrounding scenes and let him or her sniff if desired as both of you walk along at a leisurely pace.
  4. Alternate Your Pace And Direction: Switching your speed of walking from time to time helps you to keep your dog close and focused on you and also provides some form of excitement and mental stimulation during walks. You can also try swiftly changing direction by suddenly turning round a corner or making a u-turn.
  5. Incorporate Some Playtime and Games: you can slip in a little game of “find it” or “hide and seek” during walks to provide more fun and activity for you and your dog. Tossing a Frisbee or a treat in a park is also a great way to engage your dog in some playtime along the way.
  6. Incorporate Behavior and Leash Training: Dog walks can also be used as an opportunity for leash training and also for training your dog to respond to cues. For this, you need to bring treats along to reinforce positive behavior. If your dog acts out of order during your walk, use the opportunity to correct the behavior and reward positive response.
  7. Plan To Have Company Or Group Walks: Asking a friend or neighbor to keep you company on your dog walk can make a refreshing difference. If you can, organizing to walk in a group with other dog owners can be a great way to make your dog walks more interesting. Alternatively, you can join a dog walk club if there is one available in your neighborhood.
20 Jul

Top 5 Tips for Pet Friendly Renting


Moving into a new residence is one of the top excuses used for owners who surrender their dogs to rescues and shelters. You don’t have to be one of those statistical pet owners that lose their furry family members when it comes to relocating. Instead, follow these 5 easy tips to bring your best friend along for the next chapter of your life.

dog relaxing

Tip 1

Research! Long before you sign on any dotted line for a lease, speak with the property manager about their pet policy. Ask for paperwork proving what they say is true, and make sure that the policy they give you is up to date. Far too many pet owners get confused and end up having to give away their dog because of an uninformed manager.

Tip 2

Training! Your dog should be 100% reliable with both his potty habits and his basic obedience. Any problem behaviors such as destructive chewing and barking can cause problems with your neighbors and land lord. If your puppy is still under going his basic training, now is not the time to slack on it! Seek help from a professional trainer when in doubt.

Tip 3

Have a waste removal plan ready to show your possible new landlord or property manager! Not all dog owners are welcome with open arms, and those that show some hesitations towards you will be impressed when you explain that all canine waste is promptly picked up and removed instead of left on their well maintained lawn.

Tip 4

Make plans for your dog during the actual move. Many dogs may get spooked and run off at some point during a moving event. Movers or friends and family that are helping to move your furniture and boxes ay accidentally leave a door open, leave the gate unlocked or even forget to put the dog in his crate. Instead, you can make plans to have your dog boarded either at a professional facility or at a friend’s home. This can also reduce his stress greatly, and keep him safe until he is ready to come to his new home with you.

Tip 5

Remember that an adjustment period will be needed for your dog to understand and feel comfortable about his schedule in a new place. Do not hesitate to remind him where his potty place is for the first few weeks. If your dog is crate trained and feels comforted in his crate, allow him to have access to his crate with his same old bed and favorite toy.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

With a little research and preparation, you can ensure that your pooch can accompany you to your new abode. Preventing escapes, stress and bad behavior can make moving from one home to another a more pleasant experience for yourself and your dog!

13 Jul

Why Is My Older Dog Not Eating?

older dog

Generally dogs will eat whatever is offered to them, but sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where your older dog refuses to eat. Knowing the importance of good nutrition to health, it is quite understandable to be worried when your older dog won’t eat. Your dog not eating may be even more worrisome if he or she previously had a healthy appetite.

Your dog not eating may be due to a loss of appetite which may be indicative of a health problem and sometimes it may simply be a refusal occasioned by some other factors which will be discussed in this article.

Reasons Your Older Dog May Not Be Eating and Help Tips

Health Issues: Like you would find in humans, an underlying health conditions may result in loss of appetite. If you notice any negative change in your dog’s response to food, you should first consider checking with your vet in order to eliminate the possibility of an illness. This is even more important if your dog exhibits other symptoms such as weight loss or diarrhea in addition to the feeding problem. There are some serious health conditions that can be the cause of this, so make sure you get it checked out!

If your dog was recently vaccinated, he or she might experience a loss of appetite as a side effect but these should cease within a few days. Check with your vet to be sure.

Pickiness: If the feeding problem isn’t health-related, then you may have a behavior problem to deal with. First, you need to find out the reason why your dog is picky.

Your dog may become fussy about eating if you have the habit of feeding him extra treats regularly outside of meal times. This can also happen if he gets fed scraps off the dining table by you or others. What your dog is doing here is refusing to eat his own food and instead waiting until the treats come along.

If this is the situation, you will need to cut out the treats and make your dog conform to a regular feeding schedule. This might be resisted initially, but if you keep at it, your dog will eventually come around and realize that’s the way to go. Make an occasion out of meal times and applaud or reward your pets when they eat their own food.

In some instances, your dog may actually enjoy your fussiness or the attention he gets whenever he refuses to eat. Fussiness can reinforce bad behavior. Always remain calm and relaxed when dealing with dog behavior issues.

Change: If your dog is not eating, it may be due to a recent change of accommodation or location. When in unfamiliar surroundings, some dogs may become uncomfortable or nervous. With reassurance and encouragement, this should pass within a few days.

Changes in a dog’s food may also result in a loss of interest in food. Use a slow and gradual approach when introducing a new type of food to your dog.

The Food: It is possible that your dog’s food has stayed open for too long and no longer tastes the same. You wouldn’t eat stale or spoilt food neither would your dog. To be absolutely sure that this is the issue, feed your dog from another pack.

06 Jul

Where to Keep Your Dog When Leaving Town

baby chihuahua at play

Situations certainly come up that require you to go out of town and leave your beloved friend behind. Expectedly, you would want to make sure that she is safe and well catered for while you are away.

Although there are different available options, deciding the most appropriate one will depend on factors ranging from the duration of your absence to where you live and the resources at your disposal. Let’s consider some of the possible options you may have and the likely implications of each.

dog and owner relaxing

A neighbor or family member: Entrusting the care of your dog to a neighbor or family member may be a convenient choice for you, but it’s not convenient for them. This choice may be okay if you are leaving town for a couple of days. For longer periods, it may not be your best option unless the person has a dog also and is quite familiar with dog handling and care. A family member who already lives with you or wouldn’t mind home-sitting your dog may also be a good choice but encroaching on other people’s schedules isn’t really advisable.

At a vet’s office: Vets who offer pet boarding services also present a good option, especially if your dog has a chronic health issue that require close monitoring. However, a healthy dog may find the presence of other dogs and pets with varying backgrounds strange and uncomfortable.

Kenneling or Boarding: A kennel or boarding home is another option. However, you have to ascertain the condition of the facility to be sure it is conducive. Don’t just look for the nearest or available boarding house to put him or her. Your pet is going to be staying in an unfamiliar territory and you want to make sure he or she will be fine. Do the dogs you see there display strange or aggressive behavior? Interact with the staff and infer if they are likely to take good care of your dog or not. Watch out for the general atmosphere of the place before making up your mind.

An in-home pet sitter: In addition to several other benefits, the main advantage of using an in-home pet sitter is that your dog doesn’t have to leave the familiar environment of your home. A professional pet sitter would come in regularly to take care of your pets and ensure that they get the needed attention and exercises. This is in addition to other things like helping you keep the house clean of litter. In choosing an in-home pet sitter, you need to carefully screen the person to be sure they’ve got the right experience, insurance, and references. At Saint Louis Dog Walkers, we offer in-home pet sitting services that guarantee total satisfaction. Contact us when next you’ll be out of town for a worry-free trip or vacation.

29 Jun

Why Do Dogs Lick?

dog sticking his tongue out

It is important to bear it in mind that your dog doesn’t have the luxury of words like you do to express feelings or emotions. He or she therefore has to resort to doggy means like barking, licking or pica (ingesting inedible objects) in order to get your attention.

The reasons dogs lick are varied but the bottom line is that there is a message being communicated whenever your dog licks you, herself, other people or dogs and objects. It is part of your responsibility to be observant in order to know what is being communicated.

dog licking bananas

5 Reasons Dogs Lick

Here are few of the general reasons why dogs lick

To Show Affection: Dogs lick to express emotions like love and affection. Just like you, there are times when your dog feels like expressing her adoration and a lick on your face on certain occasions, like when you arrive home, could jolly well be your dog saying “I love you so much” “You mean the world to me” or “Welcome, glad to see you”

To Connect: You may sometimes find your dog giving your visitors or other dogs a lick. They sometimes do this to connect, possibly to pick up a scent from your visitor or to show the other dog that he is welcome.

To Submit: Dogs in a pack lick to show submission to a leader. So on some occasions, your dog licks your hand or feet simply to show submission.

To Clean Up: Your dog may lick her body for the purpose of grooming. However, observe if any part of the body is getting unusual attention. Excessive licking of the anal area may be a sign that he or she needs to use the potty.

For Healing: Your dog may also tend to lick any part of her body that is injured or causing discomfort. The saliva has antibacterial properties and he or she may lick wounds and sores to prevent them from becoming infected. Being watchful will help you notice this early to avoid excessive licking.

What About Compulsive Licking? Normal dog behavior, such as barking and licking, isn’t a problem as long as it doesn’t become compulsive. Compulsive behavior is usually a sign that something is wrong or lacking and can be taken care of through training or by dealing with the root cause.

If the licking happens often or long enough to irritate you or others, then you may need to let your dog know it is not acceptable. However, you need to be discerning to figure out if he or she is just being naughty or is trying to tell you something.

Sometimes, all your dog may be telling you is that the water bowl is empty or that she is bored, anxious afraid or upset about something.

22 Jun

How Do I Stop My Dog From Barking? – 3 Reasons Why Dogs Bark

dog at rest

Why do human babies cry? Basically because that is their primary mode of communication when hungry, seeking attention, or experiencing some form of discomfort. Usually, all a parent needs do to stop the crying is to sort out the baby’s needs. However, when the crying becomes excessive or incessant, you know there is something definitely wrong on a deeper level.

The same reasoning applies to your canine members of the family. Together with other body gestures, barking is a dog’s main means of communicating needs, excitement, and danger and so on. But when it becomes excessive or out of control, you need to investigate.

Look In Before You Look Out

A lot of times, the barking problem is not the fault of the dog, so if your dog barks all the time, you need to look within yourself first to be sure you are not the cause. Your dog looks up to you for leadership and unwanted behavior is usually an indication that you are missing out something important. Moreover, your dog depends on you to take care of his or her needs and when these are not being met, your pet resorts to barking to get your attention. Excessive or unwanted barking is a signal for you to check what you might not doing right.

sled dogs barking

Stopping Your Dog from Barking

Here are 3 possible questions you need to ask if your dog barks and how you can help.

  1. Is your dog bored? Boredom is the most likely cause of a barking problem. You are probably not giving your dog enough exercises or outdoor play time to keep him or her happy and healthy. Dogs are naturally active creatures and when deprived of this, barking may be the only way to express it. A regular exercise regimen is an ongoing requirement for an emotionally and psychologically balanced dog and this should not be compromised. If your other activities would hinder this, you can get the assistance of a professional dog walker such as Saint Louis Dog Walkers
  2. Are You Sending The Wrong Signals? Your dog’s behavior is formed through positive reinforcement. Because of this, it is quite easy to unintentionally encourage the wrong behavior thorough your actions without even realizing it. For example, if you always cuddle her up when she welcomes you back home with a bark, you are telling your dog that it is okay to bark. The same thing may happen if you try shouting her down while barking- you are increasing the excitement. Train your dog to greet you through other means other than by barking. It is possible to train your dog to bark on command or only when for the right reasons.
  3. Am I Giving Enough Attention Or Affection? Your dog loves you and wants to be shown some love also. If your dog barks all the time, it may be because you have been ignoring him or her for too long. Devote quality time, once in a while, to give your dog a treat. Make physical connection with your dog as often as possible so your friend knows everything is okay.
15 Jun

6 Reasons Dogs Need Regular Walks

2 women walking a dog

Regular dog walking provides many benefits

There are plenty of reasons why we don’t walk our dogs enough. We’re too busy. It’s too hot (or cold). We rationalize that small dogs get enough exercise running around the coffee table. But dogs really need daily walks. Here are six reasons why walks are beneficial to dogs (and humans:)

1. Obesity

Did you know that over HALF of American dogs are obese? Yes, you might think that little belly is cute, but what is it doing to the inside of your dog? Obese dogs, like humans, are more likely to get heart disease and diabetes. It won’t only shorten their lifespan, but it will lighten your pocketbook. And if you’re personally struggling to stave off the pounds, walking your dog is a great option. You get more exercise every day.

2. Instinct

Neither dogs nor humans were built to sit around on the couch all day. Wild dogs run around with their pack to find food. Before the plethora of convenient food options, humans had to get up and hunt or farm their food. We are both used to getting up and moving, so why fight instinct?

3. Boredom

The number one reason that dogs exhibit bad behavior? Lack of exercise. Simply put: they’re bored. You know the feeling of being stir-crazy if you sit home all weekend, order in, and binge watch something on Netflix. At the end of it, you feel bored. Imagine if that was your whole life. It is the same as putting your dog in solitary confinement. They need to get outside not only to stretch their legs but to stimulate their minds.

man walking 2 dogs

4. Lifespan

Dogs that are walked more tend to live longer. Dogs’ lifespans are short as it is, but we develop very strong bonds with our pets. After their pet dies, many dog owners regret not spending more time with their pet, including walking. This is especially the case if the condition the dog died from could have been avoided or managed through simple exercise.

5. Quality of Life

Some dogs need stairs in order to get up into the couch. They get arthritis and achy joints just like humans. In humans and canines, this sort of pain can be avoided by just walking. If you could do something for twenty minutes a day that would prevent your dog from living a life full of pain, wouldn’t you do it?

6. Confidence

If dogs are kept indoors, they never learn how to interact with people, deal with stimuli, etc. By consequence, when they inevitably run into these stimuli, they freak out because they do not know how to react. This creates a fearful dog. Fearful dogs have anxiety and are more likely to bite. Do not let this happen to your pets!

If you find yourself getting too busy to take your dog for a regular walk, contact us at Saint Louis Dog Walkers. We can provide your dog with exercise and companionship when you can’t.

08 Jun

Dogs and Apartment Living – 11 Important Tips For Owners

dogs living in an apartment have special requirements from dogs with yards

Dogs living in an apartment have special requirements compared to dogs with a house and yard.

Being able to afford a home with a yard doesn’t usually come cheap; living in an apartment has therefore become the norm for a lot of city dwellers. For a lot of folks, this has given rise to the challenge of adapting pets, especially dogs, to apartment living. Since this trend has come to stay, it has become imperative for dog owners to have a clear understanding of what it takes to cater to the needs of this important family member. Here are a few things to consider in ensuring a pleasurable apartment living experience for both you and your dog.

  1. Check with Your Landlord: You will need to be sure that pets are allowed in the building before making a decision. Some buildings allow dogs but have regulations with regard to breed, size and so on. Ensure you are quite familiar with and abide by the laid down rules.
  2. Consider Your Living Space: Do you have enough room to accommodate both of you? This would determine whether you should go for a small or large dog. You want your dog’s area to be properly carved out for him or her in such a way that you don’t get into each other’s way.
  3. Breed Matters: Most dog breeds can adapt to living in an apartment. However, some breeds are more adapted to apartment living than others because they are calmer or don’t do much moving around, or they require less space to do so. Breeds such as the Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Corgi, Pekingese, Pug, Pomeranian, Standard Schnauzer, Tibetan Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier and the Dachshund among others can cope better in an apartment.
  4. Personality Matters: Another important consideration is your dog’s personality. Although your dog’s breed may generally adapt to apartment living, there could be exceptions. Your dog may just have higher energy levels than others of the same breed and would require greater attention. Also, since you would have neighbors, you wouldn’t want to pose a nuisance to others with a dog that is hostile or barks often.
  5. Exercises Are Important: Dogs are genetically wired to run around and will need exercises to ensure their physical and mental well being. Daily walks and exercises are therefore a necessity regardless of size or breed. Apart from these daily walks, your dog will also require regular exercises to stay active and happy. The amount of exercising your dog will require depends on individual energy level but exercising is a must. In addition, regular visits to a dog park will also afford him or her the opportunity to play with other dogs and ward off monotony. If you work long hours or you are not able to meet up with the exercise requirement of your dog, a dog walker will come in handy to help you meet this very important need.
  6. Feeding: Don’t compromise on quality when it comes to your dog’s feeding. Stick to pet food rather than people food to avoid a situation where your dog could go begging or eating from other places. Also, ensure an ample supply of water.
  7. Training: You will have to completely housebreak your dog. This might pose a bit of a challenge if you live high-up; so you may need to start out using piddle pads and work at it until you achieve 100% housebreaking. You will need to also give your dog other behavioral training and promptly obey cues. This is one reason why trained adult dogs may be a better deal than puppies for apartment living.
Dog going on a walk

Dogs require regular exercise and generally love time spent outside.

Endeavor to establish regular times for feeding and other activities so that your dog gets used to a particular routine.

  1. Update Vaccinations And Medications: Since there are others living in close proximity, it is quite easy for parasites and diseases to spread. You, therefore, need to assure your dog’s health and protect yourself and others. Always ensure that your dog’s shots are regular and up-to-date.
  2. Maintain Good Hygiene: Clean up messes immediately and keep your home clean and fresh regularly. Vacuum your home often to get rid of pet dander and ensure you keep your dog clean.
  3. Have A Good Supply And Variety Of Toys: Spending a lot of time indoors can lead to boredom; you will therefore need to provide a lot of toys for your dog to play with and scratch on. This would also prevent him or her from substituting your furniture or other belongings as play things.
  4. Keep Your Dog Safe: Keep your pet safe from domestic accidents by keeping windows and patio doors and securely locked. Visits to the balcony should be on a leash. Also, sharp objects and poisonous substances should be kept safely away.
01 Jun

6 Reasons Why Cats Need a Pet Sitter

group of cats

Cats can benefit in many ways from the use of an in-home pet sitter

Unlike dogs, cats are generally quite adaptable and are able to cope pretty well on their own and do not require as much attention or stimulation to carry on. Because of this, you might be tempted to believe that they can be left alone at home or boarded in a kennel while you are on vacation, but that can cause problems. Using the services of a professional pet sitter not only gives you peace of mind and assurance of your cat’s safety while you are away, among other benefits.


  1. Cats love familiarity: Having become used to the safety and comfort of your home, your cat may become stressed out if you decide to keep him or her in an unfamiliar surrounding like a kennel or even another home. Using a pet sitter in your home gives your cat a feeling of reassurance even when you are not there.
  2. Cats have emotional needs: Cats, too, have the need to for love, attention, and care like other pets. Leaving your cat alone at home or in a kennel or engaging an in-home pet sitter could mean the difference between coming back to meet a cat that just managed to survive without you and one that is well catered to, emotionally balanced and didn’t quite notice your absence.
  3. Cats love routine: Subjecting your cat, or any pet for that matter, to sudden drastic changes in routine can have undesirable consequences on his or her well being. Keeping your pets at home under professional care will ensure that their routine is not disrupted in any way.
  4. Cats need Adequate Care: Though generally not very demanding, cats still require a good deal of playtime and grooming. For instance, Jacques Arthur explains in his book Cat Keeping Guide that the hair mats of the Persian cat require at least 20 minutes of grooming daily and one hour of grooming per week. If you are in a similar situation and will not be available to do it yourself, your best bet is to hire a professional pet sitter. Also, your pet’s medications can be administered while you are away from home.
  5. Lower Health Risks: Apart from the emotional distress that kenneling or boarding exposes your cat to, he or she can easily pick up infections from the surroundings and other cats. In-home pet sitting minimizes this risk to a large extent and ensures that your cat stays healthy. Even if health issues arise, there is someone available to attend to them.
  6. Reduced Exposure to Domestic Accidents: Leaving your cat at home without supervision exposes her to hazards that could cause harm or even death. It is quite easy for cats to get stuck in enclosed places like heating vents and kitchen appliances. With a pet sitter checking in at regular intervals, the risk is minimized. There is also the possibility of something going wrong in the house – like the heating becoming faulty or a pipe leakage. Your pet sitter can easily notify you or get it fixed in your absence.

If your cat is in need of an in-home pet sitter in the St. Louis area, please contact Saint Louis Dog Walkers. We can provide food, medicine, water, and as much or little attention as they desire in a familiar environment at home.