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.

27 Apr

8 Ways to Help Pets Beat the Summer Heat

Short-nosed breeds are more sensitive to heat

Short-nosed breeds can’t pant efficiently and are less tolerant of heat

Summer months are beautiful and everyone looks forward to with them with the anticipation of having a good time outdoors in parks, beaches and other fun spots. However, the summer heat can be a big issue, especially for your pets. When it’s hot you can  change to lighter clothing but they don’t have that luxury. It’s up to you to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible so that they enjoy the summer as much as you do.

While human beings keep our bodies cool through sweating, your pets get rid of body heat by panting or perspiring through their paws. Unfortunately this doesn’t get the job done quite as efficiently. Your pet is more easily susceptible to heat stroke because of this. It is therefore quite important that you shield your pets from the negative effects of the summer heat.

Dogs need extra care in the heat

Pay attention to your pets when taking them outside on hot days

  1. Keep Your Pets Cool

One of the things you can do is to have your pets clipped or shaved so that heat trapped in the furs will be minimal. You can sometimes provide cold food and water for your pet. This can be in the form of cold vegetables or chilling your pet’s water bowl by adding a few ice cubes to it.

  1. Have Plenty of Water Handy

Always make sure to keep your dogs well hydrated at all times. Replenish water bowls with cool and fresh water. You can spray your dogs with water or use a cold towel for their underbellies to keep them cool.

  1. Reduce Time Spent Under the Sun

Even though your pets may love spending a lot of time outdoors, you need to prevent them from doing this. Apart from the possibility of suffering a heat stroke, staying too long under direct sunlight also exposes your pets to the risk of skin cancers.

  1. Restrict Exercising

Restrict exercise times to mornings and evenings when the weather and ground is cooler. Keep exercises at moderate intensity – no fast running or anything vigorous. If your pets are still struggling, go for a slow or leisurely walk so that your pets do not exert themselves. Better still, take them for a swim to help cool their bodies and also have some fun.

Consider taking your dogs to a local dog park with water available to take a dip in. The water will help cool off dogs on hot days. Both the Clayton Dog Park and Maplewood Dog Park have water available for dogs to play in.

Water can prevent a dog from overheating

Water is a great way to keep a dog cool on a hot day

  1. Condition the Environment

During summer, provide plenty of shade for your dogs so that they are not exposed to too much sun. If you can provide air conditioning, Great! If not, you can provide a fan. The crate or kennel can be relocated to a shady area. You could freeze up large jars of water to keep in their cages at all times. You can also keep your pets cool by pouring a few inches of water in a kid’s paddling pool and placing it in a shaded area. They will enjoy cooling off inside the pool. Spraying the play area several times during a hot day will also help keep the environment cool.

  1. Watch Out For Signs of Discomfort

Ensure that you pay very close attention to changes in your pets’ behavior so that any hot spell or health issue can be detected and addressed early. Signs of heat – related discomfort in dogs include drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, difficulty in breathing or heavy panting. Get the attention of your vet if you notice anything amiss.

  1. Protect from Hot Floor surfaces

Concrete, asphalt or sand can get your dogs’ pads burnt. So you have to protect them from the effects of walking on such surfaces if you cannot prevent it. You can also make use of doggie boots to help protect their paws.

  1. When Going Out

Don’t leave pets inside parked cars, even when the windows are down, because the temperature inside rises quickly and could lead to heat stroke. It may be better to leave your pets at home if you are going to places where pets are not allowed. Also ensure you carry enough water with you on outings. You can also consult your vet on the use of sunscreens for your pet.


Different breeds of dogs have varying levels of tolerance to heat.

  • Pugs, Pekingese, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and other short-nosed breeds can’t pant efficiently and are less tolerant.
  • Elderly or sick animals also have low tolerance for heat.
  • Overweight dogs trap more heat in their extra layers of fat and find it more difficult to breathe. They are therefore less heat tolerant.
  • Short-haired dogs and lighter coated dogs and cats (with pink skin and white hair) are more susceptible to sunburn.
20 Apr

Local Parks: Clayton Dog Park

entrance sign Clayton Dog Park

The sign you see when entering the Clayton Dog Park at Anderson Park from Clayton Road.

The city of Clayton offers dog owners in the area a relatively new dog park. This is another one of the great dog parks that Mid-County has to offer.

entrance at the clayton dog park

Members receive a pass code to open the gated entrance to the Clayton Dog Park. A sign with rules and membership requirements is posted at the entrance.

The park is located at Anderson Park at 8275 Clayton Rd 63105. Anderson Park was previously known as Haddington Court. Haddington Court was a neighborhood with a handful of houses that was leveled after a buyout from FEMA via the Missouri Sewer District. It was declared that these homes were in a flood plain of the nearby Deer Creek. This 4.56 acres of land was turned into a dog park of 2 acres in 2013 as well as an area for storm water management.

Tunnel at Clayton Dog Park

A tunnel is seen in the distance for dogs to run through and explore.

The park is secluded from the traffic on Clayton Rd. and provides a great place for dogs and their owners to socialize, exercise, and have fun. There is a tunnel for dogs to run through as well as a water area where dogs can splash around and have fun while getting wet. There is a dog water fountain inside the park so bowls can be easily filled up as well as plenty of seating inside the dog park for owners to use while their dogs play around. Picnic tables located outside the fenced-in dog park area are an ideal place for people to enjoy a meal outside.

picnic table at the clayton dog park

Picnic tables outside the dog park are available for all to enjoy a nice meal outside.

Dog park annual memberships are valid April through March and are offered to residents, people who work in Clayton, and non-residents. Up to three dogs per family are allowed to join the dog park. The rate for a resident is $80/year for the first dog and $60/year for additional dogs. The rate for people who work in Clayton is $100/year for the first dog and $75/year for additional dogs. Non-residents are charged $120/year for the first dog and $90/year for additional dogs. Membership applications are available online.

Dog park members are required to submit proof of vaccinations as well as proof that their dogs have been spayed or neutered. Members will receive a tag for each registered dog as well as a pass code for the gate. Dog park hours are 7 AM to dusk everyday.

13 Apr

7 Benefits Of Adopting a Dog From a Shelter

shelter puppies

A lot of folks tend to shy away from adopting dogs from shelters largely as a result of misconceptions and not as a result of any unpleasant experience they or anyone else has had with such dogs. There’s just this funny picture in people’s minds of dog shelters being for uncooperative, unhealthy, or badly behaved dogs.

The truth is that shelters are home to a lot of pleasant and adorable dogs that anyone would love to have as a member of their family.

Most dogs found in shelters once belonged to people who had to surrender them.  This could either be because the owners were relocating or because they are unable to continue taking care of them due to any one of a myriad of reasons: allergy, old age, ill-health, death, money issues or unforeseen circumstances.

So, if by chance, you are thinking about bringing a dog home, you should consider adopting one from a shelter. Doing so, apart from being a kind and humane gesture, has other benefits for you, the dog and other dogs.

shelter puppy

1) It Costs Less to Adopt From a Shelter

When compared to getting your dog from a breeder, shelters cost you far less. While all the shelter requires from you is the required fee for adoption, you will need to pay a pet store or dog breeder the going rate for the breed that you desire.

Also, since shelters spay or neuter their dogs and promptly take care of health issues, your visit to the vet after an adoption won’t cost you as much as it would if you were just buying a puppy from a pet shop or breeder.

2) Health Issues

Dog shelters ensure that dogs get their shots and medical attention when required. So, you can be sure of the health condition of your dog before adoption. Plus, mutts are healthier anyways.

3) The Joy of making a difference

Taking your adopted dog home, caring for and watching him or her grow will give you the satisfaction of having made a difference in the life of a once helpless creature.

4) Other Dogs Benefit

When you adopt a dog from a shelter, you have not only saved the life of that dog. You have invariably saved the life of another dog that can now fill the vacancy you have created. Also, the fee you paid to the shelter will go a long way in providing for the needs of other dogs.

5) Shelter Dogs May Require Less Training

A lot of dogs were members of one family or another before being sent to the shelters. Therefore, it is likely that that they have received some basic training such as learning to do their business outside from their former owners. This saves you the time and effort needed to do this training yourself and is desirable, especially if you run a busy schedule.

6) Bonding is Easier

You and your friend can bond more easily because the shelter can help you find a dog that is compatible with your requirements and lifestyle. The handlers in the shelter can guide you in making the right choice thus reducing the learning curve for both of you and ensure a long lasting relationship.

7) Variety

Because shelters are a filled with various breeds, you have a wide spectrum of choices. According to the ASPCA, about 25% of shelter dogs are pure-bred. This means that if you are particular about what you want, you might be able to get lucky and find the one you’re looking for.

Shelters in St. Louis

St. Louis is blessed with some great shelters that provide great opportunities for people looking for a new pet. Below are a few of the better known shelters in St. Louis:

Stray Rescue of St. Louis

Stray Rescue of St. Louis 2320 Pine St. 63103/314-771-6121

Stray Rescue of St. Louis is a wonderful rescue shelter. Its mission is to save and rehabilitate dogs who have been neglected and/or abused. Stray Rescue provides these dogs with shelter, food, and medical care. Stray Rescue is one of the few no kill shelters that also provides the expensive heartworm treatment for infected dogs. These dogs are then placed with families who will provide the love and care that these dogs deserve.

APA of MO adoption center

Animal Protective Association of Missouri 1705 S. Hanley Road 63144/314-645-4610

The APA Adoption Center works to place animals that have been surrendered to them to new, loving families. They work with dogs, cats, and other small house pets. They are not a rescue shelter by definition but they do great work giving pets a second chance.

humane society of missouri

Humane Society of Missouri  1201 Macklind Ave. 63110/314-647-8800

The Humane Society of Missouri is another option for those wanting to adopt a pet. These pets have either been rescued or surrendered. These kinds of pets are the most vulnerable and can provide the owner with much love and loyalty.

All of these shelters rely on volunteers and donations. People who can walk the dogs and even take them home and foster them are always needed.  It benefits both the volunteers and the dogs being helped. Visit their websites or call them for more information on how to get involved with helping improve an animal’s chances of finding a forever home.

saint louis dog walkers logo

Saint Louis Dog Walkers is happy to provide dog walks and pet sits for all kinds of pets, especially those adopted from shelters. Check out what dog walking and pet services we can offer you and your pets.

06 Apr

Local Parks: Maplewood Dog Park

sign for kellogg park

Maplewood Dog Park is located in Kellogg Park

The Maplewood Dog Park is a wonderful place to take dogs for some off leash fun. It is located in Kellogg Park at 2531 Circle Drive, Maplewood, MO 63143.

There are not many places in an urban setting where dogs are able to enjoy off leash fun. The parks focus is on the dogs. And the dogs have a great time socializing with the other dogs and getting their play time in. Another added benefit is that when the dogs are having fun, the dog owners from around the area get to meet and socialize among themselves and friendships are formed. A real community of people develops through regular meetings at the dog park. It’s a social club where both dogs and their owners look forward to being active members.

Entrance to the Maplewood Dog Park

This is the gate one enters to get inside the Maplewood Dog Park. There is an area for large dogs straight ahead and to the left is the area for small dogs.

The Maplewood Dog Park opened in 2005. There are two separate fenced in areas for the dogs to play. One side is for large dogs and the other side is for all the other dogs. Water is available in the park for owners to fill up dog bowls, chairs for owners to use, and there are trash cans for dog waste. There is even a pool area for dogs to enjoy when the weather is hot (bring a towel in case your dog gets soaked).

picnic tables at Kellogg Park

Use this picnic table and bring a meal while you enjoy some beautiful weather outside.

In addition to the dog park amenities, there is a very nice playground available for children to use in Kellogg Park just outside the dog park area along with an open field to play on.

playing fields at Kellogg Park

There is plenty of green space for people to play on just outside the fenced in area of the dog park.

The dog park is open from dawn until dusk except in the winter time when it closes at 7PM.

Membership to the dog park is required either through Maplewood City Hall or online. Proof of vaccinations and a photo of the dogs being registered is required to become a member. Digital photos are preferred and can be emailed to: dogpark@cityofmaplewood.com. Members receive a pass code to use to open the gate at the dog park.

Memberships for residents are $20 for the first dog per calendar year. Each additional dog is $5. In addition to Maplewood residents, residents of Richmond Heights, Brentwood, and Shrewsbury qualify for residential rates. Non-residents pay $50 for each dog per calendar year.

There are some simple dog park rules that must be followed . They range from no puppies under 4 months allowed to no alcoholic beverages, no dog food or treats, no leashes, no digging, and no dogs in heat allowed.

Sign with rules for dogs and their owners

This sign at the entrance to the dog park displays the rules owners must obey so all the dogs can safely enjoy themselves

This is one of the few dedicated dog parks in the Mid-County area and is a great place to take dogs to have fun, exercise, and make new friends. Residents of this area are very fortunate to have such a place to venture to for some outdoor fun with their dogs.

30 Mar

Housebreaking and Crate Training Dogs 101

puppies need crate training

Although we all cherish our adorable pets, one thing most of us may not be able to put up with is when our dogs or puppies mess up the house with their waste. This is one of many reasons why housebreaking & crate training is essential.

Through housebreaking and crate training, you teach your dogs how to control their bowels and where they can eliminate waste without need for supervision.

Housebreaking or house training your dog simply means teaching your dogs to go outside the house whenever they have the urge to relieve themselves. Crate training is a housebreaking method in which you make use of a dog crate to achieve this.

Although you can successfully house train without crate training, crate training is a more effective way of housebreaking your dog. Plus, it removes the need for constant supervision especially if you are not always at home.

Housebreaking and crate training are things you must do early enough in order to get your puppy fully accustomed to proper toilet manners. However, this is not to say that older or adopted dogs cannot be house trained.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve success in housebreaking and crate training your dog:

Understand Dog Nature

To be effective in housebreaking or crate training your dogs, you need a basic understanding of their nature. I would highlight three important points that are relevant to this topic.

  1. The first thing I would want to emphasize is the fact that dogs naturally like to have their own little space or den. They naturally feel a sense of security whenever they are in this space. Therefore, getting them to use a crate shouldn’t be difficult. If you approach the training the right way, your friends won’t mind the enclosure and may even come to treasure their ‘crate moments.’
  2. Dogs like to keep their sleeping area clean and will not soil it with poop or urine. This is what makes crate training a great way to housebreak your dog. Because their instinct prevents them from messing up their little haven, they learn to ‘hold it’ while in there.
  3. Dogs come to understand how you want them to behave through consistency and positive reinforcement. You would therefore need to put this to work when training. Your commands, rewards, scolding and other forms of communicating with them must be consistent at all times.

Now that we have established this foundation, let us go into the process of getting your dog house and crate trained.

Get A Crate: Of course, the first thing you need to do is get a crate for the training. There are different types of crates available – wire crates, plastic crates, nylon crates, soft-sided canvas crates; the choice is really up to you.

However, the crate should be large enough to give your dog room to stand and sleep in comfortably. If it is too large, your dog may just decide to use one area for sleeping and the other for waste, which is not a desired behavior.

Here’s Your New Home! Your first task is to get your dogs used to staying in their new space. To do this requires a bit of encouragement, a little patience, and some positive reinforcement.

Make the cage as comfortable as possible with some soft bedding, toys and treats. Also, place dog food around and inside the crate. The idea is to make them associate the crate with food and goodies so that they enjoy staying around.

Don’t be in a hurry to get them used to the crate. Leave the crate door open and allow your dogs to go in and out as they desire, give them enough time to explore. With the door open, you let your dogs know the crate is not a trap. With this in mind, be careful not to use ‘crate time’ as a way of punishment. This will send the wrong signal and could be counterproductive to your housebreaking training.

Anytime they go into the crate, do encourage them with a positive comment, head rubbing, patting and more treats so they know that you like them going inside.

When you notice that your dogs are getting used to the crate, you can start closing the door. If there is any protest from your dogs in the form of whining or barking, don’t open the door. Wait until they calm down before you do. This lets them know complaining won’t work.

Start slowly at first by closing the door and letting them out after two minutes or so. You can then gradually increase the timing of their stay in the crate up to an hour and beyond.

Once your dogs are comfortable staying in their crates, you will need to work out a schedule for letting them out to empty their bowels.

You should have a designated place that you consistently take your dogs out to potty when they leave their crates. Also, always take them straight from the crate to the potty place, not somewhere else. This way, they will always associate leaving the crate with going to potty.

Using a phrase such as ‘do potty’ or ‘go potty’ while on your way and when you get there will also be helpful in reinforcing the behavior. Say this quietly and not with an excited voice so they don’t get distracted from the purpose.

Once they have done their thing, reward your dogs with a treat and kind words. Always go on the potty trips with a treat for instant reward. Giving them a treat when they’re back in the house gives the unintended message that the reward is for coming inside and not for doing potty.

Try not to hurry back to the crate after they have pooped; walk them around a bit – just in case they get the urge again.

A Final Word

As with other types of dog training, you have to repeat the same steps consistently over a period before it becomes a habit. Do not be harsh or mean to your dogs in the case of an occasional accident.

If you hold a busy schedule and are not able to house train your dogs, you can contact us at saintlouisdogwalkers.com and we will assist with potty scheduling and needed exercises for your dogs while you are away.

However, you should ensure you make out time for bonding with your dogs whenever you are free because they will treasure that very much.

23 Mar

Want To Be Amazing At Taking Care of Your Older Dog? Here’s How

old dog

An irrefutable fact of life is that all living creatures age with the passage of time. Your once cute little puppy is no different and as it transforms into a senior, things definitely won’t be the same.

Just as in humans, the care and attention required by older dogs differ from those of younger ones. It is therefore necessary to arm yourself with dog care facts that will enable you help your make the later years of your aging dog’s life graceful and comfortable.

At what age does your dog become a senior?

There is no clear cut age from which a dog would be considered a senior. This would depend largely on the breed of the dog, nutrition and environment in which it lives. Smaller breeds tend to live longer years than larger ones while overweight dogs have shorter life spans than their lighter mates.

The table below gives a general overview of the age of dogs compared to that of humans:

Dog Years


Equivalent Human Years


Below 20 lbs -50 lbs


Over 51lbs



Below 20 lbs -50 lbs


Over 51lbs



Below 20 lbs -50 lbs


Over 51lbs



Below 20 lbs -50 lbs


Over 51lbs


Possible signs of old age in dogs

As your dog gets older, you will certainly observe some changes in its health, appearance and behavior. You need to be observant enough to notice these changes and seek veterinary assistance when necessary.

Behavioral changes

A change in normal behavioral pattern is one of the earliest signs you are likely to observe as your dog ages. Its sleep pattern may change or it could become more aggressive or irritable. You may also notice a slight slowness in movement or in responding to your calls or commands. Other behavioral changes in ageing dogs may include:

  • Decreased willingness to interact with humans
  • Bed wetting and decreased bowel control (incontinence)
  • Loss of concentration
  • Increased reaction to sounds
  • Increased vocalization
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Decreased self-hygiene/grooming
  • Repetitive activity
  • Increased wandering

Health Problems

Health conditions could crop up as a result of old age. The table below shows common health problems in older dogs and the related signs and symptoms:

Health Problem Symptoms
  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from body openings
  • Offensive mouth odor
  • Difficulty eating/swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise/loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness/stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
  • Limping
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Difficulty in movement
  • Sleeping more
  • Hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased activity or interest in play
  • Increased irritability
  • Being less alert
Kidney Disease
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Decreased or no urination
  • Poor hair coat
  • Vomiting
  • Sore mouth
Heart disease
  • Coughing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Decreased tolerance of exercise
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
Urinary tract disease
  • Increased urination
  • Bed wetting or spotting in the house
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Weakness

Other common health problems in older dogs include:

  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Joint or bone disease
  • Senility


Diet & Nutrition

Due to aging, the digestive system of your dog will not be as effective as it used to be and its tolerance level is reduced. Therefore, its diet should consist of higher quality and easily digestible food.

You dog’s need for higher quality food increases. You should therefore invest in premium food brands that contain higher quality proteins, omega 3, antioxidants, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and other essential supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.

Older dogs that have specific health conditions will require specialized diets as recommended by your vet. For example dogs with heart diseases would need diets that are low in sodium.

Health and hygiene

  • Older dogs are more susceptible to health problems due to reduced immunity and it is recommended that you take your dog for a checkup with your vet at least every 6 months.
  • Carrying regular blood screening and urinalysis can help to detect potential health problems.
  • Older dogs will generally require fewer vaccinations. Check with your vet for appropriate vaccination schedule.
  • Engaging your dog in mentally stimulating activities is beneficial for good mental health.
  • To prevent prostate cancer, testicular or other reproductive diseases, get your dog neutered or spayed.
  • Ageing dogs spend more time lying down or sleeping resulting in thinning skin or scalding. This increases the possibility of skin irritation and infections. More attention should therefore be paid to their coat care. Coats should be clipped and combed regularly.
  • Due to reduced mobility your older dog’s toe nail will wear out less quickly and will result in longer toenails which should be clipped more frequently.
  • Good oral hygiene is essential for dog care as well as keeping the ears clean.
  • Dogs with longer coats should be treated to a massage at least once a week.


  • Weight management through a combination of exercises and a good diet are important for your dog. Engage her in moderate walking and other light exercises to maintain healthy muscles and joints. The exercises should be determined by the level of tolerance of your dog.
  • Visiting an off-leash dog park may not be ideal for as the environment may not be conducive for its age.

Home Environment

  • Make a variety of smooth and soft toys available for your older dog to keep her entertained and active.
  • Your dog will demand a greater amount of care and attention. Set out time to provide the same level of interaction and care that it has always had. Your friend will always cherish your reassuring hugs and tender touch.
  • Hard or smooth floor surfaces should be carpeted if possible to ease movement. Your dog may find it more difficult climbing stairs, so you may need to provide a ramp.
  • Some older dog may require special orthopedic dog beds for more comfortable sleep.

If you need assistance with your older dog when you get busy, Saint Louis Dog Walkers, a local dog walking and pet sitting service, can help. We provide exercise, companionship, pet sitting, and potty breaks. Check out our pet services page for more information.