Tips for Walking Dogs on Halloween!

 

Basset Hound dogs walker walking sitter pet MiamiTaking Your Dog Trick-or-Treating? Pet Safety Tips for a Happy Halloween!

We’ve heard a lot of our dog walking buddies are going to be trick-or-treating with their parents on Halloween! And while we love that your fur kids are included in your family plans, Halloween can definitely be more scary than fun for them. Packs of sugar-fueled, screaming mini-humans running around in strange get-ups, constant doorbell ringing, and the temptation of sweets is enough to drive us wild… imagine your dog, who is much more sensitive to change and external stimulation! We really recommend you keep your pup safe and comfortable at home on Halloween, but are here to help if you can’t leave them behind.

1. As we mentioned in a previous Halloween Safety post, the most important part of your dog’s costume is a short leash, proper ID, and a microchip! Don’t let your dog run away without any identification; they could get spooked by the little ghouls and bolt. With your short leash, keep it to less than 4 feet, that way you can keep your pups close to you.

2. Costume Do’s and Don’ts: Of course, make sure that your dog is okay with wearing a costume!  Also make sure that your dog can breathe and see properly. The commotion from all the festivity is stressful enough; restricted movement and and an inability to breathe or see properly will send your pup over the edge. Introduce your pet to the costume gradually if he or she has never worn one before, and don’t force them to wear one if they don’t like it, regardless of how cute the photos may turn out! Do attach reflective tape to your pet’s costume. Do take many cute photos if your pet allows!

3. Halloween Is Not a Good First:  How many times have you taken your dog out to super crowded parties, street fairs, or festivals? If your dog is not used to this kind of environment, Halloween is not the night to start. You especially don’t want strangers in weird costumes coming up to your stressed out dog and petting him or her. It’s safer to avoid the potential for a negative reaction- keep strangers at bay.

4. Watch for Candy! Chocolate. Raisins. Gum. As we’ve mentioned in our post on foods toxic to dogs, all of these popular items are either toxic or cause severe discomfort in your dogs. Keep an eye out for dropped candy, especially if your dog is food-driven. This is one of the main reasons we recommend that Fido stay home on this night!

5. Dogs Don’t Ring Doorbells: The mix of excited children, lots of candy, and a resident dog makes us very nervous! That situation is a potential problem waiting to erupt. Set your dog up for success by staying back from the main event.

6. Bring Your Dog Treats: Make sure to reward good behavior and stave off puppy hunger with dog-healthy treats. This will distract hungry dogs from the untouchable candy and make it easier to keep them happy and well-behaved!

We hope these tips help! Remember, it’s preferable for your pup to remain safe and cozy at home with his or her Halloween bone or treat, rather than stressed out walking among strangers in the dark, surrounded by weird scents, sounds, and sights. Have a frightful night, but in the good way! As always, call us with any concerns or questions at 305-794-3733.

 

 

Why You Should Hire a Dog Walker in Miami

 

walker pet sitter sitting Brickell

Does Your Dog Really Need Daily Walks?

Call us biased as dog walkers, but yes! Dogs are animals that work by nature; whatever their breed (or mix!), every dog was bred with a working purpose! Because the majority of dogs are naturally active, it’s important that they get the appropriate amount of exercise or be given work. Even those cute lap dogs who make great couch potato companions need to exercise if we want them to stay fit, healthy, and happy for years to come. You owe it to your pals to provide exercise and a sense of purpose!

More Good Reasons to Walk Your Dog

Dogs that are left indoors for too long without exercise often take up destructive behaviors – whether they chew on themselves or furniture in the home, or take to breaking years of potty training. Trust us, frustrated dogs will find an outlet to distract themselves and let you know that they’re unhappy- usually with something you treasure (RIP, Jimmy Choos). Spending time exercising your dog – whether brisk evening walks, a morning run, or Frisbee in the park a few days a week – will fortify the bond you and your companion already have.

Don’t believe us? Try it. Exercise your dog a bit more than what you ordinarily do as an experiment – we guarantee that your dog will show a change in behavior within a week (maybe even the same day, depending on how much fun you have!). They will be grateful and you will be able to tell.

But I Don’t Have Time to Walk My Dog…

Many people don’t have the time to dedicate to their pups, especially those who travel frequently or work long hours (hello, everyone in Miami!). That’s why Equipaws Pet Services exists! Our dog walkers and runners can help you get your dogs the exercise they need. Our pet sitters, dog walkers, and runners play with, walk with, and run with your pets, giving them that much-needed outlet and attention while you’re away. And we tailor our services to your dog’s needs. For example, our German Short-Haired Pointer friends get fast-paced bike rides in the shade; our senior friends get a more sedate, brief walk in consideration of their joints.

An exercised dog is a happy and calm dog that will not fuss over your every step. Dedicate an hour or so a day or at least a few hours a week to giving your pup a good workout, and you will see that their downtime truly is a relaxed and happy time. S/he will curl up on the couch right next to you and doze happily while you relax in your way, knowing that a good run or romp in the dog park is in the near future. Think of children – furry kids are much the same! They need sports and activity! No child is relegated to staying indoors all the time, laying inactive in their bed. Don’t do that to your pup!

Give us a call today if you need advice on what kind of exercise your dog craves at 305-794-3733. We are also happy to set up a complimentary in-home consultation to work out the best exercise options for your pet if you simply don’t have the time to work out with your dog. We’re looking forward to hearing from you! Remember… a dog was born to run! (And just look at how happy Kona, Olive,and Bas look after their walks!)

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Helping Cats on National Cat Day

cats sitting sitter pets Miami

Happy National Cat Day!

Today is National Cat Day! This special day, founded by animal welfare advocate and lifestyle expert Colleen Paige in 2005, is the perfect way to take care of your cat and help other less fortunate kitties. Every cat we take care of is beloved by their families. Many of them have been adopted, which warms our hearts. National Cat Day is a reason to spoil your kitties even more than you normally do- a little extra catnip, A LOT more snuggling. But it’s also a day to help other, less fortunate kitties.

Miami-Dade has a problem with pet over-population, especially cats. It’s a challenge to find a home for the thousands of cats that walk the streets, but we can do our best. On National Cat Day, we urge our fellow animal lovers to help in three simple ways:

  1. Neuter/spay your cats (most of you have done this, thanks!)
  2. Make a commitment to only adopt, NOT shop, and adopt a new friend for your current kitties
  3. Donate to local cat rescues. Far too many cats are euthanized each year at Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS), so please pay it forward, share this blog, and help the kitties out!

Help Miami Cats: Make Sure you Spay, Neuter, or TNR

It goes without saying that spaying and neutering is the way to go. We believe especially so for cats, who can have 20 kittens a year if allowed to roam loose and wild. There is no excuse for not sterilizing your cat in Miami- there are many options for cheap sterilizations. We’re talking $15 co-pays for cats at MDAS, and many other options. Find a low-cost spay and neuter location for your cats right now!

 

TNR for Feral/Community Cats: The feral cat population is believed to be around 300,000 strong and growing in Miami-Dade County. Back in 2012, MDAS began its “trap-neuter-return” program, where residents in the community trap cats, bring them to MDAS, where they are sterilized, given rabies and feline booster shots, a notch on their ear to signal they’ve been through the process, and returned to the streets. This program is free for the public and diminishes deaths in the shelter and will hopefully cause the cat population to decrease. We wish every cat could find a home and live a humane life that way; also, feral cats kill countless wildlife, and unfortunately get sick or struck by cars and don’t have a loving human to help them. Let’s hope that with enough TNR, this problem will eventually end. Click the link on how to trap and release cats in Miami-Dade.

Adopt an Adult Cat in Miami:

Ageism is a sad fact in Miami and the United States. Kittens and puppies rule supreme, to the extent that too many people return adult animals to rescues once they have grown. Adult cats have a charm all their own and are loving, rewarding friends who are less demanding than their younger counterparts. Did you know adult cats:

  • are often less destructive than kittens,
  • have a more established personality which is easier to integrate with other kitties in your household,
  • and can have simpler needs, all while being wonderful companions?
We’d like for our fellow animal lovers to speak out about this if it comes up in conversation, and for those of you adopting a cat to commit to him or her for the rest of their lives. Some amazing cat adoption networks include:
Of course, we urge you to adopt a pet from Miami-Dade Animal Services if possible as it is NOT a no-kill shelter (we’re thinking about dogs here especially).

3. Donate, Foster, or Volunteer in Your Kitties’ Names!

Miami’s non-profit cat rescues have earned their places in heaven. They are tireless networkers for needy animals who should not be in the situations they find themselves in. In Miami, around 37,000 cats and dogs are surrendered to MDAS a year. MDAS tries, but there is simply not enough space for these abandoned creatuers. Around 45% of them will be put to sleep a year. The Pet’s Trust fell through, and MDAS is working toward a no-kill designation, so that means animal lovers need to come together to help.

Cash donations are tax-deductible to non-profits if you have the disposible income, please go for it! If you are more rich in time, the animals at MDAS could use a loving touch and they are always accepting volunteers. Finally, if you have space in you rhome, please consider fostering a cat. It makes room for other animals in teh shelter, gives them comfort of being in a home, socializes them… and you gain a companion and its eternal love.

How will you celebrate National Cat Day? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below!