Does Your Dog Really Need Daily Walks?

walkers dog runner Miami

Call us biased as dog walkers, but yes! (And this applies to our senior buddies, too!)


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. 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. You will also avoid costly and painful health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

walker walking running Pinecrest dogs

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, especially those who travel frequently or work long hours (hello, everyone in Miami!). We love our furry friends’ companionship, but are unable to give them the exercise they need. That’s why Equipaws Pet Services exists! 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 version.

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. 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. Just fill out the contact form below. We’re looking forward to hearing from you! Remember… a dog was born to run!

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Ty: A Success Story about Dog Anxiety

dog anxiety, dog walker, runner, pet sitting, the Roads, Coral Gables, Brickell, Coconut Grove

Solutions for Dog Anxiety and Pet Mental Health

Did you know that March is Polite Pets Month in Australia?  This March, Polite Pets Month is focusing on pet mental health, including anxiety issues.  As the mommy of Ty, a 13 year old mix breed rescue who suffers from a severe combination of fear of thunder as well as separation anxiety, Pet Sitter Beccie and her mother have quite a bit of experience with dog anxiety.

Ty’s Story: His Dog Anxiety Came on Progressively

Beccie first noticed Ty would tremble during storms and pace around when he was about 7 years old.  He also began to drool excessively while pacing, try to squeeze himself into nooks and crannies, sometimes moving furniture in the process. It eventually got to the point where he ripped pieces of door frame off of the wall, and even ate through a door, harming the pads on his paws and losing a tooth.  He also tried to scratch his way out of a crate while being boarded and again injured himself.  Beccie and her mom were beside themselves.  “On a scale from one to ten, Ty is an 11,” said Ty’s vet.

Holistic Therapies and Supplements for Dog Anxiety

They tried everything before giving in to the idea of conventional medications.  They got Ty a Thunder Shirt, they left on NPR or classical music during the day while they were gone, they closed the blinds in the house, they left doors open, tried to make him a little box where he would feel “safe” inside, put Bach Flower remedies in his water, and even got a pheromone diffuser for strategic places in the house where he was prone to go for comfort.

While these medications work for other pups, any number of combinations of these things were tried at once  yet nothing quite did the trick. It was such a painstaking process that Beccie’s mom would joke, “I think I’m the one that needs to be on medication at this point!”

Conventional Medications for Anxiety Worked for Ty

Ty is on three different kinds of medication now during the rainy months; last year he did not have any incidents- a huge relief for everyone.  He will be adding Zylkene to his regimen this coming rainy season — a supplement that is reported to help with behavioral issues.  Beccie and her mom hope that this supplement works for Ty and that they can move towards a more holistic route, as the use of heavy medication has caused Ty’s liver enzymes to go up.

We know lots of doggies who have a similar fear of thunder or fireworks, or who suffer from separation anxiety.  While these are certainly not the only problems that can afflict pets, they are some of the more common anxieties that can plague them and cause behavioral issues.  No one likes to see their pet/s suffer, so it’s important to be attentive to possible signs that there may be an issue.

Does Your Dog Suffer from Anxiety?

Many of the behavioral issues that come about as a result of these anxieties can be extremely destructive to the pet parent’s home as well (as in Ty’s case), so nipping any issues in the bud is crucial on all levels.  Ty’s case is extreme, and many of the remedies Beccie and her mom tried prior to medication have, luckily, worked well for other pets and pet parents we know.

Talk to your vet about possible avenues to pursue if you suspect your dog or cat has an issue with their mental health.  There are many natural and holistic treatments that work very well, and it is beneficial to do your homework on these treatments before jumping into conventional medication.  Have a success story you’d like to share with us?  How have you dealt with your pet’s mental health?

Dog Sitters and Runners Help Keep Your Dogs Fit!

Our Miami-based dog sitters have Memorial Day penciled in as the beginning of summer fun, pet sits, and sharp rises in heat, which can be unbearable for humans. Imagine how that feels for dogs, who are covered in fur! As your dogs’ caretakers, we are responsible for keeping them safe during walks and runs in the coming summer months. We want to take a moment to talk about how we care for your pets in the heat, and hopefully help you keep your dogs cool when you take them out with you. Read on to learn about how to keep your dog cool in Miami while enjoying our beautiful outdoors. Remember, May is National Fitness Month. We want to help both you and your dog kick start your exercise routines!

Dog Runs and Dog Walks for All!

We firmly believe that dogs need daily exercise. They were bred to work with us for a living, despite what most of them seem to do these days (hello, snuggly couch potatoes). They need to be doing something constructive or else they get bored. Most pet parents don’t have the time to set up daily fun projects or to take their dogs on walks during lunch time, leaving their social dogs bored and alone. That’s where dog sitters and runners help.

Dog Sitters and Dog Runners to the Rescue!

We love giving your dogs their well-deserved exercise breaks! Our pet sitters keep on top of your dogs’ well-being at all times, but ESPECIALLY when partaking in strenuous physical activity like brisk walks and runs in the Miami summer months. Here are some tips we swear by when giving your pups great exercise.

  • We always establish that your dog is in good physical condition before starting their fun new exercise routine. We heartily recommend a physical with your veterinarian before Day 1.
  • All dog exercise starts of slowly with us. First we walk your pooch, then we progress to interval training where we alternate walking and running. Finally, we graduate to full on jogs or runs, depending on your dog’s needs. Some dogs don’t do well with full runs, others need to spring for minutes at a time. This is a customizeable schedule!
  • We try our best not to exercise dogs heavily before feeding time, and we absolutely avoid heavy exercise after feeding time. Either instance could cause digestive problems. Water is given before and after.
  • We constantly check weather conditions and we will not run a dog outside if it’s over 90 degrees. On less than cool days, our dog runners find a shady route and spray dogs down with water. We keep dog running to parts of the day that are less sunny. Long-haired dogs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Because heatstroke is a real threat in Miami, and because it can set in very quickly, we focus on prevention by following the above procedures. Our dog runners and sitters are trained to keep a sharp eye out in our hot humid weather, and to recognize the signs of heatstroke. Please learn them; it is of the utmost importance to act quickly when you see the following symptoms:

  1. Heavy Panting
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Bright red tongue and mucous membranes
  4. Thick saliva and vomiting
  5. Dog becomes unsteady and has bloody diarrhea.

With proper care and prevention, your dog should never experience heatstroke. Once shock sets in, your dog’s lips and mucous membranes turn gray. This is often followed by collapse, seizure, coma, and death.

Follow our tips, your veterinarian’s advice, and exercise caution- and exercise will benefit everyone!