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Why You Can't Do It All: Engaging Senses and Alleviating Dog Separation Anxiety with a Dog Walker

It is 4:30 p.m. and you’re trying to kill time at the end of your WFH day. You open up your phone and start scrolling. A quick distraction will put you back on track to finish that budget. Then you look up and notice it is now six. Your workday is complete, but your dog is pouting. Oh, crap! Your furry friend has been patiently waiting for some attention while you've been focused on making plans with out-of-town friends (not budgeting) for the weekend. You decide to remedy their boredom and reward their patience with a leisurely walk where they’ll be able to take as much time engaging with their senses as they want. And we commend you for this! Allowing your dog to lead you, sniff, and investigate on their walks is undoubtedly beneficial for your dog’s well-being, but admittedly there is a time and place for this sort of walk. And it probably isn't during your workday. Let’s be realistic now. If you haven’t invested in a dog walker or pet care company for your pup, now might be the perfect time.


Hire a dog walker to make sure your dog has ample time to engage their senses and relieve stress on walks.

Level Up Your Dog’s Energy Expenditure With Scent Walks

Walking your dog outside allows them to go to the bathroom, a crucial bodily function you don't want them doing inside your apartment. However, walks are so much more than that. Your dog has over 100 million sensory receptors inside their nose. The part of their brain that analyzes odors is forty times larger than the corresponding part in the human brain. That's a lot of brain power! Inspecting their area is as satisfying to dogs as it is to humans. In a sense, it is your dog’s way of catching up on their friend’s plans for the weekend. But you’re trying to rush to get somewhere! Your dog wants to spend an excessive amount of time at a tree pit, and this is understandably frustrating, especially when you’ve got important commitments to attend to. Hiring a dog walker can take away this stress while ensuring that your pet still gets the exercise and stimulation it needs without being rushed.


Choosing a local dog walking company, such as Brooklyn Bark, can be especially beneficial. A local walker will be familiar with the area and know the best spots to take your dog for a safe and enjoyable walk. They'll be aware of areas that may be tempting for scavenging dogs or crowded with other pets, ensuring that your pet has a monitored and pleasant experience. With a professional dog walker, you can rest assured that your furry friend is getting the exercise and mental stimulation they need, even if you don't have the time to take them on a walk yourself.


A Brooklyn dog walker walks three dogs through a park.
Hiring a local dog walker is beneficial to you and your pet!

Routine Is Crucial to Soothing Your Pet’s Separation Anxiety

As a pet owner, you understand that your furry friend's world revolves around you. However, if you work from home, your dog has likely become unhappy watching you spend long hours staring at a screen instead of interacting with them. Despite their unwavering loyalty, they may experience boredom without enough stimulation and miss out on socialization opportunities. This lack of socialization can lead to depression and separation anxiety, which can manifest in several symptoms. This is yet another benefit to having a dog-walking provider on hand.


Identifying Separation Anxiety Behaviors

If you are spending more time at home than ever before, as so many of us are, you may not immediately notice separation anxiety behaviors from your pet. However, you’ll definitely notice them once you decide to put on pants and go out for an overdue trip to the grocery store. Separation anxiety can result in destructive behavior near exits, excessive vocalizing, going to the bathroom inside, excessive excitement upon your return, trembling, pacing, or panting leading up to or after your leaving, excessive licking or chewing on the body to the point of injury, vomiting, excessive salivation, and not eating until your return.


Pet Care Professionals Reduce Alone Time

Clearly, the symptoms your furry friend experiences due to loneliness are unpleasant for both of you. Therefore, it's crucial to reduce their alone time; however, it isn’t ideal for you to kiss your social life goodbye. This is why you’ll want to introduce more people into their circle, provide a routine, and start desensitization training. You can achieve all of these efforts by engaging the services of a dog walker. This way, they'll have something to look forward to, even when you're occupied with work calls. Establishing routines helps your pet make sense of their surroundings and removes any anxiety caused by trying to guess what happens next.


Soon, your dog will learn to anticipate the three-o'clock walk and wait by the door, even if you're not there. This is because they associate walking with stimulation, exercise, and relaxation. As a result, they may enjoy being alone a little more than if you only left them with a treat or music to soothe them, and you’ll be able to enjoy some time to yourself.


How to Find a Dog Walker

If you've been considering hiring a dog walker, it's important to consider your pet's needs before making a decision. To begin, ask yourself what services your pet requires. Will they need to be walked, fed, or given medication? How often will they require these services? Will they need a consistent caregiver, or can they spend time with anyone?


Once you have a clear idea of your pet's needs, you should use that information to your advantage when reaching out to potential dog walking services. Ask for price quotes based on your maximum expectations and service needs. For example, if you require your Doberman to be walked for at least one hour a day, but they aren't yet ready to walk with other dogs, plan to ask for two solo-only, 30-minute walks a day. This way, you'll be able to plan for the most expensive scenario, and potentially save money in the long run if your dog's behavior improves.


While some companies list their service prices upfront, you'll likely need to schedule a consultation with companies to ask what your specific needs will cost. Once you have a list of providers that fit within your budget and service needs, it's important to begin cross-referencing them to see which ones are insured, bonded, and certified in Pet First Aid and CPR. For example, here at Brooklyn Bark, our clients feel at peace knowing their pets are being cared for by providers who will respond in any emergency because we are bonded and insured. This means that clients, their pets, and our employees are all covered in case of an emergency.


Overall, when searching for a dog walking service, it's important to take the time to consider your pet's needs and find a service provider that is both affordable and trustworthy. By doing so, you'll be able to rest easy knowing that your pet is in good hands.


A Brooklyn Bark dog walker poses in the city with three dogs on a group walk.
Set you and your dog up for success and peace of mind! Hire a dog walker!

Sources

“How Powerful Is a Dog’s Nose?” Phoenix Veterinary Center, 23 July 2020, phoenixvetcenter.com/blog/214731-how-powerful-is-a-dogs-nose#:~:text=What%20do%20dog%20noses%20have,40%20times%20greater%20than%20ours.


Llera, Ryan, and Lynn Buzzhardt. “How Dogs Use Smell to Perceive the World: VCA Animal Hospital: VCA Animal Hospitals.” VCA Animal Hospitals , vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/how-dogs-use-smell-to-perceive-the-world. Accessed 7 July 2023.


“Separation Anxiety in Dogs.” RSPCA, www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/behaviour/separationrelatedbehaviour. Accessed 7 July 2023.

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