Buster was the name of our family dog while I was growing up. It was also the name of my Dad’s dog and his Dad’s dog before him. For those of us who share the love of all things animal, choosing pet services from groomers to walkers to boarders is a huge process. Let’s talk about some things that could break down this process and make it easier to decide what services our animals need to make them, and us, happy.
A pet walker is a good place to start. Guilt eats me up when I have to leave my dog for an eight or nine-hour stretch of time while I am at work. There are days I race home on my lunch hour to let him out for a potty break. Then there is the constant concern that some favorite pair of shoes or leg of a table has been chewed up while I’ve left him alone. Why not choose a walker to come to your home and exercise your pet on a daily basis. You can find a walker that can come by once or twice daily. We know we feel better when we are active and exercising. Our pet is no different.
Next, a good grooming service will do much to improve your dog’s attitude. Wait a minute, maybe it’s my attitude that’s improved when I get a haircut and warm shave! Why not give your animal the same pampering. Haircuts, shampoos, and nail trimmings are all things that not only improve an animal’s looks but also their health. The last thing I want to be responsible for is getting my pet’s ears clean or making sure his teeth are being properly cared for. And, what about those fleas and ticks? Forget about it! Grooming services generally range from $25 to $50 and are, in my estimation, worth every penny. By the time I’ve tried to figure out which brushes, combs, clippers, and shampoos to use, I would gladly pay a professional for these services.
What about boarders? The experts say to start boarding your animal at a very early age. This takes away the anxiety that is sure to develop if you wait until your dog is five years old and he is experiencing being away from home for the first time. This boarding issue is a toughie for me. There are kennels or daycare facilities that do overnight boarding. The question is, however, do I choose a kennel that has an individual cage for each pet, or do I chose a facility that is cage-free and allows the pets to roam. I sometimes feel that my dog needs his alone time just like I do at the end of the day and wonder if he wouldn’t appreciate his own space.
I know this will be a personal preference but be aware of the choices. The bottom line is I want people watching my dog who will give him the extra time and attention he needs. The space to run and his little pet pals are just bonuses. I would also check for any certifications the business has. The American Red Cross actually has a Pet First Aid Certification. I’m sure the ASPCA and the NAPPS have certifications as well. By the way, in case any of you were thinking to yourselves, “He has a dog now? I wonder what his name is?” Wonder no more. B-u-s-t-e-r, B-u-s-t-e-r, B-u-s-t-e-r, and Buster is his name. Was there ever a doubt?