dog

Qualities to look for in a dog sitter

How do you find the perfect candidate for this job? Here are a list of things you might want to look for when you start chatting with carers that have quoted on your listing.

Experience

If previous experience and reviews/references are important factors for you maybe you should ask how much dog sitting experience they have. As well as asking about experience you can also ask whether they have a criminal record check (CRB/DBS), reviews from previous clients or references from employers, clients, etc. If they don’t have any of these then you’re within your right to request that they have them before you make your decision.

After every booking your carer has had through Tailster that client will have been asked to leave them a review, so most of the time there will be a couple of reviews there for you to consider.

 

Qualifications

You might want someone with a professional status or pet care qualifications. On Tailster we have carers with all sorts of levels of experience and qualification. If you’re looking for someone with pet care certificates then they will be highlighted as a ‘certified professional’. This will allow you to filter out the professionals if this will help you in making a decision.

 

Enthusiasm

First impressions often count enormously and although this probably shouldn’t be a definite dealbreaker, you want to find someone that comes across as passionate from the very start. When carers send you a quote they have the ability to send you a message alongside it. The majority of the time those carers that send you an enthusiastic and friendly message are usually just as enthusiastic throughout the whole process.

Reliability

We want you to find someone reliable through Tailster that you feel like you can call on again and again to care for your dog whilst you’re away. Again, first impressions count for quite a lot. If you’ve arranged to meet with someone and they turn up late or have to rearrange at late notice then this probably won’t fill you with much confidence for the future. If you are left with a few people to choose from we would suggest picking the most reliable as they aren’t likely to let you down like the person who has turned up late to the first meeting.

Recommendations  

It’s always good to find someone that has been recommended by a friend or family member. If you have had a Tailster carer recommended to you by someone you know and you want to get hold of them to see if they’d be available to help you, we can help you get in touch! We can help you send a Direct Quote Request to them so you can cut out receiving quotes from other carers and just receive one from your recommended carer instead.

 

Knowledge of the breed

Do the carers you’re chatting with have knowledge of the breed that you have? Although this isn’t essential, it might be worth checking whether they’ve cared for the same or similar breeds previously. This will give you an idea of whether they are familiar with the temperament and needs of your dog and breeds like him.

Does your dog approve?

Having a meet and greet is a great way of deciding whether you feel comfortable with a carer and maybe more importantly, whether your dog seems to take to them and feel comfortable. You want to be happy in the knowledge that you’re leaving your pooch happy and content with his new friend. After all, if your dog is happy, then you are happy, right?

10 Things to Look for in a Dog Walker

Dogs are active and social. They like to explore the world and they need regular exercise. Nevertheless, in our busy schedules we often find ourselves too busy to take our pets even for a short walk, and that’s exactly why dog walking services exist. Yet, finding the perfect dog walker is no easy task. That’s why we’ve gathered these 10 things to look out for in a dog walker to choose the perfect candidate for your four legged friend.

#1 – A Dog Lover

Whether a professional, or someone who’s just starting out a career as a dog walker, they must be a dog lover. Dog walkers need to have a genuine interest in looking after dogs. You can often tell if this is the case simply by watching the interaction between the walker and your own dog. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s definitely one of the most important!

#2 – Professional Attitude

All job roles require a certain degree of professionalism, even being a dog walker. You would not want to hire a dog walker that turned up late to your first meet and greet, as this might give off the impression that they are unreliable. You want a walker that is always on time (apart from exceptional circumstances), responds to messages promptly and provides you with daily updates during the walk.

#3 – Insured

Pet owners will be aware that you can never predict what might happen when looking after a pet, as unfortunately, accidents do happen. Having insurance in place might set a dog walker above others that might not. Quite often professional dog walkers will have their own pet care insurance and dog walkers who are just starting out might not. Booking a dog walker through Tailster covers you regardless, so individual insurance is not a necessity.

#4 – Flexibility

Usually, pet owners like to have a long term dog walker as it can take some time for their dog to feel completely comfortable with that person. Therefore, you want to be sure that the person you hire has flexibility and can cover walks at short notice if necessary. Having flexibility is essential for a profession like dog walking, as a pet owners schedule might change from week to week. Booking through Tailster allows pet owners to set up flexible requests to find carers in their area who are willing to work with a changing schedule. 

#5 – Someone Who Knows Their Way Around

You don’t want your dog walker to check their phone at every turn, as this might mean they take attention off your dog. Make sure that they are familiar with your local area. A great professional will know each and every dog park in the area, and will be able to travel across your neighbourhood safely. Using the Tailster App allows you to see exactly where your dog has been on their walk across town with the tracked walks feature – the tracked walks are date and time stamped and provide the distance. 

#6 – A Dog (Breed) Expert

Not being a dog care professional shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Nevertheless, you would want someone who is familiar with your dogs breed and able to respond to their needs. Certain breeds are prone to specific medical conditions, so its important for your walker to be aware of this and be able to spot symptoms should something arise. 

#7 – Intuitive

The perfect candidate would also be intuitive. You don’t need a dog whisperer, yet having someone that is able to understand what’s going on with your pet is the right way to go. Look for someone who is able to read and understand your dog and its needs.

#8 – Compassionate

When hiring the right dog walker, you want someone who is going to going to take a genuine interest in your dog’s welfare and be able to sympathise with its needs as well as yours – so if you do need that last minute favour or have that sudden pet emergency you’ll have someone there to understand. That’s why you ideally want someone who’s compassionate. 

#9 – Dedicated

Finding someone who is responsible and dedicated to their work is the right way to go. Having a dedicated walker by your side who is willing to learn the ins and outs of your dog’s routine and preferences goes a long way towards ensuring a great experience both for you and your pet.

#10 – Your Dog Loves Them!

Last but not least, your dog should be the decision maker. If your dog has issues with your dog walker of choice, chances are you’ll need to search for another candidate. But hey, dog walking is a growing industry, so you’ll always have another option. Meet and greets are a great way of seeing how a walker and your dog get along and are highly recommended. Using Tailster means that you can receive multiple quotes from local dog walkers, leaving you to decide who you’d like to contact.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Why choose a dog boarder over a kennel

When you are on a holiday, as much as you might hate it, you often need to leave your dog with a carer. The two options you have are to either go with a home dog boarder/sitter or to leave your four-legged pal at a dog kennel.

Both options have their pros and cons. Usually, dog kennels are the more popular option however, pet boarders and sitters are becoming increasingly popular. When having a dedicated professional take care of their dog, an owner can be comfortable that all of the specific requirements and routines of their pet are kept intact. Here’s why you should choose a dog boarder/sitter over a dog kennel.

The Limitations of a Kennel

First and foremost, as comfortable and diverse the dog facilities at a kennel can be, they are there for all dogs at the particular kennel. While it’s good for your pet to socialize, being put in a situation with completely new people and surrounded by a dozen different dogs might be stressful for them. On top of that, its daily routine will most likely suffer, due to the limitations of dog kennels. While some places do offer specific personal dog spaces and routine plans, they are usually quite expensive and certainly not worth the price compared to using a dog boarder.

The Benefits of using a Dog Carer

Hiring a dog carer for your four legged friend is usually the better option as it poses multiple benefits. For starters, your dog doesn’t have to be taken out of its comfort zone, if you decide on a dog sitter they will either visit regularly (if you have someone around at night) or stay at your home. Plus, dog carers tend to be either around the same price as kennels or can even be cheaper. With the growing use of technology and apps that connect pet carers with owners, such as our very own Tailster, the option for carers in your area has grown, giving you a wider range of choice.

 

The Type of Dog Carers

There are two main types of dog carers you can hire when on holiday. The first one is a dog sitter who will either come to take care of your dog a few times per day to keep it fed and exercised or live full time in your home to take care of your pet and follow normal day to day routine. The second is a dog boarder who will take care of your dog in their own home, so still giving your pet the home comforts they would get in their own home and giving them the routine they would usually get. Using a dog sitter or dog boarder can ensure your dog receives all the love and care it deserves whilst you’re away. 


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Arthritis in Dogs – How Much Dog Walking is a Good Idea?

We are all aware that our fellow four-legged friends age rather quickly. And much like their human counterparts, dogs also suffer from certain common problems and diseases when they get older. Often, if your dog starts showing signs that it’s not enjoying the dog walk and returns with stiffness or each lie down is accompanied by a groan, there’s a possibility it could be arthritis. Arthritis simply means ‘inflammation of the joints’ so you can imagine why your dog may be showing signs of discomfort. Usually, arthritis in dogs is determined via a physical exam by a trained professional so we would always advise if you’re concerned, make an appointment with your vet. Once and if determined, to help relieve the pain for your dog, you’ll need to make some changes around the house and with its routine. Here are some tips on just how to do so!

#1 – Low Impact Exercise

Your dogs exercise routine should be focused around low impact exercise – so no jumping up for balls. Maintain a healthy level of energy, as sudden bursts might cause additional harm. In some cases, swimming can be a great idea if the arthritis is severe. 

#2 – Slow Walks, Instead of Runs

Depending on the extent of arthritis it’s always good to keep exercise levels up. Focus on slow but long walks in less busy areas and parks, where your dog can calmly enjoy a bit of relaxation along with building up the muscle around the joints effected. It’s always best to speak to your vet about appropriate exercise regimes for your pet.

#3 – Massages are Helpful

Massages and heat can really help your dogs achy joints. Certified canine massage therapists are available in most areas who can demonstrate techniques so you can do these at home. Massages stimulate blood flow so doing this after a long walk can really help your dog out.

#4 – Maintain a Healthy Weight

Make sure that your dog maintains a healthy weight. Any bit of added weight adds that much more pressure on the joints. It’s always best to speak to your vet about a healthy weight for your pet – it could mean they need to go on a bit of a diet but this will help ease some of the pain.

#5 – Around the house

Provide your dog with a comfortable padded bed away from any cold or damp drafts. If it’s a dog that enjoys a snuggle on the sofa then some padded steps or a ramp may be necessary depending on how severe your dogs arthritis is. Some dogs struggle with slippery surfaces so nonskid flooring can be ideal when it comes to where your dog spends most of its time.

#6 – Consult your Veterinarian

As we’ve said above, it’s always best to discuss things with your vet – they know the best thing for your dog and could also provide some medication to help relieve some of the pain.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Why Does Your Dog Lick You?

Depending on the type of person you are, you either love it or hate it, when your dog starts to lick you. As humans, we should remember that right from birth, licking is how dogs communicate. The mother will lick the newborn puppies clean and to stimulate them to start breathing.
But much like everything else your pet does, there might be something more behind your dog’s lick as they get a little older.

Here are a few thoughts on why your dog licks you and how to know what your pet is trying to say;
– “The Endorphin Rush”
Much like people, dogs are also driven by hormones. One happiness hormone we have in common is endorphin. When a pup is happy, endorphin’s rush to its brain and one of the instincts they have is to lick. In fact, some studies show that the act of licking alone helps a dog with the release of even more endorphin’s. Thus, if your dog is playing happily and starts to lick you, it’s both a way for your pup to show affection and to be even happier.

– Puppy “Bump” Kisses
Puppies love to lick, smell and touch everything. They are simply exploring the world. Thus, when a small pup bump kisses you on the mouth, it might be trying to understand who you are. Of course, licking your face is still a sign of affection, but when accompanied by a bump kiss, chances are your pup is taking a note of your smell.

– The Self Licking
If a dog is chronically licking themselves, it could be because they’re bored, anxious or it could be something a little more sensitive such as a skin irritation or a sign of pain somewhere else in the body. If you notice this happening with your pooch, it may be a good idea to get in touch with your vet!

So usually, your pooches licking is fuelled by happy emotions and affection, but it’s something you should keep an eye on in case it becomes excessive. We’ll take all of the puppy kisses please!


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Thousands of Dogs and Cats Killed Each Year by Salt and Antifreeze

Here at the Tailster blog, we strive to deliver useful content that either brings a smile to your face or inform you about a certain matter that we feel is important. And when we came across this discovery, we just had to share. Despite how grim this issue is, you just have to know – we already know that eating snow is dangerous for your pet due to the chemicals might be in it. But the sad and shocking truth is that it can be deadly for our little pets. That’s right. As much as thousands of dogs and cats are killed each year by salt and antifreeze!

Treating our roads with chemicals, such as antifreeze and salt, is crucial for the proper road operation of our society during winter times. However, did you realise the chemicals used to keep the roads free from snow and ice can be fatal to our beloved companions?

Be Aware of the Dangers of Snow for Cats and Dogs!

Not letting your pets eat snow that is by the side of the road is the first step towards avoiding any possible dangers. However, the way chemical poisoning in pets usually happen is that by walking on areas treated with rock salt or antifreeze, the paws of your pal get irritated. Once they do, your pet will usually end up licking them. Hazardous materials left from drivers can also end up on the hair of your pet. By licking and digesting those chemicals, your pet might start suffering from chemical poisoning.  

Symptoms of Illnesses

In case you think your pet might have already been poisoned, make sure to look out for these symptoms. Get to a vet as early as you notice these signs. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

  • Depression and Lethargy
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Low Body Temperature
  • Vomiting and Excessive Thirst
  • Excessive Urination
  • Rapid Breathing/Heart-Rate
  • Progressive Weakness
  • Tremors and Abnormal Eye Movements

Avoid Dangerous Areas and Keep your Pet Safe!

One of the first solutions is to avoid taking your pet out for a walk in urban areas. Instead, get in the car and take them to the park. Don’t have a park nearby? You can always purchase cat or dog boots to help your pet be safe in the cold weather.


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Top tips for Dog walking at night time

The winter season is well under way and days are shorter than ever. This leaves you with one of two options, you are either going to take your dog out for a walk in the dark, or your beloved pet will be taking you out for a quick stroll in the dark. There’s just no way around it! No matter how late it might be, your four legged pal needs to keep its routine intact. That is, unless you want to hear barking and scratching noises at your door when you are going to sleep. But now that, what is supposed to be your best friend, is making you do a chore in the cold and dark, what you are supposed to do? Well, we’ve got some tips for you!

#1 – Equip Yourself and your Dog for an Adventure

The first step to take when taking your dog out for a walk in the evening is to have the proper outerwear. This means both comfortable and warm clothing, if possible reflective vests as well – both for you and your dog. A headlight might be too much for you, but it works wonders for letting you and your pal find the way in the dark. And if a headlight isn’t for you, you can always go with a light-up collar or a light up leash for your dog. Want to have some fun in the park? Take a light-up toy with you… Yeah. Those exist as well!

#2 – But don’t be too adventurous!

Keep your dog on a leash. During the summer and the light of day, it might be a good decision to let your pal explore the world, but in the dark you want to be safe. If your dog is prone to chasing the odd squirrel or two this can be a nightmare in the dark and losing them out of sight is certainly not a scenario you would want to tackle. Make sure you’re comfortable with your dogs recall before letting them off and it might be an idea to invest in a light up collar – just in case!

#3 – Take a Safe Route with your Best Pal

Exploring a safe route is also a must. Make sure to take your dog for a stroll in familiar places. The path you take should be one you know like the back of your hand to ensure you don’t get lost in the process. Plus, while this might be obvious, make sure to take your phone with you. Technology is extremely helpful and a handheld GPS with easy communication availability, in the form of your handheld, is always a plus.

#4 – Longer walks during the day or the weekend

It might be an idea to give your dog a longer walk during the day so the evening walks are more about doing their ‘business’ than doing a lot of exercise. Burn off that extra energy on their lunchtime walk to save yourself from feeling unsafe on evening walks. Alternatively, weekends can be used to give your pet the exercise they really need. Long walks can keep some energy subsided for a couple of days. Don’t have the extra time? Try out a Tailster dog walker for the days you can’t do!


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

How to Introduce a Dog into Your Home with a Host Dog

Getting a new dog is a joy for the whole family. Yet, if you already have a dog, the welcoming process should be properly planned out. Exploring its new home, family, surroundings and getting familiar with different routines is stressful enough for a new pup. When you add in a host dog into the mix, a host dog being your much loved pet that is already part of your family, things get that much more complex. Thus, you need to have proper preparation and make sure to introduce your dogs to one another appropriately, when you first get a new dog.

Firstly, we must realise that dogs live in a world of scent and rely on their noses to introduce themselves to new people, animals and surroundings. This knowledge is a key ingredient to the successful introduction of a new dog.

The First Meeting

Firstly, you may need the help of a friend or family member that your host dog is already familiar with. During your first meeting, an introductory walk is recommended. If you have a large but securely fenced open space nearby – that’s ideal. If not, don’t panic! Letting your host dog off the lead to run around the secured area for a while will help spread their scent but keep your new pup occupied and away from the area (queue helpful friend/family member). And then swap! Take your host dog out of the area and let your new pup have the run of the place, getting the scent of your host dog. Once both parties have had an equal opportunity to get a good whiff, introducing them in the secured area is recommended. This give them enough space to move away if they’d like, but there’s enough “no-man’s-land” for them to feel neutral about approaching each other, having a good sniff and go off exploring together.

The In-Home Welcome Party

Once you get back home, continue with the puppies/new dogs introduction of your home. Let it explore and get to know its surroundings. Make sure that the other family members or trusted friends are keeping your other dog busy, or even introduce them to a safe space/crate away from where the new dog is sniffing and exploring. Lower the interaction to as little as possible and then “swap” the dogs – introducing the new dog to the crate/safe space and letting your host dog explore the new scent that’s been left around the home. To be truly effective, this should happen several times a day to understand the new smell. The shorter but more frequent you do these routines, the quicker the dogs will adjust.

 

The Continuous Observant Vigilance Needed

The first few days (and weeks, for that matter) make sure that you are highly vigilant and observant of the interaction between your two dogs. It is also recommended to have the facility to separate the two dogs, where they can still smell each other but not necessarily see or get too close such as a baby gate or door. This gives them both a break from each other and will allow them to “calm” themselves. A consistent and strict schedule of feeding, toileting and walks should be adhered to. This will help your pooches adjust quickly, and will make things far less stressful for the humans in the house! At  Tailster, we have thousands of available carers across the UK who are able to provide daycare, walks or even house visits to keep an extra eye on your pups if you’re needed in the office or off on a well earned day out.

Do you have any tips for someone bring a new puppy or dog in to their home? We’d love to hear from you, get us @tailstercom on Facebook or Twitter!


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

This Dog and Cat are the best of friends and have the best hobby!

When Cynthia and her boyfriend adopted their dog Henry back in 2014 they were already avid hikers and thanks to Henry, that passion just grew and grew.

They found Henry at an adoption event when he was just 14 weeks old and already 5x bigger than all the other puppies he was with. Cynthia went to the event looking for a golden retriever-cross type dog but as soon as she sat down and Henry curled up on her knee, she knew he was the one.

They’d only had Henry about 3 or 4 days when they took him on his first hike. He ran up the highest, steepest rock and looked out right over the edge and looked so content. This very quickly gave him the nickname ‘little mountain goat’.

After having so much fun with Henry, a couple of months ago, the couple introduced their new pet to Henry. Henry’s new brother is a Siamese kitten named Baloo. They are now as thick as thieves, and when they’re not hiking, spend most of their time snuggling and playing together!

After arriving into the family it wasn’t long before Baloo started hiking too, and he even has a harness and lead, just like Henry!

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Aren’t they just the cutest besties?!

Do your pets go on adventures together? We’d love to hear about them! Tag us @tailstercom on Facebook or Twitter


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Does your dog really need to wear a coat this winter?

It’s getting a little chilly out there, you’ve probably put your heating on at home already and pulled your scarf and hat out of the cupboard, but does this mean you need to get your dog a coat too?

There’s mixed opinions about dogs in clothes – those that think it’s cute and that the dog actually enjoys it or needs it and those that think it’s borderline cruelty.

There are very few occasions when an animal needs a coat as dogs have developed a very effective coat of their own, which will protect them from the elements. Dogs can raise the fur to control their temperature and putting them in a coat diminishes the animal’s ability to regulate their own body temperature. This could be detrimental if the animal gets too hot. Some experts state that there is a growing tendency to spoil pets with large wardrobes and treating them as children. This can sometimes lead to bad behaviour due to lack of boundaries and training which can then make for unpleasant pets.

However, whilst some dogs love running through the snow or icy puddles, others dogs can struggle. Larger breeds with thick coats, such as Bernese mountain dogs, Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands, do not require any extra insulation in the winter — though wearing a jacket will certainly not necessarily hurt them. Some breeds have been bred to have less fur, so in some cases it is quite appropriate for a dog to wear a coat or jumper to help keep them warm in very cold weather so if you’re a pet parents to greyhounds, Chihuahuas or poodles you should possibly invest in some extra winter protection.

Here’s a quick tip to help you decide whether your dog needs a sweater this winter – If your dog feels cold to the touch, it’s likely he/she is cold, as well as shivering and reluctance to be outside are also good indications that your dog may prefer to stay inside and be cozy – or they’re lazy.

With a number of jumpers, coats, raincoats and even full on snowsuits available for your four legged friend you’re spoilt for choice. Fit is important as some clothing can causing rubbing and lead to possible loss of hair. There are brands out there that specifically tailor coast for those difficult to fit dogs such as Dachshunds, Great Danes and Bulldogs so it’s worth having a little search.For those that don’t need or want to dress their dog up this winter there’s some more appropriate accessories you can spend your money on such as a new lead, collar or new dog bed for snuggle time at home.

Let us know what you think about clothing for your pet. Tag your pictures with #tailster


Don’t panic, if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet this festive season, make a request below and let us do the hard work. It’s FREE and only takes 30 seconds!