As more employers set return dates for employees, new puppy parents may not know what to do.
But don’t worry, the extraordinary dog handler and author Kate MacDougall tells Fox News that there are a few things pet owners can do to ensure their canine friends aren’t lonely when they get back to work.
Regardless of whether a dog owner is called into the office occasionally or all day, it is important for MacDougall to have a dog sitter or sitter available.
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“You can’t leave your dog alone for too long. He needs exercise and company,” she explained on a video call. “They get bored or frustrated when they are not fully exercised and have lots of social interaction with their owners and friends.”
Professional dog handler and writer Kate MacDougall told Fox News that pet parents planning to return to work should have a plan for their dogs. (Katy Raffin / Telling Tales Productions)
MacDougall, who left her junior position at Sotheby’s in London to start her own professional dog walking company in 2006, reiterated that many of the “destructive” or “aggressive” behaviors she has seen in dogs are due to lack of exercise and socialization are due.
While puppies show energy surges, they usually need less exercise than older dogs because they sleep late. Likewise, older dogs may not have to take long walks if they show signs of slowing down, she explained.
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To find a good dog sitter or sitter, MacDougall recommends consulting friends and family or a veterinarian to see if they are experienced. If you can’t find recommendations, a visit to a local dog park is always a reliable option for finding a professional walker.
“Any good company or handler will give you a free trial just to see how your dog is doing,” MacDougall told Fox News. “And it’s really important that you consider how many dogs this dog walker is walking with and whether your dog gets along with the other dogs.”
Kate MacDougall says that many dog sitters or sitters may be willing to offer a free trial run to dog owners who are unfamiliar with these services. (iStock)
For overprotective dog parents, accompanying a try might be an option, but MacDougall notes that most strollers are happy to provide photos of potential and established customers or written updates about their dog’s performance when they go for a walk.
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When interviewing a dog handler, MacDougall says, there’s no harm in asking where your dog will go for a walk, what routes it will take, or if the routines will change. Inquire about seat services or share dietary requirements.
“I think the most important thing is that you are comfortable with your handler and that you trust them to come into your house and take care of your dog because that’s a big deal,” says MacDougall. “They are family members. So I think the trust thing is really key to that.”
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MacDougall is currently the proud owner of a Jack Russell Terrier and Dachshund and lives in Oxfordshire with her two dogs and her husband.
Kate MacDougall’s book “London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency: A Memoir” will be published in the USA on July 6, 2021. The memoirs share her experiences as a professional dog walker and other pet anecdotes. (William Morrow / HarperCollins Verlag)
In her new book, London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency: A Memoir, published on Tuesday July 6th, she documented her colorful career as a dog handler.
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“As soon as I started walking the dog, I realized that there were so many interesting characters and stories and I think that being a handler is that amazing little glimpse into people’s lives,” MacDougall told Fox News. “The book is a kind of love letter to London.”