Dog walker or home boarding? Why do I feel like I want to become a stalker!

Do you feel sometimes like you wish to stalk your dog walker?! Unfortunately, my trust towards people that I pay a lot of money to look after has been broken some time ago. Since then I have a very low level of trust to folks when they look after my dogs. Ok. I know strange as I have a dog walker and home Home boarding while I am away, but….


Let’s me start from the beginning. To make myself a bit calmer and more secure, before signing any contracts I do a detailed research but also interview with the person, if they are really capable of looking after my two dogs. I am also honest with them, that my trust was broken before and this is very hard for me.

Another important factor for me is what Roger thinks and shows me. The longer I have him the longer I believe he is right about people. I know funny right, but seriously if Roger likes someone it always ends as being a good person. He also proved to me that not liking someone was right, as I ended up realizing it wasn’t best of choice. Yes, Roger is the main factor when I choose people to look after them, Laferra will just follow him.

The Dogwalker

Image may contain: dog, outdoor and nature

When the dog walker walked into my flat… I knew straight away Roger loves Kris, I didn’t even properly introduce us to Kris and Roger started bringing him toys and everything what possible so he would notice him and totally focus on him rather than have a chat with me. That time Laferra was still too young for joining the group walks.

It has been a year now that Kris is walking dogs! I am super happy and love getting updates on how they were today. I am happy!

Home Boarding

Home boarding…. Another tough decision and I have been unlucky. It took me some time to finally find somewhere to be their second home. So this is how we chose it or Roger did. Roger is taught to bring balls to me, not to strangers. Walking around playing the ball and chatting with boarders I could see Roger looks towards me for assurance. I allow him to play ball with them. He chose Jenni. Happy boy.

I know silly right, but I trust Roger, in both cases if he is happy. Later on, we chatted, we talked and I told everything that I would expect from them. I like to keep my dogs routine with walks, meals and so on. Yes, all good for home boarding. Next questions is about the house where they will have access, are they allowed on the sofa, where they will be fed. Unfortunately, I have a bad experience when Laferra, as she was separated daycare are for feeding… why?! No idea, but she came back home and didn’t want to eat and showed signs of stress during meal. I found out later on that place was separating them almost like to crate for feeding, which in case of Laferra was the worst scenario as she doesn’t like crate at all.


On the other side, recently I discovered that dog walker and home boarding is very important with your trust, but also the vet. Yes, you go to the vet with your dog, however recently I needed to leave Roger for few hours there for some tests. I was nervous as I know how much stress it would bring to Roger. I got brilliant reassurance from the vet, as he talked me through what will happen to Roger and afterward how great he is as they spent time with him. I have never been so excited to go there and pick him up. He was a very sleepy boy who just wanted to cuddle in. Laferra was super excited to see him.


Questions to ask

So here are a couple of questions to ask anyone who you leave your dog with (my dear friend shared them with me some time ago):

  • Are they insured? For how many dogs? What are the terms of the policy regarding injury to your dog while in their care? Who pays vet bill? Are they covered for public liability should your dog be involved in an incident?
  • Are they registered with their local council’s dog walkers scheme? While many of these are voluntary codes of conduct, a responsible dog walker will adhere to these regulations.
  • Do they have Scottish Disclosure? A dog walker will usually have keys to your house and be alone while there. It is important you know you can trust them. Will you be able to meet them while they are out walking dogs to see how they operate and interact with their dogs?
  • What type of transport they use for their work…Ideally, dogs should have separate cages which are securely fixed. Failing that, if the dogs are transported in a car, each dog should be “harnessed” in on a seat belt or other acceptable way to ensure a dog’s safety. It is NOT acceptable to secure a dog by a collar…and it is extremely dangerous to have dogs loose in a car or van.
  • How long are dogs in the van? Is it ventilated? Heated for winter?
  • How long do they walk for? If your dog walker says they get an hr, then they should have that hour out of the van and actually be walking.
  • What would they do in an emergency?
  • Are they First Aid certified?
  • Do they know how to break up a dog fight..and more importantly, do they know how to avoid getting dogs into these situations?
  • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask them about their experience with dogs. While many dog walkers have vast experience and know-how, the ease with which anyone can become a dog walker makes it a precarious business trying to find a good one.
  • Do they reward dogs for good behavior (treats, praise, playing with them) This is the ideal
  • Are they able to walk your dog on his own until he is ready to join a group?
  • Are they totally aware of canine body language?

Important! Watch your dog

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN YOUR DOG GOES OUT WITH HIS WALKER Your dog should be relaxed and eager to go out on his walk. If he is reluctant, hides, shows signs of distress he is obviously not happy about going out with the walker. On return, he should be happy and relaxed. If your dog comes back and looks stressed, overly tired or shows any deterioration in his behavior, check what is happening on walks Is he being bullied by the other dogs? Is he okay in transit? Has your dog walker taken the time to integrate him with her group and get him used to the transport?


A good dog walker/Home boarding is worth their weight in gold.

Seeing a vet not only for the emergency. Why should you pop in to the clinic with your rascals?

Today post maybe will be a bit different than usual, but I always take visits to the vet as adventures for my dogs, as they are always flat out afterward. It is all about the postive experience.

Gotta love the weekend

I must admit I am always excited about the weekend, as I know we will be up to something cool. However, I am wondering why is it always nice and sunny during the week and very wet and damp at the weekend?!

The rain ruins my plan for Saturday, as Laferra and I supposed to run at Falkirk Parkrun. One of the best dog-friendly parkruns I have been. Oh, I should also mention it is very tough and takes a lot out of you, but so worth the 5km run.

Anyways we had a trip booked to meet with our new sponsor: Westport Veterinary Clinic. The dogs were booked in for the full health check.

Visit the clinic

I always make sure my dogs are having a great experience at the vets so they like to come there. I have never taken both at the same time, as they are just a bit too much to control indoor! However, as it was quiet, both in together. We were a bit earlier so Roger could settle in before seeing our Vet Stuart. I was literally dragged into the clinic! It looked like dogs really wanted to go in, we needed to wait for our turn.

I always try to make dogs focus on me:

  • sit.
  • wait.
  • leave (watch the treat).
  • or some others tricks they know.

It helps especially to Roger to settle in quicker while waiting for his turn.


The clinic really promotes that the vets like to get to know you and your dogs.

We were called in, and Vet Stuart played and made dogs more chilled in a room (defo making the dogs having fun rather than making them tense). Even Laferra was happy to get cuddles and strokes.

It is important to have routine health check-ups.

This provides a thorough health as soon as your new pet arrives home and allows an opportunity to discuss feeding and how to help them settle in with their new family.

As prevention is always better than cure, we also offer advice regarding dental care, nutrition, behaviour and management through consultation with our vets and nurses.

The great thing about the clinic is that if your pet is registered with ‘Friends of Westport’ plan they receive a free of charge check every 6 months.

So our routine check-up included:

  • vaccinations.
  • a complete physical examination.

It is very important for me to make sure my two athletes are healthy and in good condition. I also think those check-ups only appointments bring positive experience as dogs have just fun time, being cuddled and stroked or getting familiar with the equipment in the clinic such as chip reader or stethoscope. Chip reader is very often used at the races and a lot of dogs don’t like it so this is great opportunity to make them familiar with it. Roger even sneaked out and ventured into Stuart’s office.

Education for humans

On the other hand, it is a lesson for my dogs, but it is also a lesson for me. This time I learnt about cleaning dogs teeth and why I should do it.

Your pet’s teeth should be checked as soon as possible if you observe any of the following;

  • Bad breath
  • Broken/ loose teeth
  • Extra teeth/retained baby teeth
  • Discoloured teeth or teeth covered in tartar
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food
  • Reduced appetite/refusal to eat
  • Pain in/around mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in areas surrounding the mouth

Here we come cleaning teeth twice a day at least three times a week. I presume those two rascals won’t be chuffed. Time to purchase toothbrush and toothpaste.

I am definitely looking forward to our next visit.

Here is a video of our attempt at brushing Laferra’s teeth.