Finding Good Dog Minding on the Gold Coast
Entrusting your pet to someone else is difficult to say the least—especially if you’ll be away. As much as we’d like to, we cannot always bring our furred friends with us when we’re on a holiday or business trip. Our pooches’ safety (and our sanity) makes it all the more crucial to find responsible and dependable dog minding. Gold Coast services are always available and there are a lot who offer a home away from home for your pooch conveniently near your location. Question is, how do you choose the right one?
It’s all in the details
What makes dog minding great is having the assurance that your beloved pup, no matter what age, can get the closest thing to his or her own home as possible—because they’ll stay in an actual house! Unlike kennelling, he or she won’t face the stress of seeing, smelling and hearing other dogs who are just as scared and anxious. And instead of having a mere few hours of visits from a pet sitter, your pooch will have human companionship and supervision for most of the day (and night if they get to sleep on the bed).
This way, your dog will have an easier transition from his own turf to his extended canine ‘sleepover.’ Minders take notes of your daily routine and incorporate it into their guests’ day-to-day activities such as feeding, exercise, playtime and even grooming. The consistency and seamlessness that this arrangement brings reassures your dog and provides a more positive experience even in the absence of his or her favourite human.
Since your pooch won’t be subject to a strict kennel schedule, he’ll get a more personalised kind of care that is essential for those with special needs like medication or special dietary requirements. The risk of contracting and spreading illnesses like kennel cough is also much higher in a multiple-animal environment, even with the most careful of staff members.
Minders are more flexible with dealing with the smallest of details in your pet’s care because they don’t have to handle any other guest dogs. Having a home environment and one-on-one care is the best option whether you have a well-adjusted and socialised dog, a pup too young to mix in with others or a vintage geriatric who needs a quiet and calm environment to rest and settle down.
A checklist for every worried pooch parent
Dog minders should be thoroughly screened by agencies and companies before being recommended to anyone (considering that their reputation is on the line here). Advertisements are good but it always pays to do your research before delegating your pooch’s welfare to someone else. Here is a helpful checklist for when you need to find a trustworthy service for dog minding on the Gold Coast:
What you need to know before you even need a dog minder:
- Your candidates’ location – the nearer, the better. You should pay your prospective minder a visit and see the home and yard beforehand.
- Home check – you can have the biggest dog lover as your minder in all of Gold Coast but things can still go horribly wrong if the house isn’t secure. Here are things to consider:
- Escape-free gates and fencing
- Home décor or furniture that can be dangerous to your dog
- Other pets present in the home
- Access to household poisons (cleaners, disinfectants, bug sprays, etc.)
- References – it is a must to check if your minder is a person who can be trusted.
- Past client testimonials – feedback from actual customers is far more important than advertisements. Learn from their experiences and check if your prospects’ previous guests have had a positive experience.
- Level of expertise – Never hesitate to interview your prospective minder. Some dogs need more attention, especially if they have special needs. Your minder must be capable of handling your dog and be able to assess his or her condition and progress. Emergencies are the last thing you want to happen when you’re away but it helps if you know that your minder is efficient with dealing with untoward events and that the service you book through has backups and provides 24/7 support.
What to prepare before drop-off / pick up:
- Your dog’s vaccination records – make sure Fido is up to date with his shots. It is as much a protection for him as it is for the minder.
- Bowls, bedding, toys – having your pooch use his or her own things will ease the transition to the new home and provide a sense of familiarity that will help calm him or her down.
- Food, supplements, medication – provide your dog’s usual meals to avoid an upset tummy and you may want to include some additional yummy treats for socialisation and training. If your fur baby is undergoing treatment, make sure you provide comprehensive and complete instructions for administering medicine and pack additional days’ worth of supplies in case you need to extend your trip.
- Something of yours – this can be any article of clothing, towel or blanket that has your scent on it. Your bond with your dog extends to the four senses and smelling you (even after gym day) is one of the most reassuring things for your pooch. This helps heaps for those who have a hard time adjusting to the new environment (the dog, not you).
- Communication details – part and parcel of dog minding is providing updates to the harried parents. Make sure that you’ve provided your correct email address and, phone number and agree upon a schedule for communicating with your minder.
- Emergency contacts – apart from you, there should be other trusted people who can respond to an unexpected event who are nearby. Have a friend as an emergency contact, and make sure that your minder knows who your pooches’ veterinarian is and how to reach the clinic.
- Treats, treats, treats – Things should generally go well when you choose dog minding (which is why it’s the more familiar and compassionate option) and it’s always good to start the trip off with a positive reward. Give your pooch some high-value (sought-after) treats that you and your minder can take turns giving. This gives your pup more good memories of his time arriving at the minder’s home and lets him associate the experience with something good.
For the sweet, sweet reunion:
- The once-over – seeing your dog after a few days of being apart is a joyous occasion, really—but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if there’s neglect involved. Having daily updates can certainly ease some of the worries; dispel all paranoia by making sure you check your pup for any physical or behavioural changes that shouldn’t be there:
- Unexplained wounds or any other injuries
- Fearful / aggressive behaviour towards the minder
- Significant weight loss
- Unkempt and dirty fur
- Any discharge from the eyes, nose or ears
- Lethargy and lack of excitement, even after seeing you
- Lack of appetite
Immediately consult your veterinarian for further examination if you see these signs.
- Feedback and recommendations – help other equally worried fur parents by posting your testimonial online. Whether you do it on the agency’s website or put it out on social media, recommendations will make it easier for others to find the best dog minding. Gold Coast pet mums and dads will thank you for that and great services do deserve the additional business, yes?
Seems daunting, doesn’t it? Don’t fret. It’s definitely hard to leave our beloved four-legged buddies (painful, for some) but, with the right dog minding service on your speed dial, you’ll at least have the reassurance that your pooch is in the right hands and home. That’s peace of mind that is actually worth paying for.