This may be a bit controversial, but we feel it needs to be said. With folks still working from home, the temptation to hold meetings, chat with friends and family or catch up on your social media while walking the dog is very high. But we’re begging you; please put your phone away while you’re walking your dog! We don’t allow our staff to use their phones while walking dogs for multiple reasons --all of them having to do with safety. Our jobs as pet sitters (and your job as guardians) is to keep your pets safe while in your hands. Your cell phone is a total attention sucker. There’s a reason why driving while holding a cell phone is now illegal in all 50 states. When you’re engaged with your cell phone, your attention is split and you aren’t fully engaged in either activity (chatting on the phone, driving, walking, etc.) And you may say, “I can multi-task”, sorry to say that multiple research studies debunk the myth of multitasking. You’re either doing one thing at a time well, or doing multiple things at the same time poorly.
The number one reason why we don’t allow our staff to talk on the phone is so they are alert to potential dangers while walking. Those same dangers we encounter, could happen to you too. Dangers such as cars backing out of a driveway, or pulling into a driveway, loose dogs, crazy cyclists, kids on skateboards on the sidewalk. If you’re engaged in conversation, you aren’t fully aware of these things and prepared to keep your dog safe.
Also, when your attention is focused on your phone, you’re not paying attention to what your dog is doing. Are they eating something they shouldn’t? Did they step in something? are they drinking fetid water from the gutter? We’ve seen people walking their dog so unaware of what their dog is doing that they didn’t stop to let the dog potty. Isn’t that the whole point of the walk?
The walk is time your dog has to bond with you and explore its environment. You’re together in this activity. Frankly, the walk is for the dog; not necessarily for the human. We’ve seen people so keen on speed walking, they don’t allow the dog to sniff or leave their mark on the neighborhood. Remember, you have the freedom to leave the house whenever you please. The walk is probably the only time your dog gets to leave the house and explore anything outside of its home.
The walk is mental stimulation for your dog, its exercise, it’s bonding time. Enjoy the outdoors with your dog. Take in the sights, the smells, the sounds. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of busy life. Learn from your dog. They are amazing teachers.
Jennifer, CPPS has loved caring for animals since childhood, and she’s had quite a few throughout the years. From cats to dogs, to birds, hamsters, fish, guinea pigs, and even a horse; she’s had more four-legged family members than two legged ones!