Now Hiring! Chicago In-Home DogSitting

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Thank you for looking into Girl & the Dog's current job opening for overnight, in-home, dog sitting. 

Serious inquiries only. I have listed some of the qualities & duties this job entails. 

Please read through & fit all of the requirements before applying.

We have clients throughout many neighborhoods in Chicago. Bucktown, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Ravenswoods, West Loop, River West are our main ‘hoods. So you MUST live in Chicago. 

Do you have an unconventional work schedule (not 9-5), work from home, in school, a job that will not keep you away for 8+ hours? 

Have your own reliable transportation (either a bicycle or insured car, scooter, Ventra card, etc) 

An 8 month commitment at the minimum, please

Available & comfortable to dog sit in the client’s home on occasional weekends, weeknights, occasional holidays (if needed), etc. 

Have a love for dogs, empathy & overall be obsessed with their well-being

Be a respectful & kind human being

Communication & trust worthy should be your top qualities

Ability to respect our high-end clients & their homes

Sign a non-compete agreement and undergo a background check

Starting rate is minimum $55 a night with room to grow

These are just a few of the items that are important to me & to have in a potential teammate, if you think that these are qualities & details that you are comfortable with, please fill out the form at this link——>

Get Rid of That Retractable Leash!

Having a leash for your dog during walks is a safety measure for you and your dog. Nowadays, more and more dog owners are opting for the more modern retractable dog leash, allowing for the dog to not be bound by a certain length than the regular leashes do. Although there might be benefits to these retractable dog leashes, these string-like devices don't offer the best life for you and your dog, so here are five of the many dangers of retractable leashes.

1. The Chord Is Weak
Let's face it, why would anyone think that a tiny half-inch chord will be able to sustain the power of a dog? You might think that at first and I don't blame you, but if the dog were to run at full speed, they are able to easily rip off the chord from the leash. Also, the chord can snap back and hit whoever is walking the dog, so it is not a good idea to trust such a delicate chord.

2. It's A Dog Un-training Contraption
Usually, a basic 6ft. flat leash is designed to train dogs how to properly go on walks with their owners. With the retractable leash, the dog learns that it has the freedom to walk as far away from their owners as they want, which can probably cause an accident or bring unwanted dog fights 20ft away from you. It's best to keep your dog close.

3. Neck-slicing Your Dog
These retractable leashes can only go so far. Your dog doesn't know this fact. As the leash runs out, the jerk on your dog's neck can result in rashes, burns, or even spinal injuries. Think of what's best for your dog.

4. Uncontrollable Power
As stated before, a dog has enough power to tear the chord, but it also has the power to drag a person. Therefore, if the dog learns that it is okay to run full-speed away from it's owner, it will do so without hesitation. This can cause its owner many injuries like scrapes, cuts, bruises, and even broken bones.

5. Runaway Dogs
The grip from these retractable leashes are often bulky and heavy which can result in the grip slipping from one's hand and loosing a pet. To avoid the traumatic experience of a lost pet, consider not using a retractable leash. Your dog will thank you later.

Retractable leashes can often be very dangerous or confusing for your dog if it is not trained correctly on a regular leash. It is advised for owners to train their dogs well on standard leashes in order to decrease the probability of dangers for the dog and its owner.

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The Benefits of Massage Therapy For Your Pup

Dogs have more in common with human beings than you may think. Canines, like humans, can also benefit greatly from regular massage therapy sessions. If you own an adorable four-legged friend and want to enhance his or her existence significantly, it may be time to research local canine massage therapy options. Your pet is more than worth this simple effort.

Dogs are like human beings in that stress can take a serious toll on them. Many types of things can trigger stress in them. Moves to brand new residences can make them feel overwhelmed, confused and lost. Additions of new family members and pets can throw their lives off balance for a while. Dogs often feel stressed out and frustrated when people or fellow pets pass away, too. If you're worried about your pooch's stress levels, massage therapy may just be the solution. This is because massages can minimize stress in dogs.

Massage therapy offers circulation benefits to dogs, too. Owners who want to strengthen circulation in their pets may want to investigate the world of doggy massage therapy. Massaging can strengthen circulation and as a result can also do wonders for the whole body. Circulation boosts can promote the recovery of muscles post-physical activity. They can also be beneficial for dogs that have arthritis. Massage therapy can encourage blood flow and give your dog's body amazing healing assistance.

If you're the loving owner of a dog who is in his or her golden years, massage therapy may make a wonderful addition to your life. Medical conditions such as arthritis are common in aging dogs. Joint issues such as hip dysplasia are common in aging canines as well. These ailments frequently bring on mobility and flexibility difficulties in dogs. If you want your older cutie to enjoy a happy, enriching and active lifestyle, regular massage therapy sessions may be able to promote better movement. People who want their pets to feel like a million dollars regardless of age should seriously consider routine massage therapy appointments.

The recovery perks that are associated with canine massage therapy are astounding. If your pooch has been dealing with a major illness for a while, massage therapy may be able to give him a new lease on life. Massage therapy can also be highly advantageous to dogs that have gone through complicated surgical procedures and that have sustained major injuries. This is because massage therapy can make the recovery process a lot faster and more efficient. It can decrease inflammation, pain and discomfort. It can do a lot for canine mental well-being as well. This is priceless. If you want your pet to feel as stress-free as possible while his body is healing, massage therapy may be your best friend.

Massage therapy can also improve your connection with your dog. It even even serve as a great foundation for new owners who are looking to establish lifelong bonds with their pets. If you want to enjoy a fulfilling and happy bond with your dog, massage therapy is the way to go. A calm and happy dog makes for a great and well-behaved pet. Few things can be more pleasant and relaxing than a happy pooch in your household.

If you want to give your dog the gift of massage therapy, look for a reputable and experienced local business that specializes in the subject. It can help to request recommendations from fellow dog owners you trust. If you don't know anyone who has experience with canine massage therapy, consider asking your veterinarian for a referral. There are many qualified and skilled canine massage therapists out there.

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Animal Sanctuaries in Austin, Texas

An animal sanctuary is a facility that accepts homeless animals and provides them with a home, care, and support for the remainder of their lives. Unlike shelters, sanctuaries do not work to find other homes for their residents, because the sanctuary is their new home. However, some sanctuaries offer re-homing opportunities.

Another of their goals is to educate the public and provide information and resources. Like dog rescues, animal sanctuaries are always in need of assistance and volunteers. Much of their resources and capabilities exist because of donations and help from the community.

1. Dreamtime Animal Sanctuary

A nonprofit organization, Dreamtime Animal Sanctuary is located on a peaceful, rural road just outside of Elgin. Beginning with providing homes for horses and donkeys, the sanctuary now includes pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, cats, dogs, and more. They offer a number of volunteer opportunities.

2. Austin Farm Sanctuary

With a mission to rescue and assist animals in need, Austin Farm Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization that provides a home for animals and spreads awareness and resources throughout the community. Their Facebook page includes information about volunteering, fundraisers, and other ways to help.

3. Austin Wildlife Rescue

Saving and rehabilitating animals in central Texas since 1977, Austin Wildlife Rescue is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to assisting sick, injured, orphaned, and homeless wildlife. With over 6,000 wild animals rescued and cared for each year, volunteers are always needed.

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7 Foods for Your Dog's Dental Wellness

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Dog owner's often overlook the dental health of their pets. While exercise and an overall healthy diet are important, choosing foods that benefit your pooch in the area of dental health is also extremely important. The following 7 foods will ensure that your fur baby's pearly whites stay just that!

1. Cranberries:
Most people know that cranberries are great for fighting a bladder infection, but did you know cranberries also work to prevent cavities, plaque, and tarter buildup in both dogs and humans? The secret lies in a compound contained in cranberries called non-dialysable material (NDM). Non-dialysable material has been found to not only prevent the buildup of oral bacteria, it also reverses the effects that these bacteria have on Fido's teeth. Cranberries can be frozen and given to your pet as a fun way to beat the heat. Diluting your dog's drinking water with pure cranberry juice is another way to ensure your dog receives the health benefits of cranberries.

2. Grain-Free foods:
Many veterinarians have argued that grain free foods help to reduce the amount of tarter buildup in pets. Our pups' ancestors were strictly meat eaters, and some veterinarians would argue that a meatcentric, grain-free diet is the best way to boost the immune system and fight the oral bacteria associated with poor oral health. Many dog food brands use grains as a filler, and it should never be the first ingredient on your dog's food label. 

3. Oatmeal:
While oats are considered a grain, they aren't the same thing as the wheat/grain filler that is an ingredient in most dog foods. Oatmeal contains high levels of vitamins E, G, B, potassium, and calcium. This calcium rich food will serve to strengthen your dogs teeth, and it will also make his coat shiny and soft! There are many recipes out there for dog treats that contain oatmeal. Try this one from Two Little Cavaliers!

4. Flaxseed Oil:
Does your dog suffer from gum disease? Flaxseed oil has been used for years as a way to reverse the effects of gum disease in humans. Many natural dog food brands have begun adding flaxseed to their list of ingredients. The price of these dog foods can be somewhat unreasonable for the average dog owner; however, you can simply add a bit of flaxseed oil to your pooch's current food. Consult with your veterinarian for the correct dosage! 

5. Carrots:
Many people think that dry dog food is the best way to clean the plaque buildup on their dog's teeth. While this is somewhat true, your dog needs further chewing to scrub those pearly whites! Many dogs love carrots, and they are a great alternative to bones or dental sticks.

6. Yogurt:
You've probably never fed your dog yogurt, but it is one of the best things for your dog! It is important to note that you should choose a yogurt that contains a probiotic. The bacteria in the yogurt helps fight gingivitis, and it also helps your dog's digestive system. The Bark has a great recipe for frozen yogurt dog treats!

7. Fish Oil:
Fish oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for oral health! Fish oil has multiple health benefits for your dog. The Omega-3's in the oil help boost your dogs immune system, which allows them to fight dental bacteria. It also reduces inflammation, and keeps your pup's coat sleek! 

While you can buy dog foods that promote oral health in your dog, you can achieve this at a fraction of the cost through natural means!

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You Aren't Cleaning Your Dog's Bowls Often Enough

You love your dog, so of course, you want the best for them. You wouldn't feed them off of a trashcan, would you? Most owners simply don't realize how many germs collect and live in dog food bowls. Plus, dogs tend to eat anything gross they can find anyways, so it doesn't seem like a big deal. Unfortunately, a lot more work needs to be put into cleaning the bowls, and some gross things need to be said about dog bowls.

Dog food bowls are actually on the top 10 list of dirtiest household items. Trashcans don't even come close. You need to be washing the dog bowl every single day with as hot of water as you can clean with without burning yourself. Then, it needs to air-dry so that it doesn't get more contaminated from paper towels. Lastly, it needs to be sanitized once a week in the dishwasher. Oh, and every time you clean the bowl in the sink, you need to sanitize the sink after. On top of all of this, you need to wash your hands before and after cleaning the bowl.

If your dog eats raw food, you have even more work cut out for you. I know, I know. You need to clean the dog bowl after every single meal instead of once a day. This doesn't mean simply washing with hot water, this means sanitizing it. Anything you used to prepare the dog food with also needs to be sanitized completely, after every single meal. It might seem a bit overboard, but raw foods are much more dangerous than cooked foods are.

If you think these directions seem unnecessary, you need to know what types of germs like to live in your dog's bowl. Salmonella, E. coli, staph, parasites, yeast, and mold can be living and be collecting in that innocent-looking bowl.

However, there is a silver lining to all of this nastiness. Specific materials can ward away germs better than others can. Stainless steel bowls should be the go-to, but ceramic bowls can also be used. If you go with a ceramic bowl, ensure that no cracks are in it, because bacteria can collect in them. The worst material for bowls is plastic, as it practically welcomes bacteria and can be much more difficult to get it to stay clear even after cleaning.

This may all sound a bit scary, but as long as you clean your dog's bowl, you should be fine. Those who serve their dogs raw food need to clean much more and be more cautious, but it is still doable. A simple washing of the hands, the dish, and then the hands again once a day doesn't take long. Plus, the sanitizing for normal food only needs to be done once a week. Think of it more like a plate you would eat off of, but with less maintenance!

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Benefits of Fish Oil Supplement for Your Dog

What is Fish Oil All About?

Fish oil is extracted from the skins of albacore tuna, anchovies, black cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardines. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that are known to provide health benefits to people and animals. Dogs don't naturally synthesize much omega-3 so supplements are given.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Anti-inflammatory/ joint health: Fish oil reduces inflammation caused by arthritis. It lubricates joints, helping ease pain. These benefits may decrease use of pain medications.
  • Cognitive functions are improved through the lowering of triglycerides and increase of anti-oxidants.
  • Allergy relief, reduced shedding, and better skin health reduce itching, dandruff, and "hot spots".
  • Improved vision due to the omega-3s.
  • Kidney and heart health due to less inflammation and fewer triglycerides.
  • Immune system support to ensure less auto-immune disease.
  • Preliminary tests show that Fish oil supplements may slow the growth of cancer.

When given to pregnant and nursing mothers, fish oil has been shown to improve the growth of brain and nerve cells in puppies. These pups also develop better vision and cognitive functions as they grow.

Fishy Facts to Keep in Mind

Omega-3s are fragile fatty acids that oxidize readily, compromising their benefit. The oils should be protected from heat, light, and air by storing them in dark glass bottles in a cool place, and used within a month or two.

The dosage is important. Colorado State University has set guidelines for dosing dogs and cats safely. It will take at least three weeks for the effect to become evident. If not, the dosage may be increased. There is no "toxic" level, but too much can cause fish breath, diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset. Just back off the dosage and things should be fine in a day or two.

Fish oil can slow down clotting, so don't supplement if your dog is on blood thinners. Cod liver oil is not the same as fish oil, and should not be administered. Be sure to check with your vet before making any changes.