Welcome to The Crate Escape in Peterborough, Ontario where it’s all about your dog!Charlotte and Beau standing

Professionally trained and insured,we offer personalized walking and care for your dog from your home. Long days at the office or away from home don’t need to be stressful.  Trust The Crate Escape to provide comfort and companionship for your dog.  We offer customized companionship for your furry family member by visiting through the day to play and walk, fill water or food dishes, and allow your pet to relieve themselves. For puppies, geriatric dogs, dogs post surgery or dogs that can’t walk, we offer Play Dates to visit, play, let outside, fill water or food dishes and of course a whole lot of love!

Professional and attentive crate-escaping services tailored by you and ranging in length of time include:

  • Bio-breaks for numbers one & two
  • Care and feeding as instructed by you
  • Leashed walking for visits of 30 minutes or more
  • Clean returns; paw & coat wiping following messy walks/play dates
  • News from the hydrant; personalized report provided to you following each visit
  • Overnight pet & house sitting for existing clients

For rates visit Our Services tab or contact us using the form below for an introductory appointment.

To learn more about the owner, visit the About Me tab and to learn about why we’re in business, click here.

Hot Weather Safety

Authored by Cheri Anderson

The dog-days of summer have arrived early and it’s already hot and humid in our area! Any inclement weather can be harmful, but as the heat and humidity rise, it can be fatal for our dogs.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can come on much more quickly for dogs than for humans and we take warm weather safety very seriously at The Crate Escape!

The cooling mechanism for humans is to sweat, sometimes through every pore in our body, thereby releasing heat.  For dogs, there are only 2 methods to release heat; through panting and through sweat in their foot pads and nose.  Their bodies were designed to conserve heat thus they heat up significantly faster than we do.

Knowing the signs, treatment and prevention for heat stroke in our dogs can be life saving!

Signs & Symptoms

Kelso displaying signs of heat exhaustion; heavy panting, laying down during play with a ball and self-selecting the shade.

Kelso displaying signs of heat exhaustion; heavy panting, laying down during play with a ball and self-selecting the shade.

As each symptom appears it can quickly progress.  Know your dog and be able to distinguish the signs in their comfort levels through their facial expressions, energy levels and actions taken in different situations.  Here are signs of heat exhaustion leading to potential stroke;

  1. Heavy, loud, rapid panting
  2. Being thirsty
  3. Fatigue; slowing down, sitting, laying down during exercise or play
  4. Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  5. Tongue, gums and other mucous membranes bright red
  6. Saliva is thick and constant
  7. Increased heart rate
  8. Vomiting
  9. Dehydration occurs when skin around the muzzle or neck doesn’t snap back when pinched or grabbed
  10. URGENT – Bloody diarrhea
  11. URGENT – Tongue, gums and other mucous membranes turn grey, dry & tacky
  12. URGENT – Dizziness, collapse, seizure

NOTE that in all cases you should call your vet to mitigate any risk to your dog.


Treating symptoms early will reduce any health risk to your dog including death.

  1. Move into an air-conditioned building or car
  2. Spray down your dog with a garden hose, but not full strength
  3.  Immerse in cool (not cold) water for up to 2 minutes.
    1. NOTE that cold water can constrict blood vessels preventing the cooling of the body’s core and can actually cause a dog’s temperature to rise!  Further, over-cooling can cause hypothermia so be careful.
  4. Drape wet towels around the entire body including the pads of the feet
  5. Lay your wet dog down in front of an oscillating fan and gently lift his/her hair
  6. Call your vet!  This will mitigate any risk to your dog’s health & safety!

If you have access to and are comfortable using a rectal thermometer, use it to measure your dog’s temperature.  Normal is 38.6 – 38.9 degrees Celsius and you can stop any treatment once your dog’s temperature is below 39.4 degrees Celsius.


Safety First!  That’s my motto!  Taking the necessary steps to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke while still getting some exercise for your dog is key!

  1. NEVER leave your dog in a hot car.  It takes only minutes for the interior temperature of a car to rise to unsafe levels.  And an open window is not enough air circulation for safe temperatures.  We’ve heard too many stories of fatalities of dogs in hot cars and yet it’s so simple to prevent.
  2. Provide a constant source of water for your dog in hot temperatures.
    Frequent hydration in hot weather is crucial.

    Frequent hydration in hot weather is crucial.

    Carry water and a dish with you if you know you’re going to be away from an alternate clean water source.

  3. Protect those paws!  Be aware that your dog sweats through the pads of his/her paws;
    1. Place the back of your hand on the pavement, concrete or walking surface and hold it there for 7 seconds.  Comfortable?  You’re good to go.  Too hot?  Find an alternative!
    2. Walk on the grass wherever you can!  I walk the trails of Peterborough all the time.  But when it’s hot, we walk on the grass alongside the trail.
    3. Let your dog walk through water (lakes, streams, puddles, rivers etc.).  Even the coolness of mud feels good to them…let them get dirty; they LOVE it!
  4. Walk in the shade!
    1. When I walk my clients, I’ll often go to a well treed park and zig-zag through the park trying to find the shortest sun-filled distance between the shade of the trees.  The challenge finding a cool route is fun and your dog will enjoy all the new “sniffs” off the regular path.
    2. Look for shady streets and the shady side of the street.  Every bit helps!
    3. Walk a forested path instead of a city path.
  5. Consider shorter more frequent walks.  Walk for 10-15 minutes in your neighbourhood then come home to cool off and play indoors then head out again for 10-15 minutes. Repeat as required.

Stay safe and cool out there this summer!  Know the signs and be aware of your dog’s tolerance to heat while still giving your dog the exercise he/she needs in the heat of the summer.

It’s all about your dog!

Duke’s Trail Tour – For the Peterborough Humane Society

Authored by Cheri Anderson

I’m so excited to be participating in the first annual legacy walk in support for the Peterborough Humane Society (PHS).  This year’s walk is named after a humane society rescue, Duke and owned by my good friend Sofie.  The event is Duke’s Trail Tour taking place on June 22, 2014 here in Peterborough.

If you’d like to sponsor me, you can contact me directly or click here to make a secure online donation (yes, we’re using the Running Room Online Giving site to help with fundraising, so don’t be confused when you click here!)  I’m also very pleased to announce that The Crate Escape will be donating 10% of all sales revenue from May 20th to June 21st to this event.

I was recently asked why it’s important to me to get involved in this particular fundraising event….and this is what I said;

For the love of the dog!  Dogs purpose in life is simply to please by offering unconditional love, faithfulness and devotion.  They trust and respect their human owners and the unfortunate reality is that some humans don’t give it in return.  I want to help those dogs whose humans have let them down.

But also because the PHS needs more community exposure and support.  Having volunteered there, I realized that the community needs to be educated on all the great things that the PHS is doing for neglected animals…I think their work is understated and unknown.  As are the costs associated to the work they do.  Further, more community education and awareness is required to erase the stigma that shelter dogs are “problem” dogs….all they want is to be loved through human compassion.  I learned that by working with the dogs there and realizing that so many just craved human touch; it was quite emotional.

Why adopt from the shelter?  I’ve adopted 2 dogs from the shelter; we are still enjoying life with Kelso and Hans was with us for a very short time before we had to put him down. The impact we made on these dogs lives can’t be overstated and the impact they’ve had on ours is unparalleled.  Dogs who land in a shelter aren’t there because of something they’ve done or didn’t do; they are there because of human neglect or irresponsibility.  We owe it to them to bring them home, provide for them, love them and be their best friend.

#PlsConsiderAdoption and give generously!  For the love of our dogs!

Inside of a Dog – Book Review

Authored by Cheri Anderson

I’ve recently finished reading “Inside of a Dog; What Dogs See, Smell and Know” by Alexandra Horowitz.  In my business, learning and understanding dogs and dog behaviour in order to ‘communicate’ effectively is key to enhancing our experience together.  I don’t just walk dogs; I am their companion.  But I can’t be an effective companion if I can’t communicate with them.  Dogs are not humans and I can’t expect to communicate with them the same way.  Here is one of my favourite excerpts from the book that explains this notion;

What is revealing is how dogs perform on tasks that measure social abilities we thought only human beings had.  The results, whether serving to show how alike or unalike dogs are to or from us, have relevance in our relationships with our dogs.  When considering what we ask of them and what we should expect from them, understanding their differences from us will serve us well.  Science’s effort to find distinctions illustrates more than anything else the one true distinction: our drive to affirm our superiority – to make comparisons and judge differences.  Dogs, noble minds, do not do this.  Thank goodness.

This is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who really wants to get ‘inside their dog’.  From its content, it is obvious that the author is highly educated – not only by her schooling and credentials, but also by in the way she writes and the fact that her conclusions are based on highly scientific research and results.  Further, she actually spent significant hours videotaping and just watching dogs.  We should be so observant ourselves!  Imagine what we could learn not only from our dogs, but from our humans!

YouTube Preview with the author

Here are the key learning points for me as summarized by the author in the final chapter of the book;

  1. “Go For Smell Walks” – Let your dogs enjoy a really good “smell walk”.  A dog’s world is through their nose…and while we might think a walk is just for exercise, for a dog it’s like Facebook or like an amusement park or new game!  They explore and experience the whole world through their nose…..let them enjoy it!
  2. Train Your Dog – Thoughtfully! – Be kind, positive, consistent and most importantly be patient and keep it simple.  Develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect.  Dogs need structure, routine and rules in order to live a happy and balanced life.  And you will enjoy your dog more if you invest the time….I guarantee a return on your investment if training is done thoughtfully!
  3. “Allow for his Dogness” – Let him be a dog.  There’s a reason why they roll in things….let them enjoy it (unless terribly offensive!).  Give him off-leash freedom.  Learn his facial expressions and respond respectfully.  Let them smell each others bums….it’s equivalent to our handshake!
  4. Learn the ‘Why’ – Take time to understand why your dog is doing what he’s doing.  If you don’t like it, don’t punish him!  Learn why he’s doing it.  A fully informed human is a very strong leader….dogs need leaders, not dominant masters!  Breed does matter – determine if a breed is right for you and your family’s lifestyle.  Remember they are a dog; an animal – if you’re expecting human behaviour, consider getting a human instead.  Don’t leave them alone – they are social creatures and they should never spend the majority of their lives alone.
  5. “Give Him Something to Do” – Dogs need both mental and physical stimulation.  And it doesn’t have to be complicated!  There are fun ways to do this and this increases and improves your interaction with your companion.  Don’t let your dog get bored.  And yes, they do get bored!
  6. Play with Him – Simply stated….Have fun with your dog!  All creatures need fun for a fulfilled life!
  7. Look at your Dog – I mean really LOOK at your dog.  Watch and observe in different situations.  I guarantee after reading this book you will look at your dog entirely differently; and you’ll get to know your dog in the same way he gets to know you.
  8. “Don’t Bathe your Dog Every Day” – Let them be a dog!  Their life is through their nose; when you bathe them, you take away their uniqueness.
  9. “Pet Friendly” – and by ‘pet’ I mean touch.  Touch is meaningful to dogs and humans alike – learn how to pet your dog in a way he actually likes.
  10. “Anthropomorphize with Umwelt in Mind” – This is the best part of the book….and for an explanation on what this means, you’ll need to read it yourself!


Halloween And Dog Safety

Authored by Cheri Anderson

Halloween is this week and it got me thinking about Kelso and how he might be affected by the ‘goings-on’ of Halloween night.  With extra activity at our door, pedestrian traffic in the neighbourhood, faces covered, loud unusual noises, candy & other ‘new’ garbage on the streets, etc., etc., etc., Kelso could be very stressed by confusion.  So I thought I’d put together a list of safety items all dog owners should consider this Halloween.  Most are common sense, but worth a reminder just to ensure heightened awareness this week;

Kelso's Halloween

  1. Plan to take your dog for a brisk, long walk before trick o’ treaters start hitting the streets and ringing your door bell.  Tiring out your dog will relax him a little before the festivities begin.
  2. Keep the candy away from your dog.  A lot of candy is deadly for dogs, especially chocolate.  Know the signs of chocolate poisoning – excessive drooling, urination, pupil dilation, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and diarrhea, hyperactivity, muscle tremors and seizures.
  3. Costumes for dogs – If you must dress your dog up for this event, consider his comfort.  Make sure the material is breathable and fire-retardant.  Ensure that your dog’s vision is not impaired noting that dog’s peripheral vision far exceeds ours and is required to know what’s going on around him.  Make sure he can move around comfortably with no tripping hazards or other loose material that can easily get caught in fences, doors, bushes etc..  Better yet, leave the costumes for inside photo-ops only (thank you Kelso for your beautiful rendition of “One Love”)!
  4. Be aware that your dog is going to find Halloween confusing with faces covered, large hats, many people at the door at one time, screaming children on the street, extra pedestrian traffic, loud & unusual noises outside and likely extra garbage on the street during and after.  Know your dog’s behaviour and reactivity and watch it closely.  Make your dog as comfortable as possible.
  5. Opt for battery operated candles or keep any open flame away from a potentially wagging tail or other furry body part.  Not to mention the possibility of your furry friend knocking over a burning candle that could cause a fire.
  6. Don’t walk your dog while you trick or treat with the kids or during the peak of the night.  You may be setting yourself and your dog up for some unwanted behaviour. See #4.
  7. Don’t leave your dog in the car!  Halloween is an unusual night with many ‘spooks’, noises, people who are not a usual occurrence.  Leaving your dog in the car on this night may cause undue stress and anxiety that wouldn’t normally exist.
  8. Don’t leave your dog in the yard.  The unfortunate reality is that Halloween is often a night of pranks.  Left unattended, your dog may be the victim of excess or unwanted teasing or other more unpleasant pranks that could lead to an unwanted situation.
  9. Can I see some ID?  Make sure your dog is wearing his ID just in case an unwanted escape occurs.
  10. Have fun and don’t ignore your dog!  Use this as a perfect training opportunity for new or young dogs!  Regularly and frequently reward wanted and positive behaviour.

Have a Hound Howling Halloween!!