If you can’t mow your lawn without your dog barking crazily, it’s safe to say that your

dog hates your lawn mower. The question is, what can you do about it?

Most dogs have a relationship with lawn mowers that consists of both fear and

fascination. Because dogs are not normally encouraged to go near lawn mowers, their

lack of familiarity breeds a fear of what they are and why they’re making the noise of a

jet engine in the backyard. And because lawn mowers are noisy beasts that seem to

steal their owners’ attention, dogs can be fascinated by them and they often want in on

the action.

The good news is that before you have to surrender to your neighbours that you don’t

know how to manage your dog’s behaviour, there are at least five things you can try

next time your lawn needs a mow:

1. Introduce Your Dog To Your Lawn Mower

Many dog owners have reported success in ‘introducing’ their dog to their lawn mower,

rather than keeping the two at a distance. Try taking your dog out to your (switched off)

mower, letting her sniff and touch the mower, rewarding her with treats for her courage,

and maybe even rewarding her with something even better if she actually eats her

treats off the mower. She’s not likely to hang around once the mower starts, but the

process of familiarising her with the lawn mower before it starts up, can usually help.

2. Buy a Quieter Lawn Mower

Did you know that some lawn mowers are up to 65% quieter than their competitors?

Surfing the Internet for lawn mower reviews can let you know which brands claim to be

the quietest. Or visiting in-store displays and testing mowers with a sound level app on

your smartphone can even better demonstrate noise levels first-hand.

So, the quieter the mower, the quieter the dog? Potentially, but there’s no guarantee

because each dog has its own unique personality. But even if a quieter mower does not

make a difference to your dog’s behaviour, it might just make the lawn mowing

experience more pleasant for both your ears and those of your neighbours.

 3. Spray Your Lawn Mower with Citronella

Citronella oil is an essential oil that comes from the leaves and stems of lemongrass. It

is used widely for soap, candles, incense, perfumery, insect repellant and more. As a

spray, citronella oil is also used to calm barking dogs and deter pets from destroying

household items.

If you’re a little skeptical, take a look at this video with Doctor Harry, who visits the home

of Bruce the bulldog. Bruce hates the lawn mower - even when it’s not turned on - and

barks so aggressively that his owners always struggle to mow the lawn. Enter Doctor

Harry with his magic citronella spray. A few quick squirts on the lawn mower and Bruce

doesn’t want to come anywhere near the mower anymore. Genius!

4. Hire a Lawn Mowing Service

If you hate your lawn mower as much as your dog does, why not just hire a lawn

mowing service? That way, you and your buddy can leave home completely and go

enjoy some company at the local dog park, rather than worry about the hassle of trying

to mow your lawn with your unhappy best friend. With just a few taps on your phone,

instant pricing and automatic payments, hiring a local lawn mowing guy has never been


4. Keep Your Dog Inside

If all else fails, you can always resort to keeping your companion inside. The noisy part

of the lawn mowing chore should only take about 30 minutes, so whilst this solution is

not ideal, it might just do the trick when you don’t have any other options. If you have an

aggressive barker, some owners suggest playing classical music or your dog’s favourite

tune to try to distract your dog from the noise of the lawn mower.

And anything that helps might be worth a try, right?


Andrea Martins is the co-founder of GreenSocks - an online marketplace for lawn

mowing services. Check them out at greensocks.com.au!

As pet carers, we know that adult dogs need different kinds of pet care compared to puppies. Exercise and feeding regimens, obviously, change as your dog ages but remember to consider that your dog may also need different stimulation and socialisation as an adult. Tailoring pet care to the age of your pet is important to keep your dog confident, happy, alert and occupied.
As your dog becomes an adult, you'll need to adjust your pet care

Continue Spending Quality Time With Your Dog And Avoid Punishing Him For Little Mistakes

As your dog ages, their family tends to lavish less attention on them. Dogs feel sad when their family ignores them or don’t set aside quality time for walk and play. When this happens, they act up by displaying negative behaviors. This includes chewing, digging, barking incessantly, and roaming. These adult dogs are not behaving badly on purpose. They’re seeking attention as well as reverting back to entertaining natural canine behaviours. Dogs can’t tell you how they feel or what they want, but they communicate with behaviours. If you notice your dog showing negative behaviours, try to spend more time with them. Consider engaging a dogsitter or dog walker to keep your dog company during the day or leave stimulating pet care toys around the house when you’re out.

If Your Dog Misbehaves, Figure Out Why

Learn to love your pet unconditionally and when he misbehaves, try to figure out why your dog is misbehaving. Remember that he is an adult now and is probably very well behaved most, if not all, of the time. Like children, dogs will act out when they’re unhappy. Something may be causing your dog to act out so if you can find the cause and deal with it, the misbehaving can usually be curbed.

Keep Socialising Your Dog

Sometimes as our dogs get mature, we tend to not take them out as much as we did when they were puppies. As puppies, we all know it is a vital aspect of pet care to socialise our dogs when they’re young, but as adults, dogs tend to spend more time lounging around the house and watching TV than visiting dog parks and participating in dog walking groups. However, to keep your dog social and happy, try to take him out whenever possible to meet people and other dogs even as an adult.

As your dog ages, we at PetHomeStay believe pet care should be adjusted to keep your dog happy and healthy. When your adult dog does misbehave, try to find the root cause of their bad behaviour rather than merely punishing them, as this produces better outcomes for your dog. Lastly, make sure you’re still dog walking on a regular basis and socialising your dog with people and other dogs. Even though he’s not a high-maintenance puppy anymore, your dog still deserves lots of your love and attention!

Do you need an ABN or pay tax in the Sharing Economy?  This post discusses the 20th May ATO Tax ruling on the Sharing Economy, as regards to GST, pet sitters inside PetHomeStay, our platform itself, and pet sitters and guests obligations.

Tax & GST Can be Confusing to People in the Sharing Economy!

The Australian Taxation Office issued guidelines yesterday on the treatment of GST as it relates to the Sharing Economy, in particular mentioning Uber & Airbnb.

NB - This is our take on how it affects Hosts on the PetHomeStay platform - we are not lawyers/accountants and the usual disclaimers apply! Or if you are a lawyer, let us know your view and we can tell our community!

In issuing the guidance, it should be noted that the ATO is not actually making any new laws, it is just reinforcing existing laws and applying them to specific new use cases. (New laws are being discussed by both sides of the political divide around the sharing economy, led by Andrew Leigh of Labour, and the ATO itself as part of the wider taxation of digital goods and services on overseas entities).

What's all the fuss?
The big hoo-ha statement was that the ATO have clarified that Uber is (for now) classified as a taxi service. Taxi Services are specifically named as being exempt from the $75k GST-free earnings threshold (more on that later), and so drivers have to pay GST on the first dollar they earn. And if drivers have to pay GST, they have to be registered for an ABN.

How do these guidelines affect pet sitting in particular?

Let's start at the top.

In Australia, if you receive any income from providing a good or a service, you are running an 'enterprise' (whether you have a business name, website, brand, ABN or not). This is as opposed to a 'hobby'.

(This is also important because this definition fundamentally affects insurances - your own personal insurance such as Home & Contents do not generally cover you if you are running an enterprise from home. That's why PetHomeStay has our unique Insurance specifically for Hosts!)

All your hard earned income (whether via PetHomeStay, Airbnb, Ebay profits or other peer to peer sites) will always need to be declared to the ATO and taxed according to normal income tax rules.

So nothing has changed from an overall income & declaration perspective at all.

What about GST?
Under current rules, there is a $75k threshold for an individual's enterprise earnings before registering for GST is required.

This includes all of your sharing economy activities combined together, not just earnings on PetHomeStay. So if you also do Airbnb rentals, it is the total of all these (and any other income generating investments).

The most prolific sitters on PetHomeStay will probably earn around $20k per year, if they are looking after multiple pets for every day of the year.

Once Bookings are complete, PetHomeStay pays GST on our 15% service fees to the ATO (we are proudly Australian unlike some other pet sitting websites).

Check out this example verbatim from the ATO website:-

Doing odd jobs
Karen is retired but she is an experienced gardener and people often ask her for advice about their gardens and have offered to pay her for her assistance.
A friend shows Karen a website where people ask for advice on garden care and will pay for the advice. Karen signs up, starts providing advice and getting paid. Over the course of a year she is paid about $10,000 for her advice.
While Karen might have an enterprise in providing garden advice, the amount she received is under the $75,000 threshold and so she is not required to register for GST.
The $10,000 is part of Karen's income and she includes it in her tax return along with other income from her investments. She can also claim a deduction for the fees that the facilitator charged her.

Can I claim deductions on the PetHomeStay Service Charges?
Yes! You can claim a deduction on the service charges that PetHomeStay has applied to your Host Payout.

Do I need an ABN?
It is not mandatory to have an ABN for PetHomeStay, however if you want to claim GST back you will need to have one for your own personal use.

Do I need a tax file number?

Chances are you have one already. People need one of these to work in Australia, provide a tax return, and claim any deductions. PetHomeStay doesn't need to see your tax file number as we are an agent for you, not your employer.
Hang out with me whenever you can. I'm only here while my owners are away on vacation so spend lots of time with me.

Introduce me to your neighbour's dogs!

Give me lots of #freecuddles!

Take me to the vet if I'm listless or behaving differently. I might be ill, or have an upset tummy.

Bring me to the park to see my friends.

Soothe me when I miss my family. It's hard being away from home sometimes.
Considering that leash training one dog is already quite challenging, is there any way you can ever walk two dogs at the same time? Especially two large breeds? Even those feisty toy breeds can be a monumental challenge to control together! If you’re a pet sitter watching multiple dogs, dog walking can become a nightmare if you don’t know how to walk your petsitting charges at the same time!

How do you walk a whole pack of dogs?

You Can Do It If The Dogs Get Along Well.

First though, pet sitters should make sure dogs are individually leash trained. Two dogs and two leashes can quickly become a tangled mess, not to mention a trip hazard for the dog walker on the pavement. When each dog is individually walking reliably on a loose leash, they can then be trained to walk together. This reduces dog walking time for pet sitters.

Dog walking with two pooches can be accomplished in more than one way. You can continue using separate leashes, which allows the dogs more freedom to sniff and move about. Or, you can train them on a coupler, which is two short leads that snap to each collar, with a ring in the middle that attaches the two leads to one leash.

Using a coupler is usually easier for the petsitter, but some dogs dislike couplers because being connected restricts their independent movement. Pet sitters must also ensure that the smallest of the pair doesn't just get dragged along by the larger dog when they decide to investigate a tree or a mailbox.

Introduce a coupler slowly, with short, initial walks of a few metres. As the dogs become used to the feel of being connected, gradually lengthen your walks.

The same is true when using two separate leashes. Start by walking for a short distance to make sure they remember their leash manners and understand that the rules still apply to them as a pair. Make sure you teach them some basic commands, such as “sit” and “wait” individually and together before going dog walking.

Petsitters often notice some interesting developments upon walking two dogs at the same time. The “you must be talking to that other dog” syndrome is common. Even the most obedient dog may ignore commands when being walked with another dog.

Even well-mannered dogs may compete with each other, suddenly pulling on the lead to try and reach that interesting smell first. The best way for a dog walker to respond is to stop dead in your tracks as soon as the leash goes taut.

Remember too that this can be a physical challenge - two dogs can be very strong and not everyone can handle them without being pulled along! This is especially true for larger, stronger dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors and Rottweilers. When you're petsitting, it may be best to avoid walking dogs together until you know they get along well together. Additionally, if you don't have the strength to hang on two strong dogs, it might be safer to stick to dog walking one at a time. At PetHomeStay, we don't recommend hosting more than 2 dogs at a time, because it can become messy trying to walk them at the same time!