Business Profile: Hopkinton’s dog whisperer, Carroll earns trust for pet care

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Experience matters when it comes to the care of pets, and Barbara Carroll of Dog Hikes & Cat Care is an expert. Having grown up around animals of all kinds, Carroll has an innate ability to connect with them and understands their nature.

“I pride myself in developing a great rapport with each pet and its owner,” Carroll stated. “I believe in positive reinforcement and consistency and expect pet owners to follow through on both.”

Carroll finds that most families underestimate the amount of exercise their dog needs to stay healthy and well balanced. Corgis and border collies may be favorite breeds for some, but these animals are naturally herders. According to Carroll, that translates into at least two stimulating exercise workouts a day of two hours each, either walking, hiking or swimming.

When Carroll picks up a dog, she promises a full 90-minute hike, typically in Hopkinton State Park, where she and the dog cover all types of terrain. She sends along pictures and videos while a pet is under her care. This swift-moving exercise regime occurs during most weather, including Nor’easters, but not in thunder and lightning storms. Carroll figures she averages about 185 miles of hiking a month.

Barbara Carroll
Barbara Carroll is known around town as the dog whisperer. Her passion is helping pets and their owners to be happy and successful.

As important as exercise is for an animal, hygiene is equally vital. Carroll recommends owners clean and refresh water and food bowls regularly throughout the day. When a cat uses its litter box, bacteria can get on its whiskers and transfer to an eating surface. Litter boxes should be cleaned regularly, too.

Carroll values owners who schedule regular checkups for their pets. It’s not easy to know if an animal needs medical attention, especially an older pet. She recommends a veterinarian visit twice a year to ensure a pet’s optimum health.

Dr. Betina Shakespeare hired Carroll to work with her 2-year-old golden retriever, Tuckerman. Despite his lovable disposition as a puppy, Tuckerman displayed signs of food aggression that further developed into resource guarding around other dogs. Early on, the family “invested time and money in training methods only to find transient improvement in his behavior which would quickly revert back.” Then Shakespeare hired Carroll.

“On day one, we were extremely impressed by Barbara’s ability to take control over Tuckerman’s food aggression,” Dr. Shakespeare noted. “She provided us with strict guidelines around his feeding, walking and playtime.”

Carroll continues to work with Tuckerman weekly and has even taught him to share toys and treats with other dogs.

“Thanks to Barbara, Tuckerman is more lovable than ever. He is a gentle giant that is well-behaved at home, during meals, walks and playtime with other dogs,” Shakespeare added.

Carroll offers the option to call, text or videoconference regarding an animal’s unwanted behavior. She’s available from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and wants to help owners and their pets be successful.

For a detailed description of services, visit doghikescatcare.com. Barbara Carroll may be reached at 508-361-4409 or doghikescatcare@gmail.com.

Business Profiles are advertising features designed to provide information and background about Hopkinton Independent advertisers.

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