Posts

Will I Have the Same Pet Sitter My Entire Trip?

 

 

When you’re away from home for more than a few days you may wonder, will my pet always have the same pet sitter? And we have the answers for you!

For the most part, the answer is YES. You will have the same pet sitter the entire time.

If you’re booking us for a vacation or long trip, we will match you with a pet sitter that is available your entire trip. We’ll make sure that you have the best sitter for your household and your pets so you won’t have to worry while you’re away.

What if there is an emergency?

In case your usual sitter has an emergency then a manager will step in and take care of your pets. That’s on of the best things about hiring a professional pet sitter. No matter what happens, broken down cars, sickness, or any other emergency, your pet(s) needs will be met.

Regular Sitting Clients

We will try our hardest to have your usual sitter cover your entire trip. However, sometimes schedules don’t always align and your usual pet sitter may not be available. If that is the case we will match you with someone else that either do the entire time or split it up between two sitters.

Dog Walking Clients

Depending on the frequency of your dog walks, you may or may not have the same pet sitter the entire time. If you’re an occasional dog walking client then yes, you will have the same walker while you’re away. However, if you have more frequent walks, then we usually split your walks up between two walkers.

Will I Get to Meet the New Sitters or Walkers?

YES! We want you to feel as comfortable as possible. That’s why whenever a new sitter or walker is introduced you will have a chance to meet them. In fact, we will set up a free meet and greet opportunity so that your new sitter can meet you and your pets before you leave. You will always be notified of any changes.

Wet Noses Pet Sitting is always here for you to give you extra peace of mind.  You don’t need to worry about your pets during your vacation. After all, vacations are meant for relaxation, right?!

Contact us today to book your sitting and walking services for your vacation.

 

 

Is There a Charge to Meet My Pet Sitter?

 

When you are getting started with a new professional pet sitting company, you want to be sure you are comfortable with the person who will be working in your home. We want you to be comfortable as well! When first getting started with Wet Noses Pet Sitting, we will answer all of your questions via phone and email. We work our hardest to make sure you understand the process of working with us, that we have an understanding of the care needed for your pets and that we have scheduled visits that are going to make your pets happy while you are gone.

Setting up your meeting

After we have set up your first appointment, we will pair you with a sitter whose schedule and experience matches your household. About a week before your first visit, your sitter will contact you to set up a meeting time. We intentionally have sitters meet with you just before you leave so that all of the details are fresh in their minds. In addition, there is a higher likelihood that your pets will remember your sitter if they have met recently. This helps to make your pets more comfortable with a new person coming into their home for the first time.

Charges

We believe this introductory meeting is necessary and there is no charge for the meeting! In the occasion that you need more than one meeting then we will charge for any additional meetings. This can happen if you have a dog that is particularly shy or uncomfortable with strangers.

Shy dogs

Unlike some professional pet sitting companies, we do accept dogs that sometimes need a little more care, and thus a few more meetings. How many meetings will depend upon you and your dog and we can discuss this before setting up your first meeting with your sitter.

Future sitters

We attempt to keep you with your same sitter whenever possible, but if you are with us long enough then you will eventually have a new sitter. Anytime we change sitters we will offer up a new meeting at no charge. On some occasions clients chose to forego these meetings, but that is up to you.

 

We feel it is vitally important for you to feel comfortable with your sitter and do not feel that your should pay for this meeting. We hope you will join our family soon!

How Do You Handle Dog Confrontations?

 

We walk a lot of dogs that are not friendly towards other dogs, you never know if the dog coming your way is going to be kind. The fact is that many dogs go to dog daycare, unless they do not get along with the other dogs there, in which case we end up walking them.

Wet Noses Pet Sitters also walk a lot of dogs that are super friendly and would love to play with every dog we encounter. We still never know how the other dog is going to react or how the two will get along. It is our primary responsibility to keep our charge safe so we have a very strict rule:

Whenever possible we do not allow our client’s dogs to associate with other dogs. Period.

So what do we do when you spot another dog coming that is off leash?

First we evaluate the situation to see how concerned we should be. Is our dog friendly with other dogs? Does the approaching dog look friendly? Is the owner of the other dog present? If the answer to any of these is no then we are starting to look at options to prevent the dogs from coming into contact.

From here we are going to assume that we feel the need to stop this encounter because we believe it will result in a dog fight. So what now?

We bring our dog in close to us and we yell at the other dog at the top of our lungs.

“No! No! Go Home! Get Away!” We make ourselves look big and threatening and really “unfun” to be around. Hopefully the dog decides to go another way.

Call for the owner of the other dog if you can spot them.

We yell “My dog hates other dogs! My dog bites!” This will encourage even the most lazy or unconcerned dog owner to try to collect their dog. It does not matter if my dog is the biggest teddy bear and would not hurt a fly.

If the dog keeps coming then the next step depends on our dog.

For little dogs, this is the time to just scoop up the dog and move away. If our dog is big and friendly then we try to shuffle away from the other dog, keeping ourselves between them. If our dog is big and not dog friendly then putting ourselves between the dogs can put us in danger.

When these two dogs are bound to meet and there is nothing we can do about it then we loosen the leash, or drop it if needed, and put on our most friendly voice.

“Hello sweet puppies, don’t you both want to be the best of friends?” A happy voice goes a long way to diffusing a situation. So why loosen the leash? Most of dog communication is done via body language and if I am tugging on the leash I am making my dog more tense and messing up their communication. No need for a dog fight because of a miscommunication. Worst case scenario there is a fight and I do not want my dog to be impeded by a leash. The truth is many dog fights end with just a scuffle and no actual damage, even if it sounds terrible.

If there is a dog fight we do our best to safely break it up.

We do not reach into a fight as that is the best way to get bit. We use items to put in between them or if the fight is one sided we distract the aggressor. Breaking up a dog fight is a blog in and of itself!

Thankfully we very rarely end up with a fight on our hands. Usually by going through the first few steps we manage to avoid any problems. If a problem does arise we are prepared and know exactly what to do!

Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day

 

 

When we think of Valentine’s day, we think of a day of love that is filled with chocolate and flowers. And there is no reason not to include your canine companion with these dog treats for Valentine’s Day. After all, they have a piece of your heart too.

Remember to always keep your dogs away from candy, but making them there own special dog-friendly treats is a great way to include them.  Check out these easy to make recipes for your dog this year!

 

Heart Shapped Pup-cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots or chopped broccoli
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • Cream cheese as frosting
  • Strawberry (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit  and grease your cupcake pan with butter or vegetable oil
  2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl
  3. Add the oil, peanut butter, and honey to the flour mixture
  4. Add the buttermilk in a small amount at a time and mix
  5. Add in the carrots or broccoli
  6. Place the mixture into the cupcake pan and bake until a toothpick can be cleanly removed from the cupcake
  7. Let the cupcakes cool for 20 minutes and remove them from the pan
  8. After the cupcakes are cooled mix up your frosting

For frosting:

  1. Apply softened cream cheese to ice the cupcake
  2. Optional: cut up strawberries and mix them into the cream cheese
  3. Spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cupcakes

No- Bake Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt (make sure there are no dog toxic ingredients like artificial sweeteners)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (dog safe)
  • 3 cups of rolled oats

Directions:

  1. Mix the yogurt and peanut butter to make a paste
  2. Add oats 1/4 a cup at a time and fully mix all the oats with the wet ingredients
  3. Scoop out tablespoon sized portions of the mixture and roll it into balls
  4. Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cool in the fridge for one hour

These treats can be stored for 7-9 days if kept in the refrigerator.


It’s true that many Valentine’s Day presents are chocolaty hazards to your dog. But, these delicious homemade treats are the perfect way to share the sweetness with your dog.

 

 

 

Fun Things to Do with Your Dog in the Snow

 

It may seem like winter weather has to limit you and your dog’s activities, but there are lots of fun activities for you and Fido when it’s snowing. Many dogs love playing in the snow so here are some activities to try.

Snowball Fights

Snowballs are a dog’s dream! They are edible balls that can be chased and caught. After a fresh snow, go outside with you dog and start throwing snowballs. Many dogs will try and catch them in their mouth, while others will simply chase the snowball. You can also try throwing a tennis ball or another brightly colored ball around the snow. Be sure to keep an eye on your ball or it will get lost in the snow.

Search and Rescue 

We have all heard about the amazing dogs that find and rescue people after avalanches, your dog can do (almost) the same thing. Start by burying your dog’s favorite toy or treats in the snow. The first few times let your dog watch you bury the object so that he gets the idea. Do not bury the toy too deep, just so it is barely covered by the snow. Then let your dog loose to find the the toy or treats. When your dog catches on to the game, bury the objects a little deeper in the snow.

Snowshoeing

When there is a lot of snow on the ground, snowshoeing with your dog is a fun activity for both of you. Leash your dog up and hit the trails. I would recommend using  a long leash (if in an open area) so that your dog is free to bound ahead or explore a bit more. Keep your eyes peeled for any wildlife or other hazards to your dog.

Sledding

There are many forms of sledding you can do with your dog. There is of course what we think of as dog sledding, seven dogs tied to a sled running through Alaska, and the more relaxed version you can do at home. For the less serious version of dog sledding find a small, lightweight sled and a harness for your dog. Attach a leash to the harness and the leash to the sled. Most dogs will not move on their own so I would bait your dog with food or get him to follow you. You can leave the sled empty or put a light child or object in the sled.

While winter is a great time to curl up next to the fireplace with your dog, it is also a fun time to get outside. Be sure to take proper precautions while playing outside. Do not stay outside for extended periods of time when it is very cold and keep your dog hydrated. 

 

 

 

How Do I know If It Is Too Cold to Walk My Dog?

 

Winter does not have to put a damper on you and your dog’s activities, but how do you know when it is too cold outside? There are a variety of factors that influence when it is too cold to walk your dogs, but here are some general guidelines.

Fur length

What type and length of fur your dog has can impact how tolerant to cold he is. Short haired or shaved dogs have less fur to protect them from the cold and wind, so they do not tolerate winter walks as well. For shorter haired dogs, do not walk them outside when the temperature is below freezing (32 degrees fahrenheit) without a coat or sweater.  Long and thick haired dogs are more tolerant to the cold. These dogs can handle walks outside in the cold, but these walks should be kept short.

Size and body condition

Small dogs tend to have a harder time adjusting to the cold. This is because they are closer to the ground and generally have short hair. These dogs should not be walked outside in temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, even with a sweater or coat. Larger dogs are higher off the ground and tend to have more healthy body fat compared to smaller dogs. This helps larger dogs be more tolerant to the cold. Body condition is also an important factor in determining how cold is too cold. Fat helps insulate the body and keep your dog warm. Many dogs, particularly hunting dogs, have fat under their skin. This is why labs can jump into freezing lakes. For this reason, dogs who are underweight should not be outside for extended periods of time in the cold.

Health conditions 

Many health conditions impact how your dog will react to the cold. Dogs with arthritis or dogs with hip dysplasia should only be walked for short periods of time when the temperature is below 40 degrees fahrenheit. The cold tends to exacerbate these conditions and will make your dog extra sore and grumpy. Other health conditions, like thyroid issues, affect your dog’s ability to regulate his body temperature. Dogs with these conditions should not be walked for long periods of time in the cold. Talk to your vet to see if any health conditions your dog has can be impacted by the cold.

 

There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding how cold is too cold to walk your dog. In general, use caution when the temperature is below freezing. Keep walks short and brisk to help prevent your dog from getting too cold. Always be aware of other winter weather dangers, such as ice and sidewalk salt. For more information on sidewalk salt, see our previous blog post.

Best Collar and Leash to Use for Walking

 

The long sunny and warm days of summer are always inviting. You may find yourself walking your dog more frequently and longer while the sunlight lingers long into the evening hours. Taking your dog for walks is not only healthy, it is a fun way to bond with your pup pal. However, the bonding and fun could be cut short if you’re busy fussing over the wrong sized leash and collar.

At the pet store, the huge aisle of leashes and collars can be pretty confusing. That’s why we have a great list for you to deter the best collar and least to use while walking your dog.

  • Collars & Harnesses:

 

Standard Flat Collar

A standard collar that works for most dogs. It’s important to continue to check the size of the collar as your dog grows or gains/loses weight. You should be able to slip two fingers under the collar comfortably. This is not the best choice for dogs with long or large necks like Greyhounds or Whippets.

Martingale

The Martingale collar adjusts itself when the dog pulls on the leash. It works great for dogs that tend to pull during walks. It tightens just enough that the dog won’t slip out, but doesn’t choke or harm their neck. These are perfect for dogs who tend to get excited by every sight (SQUIRREL!) and sound.

Harness

The harness is perfect for breeds that have pushed in faces Ppugs), trachea issues (Pomeranian), or long slender necks (Italian Greyhounds).  It avoids putting pressure on their necks allowing them to walk more freely. The main draw back is that harnesses can promote pulling in some dogs.

AVOID:

Choke collars and prong/prick collars

  • Leashes:

 

Standard Leash

What is great about the standard leash is that it is also a versatile leash. You can opt for nylon, leather, or chain and they all work about the same. The best thing to remember about this type of leash is to get the right size. If you have a small dog, then a smaller lighter leash will work better than a heavy one. For a dog that chews, try the chain leash. If you walk a lot around dusk or at night, get a nylon leash with a reflection element.

Retractable

Some walkers swear by the retractable leash because it allows the dog to roam freely. However, there are some draw backs. It offers little control, meaning your dog can dart off without much warning, ripping the handle right out of your hand. Even worse, they could get into trouble while on the leash. If there is a dangerous animal, like a snake, in a shrub you won’t be able to pull them back as effectively with a retractable leash.

Slip Lead

 

 

 

 

This is like the Martingale collar, but with a leash attached. It is great for training dogs to stand by your side while you’re walking. The slip allows for safe corrections while still enjoying your walk.

 

 

There are a lot of choices out there when deciding on the best collar and leash you need for your dog. We are always here to help sort out the details. Give us a call if you want to know the type of collar and leash we would recommend for your dog.

All Images Provided by Amazon.com

How to Keep Your Pet Safe in the Heat

 

August can be the hottest month of the year. To avoid heat stroke follow these tips and keep your pet safe during the dog days of summer.

Leave your dog at home if you’re running errands

Grabbing your keys can be an instant sign to your dog that it’s time for trip. It’s hard to say no to those pleading eyes, but for safety’s sake, leave them at home. Just a quick trip to the store can turn deadly for a dog left in the car.

As you can see, it does not take much for a car too hot. Even on cool days, it can quickly become dangerous. A simple delay in the store could be all it takes.

Limit exercise and outings on extremely hot days

You don’t have to be a hermit in the AC during the summer months, but it’s good to limit your dogs time outside. Some dogs can’t help but run and jump. When the temperature is rising, this could spell trouble and cause them to overheat. Taking care to limit the time they have in the sun will help stop overheating before it starts.

Avoid parks with a lot of asphalt

Enjoying a sunny day is great. When you take your dog out, avoid parks with tracks or lots of asphalt. Choose shady parks with dirt paths. The asphalt is hot and can easily burn their pads. You can also get some Dog Booties to protect their feet from hot roads and sand.

When you do go out bring plenty of water

Take a travel water bowl for your dog and plenty of water. To keep water cool on a hot day, fill up the bottle half way. Put the bottle on its side in the freezer. This will freeze the water on one side of the bottle, basically making a giant ice cube. Fill up the other side with water and you’ll have ice cold water for hours.

We are always here to help you if you need a pet sitter or dog walker during the day. Make sure to contact us! Your pets safety is our priority.

 

 

5 Ways to Decrease the Chances of Your Dog Being Hit by a Car

 

It can be the worst thing imaginable, but your dog getting hit by a car is a real possibility. This is especially true in the summer when activities are at their peak. So, what can you do to decrease the chances of your dog being hit by a car?

1. Get your dog spayed or neutered

Not only is spaying and neutering important for population control, it also helps keep your dog close to home. Once a dog reaches sexual maturity the likelihood of them trying to escape to seek out mates is greater. Studies have shown that sexual roaming can decrease almost 90% after your dog has been fixed.

2. Make sure you have your dog on the proper leash and collar during walks

If you have the wrong size collar or leash, it is possible that your dog could slip out or yank free from your grasp. It’s important you choose the right collar for your dog to make sure they stay safe.

3. Check fences for holes or weak spots

Summertime is notorious for storms and falling tree limbs can damage fences. Check your fence after storms for any damage that could allow your dog to escape. You never know when your dog may get spooked by a storm or fireworks and try to hightail it out of the yard.

4. Teach your dog safety commands

Teaching your dog commands like “come” or “stay” are the most important commands they need.  This can help avoid them running out of the door or across the street to catch a squirrel or rabbit.

5. Go over dog safety techniques with the whole family

Summer can be a busy time for your front door. With cookouts and the kid’s being out of school, it is likely that your home sees more guests than ever during the summer months. Make sure everyone in the home knows some basic safety tips, like “The Doggy Doorknob Rule.” That’s when all members of the family and guests make sure to check for the dog before turning the doorknob. This will help avoid them escaping when people are coming in and out.

 

Keeping our pets safe is a main priority and anything you can do to decrease the chances of your dog being hit by a car is key. Don’t forget to read our blog on How to Teach Your Dog to Cross the Street for even more safety tips to keep your dog safe while enjoy the sunny days of summer! 

 

Is Sidewalk Salt Bad for My Dog?

 

As the temperature drops and ice become more of a threat, homeowners will begin applying sidewalk salt to melt the ice. But is all sidewalk salt bad for your pets? While there are many pet-safe salt options, not all homeowners will use them. So what are the risks of sidewalk salt and how can you keep your pet safe.

Sidewalk ice salt is made of a variety of ingredients such as sodium chloride (table salt), magnesium chloride, or calcium chloride. While sodium chloride is safe for pets many of these other ingredients are not.

Possible risks of sidewalk salt

  1. Sidewalk salt is irritating to dog paws (and human skin)
  2. Sidewalk salt is poisonous when ingested and can cause kidney problems
  3. Sidewalk salt can irritate the respiratory tract when inhaled

So what can you do to reduce the risk to your dog?

  1. Try to avoid walking your dog in areas where unsafe salt may have been used
  2. Wipe your dog’s paws right away after each walk; this will prevent your dog from licking the salt off of his paws
  3. Do not allow your dog to lick water off the ground
  4. Walk your dog is winter booties (available at most pet stores)
  5. Use pet-safe ice melt (this is made of urea)

While sidewalk salt can be a winter risk, it shouldn’t prevent you and your dog from having an awesome walk.