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Checklist for Hiring a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

 

 

If you are thinking about hiring a pet sitter or dog walker, you want to make sure you find the best person. Sometimes the hardest part when hiring the right pet sitter is know what questions to ask! So we made you a nice printable checklist with all of the important questions. Once you have these answers you will be in a much better situation to decide on a pet sitter for your fur kids!

Download a Printable Checklist Now!

Cute Pet Pictures

 

We have the cutest clients! Every day our sitters send tons of pictures and video of their furry friends to their parents while they are away. We like to share these on social media and here on our website (with client permission of course). We love showing off our friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See WAY MORE Cute Pet Pictures (we had too many for this page)

5 Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Dog

 

Is your dog your Valentine this year? How can you show your dog some love, other than belly rubs? Here are some Valentine’s Day gifts for your dog!

Spa Package 

Every dog loves getting pampered (and us humans love a less smelly dog). Check out Animal House Rescue and Grooming for dog grooming and nail trims. Want to pamper your dog at home? Try giving him a doggie massage. Start with a flat palm and run your hand over all parts of your dog’s body. Move in one swift motion over your dog’s sides and back with light pressure. The first few massages will help you figure out what normal feels like for your dog. After this you can feel spots on your dog that are swollen or need some extra loving.

Toys and Bones 

Most dogs love new toys and bones. Check out your local pet store for cool Valentine’s Day toys for the dog. For the more destructive dogs, try Kong indestructible toys. For the dog who loves to chew, check out antler chews, which are dropped deer antlers. Be sure to pick bones or toys that are not a choking hazard to your dog.

valentine's

 

Treats 

 

Every dog loves treats! Check out our previous article on Valentine’s Day dog treats or check your local pet store for dog treats. Also,most local pet boutiques have a bakery and sell special Valentine’s Day cookies.

Winter Clothing 

In February it can be a little chilly for outside fun with your dog, but with some winter weather gear your dog can play outside. Check out a winter coat or some winter boots as Valentine’s Day gifts for your dog. The coat will help keep your dog warm on winter walks and boots will help keep his paws ice ball free.

Quality Time

Most dogs love spending time with their people and it can be the best gift you can give them. Try taking your dog to the dog park or on a long car ride.

With these gifts, you can make give a special gift to that special dog in your life. These Valentine’s Day gifts for your dog are sure to please.

Why Does My Dog Not Like Walking In The Rain?

 

My three year old loves playing in the rain and jumping in puddles. But do you know who doesn’t love being in the rain? Our dog Rigsby. He hates going out in the rain, even to potty; that means taking a walk in the rain is absolutely out of the question.

So, why do so many dogs hate walking in the rain? We’ve compiled a few reasons why and ways to help get them out during rainy days.

 

  • Pelted Coats & Soggy Paws

Sometimes the reason is as simple as your dog doesn’t like the damp outdoors. Dogs coats are very sensitive. If you notice a dog getting rained on you can see their fur twitching, which has to be pretty annoying for them. Same goes for your dog’s paws. I mean, do you like walking on the wet ground in bare feet? I didn’t think so. Between the rain on their backs and the water on the ground, walking in the rain can be a pretty miserable experience for your dog.

 

  • Thunderstorm Phobias

A lot of times rain mean thunder and lightning. Animals have the knack for sensing storms before we even know they are coming. When dogs with storm phobias sense the change in the air and barometric pressure, the anxiety starts to creep up. A dog with storm phobia shouldn’t be forced to go outside because it may make it worse. Some dogs have a natural predisposition to have anxiety, others have had traumatic experiences with loud noises. But for the most part, there is no telling why your dog has thunderstorm phobias. All you can do is work with them and help them through it. 

 

  • How You Can Help

Rain happens and sometimes for days at a time. Your dog will still need to get out and use the potty at some point. Luckily there are some great products out there to help your dog through the distaste and fear of the rain.

Doggy Anti-Anxiety Stress Reducing Jacket 

Image from Amazon

Help your dog stay calm with this stress-reducing jacket. Similar to swaddling a baby, this jacket helps comfort your dog when they are feeling anxious.

Storm Stress Relaxing Drops for Dogs

 

Stress from storms, hurricanes or even strong wind can be reduced with these drops.

 

Dog Boots 

Keep their paws dry during the storm and even in the snow with these cute little dog boots.

Transparent Umbrella with Leash

Avoid the pelting rain with this cute leash umbrella combo. Perfect for the rainy and snowy days.

 

Waking in the rain doesn’t have to be a terrible experience for you and your dog. With a better understanding and a few good tools, there is sunshine at the end of the storm!

How to Catch a Loose Dog

 

It is every dog owners worse fear: your best friend has gotten loose and is running away from you at breakneck speed. You see him rounding the corner and no matter how much you yell he is not coming back or even slowing down. So what do you do to catch a loose dog?

A note: I write this article as if it were your dog that is loose. Truth is, this applies to any dog you come across in your travels. It seems to be the more you like dogs the more likely you are to come across a stray dog!

Know the Motivation

First off you need to understand what is motivating your dog. There are two main possibilities:

  1. Your dog is frightened out of his mind
  2. Your dog is having a grand time being free
  3. A combination of the two

Be familiar with dog body language so you can judge which is the case. It will make a huge difference when deciding which approach to use.

The Don’ts

  • Whether your dog is fearful or having fun, do not yell at your dog in a stern voice. If you are going to call your dog, use the happiest, highest pitch voice you can muster.
  • Do not chase the dog.  Running towards a dog is a threatening move and will startle any animal. If you are moving towards a dog, do so in a casual manner and turn your body slightly sideways so you do not face the dog head on.

The Fearful Dog

Something has frightened your dog and his brain is no longer working like normal. Everything seems threatening and he is looking for a place to be safe. Safety here is key! When deciding how to approach your dog consider how he is going to perceive it and take the least threatening action.

  • If possible, I repeat, do not chase your dog. You want to get just close enough for him to recognize you but not close enough to drive him away. Fearful dogs are very attuned to anything moving towards them and will be more inclined to run away as soon as he sees you. When you approach twist your body to the side or even walk backwards. Consider kneeling but be careful not to lean forward if possible as that is a threatening movement.
  • When possible try to guide your dog to a contained area like a fenced yard or an alleyway. A contained dog is much easier to catch but you want to be careful that the dog is not panicked enough to bite. use caution and get help when possible.
  • If you get close enough to your dog for him to recognize you, lay down on the ground and call his name in a happy tone. The shorter you are the less threatening you seem and a person laying on the ground piques the curiosity of most dogs. You have to do this quickly before your dog turns to run away.
  • “Wanna go for a car ride?” This phrase inspires most of the canine community to race headlong for the nearest vehicle. I have caught more stray dogs this way than any other! The key is to get the car close enough and to get out of the way. Open a door and move to the other side of the car while calling out phrases like “Car ride? Let’s go!” Sometimes it even helps to open both of the back doors so the dog does not feel as trapped. Then close them both quickly if the dog gets inside. I have even had luck driving up next to a dog and opening the driver’s side door to have the dog jump into my lap.

The I-Am-Having-a-Great-Time Dog

  • You definitely do not want to chase this dog as that just makes running more fun. “Look, Mom, we are both running! Let’s keep going all afternoon!” The key here is to be much more fun that whatever your dog is exploring. Get close enough to your dog to get his attention then call his name in a super excited voice. Next, run the opposite direction. Yes, the opposite direction. Dogs love nothing more than to chase things, especially their best friend. Run away from your dog while calling their name and often they will chase right after you and be so happy that you came out to play with them.
  • If the chase game does not immediately work then try out the car trick. What is more fun than a car ride?
  • If you are following the dog on foot try getting another dog to join you for a fun time. Or if your dog stops to say hi to another dog on a walk ask the person to grab your dog for you. A dog having fun will often visit with other people and dogs, even though he will not come to you.

If These Do Not Work

  • If all of these options fail you can also try using treats to bribe a dog closer or rent a trap from your local humane society. Both of these options take much longer and tend to be best used if your dog is loose in a quiet area.
  • Try calling other people to help corral your dog, even if that means following along behind for awhile to keep track of him.
  • Do not give up hope! Eventually, something will go your way.

Once You Catch Your Dog

  • Above all else, once you catch your dog you want to praise him and tell him what a great dog he is. If he gets away again you do not want him to avoid you because you yelled at him.
  • Use this as a reminder to work on your recall command!
  • Be happy that you were around when your dog got loose so that you were able to track him down.

 

Why Does My Dog Not Like New Year’s Eve?

If you are asking yourself this question, then you’ve probably had a traumatizing experience with Fido while watching the Times Square ball drop at midnight. If you’re like most people, New Year’s Eve is a night filled with lots of family, friends, fun, and noise. LOTS of noise. Though the noise may not bother you, your dog’s hearing is four times better than yours. Their natural instinct is to RUN.

One minute you’re cuddling with Fido and the next he is nowhere to be found. He most likely ran outside or hid under the bed, searching for a secure place to hide. While you’re frantically running around looking for your precious pooch, you get a knock on the door from your neighbor saying they found him wandering in their front yard. You think to yourself, “I’m so lucky I found you”.

If you can relate to this scenario, your dog most likely does not like New Year’s Eve.

A few reasons your dog doesn’t like New Year’s Eve

  • Decorations

See those streamers, balloons and party hats? They may be fun for you, but for Fido? Not so much. He may be scared and not recognize you. This may lead to a change in behavior and his reactivity to you. If he shows signs of fear, take the hat off and reassure your pup that everything will be okay.

  • Loud Noises

Noise makers, cheering and laughter are all part of the New Year’s Eve festivities. These are all scary noises for Fido. You may find him trembling and whining in fear. Ask your guests to bring the noise down a notch, and put your dog in a separate room with the TV or radio on.

  • Crowds

Is it your turn to host the annual New Year’s Eve party? Whether you are hosting a huge party, or it’s a group of your closest friends, these people are getting in your dog’s personal space. Large crowds are scary and Fido may react adversely. If your dog is not a social creature, spare him the anxiety and put him in a separate room.

  • Fireworks

Are your neighbors the type to set off fireworks in the middle of the street and make a huge commotion? If you answered yes, this may be why Fido is shaking uncontrollably while you “ooh” and “ah” at the light show. Fireworks are some of the scariest, loudest noises for dogs. Turn up the TV and keep your furry friend in a secure kennel or bedroom. If you have the opportunity to, try to stroke his back while you reassuringly hold him.

The reasons mentioned above may just be the tip of the iceberg to why your dog does not like New Year’s Eve. Just remember, while you’re excited and ready to ring in the New Year, keep your furry friend in mind!

 

The Best Holiday Gifts For Dogs

Pets are a huge part of every pet parent’s life, so it makes sense to include them on holidays. But finding gifts for your dog that they will like can be challenging. Here is a list of gift ideas for every dog in your life.

For the dog who loves fetch

A favorite gift for Fido is the traditional tennis ball. Many dogs love tennis balls more than any other toy, and as a bonus, they are pretty inexpensive. Buy your dog a set of 3 balls and have a game of fetch in the yard or park. These are sure to be a great gift for the dog who loves fetch.

If you have a dog who likes to shred or break tennis balls, there are some really cool, hardy tennis balls on the market. Check out the Chuckit! brand balls or Kong brand balls for a more durable ball. Both of these are available online and at most pet stores.

For the dog who likes toys

There are so many cool toys available for your pup to play with. You can find toys specifically for what you need. There are waterproof toys, toys that float, durable toys, squeaker toys and many more. Try and pick one for what you want to do with it, like a floating toy for fetch at the lake.

Feeling crafty? There are lots of easy DIY toys you can make at home. One of my favorites is the fleece or t-shirt braided toy.

  • Fleece or t-shirt Braided Toy
  • Supplies: Old t-shirt or fleece, scissors, 2 rubber bands
  1. Start by cutting your fleece or t-shirt into 3 equal length and width strips. Make the width about 2 inches wide. Make the strips about 6 inches longer than you want the toy to be. Cut shorter strips for smaller dogs, and longer strips for larger dogs.
  2. Begin by placing the first rubber band 3 inches down your strip. Tie the rubber band tight.
  3. Begin braiding the strips together until you reach 3 inches from the bottom.
  4. Tie a rubber band at the end of your braid.
  5. Tie a large, tight knot at both ends of your braid.
  6. Cut the rubber band out of the knot using scissors.
  7. Give the toy to your dog to enjoy!

For the smarty pants

Dogs need to keep their minds active to stay out of trouble, here are some toys to trick your dog into using his brain.  Check out Kong toys, which let you hide treats or peanut butter in the toy. These are very durable and most dogs love them. Another great option is puzzle toys. These are available at most major pet stores. These toys allow you to hide treats in the toy; your dog has to move pieces around in order to get the treats. Check out Outward Hound’s puzzle toys for some cool gifts for Fido.

You can also DIY some puzzle toys from items you have at home. Check out our previous blog post “Reduce, Reuse, Ruff-cycle” for some great DIY toy ideas.

For the fashionable dog

Some dogs love to be up on the latest trends.  Every dog needs a cool collar or harnesses this season. Check out local pet stores for a new collar or harness.  Be sure to pick one that fits securely on your dog. Make sure the collar is not too heavy or likely to get caught on things. If you are a Fort Collins local, check local boutique pet stores for awesome CSU collars.

For the dog who has everything

Spending time with you is the best gift you could give to your dog. A great gift for any dog is going out for a special walk or hike. If your dog is not a huge fan of walking, try giving extra belly rubs as a gift.

These gifts are sure to be perfect for all the dogs in your life! Let us know what toys you give your dog this holiday season.


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What Can My Cat Eat On Thanksgiving?

 

Thanksgiving is an exciting time of year for pet parents and their pets. They get to meet new people and possibly beg for some tasty turkey. Many pet parents (me included) want to share some of the wonderful food with our kitties, but this is not always a good idea. This blog will include what you can share with your kitty and some yummy treats so that your kitty can participate in the festivities.Thanksgiving

What can you share with your cat? 

Cats can eat a very diverse diet including meat, fish, some fruit and vegetables. However, their diet cannot include processed human food, foods high in sugar or foods with extra salt or seasonings.

1. Green Beans

A few green beans, fed occasionally is actually good for fluffy, but these aren’t the green beans in your green bean casserole. Keep your kitty’s green beans simple by steaming them until soft. Before cooking cut the green beans into small, 1/2 inch chunks.  For a special treat mix in some chunk tuna or wet food. Feed these as a treat or with your cat’s meal for a special Thanksgiving treat.

2. Baked Squash and Carrots 

Again, fed in moderation squash and carrots are good for your kitty. Make sure the squash are carrots are fully cooked before feeding it, as undercooked veggies are indigestible for your cat. Some people like to bake the squash at 350 degrees until soft, but you can also steam them (again until soft). Make sure you do not add any oil or seasoning to these vegetables. The fully cooked squash and carrots can be served mashed up or cut up in small, 1/2 inch chunks.

3. Turkey 

Cats can join in on this aspect of Thanksgiving fun. Make your kitty his or her own special turkey or set some meat aside. Cats cannot handle the seasoning or baste you put on your turkey, so simply bake the turkey in the oven, plain. Bake the turkey until fully cooked, raw turkey can make your kitty sick. Make sure you choose lower fat portions of the turkey and remove any bones before feeding. Cut the turkey up into small chunks or shreds. This can be feed as a treat for a few meals, like on Thanksgiving day. Turkey can be high in calories so feed only a small amount.

 


Special Thanksgiving Treats

Want to make your kitty something special for the holiday, try out these treat recipes special for cats.

Tuna Yum Yums

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat milk
  • 1/2 can of tuna
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or fish oil
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Optional: a teaspoon of catnip, mint or parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  2. Mash or cut the tuna into small pieces, mix in the flour and milk
  3. Pour in water and vegetable oil, then mix well
  4. In a separate dish, beat the egg
  5. Mix the beaten egg into the tuna mix
  6. Mix well, until the mix becomes dough like
  7. Shape the dough into small balls, about the size of blueberries and place on the baking sheet
  8. Cook the dough for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Stick a toothpick in to check that the treat is fully cooked
  9. Cool for an hour before feeding to your kitty and make sure not to over indulge them.

 


Kitty Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tuna or salmon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/2 can of your cat’s favorite food
  • 1 teaspoon of dry cat food or treats

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a bowl
  2. Pour into a Tupperware or small casserole dish
  3. Top with dry food or treats
  4. Serve a small amount to your kitty

Feed this casserole in moderation, 1-2 tablespoons per day. Store in a closed container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

 

While most foods on the Thanksgiving table are off limits for your cat, these treats and tips can help make the holiday special for your cat. Let us know how your cat likes these treats by commenting on our Facebook page or commenting below!

 

Halloween Candy Safety For Dogs

 

What’s one of the first things to come to mind when you think of Halloween? Chances are, you’re thinking “CANDY!!!”.  Sugary treats are a definite favorite during this spook-tacular season. But there are some Halloween dangers that can also play not-so-sweet tricks on your pet’s health. Be sure to keep Fido and Fluffy away from the following items in your kid’s candy bag:

Bite-sized Hard Candy

Halloween candy

These sweet treats can pose a major choking hazard for your precious pet. Hard candy becomes slick when mixed with saliva, making it easy to be inhaled into the windpipe. Keep these tempting treats away from Fido and Fluffy!

Candy with Wrappers

 When pets get their paws on Halloween treats, they gobble them down, wrapper and all. Plastic and foil wrappers, when ingested, can cause an obstruction in the intestines and irritate the lining of the GI tract. Sometimes they can be passed without any issue, but it’s best to keep all wrapped treats away from your candy craving cat or canine.

Chocolate Covered Raisins

 These tasty treats may be a favorite amongst pet parents and their kids, but they combine two potentially deadly ingredients for dogs. When ingested, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and seizures, while raisins can trigger kidney failure. If your dog gets his paws on this delicious yet dangerous treat, take him to your veterinarian immediately!

Candy Corn and Other High Sugar Candies

 Sugar may have you and your kids climbing the walls, but it will only bring your pet down, causing painful and severe gas. What’s worse is that the sugar provides an excellent source of food for bad gut bacteria to dine on. This can pull water into the colon, causing an extra-messy case of diarrhea for Fluffy or Fido.

Sugar-free Candy and Gum

 Most sugar-free treats these days contain a sugar-substitute called Xylitol. While safe for people, Xylitol can be deadly if ingested by your canine companion. It causes a severe drop in blood sugar within minutes after ingestion, making dogs lethargic, unable to walk, and may cause seizure activity. Sadly if this happens, but they survive the initial symptoms, often the dog will be left with severe liver damage and potentially fatal liver failure, making this the most dangerous type of Halloween “treat” for dogs.

 

Calls to the veterinarians at the Pet Poison Helpline increase by 12 percent during the week of Halloween, making it the call center’s busiest time of year. If you suspect your pet has ingested something poisonous, call your veterinarian or the Helpline (1-800-213-6680) sooner rather than later. It’s always easier, less expensive, and safer for your pet to be treated earlier, versus when he’s showing severe symptoms of distress or poisoning from Halloween candy.

 

How to Keep Your Dog Busy When the Kids Go Back to School

 

It’s been a nice long summer of cuddles in the morning and playing in the afternoon. The home has been bustling with activity while the kids are out of school. And typically, most of our dogs love all of the extra attention they get during this time. That’s why it can be hard for them to adjust when it’s time for the kids to go back to school.

back to schoolGet them a few new toys dog

Help your dog get over the school day slump with new activities to keep them occupied.

  • Puzzle toys are great at keeping dog’s entertained. Not only do they challenge their brains for a reward, they also stay busy for a while as well. After playing with it, they feel satisfied from play and getting a treat
  • Dog chews will help save your shoes and furniture if your dog is really feeling the back to school blues. Often our dogs find themselves chewing when they are stressed or bored. Giving them new chews can help them ease their anxiety and boredom.
  • Tug Poles are a fun way to interact with your dog. They look similar to the familiar cat fishing pole toy, but a little tougher and more durable. Take some time each to hop it around and play with your dog to put back some fun in their day.
  • Ball launchers are also a great way to keep your dog busy when the kids go back to school. Whether it’s automatic or the chuck-it launcher, dogs love playing ball.

 

Tire them out with exercise

You won’t have to worry about your dog being bored if they are too pooped to play. Wear them out a good walk or a vigorous play session before you leave or have to start your chores. They’ll happily nap for a little while, then you can get your daily tasks completed without them begging for attention.

Turn on TV or Radio

It can get too quiet during the day, especially being used to a busy household. Help your dog through the quiet times by having the TV or radio play on low when you’re not at home. If you’re going to be gone a lot of the day, set a time so it cuts on or off as needed. They may not like it on all day, but a little ambient noise can go a long way.

Hire a dog walker

Another great way to keep your dog busy during the quiet days of the school season is by hiring a dog walker. They’ll come check on your pet, give them some TLC and a good walk. This will give them much needed attention and exercise, helping them settled down for a little while until you and the kids return home.

 

Changes in our routines and missing loved ones that are usually there can be stressful for our dogs. That’s why it good to put a little extra effort into keeping them busy during the transition. And don’t forget to call us for dog walking and pet sitting services! We’d love to help keep your dog company when the kids go back to school.