July 21, 2010
Walking the dog just got more interesting! Instead of clipping the leash on and heading out the door, take a second to think about where you will be walking.
For a walk on the pavement or on a rocky hiking trail, dress your dog up with booties that will protect their paws. REI sells them as well as pet supply stores and even online! Booties are a great investment if you are dog walking in Scottsdale AZ!
For those bored and hyper dogs, give them a job! Make them work a little harder with a doggy packpack. I use Outward Hound, they come in all sizes. The best prices that I have seen so far are:
If you are walking on a dog training walk or if you have a dog that pulls, use a separate dog walking collar like a martingayle. This collar go on when you walk and comes off after.
And always make sure you bring plenty of water when you are walking dogs. For extra long hikes, bring them a light snack to keep their energy up.
July 20, 2010
Keeping dogs busy is a good way to keep them out of trouble!
I live by the “walk your dog daily” mantra, so after your long walk in the am,
you can prepare a toy for your dogs time alone.
There are common toys like Kongs, http://www.kongcompany.com/, that you can fill with anything that your dog can tolerate. You can freeze or put the filled kong in the fridge to solidify the mixture.
-banana yogurt mix
-peanut butter yougurt
-wet dog food
I opt for soft items for my dogs kong so there is no choking risk like there may be
if the kong is filled with hard kibble or treats.
There are kong treat balls(and other brand) that make your dog work for treats or kibbles as well
I also like marrow bones right from the butcher. Remember to always feed them raw. Never give your dog a cooked bone.
The ones sold at the pet supply stores are smoked and are not my favorite as they break too.
Nylabones are great too. I didnt think platic would be fun for dogs until my boxer ate my remote control. Then I realized
dogs like hard plastic.
I recommend bully sticks instead of rawhides. Bully sticks are all natural and highly digestible. Rawhides are not.
For those dogs that need extra mind stimulation, http://www.puplife.com/collections/puzzle-dog-toys
July 18, 2010
Cats are great little creatures that wiggle their way into your heart! I love all my cat clients! The cat pictures on this blog are some of my cat clients:)
As a Scottsdale pet sitter I have encountered cats of all personalities, from those that think they are dogs, to those that are athletes and play the entire visit to those that hide a lot.
From active to very low key; When you leave, your cats will miss you and will need love and attention while you are away.
And not to mention they will still need to be fed, brushed, watered and litter box cleaned every day.
Some people think their cats can go days without a sitter because “cats are easy”
But cats are also curious and get into things. You wont notice most of it because the sitter will clean it up. Things can happen from digging in house plants, nibbling leaves, scratching furniture knocking over things-that hopefully wont break.
Cats can get into things that will hurt them. They can get into places that they can’t get out of. They can lock themselves into rooms on accident. They can jump on a dresser drawer and knock
the entire thing over and hurt themselves. They can knock over their water, their food can get ant infested.
Cats can get pissy since they are lonely and fight each other, they can set off alarms, knock appliances on, chew wires etc. And they get a little nippy and cranky when they are alone for too long, so that makes the pet sitters job more dangerous. The only client that has bitten me was a cat! And it was a nice cat, just lonely and cranky because of that.
So even though a cat may not come out and be super social with a pet sitter, thats ok!
And many of the hiding cats come out of hiding once a sitter has been there long enough. I find that if I sit on the floor next to the hiding spot and talk to the cat, that after 1 or 2 visits, the cat comes out:)
Pet sitter will also keep an eye on how much the cat eats and drinks. If you just leave a huge pile of food and water, you dont know. And you need to know as appetite is a key insight to health of a pet. With cats its very important to make sure they are drinking enough water since if they dont they can get kidney and urinary problems.
Hiring a pet sitter every day will keep an eye on all of these things. A cat sitter will keep your cat happy and healthy!
July 17, 2010
An adaptation of a blog written by Danielle, owner of Bellas House and Pet Sitting servicing North Scottsdale, http://bellashouseandpets.com/
Rocco – is the office manager at Bella’s. He is a 13 wk old puppy as of July 5, 2010. We know puppies. Need I say more?
So you have decided to get a puppy! Its an exciting experience and a little overwhelming! As we all know, owning a puppy can be a lot of work.
They really are just like taking care of a new born baby! Time, patience and lots of love.
When I knew I was getting Rocco, a stray puppy born in the desert, I told my best friend I was going in “puppy labor”.
The best piece of advice for a new puppy owner, you will need a puppy sitter’s phone number in your cell phone. This is especially true if you want to be living in harmony with your new addition, and do NOT work from home,
Bella’s House & Pet Sitting’s presents you the top 6 reasons why you need a puppy sitter:
A) Professional pet sitters are trained to know what to advise you on regarding puppy care, what to look for in your new addition and can be an excellent go-to resource for your new adventure with your fur baby.
B) Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. If you have a Monday through Friday 9-5 p.m. job, you will need a professional pet sitter to help reinforce what you are teaching your puppy. If training is only reserved for the weekend you will have a problem dog on your hands. No one wants the problem dog! Sitters can potty and feed your puppy mid day also!
C) While you are hard at work, you don’t want to “feel bad” or worry about your puppy while you are at work all day. Not only can pet sitters help you take care of your puppy, but also peace-of- mind picture and text messages sent to you will let you know your puppy is ok!
D) Even though puppies sleep a lot, when they are awake they really need to get their energy out and exercise their bodies and minds. A tired puppy is a happy puppy and results in a happy owner! A professional pet sitter can help achieve this goal.
E) Potty training can stay consistent. Puppies can only hold their bladder one hour for each month of their age, plus 1. For example, a 2 month old pup can hold its bladder on max 3 hours. If your puppy has the ability to go #1 and #2 outside every two hours, they WILL get the idea that outside is potty place and that the inside is NOT the potty place.
F) Puppies who are left unattended and uncrated will eventually chew your house apart. Their teeth are coming in and they dont know whats theirs and what not. They just chew to relieve pain. As a home owner, you want your home to remain intact including couches. teething puppies do not know any better and they want to get their mouth on anything they can.
If you are looking to get a puppy… please adopt. Rescues around Phoenix are busting at the seams with puppies. If you need more help, please email Danielle or myself! petfinder.com is a great place to start.
July 15, 2010
Walking dogs in Scottsdale is something I do for a living. I have a few tips for you dog owners to help make your dog walk an enjoyable experience!
First, find a collar that works best for your dog. They should have their normal cotton/nylon/leather collar that they wear all the time. The one with their Maricopa County license(required by law) on it, http://www.maricopa.gov/Pets/License/Default.aspx
and their microchip tag, http://public.homeagain.com/ and their ID tag with their parents info on it, Simply Tagshttp://www.simplytags.com/
And then they should have their walking collar, I always recommend a martingale with a chain mini loop,EXAMPLE
or a GENTLE LEADER
Remember Arizona has a leash law, your dog must stay on leash while you are in public. They only exception is when you are at a designated dog park. And always pick up your dogs poop!
In the summer it is extremely important to walk your dog before the sun rises and after it sets. The sun can heat up the asphalt to levels that will burn your dogs pads.
if you must walk the dogs during the day, buy them dog boots to protect their pads. BOOTS
Stick to shady areas and grass is ideal. Even if its a short walk, bring water.
I always soak the dogs I walk during the day with cool water before our walks. We dont walk far, but they are dry when we are done.
There are plenty of games you can play inside to tire them out physically. There are
also training tricks you can do indoors with your dog to stimulate their mind.
And believe it or not, working their mind also makes them tired!
July 14, 2010
If you own a dog then you probably own a dog brush. If you don’t, then you know what to put on the shopping list.
Did you pick your brush because it was the one on sale?
All brushes are not created equal! The brush you pick should be the one that is best suited for your dogs hair type.
The exception to this rule is the furminator as they work on all hair types/lengths. I actually highly recommend you buy one as they reduce shedding a lot.
It is important to brush your dog at least once a week as it removes dead hair and spreads your dog essential skin oil which keeps your dogs hair shiny and soft.
If your dog is matted, take them to a groomer. Mats can be painful as they pull and pinch the dogs skin. Some collect moisture and then harbor bacteria which can cause skin infections. Yuck!
If your dog sheds a lot..look at the type of food it eats… corn/wheat and soy are bad for the coat. Corn especially. Get corn out of the diet and your dogs skin will be healthier, coat shinier and less shedding!
A quick rundown on brushes:
Slicker brush: great for long coats,dematting curly coats
Pin brush: curly, wiry, wavy and long hair
Bristle brush: Short coats
Porcupine brush: medium and long hair breeds
For a great groomer in Scottsdale, please visit Fetch Doggy store, www.fetchdoggiestore.com/
July 13, 2010
There are many pet services in Scottsdale. As a pet owner it may be overwhelming!
But as a pet owner, you have the power to interview
and research those that service your area. Look for a pet sitter that is insured and bonded. Having a pet CPR and first aid certificate is a bonus.
Do a web search for pet sitters in your area. Then read the online reviews.
Look for a pet sitter that is a professional and not a kid down the street looking to make “some extra cash”
Professional pet sitters do pet sitting full time, they don’t have another job to report to, no getting stuck at the office that will make then late to see your pets. Your pets are their number 1 priority.
Consultations are free, so if you think you have found a great match and then meet and
reconsider, there is no fee.
Pet sitters should be experts at pet care and should not only be able to watch your pets, but they
should be able to give you tips on toys and food. Tell you what vets, groomers, etc are great.
You wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic that can fix your car, but when you ask him whats wrong or
how to prevent it from happening again, he has no idea.
For example, I pet sit in Scottsdale and provide a blog for my clients, www.thedogcareexpert.com
I also have an interactive facebook page where they can post questions, share funny stories, photos, etc.,
Pet sitters know that personlities and pets need to mesh well since you are hiring a
pet sitter that will be helping you out long term. Its a relationship, so you need to trust and like who you hire.
July 12, 2010
I had to fly with my pug for the first time last week! I learned a lot and wanted to pass along the info!
If your pet is not used to a crate, get the carrier a week or so before and get them used to it. I’m lucky since I pet sit in Scottsdale and buddy comes with me alot, i sometimes have to crate him, so he is used to a crate. phew!
I am just going to go through the steps of traveling with your pets from my experience.
1) Make sure you really need to bring your dog along. If you are gone for a few day to a week and are going to be traveling when you get to your final destination and leaving rover at the hotel room or alone at a family members house….. leave him at his own home and hire a pet sitter like http://www.elitepetcare.com .yes, shameless plug.
Travel is stressful enough then to be alone in a strange hotel or house is scary and not nice for your dog.
But if your dog will be a part of your vacation then have at it!
2) Make sure your airline takes pets. Google “enter airline you want to look into” pet policy or “airline” in cabin pet policy. Some airlines count the pet as a carry-on. Lame!! I used Alaska and they don’t count them as a carry-on so I had Buddy, a small carry on suitcase and a camera bag.
3) Book your ticket. it may be a good idea to call before you book to make sure there is room for the pet. I called Alaska before I booked and she told me to book first, then call back so I had a confirmation for her…
4) Get your confirmation code and call the airline. They will make a note in the system that you are traveling with a pet.
Airlines only allow a certain number of in cabin pets, so if for some rare reason they are full on the flight you selected, they will help you change the flight for free.(at least Alaska)
5) You will need a health certificate to prove your pet is healthy enough to travel and UTD on vaccines.
In some cases, you have to travel within 10 days of the health certificate issue date. My vet made sure i was traveling within this time frame. Then the certificate is only good for 30 days.
6) Buy or borrow an airline approved pet carrier. The carrier needs to be lined with an adsorbent material. The pet industry makes fleece liners for these carriers which are perfect.
The pets will lay down the entire trip so even though it doesn’t look very comfortable, Buddy was fine. Especially since the mesh on the side of the carriers stretched to accommodate his buddha belly.
**pets need to be in the carriers when they are in the airport. I let buddy stick his head out and no one said anything.
7) Go to the airport and print your ticket at the kiosk if you have no bags to check in. At the kiosk you will be asked to pay for your pet for this leg of the trip. Probably would make more sense to just do it all at the customer service ticket counter, but the airport was empty and I was there 3 hrs ahead of time, so I was putzin around.
The fees will be about $100 each way.
I will sidenote here that Buddy had been walked in the am. went to a picnic in the afternoon and had another short walk before the airport. He was tired and ready to nap for the plane ride. Make sure your dog is tired and pottied out before you get to the airport.
Since I was at the airport at an off hour(saturday at 3:50 p.m. for a 6:50 flight) I had time to kill and I didn’t want buddy to be in his carrier longer then needed, so I asked for the pet area so he could potty and walk around.
It was by the smoking area so that blew, but i found a non smoky spot to sit and let buddy stretch. And he got lots of attention. He went potty, walked around and got some water.
9) Security check point. Pet has to come out of its carrier so the carrier can be scanned. You walk through the metal detector holding the pet. I took buddys harness off since the tags would set off the metal detector.
Then back in carrier.
10) I boarded the plane towards the end to keep buddy unshoved under the seat as long as possible.
Place the carrier under the seat with the zipper on top facing you so you can have access.
The carrier really didnt fit under the seat too well because of the life vests under the seats, so it stuck out by my feet. The flight attendants didnt say anything.
Buddy just slept the entire time. On take off I stuck my hand in his carrier to rub his neck and soothe him. I also put my finger in his mouth to make him yawn in case his ears weren’t poppin on their own. I did that every time my ears were effected, I figure his ears pressure is effected too right!
So traveling with a pet is pretty easy, but its EXPENSIVE!!