Archive for Pet Care
No one likes to leave a beloved family member behind when they leave the house. For decades the only choice pet owners had to care for their animals during a vacation was a boarding kennel or cattery. Now there are also professional pet sitters to provide care and companionship. What’s the difference?
Routine. We all get a bit cranky when our daily routine gets thrown out of whack. Animals are no different. A pet sitter will provide feeding, exercise and bathroom breaks on the schedule you have set up for your pet. At a kennel these needs are met on their schedule.
Reduce Stress. Keeping a regular schedule and same diet is especially important for any pet especially a puppy or kitten.
Same Environment. Staying in the familiar home environment will also reduce any stress on your pet during your absence. And who doesn’t prefer sleeping in his or her own bed – or couch, as your dog prefers?
Personal Attention. Even the best-staffed boarding kennels cannot deliver the same one-on-one attention as a pet sitter provides your dog or cat. A pet sitter will also be equipped to better handle special needs. At TLC House & Pet Sitting we can also stay with your pet through the night.
Multiple Pets. According to statistics from the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association half of all pet owners keep both cats and dogs in the house. Throw in fish and birds and reptiles and you have a menagerie that no boarding facility can handle.
Diseases. The close living quarters of a kennel promotes the spread of contagious diseases. You may not want to expose your pet, especially vulnerable young animals, to these conditions. Or you may not want to give your dog the vaccinations that some facilities require.
Communication. There is no substitute for Peace of Mind when you are away from your pet. At TLC lines are always open to your pet sitter with voicemail, texting and daily notes.
Other Services. During a home visit a pet sitter can gather mail, water plants and generally keep your house looking “lived-in” while you are away.
In-Home Pet Care, Dog Walking
Your plans are set. In a just a few weeks time you’ll be off on a 10-day vacation to see the family. Or perhaps you have splurged on a luxurious cruise. You spent a bundle and the last thing you feel like doing is shelling out more to hire a professional pet sitter. Surely getting the neighborhood teenager to check in once in a while will do the trick.
Wrong! Leaving your pet and your home in the hands of someone you who is less than reliable could not only be dangerous for your pet, it can leave your house vulnerable to all sorts of accidents. Below you’ll find seven reasons why a professional pet sitter is the way to go:
- Alternative Pet Care. A professional pet sitter does more than feed your animal. He or she will make sure it gets the exercise it needs on a daily basis. They also are skilled to give your pet any medication should the need arise. It’s important that they stay on their own diet. This is for the health and safety of your pet.
- Tailored Services to Your Needs. Each pet and each home is unique. With TLC House and Pet Sitting Service you receive individualized care geared towards you and your pet’s needs. TLC pet sitters will tailor our services to you and your pet’s personal needs. We can combine any services for your needs and our pet sitters follow your specific home and pet care instructions.
- Convenience. You never have to deal with transporting your pet. With the combination of home care and pet sitting services in one, you take care of two big chores at the same time. Two things less to worry about.
- Safety. You want to be sure your loved one will be kept safe. If, by chance, your pet should fall ill or have an accident, a pet sitter doesn’t hesitate to take your animal to the clinic or ER. We have your information already set up with your vet when you fill out our vet release form.
- Quality, Personal Care. Just like people, pets get lonely. A good pet sitter comes in and actually pays attention to your animal. That’s what they are paid for! You’ll come home to a happier animal as a result. Your animal almost feels like you never left!
- You Work Long Hours. Some pets just don’t do well left alone for long periods at a time. If you have a demanding job that requires you to work well into the evening, then getting a professional pet sitter will ensure your pet gets the exercise and attention it needs.
- Keeping Your Pet Healthy. They say in their own home and are not over exposed to unnecessary vacantions. This eliminates exposure to illnesses from other animals
- Familiar environment. Sleeping in a strange place, in a new bed or cage can be stressful for an animal. Hiring a pet sitter ensures your pet’s routine remains nearly the same. It gets to stay in the home it knows and loves.
- You Want to Keep Your Friends. Even the best of friends get tired of looking after your animal each time you leave town. And the more you ask, the more irritating it becomes. After awhile they won’t be putting much effort into the task. Best to leave the job to the professionals.
- Peace of Mind. You want to enjoy your vacation, not worry about the safety of your pet or if your house has been broken into. A pet sitter will collect your mail, change the lights, and make the place look lived in. At TLC House and Pet Sitting Service our staff follows your specific house and pet care instructions, to the T. You come back to a home that appears to be lived while you were away.
So taking the time to find a trustworthy pet sitter will do more than keep your pet and home safe, it will give you peace of mind so you can enjoy your time away. If you work long hours or just take an occasional vacation, then getting a professional pet sitter ensures you return home to a healthy and happy pet.
In-Home Pet Care, Dog Walking
Pet Care Certification Credential
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), the nation’s leading nonprofit professional pet sitting organization, is pleased to announce Kara Jenkins of TLC House & Pet Sitting Service in Chandler, AZ, has earned the NAPPS Certification credential.
The NAPPS Certification Program provides pet sitters with a broad-ranged and in-depth program in pet sitting. The state-of-the-art curriculum, which requires the time commitment of a semester college course, includes topics in pet care, health, nutrition and behavior, as well as, business development and management, and a complete pet first aid course.
TLC is a professional pet sitting service that cares for all types of pets in your home while you are away. We offer Daily, Mid-day walks, and overnight visits and promise to “treat” your pets as if you never left. We provide service in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert and west Mesa. TLC is recommended by veterinarians and groomers and we are Licensed, bonded and insured. TLC has over 20 years of experience and our mission is to provide qualified, experienced, trusted and personalized care to our clients offering them peace-of-mind while they are away from home. We are the best “Alternative to Boarding.”
“I’m very proud to be among the select group of professional pet sitters who have earned the NAPPS Certification credential,” said Kara Jenkins, owner.
“NAPPS Certification acknowledges that the pet sitter is a serious professional who has obtained a very high level of expertise through personal study,” said Cathe Delaney, CAE, executive director of NAPPS. “We congratulate Kara Jenkins for achieving this distinction.”
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) is a national nonprofit trade association dedicated to promoting the concept of in-home pet care, supporting the professionals engaged in at-home pet care, promoting the welfare of animals and improving and expanding the industry of pet sitting. NAPPS provides valuable credibility, networking and education to help foster the success of their members. For more information about the NAPPS Online Certification Program, please visit www.petsitters.org.
After pet sitting for a beautiful Conure with chronic sinusitis in Gilbert, AZ, I wondered about the warning signs for disease in birds. I thought this information would be helpful for all bird owners.
Warning Signs of Illness in Birds
- Any abnormal behavior
- Lack of appetite
- Overgrown talons/ nails
- Dull eyes
- Feathers puffed, dull, or bare areas
- Asymmetrical wings
- Droppings accumulating on feathers or feat
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing
- Abnormal growths or enlargements
Birds do not typically display symptoms of their illnesses at first. In many instances, their symptoms only become obvious when they are very ill. That is why it is important for bird owners to know their birds’ normal behaviors and keep a close eye out for any subtle changes. If symptoms persist, bird owners should consult with their veterinarians immediately. If you would like a professional sitter to care for your birds you can call TLC House & Pet Sitting Service.
Pet Sitting for Birds and Other Pets
Keep it simple. Cats’ nutritional needs are basic. They are:
- Protein from meat, fish, or poultry
- Taurine, an essential amino acid
- Certain other vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
Variety is helpful for several reasons:
- To ensure that your cat is not receiving too much or too little of any particular vitamin or mineral
- To prevent boredom with the same old food, and discourage eating
- To prevent food allergies (although rare) from developing over time
- To keep your cat from becoming a finicky eater
What to look for in a cat food brand:
- Compliance with AAFCO’s requirements for “Complete and Balanced”
- Protien source like: “chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef,” rather than ”meat”
- Protien source should be the first listed ingredient, especially on canned food
- Check the expiration date for freshness
What to avoid:
- Words such as “By-products,” “meat and/or bone meal,” “animal digest,” most other descriptions including “digest” or added sugars
- Chemical preservatives, including BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate
- Corn meal as a filler
- Excess of carbohydrate “fillers” (dry food can contain as much as 50 percent grain)
For more information please visit, About.com
In-Home Pet Care
Dog Walking Tips
One of my clients in the Gilbert area asked me to help her newly adopted dog adjust to her new home as well as learn some better dog walking techniques. This sweet-hearted dog loves to go on walks, but has had little training. All of those bad little dog walking habits can be easily corrected with a little practice. I thought I would share a few helpful dog walking tips that I shared with my client.
Problem: Pulling on the Leash
- Use a harness rather than a collar around the neck or a martingale collar.
- Bring in all of the slack on the leash, where the dog walks side-by-side with you. The dog will be more likely to yield to your directions.
- Repeat the same verbal commands and gestures (like gently redirecting your pet back to your side and saying “heel”).
- Treat your dog when he has completed his task
Problem: Running in Circles Before Putting on the Leash
- Establish a routine of walking your dog at the same time every day, so there is less surprise and excitement when you get the leash out.
- When you get the leash out, say the command “sit”.
- Wait for your dog to calm down and sit before attaching the leash.
- Treat your dog when he has completed his task
Problem: Begging to Go For a Walk
- Take your pet on a walk at the same time every day. As your pet becomes familiar with the routine, he will be less likely to ask for walks at other times of the day.
Problem: Unfriendly Encounters with Other Pets
- Be cautious when introducing your pet to another unfamiliar pet while on your walk. Your pet may be friendly, but you never know how other pets may react. Always be cautious and introduce your pet to other animals slowly.
The key to having an enjoyable experience while walking your dog, is to maintain consistency in your dog walking routine, techniques, and verbal commands.
Dog Walking, Pet Sitting
Scottsdale Family Prepares for a New Puppy
Puppy Preparedness Tips for Scottsdale AZ
- Family Puppy Meeting: who will feed the puppy and when, who will take the puppy out to potty and when, and who will take the little guy to the vet for vaccinations and deworming. Another topic for discussion was an agreement on the language that the family will use to teach the puppy.
- Puppy Shopping: puppy food, food/water bowls, bedding, collar, leash, tags, crate, chew toys, and grooming supplies.
- Puppy-proofing a Scottsdale home: taping loose electrical cords to baseboards, putting poisonous chemicals out-of-reach, de-cluttering items within puppy’s reach, and putting up gates or a crate.
- In the beginning: keep the same food brand and feeding schedule, then switched to a different food brand incrementally after about a week.
- Maintaining a puppy routine: eating, sleeping, going potty, play time, time with the family and time alone helped their puppy to adapt to the new environment.
The arrival of a new puppy brought such delight to one Scottsdale AZ family’s home and preparing for the event helped the puppy and Scottsdale family to feel comfortable right away.
Dog Care, Walking & Pet Sitting
Cat Feeding Recommendations
The general public, scientists and veterinarians have recommended for years to feed cats like dogs; free choice dry food or meals of dry with some wet. Finally after years of this misaligned thinking, food standards for cats have changed. To understand why our standards have changed, we must understand cats.
Cats are “obligate” carnivores which means they depend on nutrients solely from animal flesh for their survival. They are hunters of meat and would eat small rodents and birds multiple times daily if they were not domesticated. A cat’s stomach is designed for these small frequent meals. Cats get their water from the animals they eat and do not drink much in the wild. They also lack specific digestive enzymes which make them less able to digest and absorb energy from carbohydrates compared to proteins. Due to these facts, we recommend a canned grain free diet with protein as the number one ingredient and that they should eat many small meals throughout the day. Cats can eat dry food, but should get most of their water from wet food rather than drinking.
Our recommendations for feeding cats are as follows:
Feed small frequent meals throughout the day.
Ideally 3+ meals of a GRAIN-FREE canned food.
If it is not possible to do only canned food multiple times throughout the day,
then we recommend keeping a dry grain free food out for your cat at all times.
This allows them to have so they snacks or small meals along with their 2 canned meals a day.
In order for cats to get enough essential fatty acids in their diet
we recommend feeding them 1 can of wild caught canned salmon per week
OR supplementing their diet with pure DHA
(omega 3 fatty acids—we carry a couple of quality products here).
posted: December 02, 2011 by: McClintock Animal Care Center
For pet owners, a crate may offer several benefits such as: aiding with house training (as dogs do not like to soil the area where they sleep), limiting their pets’ access to the rest of the house, and as a safe way to travel. However, for a dog, a crate is much more. Dogs are instinctively den animals. Their crates serve as their “den.” Dogs prefer using their crates as a safe place to sleep or take refuge, just as they would use a den to do so in the wild.
It is important for owners to foster that sense of security that a dog feels about their crate rather than creating a mood of feeling trapped or frustrated. Some common mistakes that would cause a dog to experience anxiety while crating them would be: to use a crate as punishment, to leave a dog in their crate for too long without getting human interaction or exercise, confining puppies in crates for longer than 3 hours (which is too long for a puppy to be expected to hold his or her bladder).
Picking the Right Crate for Your Pet
A crate should be the right size for your dog, which would allow your dog to stand up and turn around comfortably. A crate that is too large may be more difficult to use while house training a dog, since the dog may have room to potty in one corner and sleep in another. Some options for puppy owners are: renting a smaller crate from a local animal shelter until their puppy is full grown, and then purchase a crate that is the right size for their full grown dog or simply blocking off the excess crate area while the puppy is small.
Crate Training Tips
Crate training should only take days or weeks depending on each individual dog. Owners should make sure that the process is a positive one for the dog and that they are going at the dog’s pace and not forcing it. Here are some simple steps to make the process go smoothly:
- 1. Introduce the dog to their new crate- Place the crate in an area where the dog is comfortable and make the crate a relaxing get-away by placing a blanket, towel, toys, and/or treats inside. The dog will become naturally curious about the crate and want to check it out.
- 2. Feed near the crate- A dog will begin to develop a positive association between the crate and meal times, if fed nearby the crate.
- 3. Start with short intervals- Owners should first crate their pets for short periods of time while still home, to get them used to the idea.
- 4. Crate when leaving home- Once the dog has shown that he/she can be crated for longer and longer intervals without anxiety, then they are ready to be crated while the owner leaves home. Owners can use a command and/or treat routinely to prompt their dogs to enter the crate.
- 5. Crating through the night- At first, owners should place the crate near their bedrooms, so their pets can feel secure that they are close to their owners while still crated. Puppies and older pets should be let out to potty even during the night, as their bladders are not capable of holding through the entire night. The owner can then incrementally move the crate further and further away from the bedroom, once the pet has become accustomed to sleeping in the crate overnight.
Although crate training does offer many benefits to both owners and pets, owners should be aware of some side-effects along the way. While crate training, puppies especially, may whine or cry. Although it is important to make sure that you are not reinforcing the whining behavior by letting the dog out of the crate prematurely, it is also important to give the pet plenty of opportunities to potty. One way to do so would be to have potty breaks at specific times so the pet has a routine, and knows to expect a potty break at a certain time rather than whenever he/she whines. Another possible side-effect is separation anxiety, which may be managed through consulting with a professional animal-behavior specialist. If a pet is displaying signs of hurting himself/herself while attempting to escape the crate or of being especially destructive, please seek help for your pet in order to overcome their separation anxiety.
Information obtained from Human Society 8/17/11. For more information on this topic and many others, please visit their website at: www.humanesociety.org
Both our cats, are our children and one of them is a “special needs”. We’ve always had friends come over and take care of them, but we did nothing but worry all the time, because no one can take care of them like we do. Well, then we met Dawn…she is fantastic! Dawn always leaves us notes on her time with them and they are quite entertaining to say the least! We don’t worry one bit when she is with them and they just LOVE LOVE LOVE her! They actually look forward to us taking out our suitcases, because they know they are going to be spoiled while we are away! She spends lots of time playing & snuggling with them and of course spoils them rotten! When we get home, they are always excited to tell us all about their time with Aunty Dawn and how well they behaved!!! We can’t thank Dawn enough; for all that she does for & with them!
John & Leigh 5/2011 Mesa