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Who Are The Best Pet Sitters In Mesa, AZ

There are a ton of pet sitters to choose from in Mesa, AZ.  Seems like there are more and more popping up every day.  But WHO is the BEST pet sitter in Mesa, AZ?

Well, that is a hard question to answer.  Mostly because we all do things a little different.  Some companies hire employees who have ultimate control over HOW their sitters perform the jobs, others sub contract the work to other sitters and some are solo sitters that don’t have any help at all.  So based off this criteria, all our business models differ quite a bit.  I’ve made it a point to get to know many of the pet sitters in my area so when there is a time that I’m not able to service someone I can refer them to someone else that I trust.

Critter Caretakers Pet Sitting is one company I refer to quite often.  We service slightly different areas, they are a little less expensive than we are, they sub contract their work to trustworthy sitters, but we offer a service they don’t…the Live in.  The owner of this company is very passionate about animals, works with rescues and has a background as a teacher, so she LOVES to teach her clients new tricks 🙂

Andrea’s Quality Pet Care is another company I refer to.  Andrea not only does in your home pet sitting but she also provides in her home boarding.  This is a great option for people who’s dog(s) need 24 hour care but can’t afford to have someone stay in their home.  Your pet gets to stay in a home environment rather than a boarding/kennel environment.

The 3rd company I refer to (and these are in no specific order) is Canine and Feline Concierge.  Not only does Vanessa provide in your home services she also has several people that work for her who provide in their home services for both dogs and cats.  She also provides concierge services for humans.

The three companies mentioned above have proven to me that they are trustworthy individuals who run professional companies.  They are all unique in their own way.  I have pretty high standards, so to be in my top 3 is impressive!

Pet Sitter Bum Rushed By Unleashed Dog

There is never a dull moment while pet sitting in Mesa, AZ.  We have a dog that we walk 3 times a week for the past 3 years.  Today was the first time we had ever been rushed by another dog.  Here is the scenario:

It’s hot, so I had the client’s dog swim in their pool for a good 10 minutes before we headed out for a short walk in the neighborhood.  We’ve been walking in this neighborhood, the same route, for about a year.  (Family moved since we started walking their dog).  Every time we walk, we walk by a house that has a large dog that barks at us through the window.  I never thought anything of it before…we just keep walking by and I keep my client’s dog attention away from the house so he doesn’t get all heated.

Today, however, proved to be a different experience.  As we walked by the house, we could hear the dog barking at us like normal.  But this time, the dog darted out the front door and rushed us.  As far as I could tell, the front door was open and the screen door was “closed”.  Or so we thought.  It seems that the screen door may not have been latched.  This dog was already heated when he darted out the front door at us.  He charged my client’s dog…I tried my best to stay composed and tell the other dog “No.”  I yelled at the dog and pulled my client’s dog away…trying to keep the other dog from sinking his teeth into my client’s dog.  Thankfully, the pet owner’s were home and the male came out running out of the house to get his dog.  By this time the two dogs were heavily mouthing each other and the unleashed dog would not back down.  As the pet owner tried unsuccessfully to grab his dog, I loudly said, “Grab his back legs, grab his back legs, grab his back legs.”  The owner finally was able to grab his dogs back legs and pull him to the ground long enough for us to walk out of sight.  I would have kept going, but I lost my shoes and sunglasses in the tussle.

As I waited for the owners to get their dog safely into their house I checked my client’s dog over to make sure there was no damage and assess the situation.  Thankfully, my client’s dog was not hurt.  The other dog owner grabbed my shoes and sunglasses, apologized profusely and said his dog has never done anything like that before, he is normally such a sweet friendly dog.  It’s clear that when his dog (or any dog)  is already heated he is a different dog.

We continued on a very short walk (mostly so I could calm down before taking him home), then went home to tell mom and dad what had happened.  I think I was more shook up than my client’s dog.

Moral of the story…please keep your dog secure at all times.  If anything had happened to my client’s dog, the burden would have fallen on the unleashed dog owner because he did not have his dog under control.

I am fine…my client’s dog is fine…the other dog is fine (as far as I know).  I will, however, no longer walk by that house again.

Do You Charge the Same for Cats and Dogs?

This is a question we get asked a lot.  I’m not sure if it’s because cat owners feel like their pets are more self sufficient and don’t require as much attention as a dog or don’t think pet sitters stay as long with cat clients as they do with dog clients.  Play Time Pet Care charges the same for cats as we do for dogs.  It isn’t about the amount of time we spend with our clients.  We place just as much value in our cat clients as we do our dog clients.

Sometimes a prospective client will call and say, “You just need to come in and give them food and clean out the litter box.  That’s it.  He’s really easy.”  That’s just not how Play Time Pet Care works.  We NEVER just go in, provide food and clean up the pet waste.  Even if a furry client is distant or doesn’t want to play, we spend time with that pet, allowing them the time to become comfortable with us.  Hopefully we will get to the point that they want to be touched and loved by us…that’s our goal.

So when prospective clients look for a discount because they “just have a cat”, they may want to call another company.  We will not compromise our integrity and high level of service because “it’s just a cat.”

What do you think?  Should a family with cats only get a discount on services?  Or should they pay just as much as a family with dogs? 

 

 

 

Employee’s vs. IC’s

Clients often ask us if our pet sitters are employees of the company or independent contractors.  Why would that be important?  There is a huge difference in companies that have employees vs. independent contractors.  This may be important for some people for many reasons.

1.  Looking for consistency when different sitters are caring for your pets.

2.  Workman’s compensation covers injuries while on the job.

3.  The company has control over HOW the jobs are done and WHEN the jobs are completed.

4.  The company can train employees.

5.  The company has control over WHO is caring for your pets.

When a pet sitting company hires employees they are legally able to train them to perform jobs in a certain way so all the clients receive the same level of service.  When companies hire independent contractors they have no control over how the job is being done and can’t train them to provide a certain level of service.  They also have control over who is actually caring for your pets.  Did you know that when you hire a company that hires independent contractors, if that person is not available to do the job, they can offer that job to ANYONE.  The company has no control over WHO is actually caring for your pets.

When a company hires employees they are legally required to have a workman’s compensation plan in place to cover their employees if they get hurt on the job.  Did you know that companies that hire independent contractors aren’t allowed to provide workman’s compensation?  If an independent contractor gets hurt on the job, they could go after the pet parent for compensation.

If something goes wrong….you only have ONE person to work with on resolving the issue.  When you work with a company with independent contractors you have the company AND the independent contractor to deal with.

Hiring a company that has employees will save you headaches and hassle in the long run and you’ll ultimately be happier.

Pet Sitter Gets “Kids” Ready for School

It’s that time of year again.  When the kids are getting ready for school and we keep getting busier and busier which in turn may make Fido’s activity diminish.  What happens to Fido when you get too busy for his now normal daily routine?  You may notice some depression or a change in behavior.

Jenna Trethewey, Owner of Play Time Pet Care says, “Pets tend to become isolated and it’s important to engage your pets in a daily routine just like the kids.  It helps dogs and cats everywhere.”  Here are some tips on keeping your pets on a normal routine:

  1. Be sure to include your pet in the new school supply shopping.  Purchase some extra special dog toys that they ONLY get when you leave the house.  Then pick them back up when you are home so they get the sense that they are going to get something special when you aren’t there.

  2. Consistent activity will deepen your bond and allow your pet to relieve any pent up energy they may have from being home alone all day.  We suggest allowing your dog to walk with you to the bus stop.  Or engage in nightly walks to help Fido remain active.

  3. When you eat, your pets eat.  Keeping your pet’s on a normal eating routine will alleviate the question of whether Fido of Fluffy ate breakfast or dinner and possibly feeding them too much which could lead to obesity.

  4. Make sure they have regular potty breaks.  Getting them on a potty break routine prior to school starting will help alleviate any worries mom and dad may have about coming home to a messy carpet.

Contact Play Time Pet Care for more information on how to help your pet’s get ready for school.  www.PlayTimePetCare.com / 480-292-9735

Looking for the BEST pet friendly patios in Gilbert?

Patios aren’t as easy to come by in Gilbert, AZ as you might think.  Then to find a good pet friendly patio in Gilbert is even harder.  I continue to scour the Gilbert area for a great place to enjoy food, tasty beverages and a warm welcoming to my dog.  Just because a restaurant has a patio, doesn’t mean they are pet friendly.  Then, some restaurants are pet friendly, but have teeny tiny patios and it’s just not comfortable to bring your dog.

In my research, I have found a couple of places with patios or gardens that are great to bring your dog to.

Joe’s Farm Grill

Joe’s Farm Grill is unique in that they use all ingredients fresh from their farm.  They were also featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.  They have a small indoor eating area and a huge outdoor park like setting for enjoying the garden views.

The Mostri at Wild Horse Ranch Rescue

Although they don’t have a full menu, they do have an indoor and outdoor wine bar.  Your dog is always welcome and not only are they allowed on the patio, they are welcome inside as well.

YOUR TURN

Do you know of any pet friendly patios in Gilbert that are amazing and have large enough patios to be comfortable?  Comment below so we can all check them out

Play Time Pet Care Makes Sure Your Pet Gets Their Exercise

Clients often ask us what we do with their pet in the summer to make sure they still get their exercise when it’s too hot out.  This question prompted me to make a short video on how we play with pets when it’s too hot to play outside.

There are some great alternatives to outdoor, traditional, walks.  Check it out…

Some Dogs Need Space

 Do you have a dog that doesn’t do well when approached by other dogs or humans on your walk? Have you heard of the Yellow Ribbon Project?  It will take some education and awareness to spread this concept world wide, but what a great idea to signify that your dog needs some space when out in public.

I know from experience how stressful it can be when the dog you are walking doesn’t care to be approached by another dog or human.  Some dogs bark, jump and lunge at others when approached to closely.  I always try to avoid others or cross the street when I know the dog I am walking needs space from others.  If we could all spread the word about the Yellow Ribbon Project it may make the walking experience much more pleasant for everyone.

There are many reasons, as the image illustrates, why a dog may need some space.  Share and spread awareness to the world! 

 

 

It’s too hot!  What do I do With My Dog?

I recently asked my Facebook fan group what they do to entertain their dogs when it’s too hot to play outside.  Here are some of the responses:

  1. My dogs love the laser pointer so they chase it up and down the hallway and they love water so they chase the water from the hose out back for a while keeps them cool, happy and wears them out!”

  2. Doggie daycare at Elite Paw Spa

  3. Go to the dog park early am hours – like 630 before its too hot”

Other than exercise type activities, here are some fun treat ideas to keep your pets cool:

  1. Frozen green beans

  2. Frozen toys – they have to lick them out 🙂

  3. Ice cubes

  4. Find the treat – hide them all around the house and tell your dog to “find them”.

Now it’s your turn!  What OTHER ideas do you have to exercise your pet in the hot summer months?

Valley Fever

I can completely sympathize with families who have pets with valley fever.  My dog, Magic, has recently been diagnosed with valley fever and from first hand experience….it’s AWFUL!  My heart breaks and goes out to anyone who has had experience with valley fever or is now experiencing it.  I have several goals behind this article:

  1. Explain signs and symptoms so you can be proactive in testing for valley fever

  2. To offer some suggestions on how to keep your pet eating

  3. To let you  know that you aren’t alone

    Dogs with Valley Fever

The most common signs of Valley Fever are:

  • Coughing

  • Fever

  • Weight Loss

  • Lack of Appetite

  • Lack of Energy

The best website I have found that explains Valley Fever in dogs (and cats) is the Valley Fever Center for Excellence website.  “Two-thirds of all U.S. Valley Fever infections are contracted in Arizona. Nationally, Valley Fever is uncommon and considered an orphan disease. Yet it is so concentrated in Arizona that this state needed an advocate to promote improvements in understanding, medical care, and research about this disease. For this reason the Arizona Board of Regents approved the proposal for the creation of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona.”   This website is great for understanding Valley Fever, where it comes from, the signs and symptoms and treatment.  However, it does not discuss what pet parents can/should do if their pet is refusing to eat.  The BIGGEST and HARDEST setback I have had to overcome with my own case.

You KNOW when you have a Golden Retriever that if they stop eating, something is definitely wrong.  My scrounge hound hasn’t eaten a good solid meal in weeks.  This does not help the healing process and if he doesn’t start eating something he may need to be hospitalized, or worse, have a feeding tube surgically implanted.  It breaks my heart every day when he turns his nose up at his meals.  I’m feeding him people food for heavens sake!  A dog’s wet dream! People food being shoved down his throat and he still isn’t interested.  SO FRUSTRATING!

Dogs with Valley Fever

This is what our daily routine looks like:

Mom buys canned food to mix in with his kibble.  Yeah!  He loves it!  We’re good to go for a couple meals….then, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.  Now what?

Mom finds something in the fridge that may seem palatable.  Boiled chicken and rice…let’s try that.  Yeah!  He scarfs that down…for 2-3 meals then he’s done.  He wants no more of it.  Now what?

What about ground beef?  He takes a lick or two…nope. Not for him.

Let’s take a trip to the local pet store and see what we can find.  Oooh…a cooler full of fresh, natural food.  Let’s buy a tube and see what he thinks.  YES!  He loves it!  Scarfed down almost a full portion size…YAY!  Hoping he likes it at dinner time.  Yep!  We are good to go…for one more meal, then he’s done with it…wants nothing to do with it.  Now what?

Dogs with Valley Fever

Baby food?  Maybe we’ll give that a try today.

My suggestions (and I’m not a veterinarian and suggest discussing options with your vet):

  • Try different foods that are aromatic

  • Stop thinking if you switch their food often they will become picky eaters.  Remember, they are sick and really don’t want to eat, but they HAVE to eat to keep their immune system and energy levels up.

  • Try feeding at different times of the day.  Magic wouldn’t touch his food this morning, but devoured the same food this afternoon.

  • Go raw.  People food is fine to feed your dog as long as you don’t add any toxic foods or spices to it.

It can be very frustrating and heart breaking when you know your dog is sick and they refuse to eat or is suffering some other horrible side affect of Fluconazole.  Remember that you aren’t alone.  Lots of other people are going through what you are going through.  Sometimes it helps just to talk to someone that has experienced valley fever with their pets and have the reassurance that your dog will get better.  If you need some moral support, suggestions on types of food to try or would like more information on valley fever in your area give me a call.  I certainly know what you are going through!