Tag: holiday bookings

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Dog Walker this Holiday Season

Your pets may express signs of depression as they watch you quickly come and go. Your pets don’t understand it’s the holiday season. They don’t know why you have stopped taking them for their daily walks or tossing the ball for them to fetch. Your pets are used to you taking time out of your day for them.You get busier as the holidays get closer. If you are anything like me, you generally wait until the last minute to get your shopping done. This adds stress to your day and with the longer hours spent outside the home you have less time to play with and exercise your dog.

Continuing exercise will help your dog relax. A relaxed, exercised dog is a good dog. There is less of a chance your dog will crash into the newly decorated Christmas tree, or counter surf for that freshly prepared turkey.

One less thing for you to worry about. Enlisting help with exercising your pet will help you worry less and feel less guilty about not having the time needed to dedicate to your pet’s exercise and mental well-being.

YOUR DOG WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT! Really, he/she will. If your pet gets to continue getting their exercise, whether it’s from you or someone else, they will love you for it. You get the benefits of having a well balanced, exercised, pooped pooch without having to make the extra time for it.

Here are some easy ways to entertain your dog without breaking the time bank:

  • Stuffed toys – There are plenty of toys on the market that are great for stuffing with all kinds of good treats.  You can purchase the treats meant to go with the toy or get creative.  Other foods that are good for your dog include:  peanut butter, yogurt and pumpkin just to name a few.  Use these foods as binders for kibble or dry treats…freeze the toy for added difficulty.
  • Hide the treats to offer your dog a puzzle to figure out.  This should keep them busy for  a while.  Mental activity is just as good as physical.  Wrapping the treat filled toy in an old t-shirt or towel, tying the ends will keep your dog entertained while trying to figure out their treat puzzle.  You can also use an old oatmeal box, margarine container or shoe box.
  • There are also plenty of puzzle toys on the market to choose from if you don’t have the time to put one together on your own.
  • Throw your dogs food chicken feed style in the backyard and let them sniff it out.  This is a very fun and draining exercise for your dog.   A very large portion of the dogs brain controls their olfactory function, the more they get to use their nose the more stimulated and tired they get.
  • Purchase raw marrow bones or knuckles from your butcher.  Give them to your dog frozen to make them last longer…refreeze between use.
  • Keep a stash of new toys.  Your dog will love to get a new toy every day…sniffing it out and figuring out how to use it.  Allow your dog to have a new toy every time you leave the house for a long period.  Be sure to pick it up when you get home.  If you want to keep your dog interested in the toy don’t let them have it all the time.  It should be something special for them to have every once in a while.
Give us a call for more tips on how to keep your dog entertained this holiday season.

Turkey Day! ~ Pet Sitters Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Everyone is bustling about getting ready to make their favorite fixin’s for the big dinner, doing last minute preparations on the house and lawn and frantically spending their final days trying to train their dog to be a good dog when guests arrive. I’m sure you’ve been getting all kinds of Tips and Tricks on how NOT to include your favorite dog into the festivities.  

Although I do totally agree with all the tips on what NOT to give your dog, like:

  • Cooked animal bones, animal skin, anything with spices or sugar added, no pie, no stuffing, etc.

Here are some suggestions on what you CAN do to include your dog in the festivities.

  • When making your famous sweet potato pie, save some raw sweet potato.  This is a great healthy snack even for dogs that suffer from allergies.

        

  • Raw carrots from a dressing free salad 

  • Turkey meat…but remember, no skin or bones.

You can put these goodies aside and when your dog settles under the table with his head in your lap, your  heart is melting and you just HAVE to give him a little something special, reach into your pre-made treat bag and give him some love without the guilt.  I would suggest offering these festive treats in his own food dish and away from the dinning room table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

When Should I Book My Pet Sitter?

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!  When should I book my pet sitter?  I can do it last minute can’t I?  I’m sure they will be available…

Not necessarily!  As soon as you have your holiday vacation planned, book your pet sitting services.  Pet sitters only have so many visits they can make in a day.  If you are looking for overnight pet sitting, your pet sitter can only sleep with one family at a time.  That significantly reduces your chances of your pet sitter being available to you the closer and closer you get to your expected vacation.

For example:  We are BOOKED for overnight and live in services for the week of Christmas.  Holidays are prime for vacations and keep pet sitters busy.

What if I book early and realize I need to cancel?  Our cancellation policy states that if you cancel an overnight or live in within 2 weeks of the service start date you will be charged 50% of the original invoice amount.  If you cancel with more than 2 weeks notice there is no cancellation fee.

The moral of the story???  Book your services as soon as you know you are traveling, or, realize you may be looking for a pet sitter last minute.

Independence Day Pet Safety

4th of July is upon us and with it comes loud noises our dogs aren’t used to hearing. Here are some ways to keep your dog sane and safe during 4th of July:

Staying home for Independence Day?  Here are some stay at home tips:

  • Don’t leave alcoholic beverages out where your dogs can get to it. Alcoholic beverages have the ability to poison your pets.  It can cause your pet to become weak, severely depressed or could go into acoma.

  • Don’t apply insect repellent to your pet that isn’t labeled as pet safe.  The misuse of insect repellent containing DEET can lead to neurological problems.

  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets reach. Chlorates found in matches can damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing.  Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin and if ingested can cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Going out to see a fireworks display? Here are some tips for leaving your dog at home:

  • Be sure to leave your dog inside.  Keeping your dog inside, away from the noise, will help them stay calmer.  They should be kept in a quiet, escape-proof area of your home.  If you have a doggy door, keep it closed so they don’t have access to the backyard where they could dig out, jump the fence or obnoxiously bark at the loud noises.

  • Although it is tempting to bring your dog with you…Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for your dog.

  • ID or Microchip.  When dogs get scared they react with fight or flight.  Loud noises could send your dog running for the hills.  Make sure you properly ID or microchip your dog to be sure you get him back if he runs away.

Don’t forget about the kitties.  Same rules apply.  Keep them inside where they are safe.  

Top 4 Reasons a Pet Sitting Company Will Tell You NO

 When Is It Too Late To Book Holiday Pet Sitting?

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It’s November 11th and we are down to the wire for holiday bookings.  Established clients are reminded well in advance to book their pet sitting services ahead of time so they are guaranteed a spot on the calendar.  Waiting until a week, or even, two weeks before a major holiday could mean a pet sitter telling you no.  If you don’t already have a relationship with a pet sitting company, you need to start looking today!  The number 1 phone call we get a week prior to a major holiday is….

My “pet sitter” bailed and I need someone to care for my pets!

We will get this same phone call up to the day BEFORE a major holiday.  It happens every year.  Most often, the “pet sitter” was a friend, family member or neighbor that decided spending time with their own family was more important than watching their friend’s or neighbor’s pet.

If you are able to find a pet sitter with availability you want to be prepared to pay a “late booking” fee.  Let me explain what goes into taking on a NEW client close to major holidays when the schedules are already tight.

1.  The company needs to find a sitter that has availability and is WILLING to sacrifice time away from family they have already planned.

2.  The sitter needs to find time to schedule a meet and greet with the new client in between already scheduled visits.

3.  The company may need to rearrange sitters booked with other clients to accommodate the new client.

4.  All the while rushing to make sure we have all the required information from the new client within a 24 hour period.

Sometimes when we have to turn new clients away, they are frustrated.  I can totally see why that would be frustrating, but it’s not the companies fault that you waited too long to find a professional to care for your pets.  And it’s not the companies problem that your friend bailed.  A common response is, “All I’m asking for is a 30 minute visit.  I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to squeeze us in.”  It’s NOT just a 30 minute visit.  It’s travel time from one visit to the next.  It’s fitting, or not being able to, fit the drive time AND the visit in so we can spend QUALITY time with all our clients within a reasonable time frame.

So to answer the question….Be prepared to meet with a new sitter a MONTH before a major holiday.  Get that relationship established so you aren’t told NO or left having to cancel your plans.