Tag: pet sitter services

Pet Sitter Offers Exercising Tips for Pet Parents in Mesa, AZ

Exercising with Fido can be tricky during the Arizona summer months. It’s too hot in the middle of the day for your pet sitter to exercise him during his potty break and the sun doesn’t go down until late in the evening leaving you to exercise Fido pretty close to bed time. So, unless you are able, and let’s be honest, willing, to get up bright and early to take Fido out for his daily exercise the summer months can be rough for both you and your dog.

Well, how hot is too hot to take Fido for a walk? There is a simple test you can do to tell if it’s too hot for Fido to go for a walk. Walk outside on the sidewalk barefoot…if you can’t stand there for more than 3 seconds without burning your feet, it’s too hot for Fido. Your pets pads can and will burn from hot cement and pavement. There is also the added element of heat exhaustion. Your dog cools himself by panting. If he can’t stop panting, that is a sign of heat exhaustion. You will need to take the necessary steps to cool your pet down, because heat exhaustion is fatal.

As a pet sitter and dog walker, it is my responsibility to know how to exercise and stimulate your pet when it’s too hot to be outside for long periods of time. Below are just a few tricks I have up my sleeve:

  • Quick potty break outside and a toss or two of the ball, then inside for some tug of war

  • Inside ball play

  • If you have a water dog…some fun with the hose, chasing the water

  • A quick dip in the pool retrieving his favorite water toy

  • Teaching a new trick – Did you know that mental stimulation can be just as good as physical exercise?

The last thing you want during the summer months is for your dog to release his excess energy on your new pillows, your comfy couch or heaven forbid, your favorite pair of shoes!

If you’d like more ideas on how to stimulate your pooch during the hot summer months you can contact us by emailing to jenna@playtimepetcareaz.com or calling us at 480-292-9735.

How Can You Tell if Your Pet Sitter Did Their Job?

Your pets ARE your kids and a part of your family.  When you hire a pet sitter, how can you tell if they actually did their job?  The last thing you want to do on vacation is wonder and worry about your pets.  Here is an example of one of our pet sitter’s client updates: 

Wouldn’t an update like this every day give you added peace of mind?  Ask your pet sitter to send you text or email updates with photos of your pets so you KNOW they’ve been to your house and your pets are happy and healthy.  If your pet sitter tries to charge extra for this service, find someone else.  If your pet sitter doesn’t offer updates, it’s time to move on.

Your pet sitter’s updates are fun and cute.  It gives the pet sitter the opportunity to share the funny quirks they experience with your pets so you know they can’t be making things up.  They also get to share how much fun they are having with your pets and that they have entered their hearts too.

OMG!  My Family Bailed…Now What?

We get this call on more occasions that I would like to admit.  A pet owner is at their wits end because they had family ready to care for their pets while they are gone and the family ended up bailing on them.  Now they are in desperate need to find a professional pet sitter….FAST!

Our latest one was last week.  We got a call from a pet parent who was ALREADY out of town.  The In-Laws agreed to watch their dogs while they were gone, then all of a sudden, call them to say they are taking a trip to Sedona and are leaving before they arrive back home.  REALLY!  You KNOW I’m not going to be home until Thursday!!!  What am I supposed to do?

That’s when the frantic call comes in.

PTPC:  “Thank you for calling Play Time Pet Care.  This is Jenna.  How can I help you?”

Client:  “I am in desperate need of help with my 2 dogs.  My in-laws are caring for them right now, but have decided they wanted to take a trip to Sedona and have left me with no care for my dogs.  I won’t be home until Thursday and my in-laws want to leave tomorrow.  Is there anyway you can help me?”

PTPC:  “Well, it just so happens that I have a sitter with availability that lives near you.  Her name is Paige.  She will need to meet with your in-laws and the dogs before they leave.  Can we schedule a meet and greet directly with your in-laws?”

Client:  “Oh thank God!  You have no idea how much this is going to help me.  I just can’t BELIEVE they have the audacity to take this trip when they KNOW I won’t be home until Thursday.  I am so frustrated with them right now it’s unbelieveable.  I would actually like to schedule the meet and greet with them because they have been so flakey, I just want to make sure they understand they need to be there.”

PTPC: “Ok.  I’ll have Paige contact you directly and you guys can work out the meet and greet details.  I’m so sorry you are experiencing this.  I can only imagine how upset you must be.”

Paige and I never actually met the pet parent, but through detailed updates with pictures and constant communication we were able to put mom’s mind at ease.  Check out the review she left on our Google page:

Jenna and Paige were super to work with. The updates at every visit put our minds at ease. We will definitely be calling them whenever we go out of town!!

I know it’s the cheap and easy way to ask your family/friends/neighbors to watch your pets while you are away.  However, looking at the big picture, considering the worse case scenario, it is way better to hire a professional than to go through the grief this client went through before she found us.  You may be thinking, “My family would NEVER do this to me.”  That’s great…until they do it to you.  This is only one of many stories I could share with you.  Think twice before burdening  family, friends or neighbors with the care of your beloved pets.

Overnight Pet Sitter in Mesa AZ

Our overnight pet sitters are one of the most requested services we provide.  Pet parents like the option of overnight pet sitters because their pet’s are used to having someone home at night to sleep with or spend time with.  Whether it is a luxury or necessity is up to you to decide.

What goes on during an overnight pet sit?  A sitter arrives by 8:00 pm and leaves by 8:00 am the following morning.  Your pet gets one on one attention for the entire time your sitter is there.  We focus on play time, belly rubs, fresh food and water and cuddle time.  If your pet is used to sleeping with you, our sitters are happy to cuddle with your babies as well.

The beauty of choosing an overnight pet sitter is your pets are well adjusted when you get home.  It’s really as if you never left!  The pets that get the most enjoyment out of an overnight pet sitter are seniors, puppies and little breeds.  They LOVE the attention and the warmth our sitters provide.

Here is a checklist to see if you would make a good candidate for hiring an overnight pet sitter:

Do you talk baby talk to your pets?

Do you like to snuggle wuggle with your pets?

Do you allow your pets to sleep with you?

Are they used to having someone at home at night with them?

Do you feel more comfortable knowing your pet will have someone with them all night?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions…you would make the PERFECT overnight pet sitter candidate 🙂



Pet Sitter’s Perspective on Puppy Socialization

Did you know that if you socialize your puppy at a young age they will grow up to be a more well rounded dog?  How do you go about socializing your new puppy?  What about an older dog that needs socialization?  Can an old dog learn new tricks?

As a pet sitting company in Mesa, AZ (also servicing Gilbert and Gold Canyon) we see unsocial dogs all the time.  Some of the behaviors we notice when we meet our new unsocial clients are:

Aggression toward new people

Hiding behind mom or dad

Raised hackles

Slow to get to know a new person

Some of these pets are great on a leash but leery of new people in their home.  Some are great with new people in their home, but act aggressive while on a walk.

How do you make sure your new puppy is socialized properly so you don’t have to worry about these issues as they get older?  How do you help your older dog be more social?

The following video offers great tips on how to ensure your pet becomes a well rounded, social dog.

So what do you do when you are busy and don’t have the time to properly socialize your dog?  Here are a few recommendations:

There are several doggy day cares to choose from.  If you enroll your puppy into doggy day care it allows them to be in a different environment and meet new dogs every day!

Taking your puppy for walks around the neighborhood and allowing them to meet new people, smell new things and explore is a great way to get them used to new things.

Seeking out social activities or pet friendly events that your dog is welcome to.

 Do you have other ideas on how to socialize a dog?  Leave your comment below…

Pet Sitter’s Perspective on Why Daily Cat Sitting is a MUST

As a pet sitter in Mesa, AZ I get calls from prospective cat sitting clients that mention their cat is self reliant and doesn’t require a lot of attention.  They would prefer a visit every other day rather than daily.  To this I say NO WAY!

Your cat may seem aloof at times and not want a lot of attention from you, but you would be surprised at how much attention we get from the seemingly aloof cats while cat sitting.  They miss their family too.  Although they seem aloof most of the time, they are used to you being home and around.  So when you are gone for extended periods they will crave the attention of their cat sitter when you are gone.



A feral kitty who LOVES to play!

Not only do they crave the attention, they are masters at hiding their ailments.  Cats will often hide their illnesses, even from mom and dad, until they just can’t hide it any longer.  Many times, once you start noticing they are acting funny or aren’t feeling well, they require a vet visit ASAP.  The illness has most likely been ailing them for quite some time.  When cats get sick, they get sick quick and deteriorate fast.

Cats also enjoy having their toilet (litter box) cleaned out frequently.  A daily visit to have a clean toilet will often save cleaning expenses later.

We know you will take this into consideration when looking for your next cat sitter. Your cat will love you for it!

Which is best?  Hiring a pet sitter or boarding my pets?

Guest Blogger – Starla Clark – Vet Tech/Pet Sitter Extraordinaire

As a Play Time Pet Care pet sitter I am of course a bit biased when it comes to in home care for pets. As a long time veterinary technician I feel I have experience to back my biases.

Overall I think pets do best when they are able to stick as close to their routine as possible. This being especially true for a cat which I believe always does best in its own home. For me the biggest concern is the trust you have with the person doing this care. Having been in the veterinary field for so many years and seeing things that go terribly wrong, I became very selective about care for my own pets. This is the number one reason I decided to accept pet sitting clients from Play Time Pet Care, and also use them for the care of my own animals…TRUST.  Jenna has carefully created a business that is held to high standards and limits potential problems.

While keeping pets in their own environment may be the ideal situation there are times this is just not feasible. I have two large dogs that are prone to disagreements between themselves and cannot be left at home unattended. Play Time Pet Care does offer live in services but I generally elect to use a boarding facility for one of my temperamental dogs while away.

When looking for a boarding facility be certain to see where your pet will actually stay. There may be times that the area is unavailable for viewing but never except that you cannot actually see the kennel. Many kennels sound terrific on paper but fall sadly short when actually viewed.

When touring a facility:

1.  Look for where the dogs are taken to relieve themselves (do they have grass, dirt, cement, etc.)

2.  Temperature control in the area they stay (do they have any, is it swamp cooled or air conditioned)

3.  Ability to escape the gaze of other dogs (to reduce anxiety and possible fighting)

4.  Overall care of other boarders

A kennel that requires documentation for current vaccines and negative stool samples is generally a higher quality kennel looking out for the best health of your pet. While not guaranteeing your pet will return free of parasites or viruses, it does generally indicate a higher caliber of pet owners and pet health of the boarders.  The same goes for doggy day care.

Many kennels allow dogs to exercise or be cared for in a “cage free” environment. This is an area I have seen countless times go bad. Dogs are usually stressed in a new situation and may not behave as expected. It’s hard to predict which dogs will get along and an ever present pecking order just causes more stress to an already anxious pet. Be sure to tour these facilities as well and ask them how they handle dog disputes.  If their answer is to throw food all over to distract them, that is a HUGE red flag.  Talk about creating another issue between possible food aggressive animals.  Ask them what they do to protect your dog during sleeping hours.  Is the night shift allowed to sleep?  If they sleep, where do they sleep and can they get to, or even hear, a problem as it’s arising? 

Do your research. You will enjoy your time away from home more thoroughly knowing your pet is well cared for. You can trust that if left in the hands of a Play Time Pet Care pet sitter, your pet will be treated as if it were their own.

Play Time Pet Care offers many options for pet care. From once daily visits to complete live in care and many choices in between!

Trust is the biggest obstacle pet sitters have to overcome.

When searching for a pet sitter in Mesa, AZ, it is important to find a pet sitter you trust.  Trust is the biggest obstacle pet sitters have to overcome.  After all, we are going into your home to care for your beloved pets that you treat as family members.  Some of the best ways to find a trusted pet sitter is to get a referral from a friend or your vet.

As an owner of a pet sitting company in Mesa, it is important to me to develop relationships with local vets so they feel comfortable and confident in referring me to their trusted clients.

A couple of vets that regularly refer us to their clients are:

Augusta Ranch Animal Hospital

Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic

Red Mountain Animal Clinic

In developing relationships with these vets, we do things a bit different than the average pet professional.  We socialize with them outside the clinic, we invite them to our events and we partner with them to do fundraisers for the non profit organizations they hold close to their hearts.  This gives them the opportunity to get to know us as professionals without bothering them while they are busy at work, caring for your pets.

Why is it important to ask your vet for a pet sitting referral?

Your vet will most likely only have a few trusted companies that they will refer to. They don’t want to refer their clients to companies or individuals that don’t have a proven track record of excellence.  They have gained your trust and don’t want to spoil that by referring you to a company or individual that doesn’t take their business seriously.  Your vet will not refer you to someone who is a part time pet sitter or isn’t insured and bonded.  Although it is still your job, as the pet parent, to do your due diligence and make sure the pet sitter you hire is legit.

Mesa Pet Sitter Transports Pets

Guest Blogger – Starla Clark – Pet Sitter Extraordinaire 

Ever struggle with getting your cat into a carrier and out the door?  As your professional Mesa pet sitters we are often asked to transport pets to vet appointments, groomers and day care.

Most anyone who is owned by a cat knows the secret telepathy that a cat possesses in regards to that scheduled appointment to the veterinarian, groomer or other time specific date. Many a cat is nowhere to be found when it comes time to load up into the car or if found, refuses to cooperate with the plan. 

Cats are often not seen by a Veterinarian because the pet parents don’t know HOW to get that darn cat in their carrier.  Starla has offered a few tips to help with transporting your furry friend.

  • Be certain to have a sturdy carrier in which to transport your pet. Plastic carriers are generally the safest, but a cardboard style carrier can also work fine for a normal weight, non-escapee variety of cat. If using cardboard, check to be sure it has been correctly assembled. You don’t want to lift kitty only to have him fall out of the bottom. 

  • Always confine your cat in something for the ride, even a pillowcase will work in a pinch. The most docile cat can exhibit super cat strength and escape your hold when being transported to an unfamiliar place.

  • When attempting to collect your cat to put into the appropriate carrier, be sure to have the cat contained first before bringing out the carrier. Many cats are very effective hiders when they spot that carrier first.

I am often asked how to get the cat into the carrier when they refuse to do so willingly. My answer is if they will not go willingly head first, most cats will allow you to place them in backwards. For the cat that is truly unwilling, stand the carrier on end and lower the cat by the scruff of the neck, backwards into the crate. 

A nice soft towel placed in the bottom will cushion the ride and absorb anything that might need absorbing.

And for all you dog owners… remember the leash, and a collar your pet cannot back out of when being asked to walk through that scary door to the animal hospital, kennel or groomer. Remember too that just because Fido loves cats, the cat Fido wants to look at in the waiting room may be deathly afraid of dogs.

The amazing part of this journey is how easily the cat returns to the carrier when leaving and how quickly the dog heads out the door. Always a miracle!

Don’t want all the drama? Remember Playtime Pet Care offers a Pet Taxi service to help you avoid all this work!

Starla Clark has been a team member with Play Time Pet Care since 2011.  Starla has over 30 years of veterinary experience.

Pet Sitting in Your Home

Your fur-ever pet sitting and dog walking company…

Providing and promoting positive, force free, human – pet bonds.

Pets are family too!  

As your fur ever pet sitting and dog walking company we dedicate ourselves to providing personalized pet care to your furry, feathered and scaled kids.  Our professional pet sitters and dog walkers provide a service of convenience to each of our pet parents, individual love and affection to our four legged clients and the exclusivity of working with the Best of the Valley.

Play Time Pet Care provides in your home pet sitting and dog walking services including: daily dog walking, potty breaks, puppy care, overnight care,  live in care and taxi services to the residence of Mesa and parts of  Gilbert.

Are you looking for a pet sitting company that will:

Play with and exercise your pet?

Cuddle and love your pet as you do?

Spend QUALITY time with your pet?

Provide a special diet?

Provide daily picture updates?

When it comes to the love and care of your pets our pet sitters are no nonsense. When it comes to playing and having a great time with your pets our pet sitters are ALL nonsense 🙂