Tag: puppies

What Happens When I Hire a Pet Sitter for Potty Breaks?

Clients often ask us what we do when we are hired for mid-day potty breaks.  Our client’s concern is that their dog needs to go to the bathroom when they work long hours and are not able to make it home in the middle of their shift.  Some questions we often get are:  Are you there just to let them out to go potty?  Do you play with them?  Is it really worth it to pay someone to come let my dog out?

Let’s talk about puppies first.  Puppies should never be left in a crate for extended periods of time.  Your puppy is likely not able to hold their bladder for more than a couple hours.  If you are crate training them, they will end up in a wet, dirty crate for HOURS without a break.  This can also cause behavioral issues down the road.  If you aren’t crate training your puppy you will come home to lots of potty spots to clean.  Wouldn’t you rather come home after a long day at work and not be frustrated because you have to clean up a bunch of potty spots?  Your puppy needs and deserves a break or two while you are at work.  We understand that puppies tend to want to play rather than go potty.  We make sure they go potty several times before we put them back in their crate.  We also provide exercise and play time so they aren’t full of energy before leaving them alone for a couple more hours.  Wouldn’t it be much better to have a sleeping puppy in a crate than one that is barking and trying to escape?

Now for adult and senior dogs.  Adult and senior dogs can hold it for so long.  Maybe 8 hours without feeling stressed about having to go to the bathroom.  Our potty breaks are much more than just letting them out to go potty then leaving.  We play with them, cuddle them, rub their bellies…whatever we need to do to make them feel comfortable and happy.

Bottom line is…if you are calling (or considering) a pet sitter for potty breaks, it’s probably a good thing for you and your dog.  The peace of mind is worth it!

Check out our video on what happens when we provide mid day potty breaks…

Puppies are cute aren’t they? What did we get ourselves into?

Puppies are cute aren’t they?  It’s hard to resist their cute, cuddly little faces.  So, when temptation proves to take the best of you and you bring that new puppy home, it will be both fun and frustrating.  We recently brought a new puppy home.  It had been  3 years since we had a puppy in the house.  We forgot the things that frustrated us the most and only remembered all the fun, cute and cuddly times.  Once we got the new puppy home, we quickly remembered the needle teeth, the potty training, the middle of the night potty and play sessions.  WHAT DID WE GET OURSELVES INTO?

We even have two other dogs in the house that needed to get used to the new addition. That can be trying and stressful for the other dogs in the household as well.

Where do you start?  Here are some suggestions on how to prepare yourself BEFORE your new bundle of joy comes home.  (Check out Part 2 when we talk about what to do once you have him home.)

Arm yourself with plenty of artillery:

Lots of chew toys – Your new puppy will most likely still have their “milk teeth”. They will need things they are allowed to chew on to satisfy their need and instinct to chew.  Being prepared will help save your furniture, shoes and other precious items from being destroyed.  Toys that can be frozen and ice cubes will help reduce the pain that comes along with teething.

Puppy Proof – I thought I did a good job puppy proofing my home…until the little devil came home 🙂  Ziggy helped me realize what puppy proofing really means.  Be conscience of what your puppy will put in their mouths:  Electrical cords, plants, hanging towels, shoes, string, remotes, books, rocks in the backyard, etc.  Realize that you need to remove those items and put them in places where your puppy won’t be able to reach them.

If it’s not possible to remove the items, just be prepared to have a watchful eye on them at all times…well, at least when they are awake 🙂

Potty Training – Make sure you have plenty of rags and carpet cleaner for cleaning up potty messes.  I like to use Spot Shot.  It seems to be the only cleaner that doesn’t change the color of my carpet.  Also be prepared to do A LOT of laundry.

Get a crate that will be big enough for your puppy to grow into.  For those non believers, don’t worry, we’ll cover crate training in more depth in Part 2.  Most, if not all, crates come with dividers so you can have a small space to start with and gradually have more and more space as he needs it.  The crate will help with potty training, keep your puppy from chewing on everything they aren’t supposed to while you are gone, and allow you to take a break and get some work done 🙂  It is difficult, nearly impossible for me to get any work done while Ziggy is awake. He is constantly getting into things and wanting to play.  The crate also gives your other dogs a much needed break from puppy teeth and puppy energy.

Puppies love to explore their surroundings.  I suggest not allowing your puppy total freedom of the house.  Get some baby gates to block off areas of the house you don’t want him to be wondering in.  It’s even more difficult to keep a watchful eye on your puppy when they have total free reign of the house.  Don’t worry, as he gets older and proves he can be trusted, you can give him more access to the entire house.  Baby gates and crates aren’t forever 🙂

Find a GREAT Vet – Research vets in your area and find a vet that you can connect with.  Get to know a couple vets in the practice so if you have an emergency you stand better chances of one of your trusted vets will be there to take care of you and your pet.

The ASPCA has some great tips as well.

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…

How Do I Find a Good Dog Walker in Mesa Az

 Have a young dog?  A dog with tons of energy?  Work long hours?  We’ve got your solution for finding the perfect dog walker.

People look for a dog walker for many reasons…

1.  Young professionals that need help with their young dog

2.  Families that have dogs with a ton of energy

3.  Families work long hours and are busy with the kid’s activities

4.  The walker in the family has had surgery or an injury and is unable to walk the dog

5.  The walker in the family is going on a long vacation and the spouse works long hours.

No matter what the reason is, it can be difficult to find the perfect dog walker.  Here are some questions you may want to ask your potential dog walker…some you may not have even thought of:

1.  Can I pay per walk?  Or do I have to purchase a block of walks?

2.  Do the walks have to be the same days every week?  Or are you flexible?

3.  Do you walk one family at a time?  Or do you do outings with lots of other dogs?

4.  Do you offer a discount if we schedule dog walks 5 days per week?

5.  Do you have experience handling wildlife encounters?  (Snakes, coyotes, mountain lions, etc)

6.  How do you keep my dog safe from possible disease and unleashed dog encounters?

7.  How long are your walks?

All of these questions can be answered during a phone consultation.  Once you’ve found the company that fits what your family needs you need to have them come to your house and meet them.  Have them go on a short test walk with you to make sure they can handle your dog appropriately.  Believe it or not, there are some pet sitters that are better with other types of pets than dogs but still offer the dog walking service.  Hiring the wrong person to walk your dog could result in injuries that could be prevented or unwanted leash behaviors.


Working From Home With a New Puppy

You have a new puppy and you have the luxury of being able to work from home.  You may be wondering, “How am I going to get any work done with this puppy around?” Being able to work from home with a new puppy is the perfect scenario for your puppy, but maybe not for you.  There will be many interruptions with potty breaks, meals and playtime.  So how do you balance it all?

First, I would suggest crate training.  Whenever you are not able to focus on your puppy 100%, it should be in a crate.  This will help potty training and saving your carpet from urine stains.

Second, when your puppy isn’t in it’s crate, try tether training.  Tether training is when you put a leash on your puppy and tie them to you.  #1, this will help in those instances where you take your eye off the puppy.  You will still know exactly where it is and won’t give puppy the opportunity to leave the room and piddle somewhere.

Third, have lots of distractions for the puppy.  Toys to play with, treats to chew on, etc.

Lastly, be sure to schedule a potty break for your puppy every 20 minutes.  This plays along with potty training.

It’s going to be difficult, but consistency is key to having a well behaved puppy and getting some work done.  Soon enough puppy will get into a routine which will make things easier for you.

If it becomes too much or if you have a scheduled meeting or conference call and you need your puppy to be on it’s BEST behavior, taking them for a walk (after they’ve had all their shots) will help wear them out long enough for you to be on that call or leave your home office for a meeting.  You can always enlist help from family members or a pet sitter.  A good walk in the morning and some afternoon playtime will do wonders for getting some real work done.