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Things Are Going To Change! Pet Sitter’s Life

For the past three weeks, things have been crazy!  Of course we aren’t complaining, we are thankful for the business.  Summer vacations started at the end of May and we jumped full force into June.

Our days have been starting at 6 am, sometimes before if we have to,  and not finishing until 10-11 pm.  If we should happen to be scheduled for overnights, we just keep on going.

This type of schedule is standard for professional pet sitters.  We map out our visits by requested time and location in order to plan our day with the most efficient route.  Sometimes though, no matter how much we plan and prepare, things are going to change.

It’s a pet sitters life and things are going to change!

Things are going to change

 

Our sitters are accustomed to the every changing schedules but geesh these last few weeks have been hard to keep up with. We know to look at our schedules several times a day to be sure nothing is missed and here is why.

  • Work schedules changed for summer so two of our daily Mon – Friday clients no longer needed walks starting in June.
  • Another client who normally uses us two days per week wanted to switch to one day a week. We were able to accomodate but one week into June the client wanted to switch to a different day. Unfortunatley our daily schedule for the day requested was already filled for those time slots so the client decided on a different day.
  • Pet visits scheduled for 14 days in June were cancelled because of a family member was hospitalized.
  • Two seperate clients requested extra visits be added to their weekly schedule
  • A booking over Memorial weekend cancelled because their plans changed.
  • New client scheduled less than 48 hours because their sitter backed out.
  • Client decided to stay home from work and didn’t need us.
  • Another client leaving later for work wanted us to visit later in the day than originally planned.
  • Daily client had plans after work could we add on another visit between 3-4.
  • Client requested 3 mid day visits for the week but less than 24 hour notice.
  • Client called on Thursday to book 3 visits a day starting Fri thru Monday for a last minute weekend trip.
  • Client scheduled visits for 7 days but decided to leave two days earlier than planned and needed hour long visits added for those extra days.

I am pretty sure there are a few I forgot to mention.  While handling a full schedule of pet visits, it’s really tough to keep up with so many changes  Luckily we have a great scheduling system in place. Our clients can schedule, cancel, or change visits online 24/7. It’s also an excellent way to keep track of the changes so nothing gets missed while we are out tending to pets.

It’s life, things are going to change.  We get it.  Sometimes the changes are unpredictable like in the case of a family member suddenly hospitalized.

There are times though,  the changes occur because of poor planning. If you failed to book your pet sitter until the day before you are going on a week long trip but planned your travel arrangements months before, don’t expect your pet sitter to jump thru hoops to get you on the schedule.

To book service, cancel, or change a request, please use our online scheduler.  We receive so many texts and calls each day while we are out pet sitting and are unable to schedule the requests until we are back in the office.  We do not want to miss your request and want to be sure we have all the information necessary.

When you need to schedule, cancel, or change pet service, do so with as much notice as possible.  The more notice you provide, the easier it is to accomodate your request.

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Pet Sitter’s Life: Easy Way To Make Money?

Being a pet sitter is very rewarding.  It can also be very challenging.  For someone who loves and adores pets it can be a great way to earn a living. Professional pet sitting and dog walking is more than a job or career, it really is a lifestyle.  A pet sitter’s life is far from easy.  It can be quite exhausting, stressful, and frustrating.  It can also be fun, relaxing, exciting, and so loving.

Professional pet sitting is not at all how most people perceive it.  When we tell people what we do for a living, almost every single person says “Oh I would love to do that”.  Who wouldn’t right?

After all, almost everyone has done some sort of pet sitting for a family member, friend, or a neighbor. How hard can taking care of pets be? We often hear how great it is that we get to play with puppies and kittens all day. Certainly that is one of the great parts of caring for pets but there is so much more.

When potential candidates apply for a pet sitting or dog walking position with us, they are often shocked by our requirements. They have no concept of what we do on a daily basis. After the interview process, most determine that this is not as easy or as flexible as they thought.

Here is a glimpse into a pet sitter’s life.

Pet sitter’s life, our week of 05/16.

Total visits:  116

Number of dogs visited: 28
Some dogs were visited once per day Monday thru Friday while others were visited 3 or more times per day while their owners were away.

Number of cats visited: 13
Cats were visited once or twice per day while their owners were away.

This week was one of the tougher ones, not so much because of the pets we cared for but events that occurred.

Our days started early visiting pets between 6 am -9 am.  Dogs needed out and fed first thing after a long night. Then on to the cat visits who requested visits 2 times per day.

Pet Sitter's Life: Easy Way To Make MoneyAfter our morning rounds ended, our daily dog walking schedule began.  Weekdays start with a 45 minute run/brisk walk with a super rambunctious pup. He will certainly destroy the house if not able to release his energy.

Usually all goes well during the day with maybe some clean ups here or there but this particular week had some challenges.

Our pet sitter arrived at one of her daily dog walks to the German Shepherd pup crying in pain.  She had Sadie (2)hurt her leg/paw earlier and could not put any weight on it.  The pet sitter immediately called the pups owner and the office to discuss actions to take.  Since the owner could not get home until early afternoon, the pet sitter stayed to comfort and relax the pup. She couldn’t bear to leave her hurting like that. The pup found great comfort with having someone there and fell asleep in her lap. The extra time staying made for a hectic afternoon but certainly worth it. Other dogs were waiting for their walks but our main priority is the safety and well being of the pet. Some times things happen that cause us to be delayed. Our clients are very understanding as they would want the same care for their pets. The pups owner was very grateful that the pet sitter was able to stay a little longer.

Never is it just one situation but often several different events happening on the same day or on our busiest day. Such was the case this week.

Encountering loose dogs while out walking our clients dogs is very frustrating and aggravating. While walking a Doberman and Boxer (no not mine) who get a bit excitable with other dogs, a Jack Russel got away from his owner. The man was walking his dog on a retractable leash and his dog got away from him slipping his collar. The little dog charged at our client’s dogs.  Luckily no one got hurt. The Boxer and Doberman behaved very well considering another dog was going at them.

Champ 2015Wearing barn boots saved the dog walkers foot from being seriously bitten. The Boxer kept nudging her the entire way back home to make sure his dog walker was ok. This is a scary situation and could have turned out very badly.

We are fortunate that we have been walking and caring for these two dogs for aSookie 2015
long time now.  We know them quite well.   A great deal of time and patience went into being able to get them out for daily walks.

Being professional pet sitters/dog walkers, we are always on the alert.  It is our job to pay attention to the dogs in our care as well as to foresee any events that might cause an incidence. These scenarios happen quickly with little time to react. Paying attention to surroundings and changes in the dog’s body language are key.  Our dog walkers are trained on how to avoid these situations and how to handle them if they occur.

The dogs walks finished up between 2-3 pm.  We then started afternoon kitty visits. It was a rainy week. Visiting cats when it’s raining is actually a nice break but not this time.  The pet sitter arrived at a visit of 3 cats and there were two wet spots, one outside the litter box and one by the laundry basin.  Those were cleaned up, however the next morning after a downpour thru the night, the basement had more than a couple wet spots.  The floor was soaked! Of course right by the litter boxes.  All that clay goop was all over.  What a mess! Have you ever had to clean up wet litter off the floor? Not an easy or pleasant task.  The extra time spent cleaning up put a slight delay in the schedule.  Things happen!

Despite the rain, dogs needed out and walked.  We all got soaked but there were no issues.  Lots of wet dog smell and drenched hair and fur but we have towels for that.

Bailey April 2016 (2)

Although we don’t encounter situations like this daily there are some days that can be quite draining. Full schedules, cleaning up accidents, loose dogs charging, crappy weather, working crazy hours 7 days per week are all part of being a pet sitter/dog walker.  You may wonder why we do this.  We do this because even when these things happen, the love of the pets far outweighs the challenges. The happy tails wagging and the kitty purring make it all worth it. Is it an easy way to make money, no.  Is it a rewarding way to make a living, yes.

Cooper 05-04-16 Daisy - May Oliver Ruger 05-03-16

 

 

 

 

 

Do you think pet sitting and dog walking is an easy way to make money?

 

 

 

 

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Pet Diaries! Chase Is A Fun Game!

Pet Diaries

Tuesday morning!

 

Pet DiariesBubba ~

I knew something was up.  Mom and Dad were up extra early, bustling about the house.  They headed out the door together so we are going to be alone for a bit. No worries, I know they don’t leave us for very long.  Either they will be home soon or my friend will be by to visit. Mom and Dad call my friend the pet sitter.  I am going to rest for awhile on the sofa until someone comes home.

OllieOllie ~

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!  Mom and Dad left early this morning. What should I do?  Ripping the stuffing out of pink monkey is a fun game.

 

 

Best in Pet Services TazTaz ~

I really don’t like when Mom and Dad leave.  When they have to go away I like to be alone and go in the basement on the futon.  It’s my safe/comfy space.  The basement door is closed so I will have to stay upstairs but at least I have a comfy bed to curl up on.  I will watch Ollie, he is quite entertaining.

Best in Pet Services BoogerBooger ~

Mom and Dad had somewhere to go.  They closed the basement door so I can stretch out on the bed with no distractions from those dogs.  I like peace and quiet. Taz is always trying to sneak down here with me.  She likes me a lot.

 

 

Tuesday afternoon!

Bubba ~

What a peaceful sleep I was enjoying on the sofa.  My favorite spot is the end where my head rests perfectly on the arm of the couch.  I thought I was dreaming but then the sound grew closer.  I hurried up to the window!  Bubba 05-17-16Yes!  Just what I thought!  Our friend is here!  Ollie and Taz were at the window too, barking so I barked.  It’s what we should do when someone is coming.

I rushed to the door but so did they.  She always has the most amazing smells. We all want to sniff her first and when we do she gives us scratches.

Bubba 2 05-17-16My friend took Ollie and Taz out back. I am special and get to go out front. She walked me all around the front of the yard.  I have new meds now and I am doing much better with my Cushings. My friend noticed the difference and told me that I was doing great.  She was so happy about that!

I showed her that I can walk around back easily.  I tried to lead her to the van. Dad always gives me treats there.  She wasn’t catching on.  She thought I wanted to go to the wooded area to poo. I wanted treats. Sometimes people are so hard to train.

Treats, treats, treats, just thinking about treats! Once we were around back, I started to sniff, so seemed like a good time to relieve myself.  Back inside, my friend gave me fresh water.  She always makes sure my bowl if full with clean, fresh water because I drink a lot.  It’s because of my Cushings, but lately I haven’t needed as much.  It’s the new meds.

I feel content and think I will take a snooze on the sofa. My friend loves me and thinks I am the best so she sat next to me for extra scratches. The scratches around my neck felt good so I closed my eyes. Bubba 02-29-16 - Copy

Ollie ~

Best in Pet Services OllieWhat’s that I hear?  Could it be?  Why, yes it’s my friend!  Oh yippy!  Hooray!  I can’t wait, I can’t wait!  As soon as my friend walked in the door I could smell all those tantalizing scents: dogs, cats, and some kind of other critter not sure what but some kind of little rodent.  I would like to get a hold of that. Maybe it’s like the one I caught when  I was walking with Mom and Dad out back in the woods.  They weren’t too happy but I thought it was great fun. Taz and Ollie wanted it too! Mom and Dad didn’t let us keep it. They ruined our fun game.

Taz & Ollie 09-01-15My friend told me and Taz we had to go out back to potty and then we could play. I am a good boy and listen.  Taz tried to run down to the basement so she wouldn’t have to go out.  She is a baby with so much as one drizzle. We are pals though so I comforted her.

Taz and Ollie 05-17-16After we came in my friend sat on the floor.  She plays tug and fetch with me but Taz was trying to have all her attention.  Taz was lying right next to her rolling over for tummy rubs.  My friend falls for it every time. That annoyed me! I wanted to play. I kept running up to Taz, barking and yipping so he would move away from her. Taz growled and chased me away. Best in Pet Services OllieI guess Taz wanted to play too. Chase is a fun game!

Playing games is the best but my friend said it was time to take a break.  She called me close and gave me scratches and soothing pets, told me she loved me and I am the best.  I am going to rest now until Mom and Dad get home.Ollie 3

 

Taz ~

Taz 02-29-16The car was coming to our house.  I could hear it before it hit the gravel in the driveway.  I am sure  I heard it before Ollie and Bubba.  I am super smart. We all rushed up to the window just in time to see my friend coming. She really loves me and gives me the best tummy rubs. I hurried to the door to greet her first but Ollie and Bubba were right there.  We were all trying to sniff her up.  Those scents are so delicious!

My friend gave me big scratches and said hello.  She wanted me an Ollie to go out back.  She said we needed to do our business.  My business was to get downstairs on the futon.  I don’t like to go out.  Wet drops were falling from the sky. I don’t like that.  I was all set to get in my comfy spot but as I was going to pass the door I noticed something in her hand.  Ollie wanted it bad and rushed outside.  No way was he getting something good.  I hurried out too. Oh well since I was out there I did some sniffing and took a bathroom break.

Me and Ollie were out back when my friend and Bubba came around.  I watched as they headed for the wooded area.  At first I thought they were going for a walk without me.  That would upset me but Bubba just needed his bathroom break.  I knew she wouldn’t take a walk without me.

Taz 05-17-16We went back inside and I intended to spend all my time next to my friend.  She loves me so much and she wants to give me pets, scratches, rub my belly, and tell me how I am the best dog.  Ollie thought she was his friend too and he was trying to get her to play.  She kept throwing his toy to get him out of our way but he kept coming back.

It got worse.  He caught on to her trick and started barking at me.  I was not having it.  I charged at him with my growls.  He kept coming back.  Geesh!  Ollie was really starting to annoy me. Ollie thinks its a game of chase and he was having fun. I was not playing.

He doesn’t seem to bother my friend.  She didn’t growl or chase him away.  I don’t understand it.  She just kept playing with him and she gave him scratches too!

My friend had to go and she said I could go downstairs. I did. Ollie started barking and I  wanted to see if he was playing games with my friend. She came back and let me out of the basement.  I think it’s better to help Bubba keep an eye on Ollie.Bubba and Taz 05-18-16 - Copy

Booger ~

I was taking my snooze when I was awakened by those crazy dogs. Barking, yipping, jumping up and down.  I thought what in the world are they doing.  I rushed up the steps to see but the basement door was closed.  While sitting there waiting, the door opened and there was my friend. Oh goody!

She gave me some pets but not enough.  I think she wanted those dogs to leave the house. She surely wanted to spend time with me because she made them go out the door.  I went down on the bed to wait for her.  She was gone longer than I  expected.  Those dogs try to distract her from giving me ear scratches and pets.  I think they are jealous of me.Booger

It was very disappointing when my friend let those dogs back into the house.  I forgave her though when she sat next to me and said she thought I was a great kitty. She always tells me she loves me and I am the best. Yes, I am!

Taz came back down to the basement to be with me. I was going to tolerate her and keep her company. Ollie was carrying on. Taz went back upstairs to check on things and supervise Ollie. Taz has it under control so I can stretch out and go back to my snooze.

Taz and Booger (3)

 

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Why Cats Get Hairballs!

As a cat owner, you at some time encountered the hairball, a disgusting long, tubular, glob of hair.  It’s very unpleasant to clean up but worse when the unexpected bare feet squishes into it.

Some cats tend to get hairballs more often.  Cats with long hair, such as the Persian, Maine Coon, and Himalayan are prone to getting hairballs. Constant groomers and cats who shed a lot will get hairballs more frequently.

Why cats get hairballs!

Why Cats Get Hairballs

Hairballs result when the dead hair your cat swallowed while grooming  didn’t pass through the intestinal tract. Most times the hair passes easily. When the hair doesn’t pass through, the cat vomits it back up.

Hairballs can be quite dangerous to your cat.  They can become obstructed in the intestinal tract causing a blockage.  This is very serious and may also be life threatening.

Symptoms to watch for

Cats are usually very good at grooming and passing a hairball without a problem.  There will be times when you may hear the horrid retching of your cat trying to get the hairball up.  This is normal and your cat’s way of eliminating the hairball.

Symptoms to cause concern of blockage include

  • Constant vomiting or gagging with no hairballs coming up
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargic
  • Constipation or diarrhea

If these symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian right away.  Blockages are life threatening and your cat must be seen immediately.

How to prevent hairballs.

There are some ways in which you can eliminate or reduce your cat’s hairballs.

  • Regular grooming. You can reduce hairballs by brushing and combing your cat daily to remove loose fur.  Having your long haired cat professionally groomed is recommended to keep their coat trimmed, healthy, and also to minimize hairballs.
  • Cat food formulated for hairballs. These types of food are high-fiber which aids in the passing of the hairball, provides a healthier coat, and minimizes shedding.
  • Lubricant remedies. These are petroleum based lubricants that help hairballs pass through the digestive tract.  Always check with your veterinarian first before giving to your cat.

How do you help your cat eliminate those nasty hairballs?

 

 

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National Pet Day, 10 Ways To Celebrate!

April 11 is National Pet Day!  It is a day to celebrate the joy our pets give us.  It is also a day to bring public awareness to those pets in shelters waiting for the love of a family and forever home of their own.

National Pet Day was established in 2006 by Colleen Paige. Colleen’s love and compassion led her to found National Pet Day to help bring public awareness to the plight of so many unwanted pets.  National Pet Day encourages us to do something to help even if it is a small gesture. .

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love” ~ Mother Theresa

10 Ways to Celebrate National Pet Day

Here are 10 ways to celebrate National Pet Day!

  1. Take your dog for a walk.
  2. Bring home a new toy or treat for your pet.
  3. Hire a pet photographer to take a photo of you and your pet.
  4. Celebrate your pet with a party with all their favorite foods, games, new toys, and maybe a few of their friends.
  5. Share your pets picture on social media.
  6. Visit a shelter and ask how you can volunteer.
  7. Donate items in need to your local shelter. Blankets, food, cleaning supplies, toys, beds are always in need.  Most shelters have a wish list.  Visit their website to find out what they need most.
  8. Give if you can to support local shelters.  They need donations to help support their mission.  Even if you can only give $5-10 it helps.  If you don’t have the means, donate your time.
  9. Help spread the word by sharing pets, programs, and special needs of pets in your community on social media.
  10. Spend some extra time on National Pet Day loving, cuddling, or playing with your own pet.

How will you celebrate National Pet Day?

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