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On March 7th, 2017 by Pat Blaney

Finding the Perfect Pet Sitter

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dog with leashIn honor of Professional Pet Sitters Week, thought it would be good to review things to look at when hiring a professional pet sitter.

If the only thing keeping you from your dream vacation or beach weekend is how you'll care for Ruffles and Max, it's time to consider a professional pet sitter. You can begin your search online, but a personal referral is invaluable. You may find extensive information on the Pet Sitters International website (www.petsit.com) but these key points will get you started. (more…)

On February 17th, 2017 by Pat Blaney

Bark in the Park 2017

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bark in the park imageHUNTERSVILLE, NC:  The 2017 Bark in the Park Top Dog Festival presented by Purina and Harris Teeter will be held at Historic Rural Hill on Saturday, April 29 from 10am to 4pm.  The annual festival from Mecklenburg County Park and Rec returns to Rural Hill for its sixth year.

Dogs and their humans are welcome to join in the festivities which include the annual “Top Dog” photo contest, live music performances, food, product vendors and much more.  Admission is free. (more…)

On October 27th, 2016 by Pat Blaney

Halloween Safety for Dogs and Cats

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Halloween catMany of us enjoy Halloween, whether we are kids yelling, "Trick or Treat” for candy or adults dressing up. While we are planning the festivities, we must look out for the safety of our pets, too.  Keep reading for a list of ways to protect your pets from common Halloween treats and situations.

Be sure to keep phone numbers for your vet and emergency clinic handy – put those into your phone now.  You can post these numbers in a conspicuous place in your home for family, friends and for your pet sitter.  We have provided phone numbers at the bottom of this article for pet poison control centers for reference.  (more…)

On August 25th, 2016 by Pat Blaney

Why Is My Cat Losing Her Claws?

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kitten scratching postHave you ever found what looks like your cat's claw in the carpet or scratching post? Don't worry, this is normal and healthy. Cats lose the outer sheath of their claws and reveal a sharper claw.

What causes the claws to fall out?
Scratching helps claw sheaths fall out, which keeps kitty comfortable. Like dog claws, if the sheaths do not shed, they can curl under and pierce the toe pads, causing pain and infection. So like dogs, cats need nail trims.

Is other nail care necessary?
Cutting the nail tips helps cats not scratch as much to lose their claws. Trimming can also prevent tearing nails. If your feline enjoys sitting on your belly and kneading, you know you can benefit from the trims, too! Sharp nails are painful to our tender tummies. (more…)

On July 8th, 2016 by Pat Blaney

Cool Summer Treats for Pets

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dog licking ice creamDuring hot summer months, your pets like a cool treat as much as you do! Fortunately, you can share some human treats with your pets and you can make treats for them without much effort.

Apple slices are healthy snacks for dogs. They can have pieces of the apple however do not give apple seeds to your dog.  Cut the apple from the core and into small pieces and refrigerate. Other fruits that can be given to dogs include bananas, watermelon (remove seeds and rind), blueberries, pears (remove pit and seeds) and mango.  Cold or frozen veggies can make great summer treats for your dog as well and include carrots, green beans, cucumbers and sweet potatoes.  (more…)

On June 14th, 2016 by Pat Blaney

Offering Options When Walking Dogs Can Minimize Chances of Dog Bites

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Breaking up Dog Fight

Dogs are at heart, wild animals. They long to romp and roam freely but for the safety of our dogs and others, we use leashes.

Leashes can cause frustration
When dogs are well-balanced and in unthreatening situations, they seldom show signs of aggression. But when confronted with pain or a threat to their safety, dogs might react with redirected aggression. This is when the dog bites or tries to bite something or someone other than the source of pain or frustration. Because the natural instinct in confrontation is fight or flight, dogs feel frustrated when tethered by a leash and unable to get away. (more…)

On May 1st, 2016 by Pat Blaney

Pet Sitting Business Requires More than Love of Pets

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pet sitter and dogs

Many people tell us that we must have a great job just playing with dogs and cats all day. It is a great job, but the responsibility goes far beyond play.

First, a potential pet sitter considers the time and money required to establish the business. In addition to the time spent with the pets, we add travel time, training, scheduling, accounting and marketing.  Initially, the pet sitter or team of pet sitters manage the visits and the office. On-line software and mobile phones make the tasks easier, but we quickly realize that we are doing more than walking dogs. After we pet sit, we manage the office, scheduling and sitters. Pet sitting is a full-time job! (more…)

On April 12th, 2016 by Pat Blaney

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

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puppy with gauze bandageHealth insurance is a hot topic these days, and pet insurance is another option to consider. Would you be able to do more for your pets in an emergency if you had insurance? Perhaps, but not necessarily.

Three websites have released their 2016 top pet insurance providers, and all three agree that Healthy Paws offers the best return on your premiums, followed by PetPlan.

Consumers Advocate, the Canine Journal, and LovePets.com compared several insurance plans and provided readers limitations and exclusions to consider. (more…)

On March 14th, 2016 by Pat Blaney

11 Reasons Your Cat Needs Daily Visits When You Are Away

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cat at home photo

Cats are independent beings. They interact with us on their own terms, but like independent older people, they need someone to check on them. Here are some reasons cats need daily visits.

1. Cats hide and can get hurt. The term “curiosity killed the cat” may be extreme however cats can find themselves in very dangerous situations. We don't know how he did it, but one of the cats we care for found himself trapped inside a shower stall!  Because we were visiting every day, he was “rescued” fairly quickly but had no access to food/water or a litter box.  Fortunately, he was fine but was definitely terrified and very happy to get out when we arrived.   

2. Animals instinctively hide illness to remain predators instead of prey. When cats are sick enough to show it, they decline quickly. As Professional Pet Sitters, we are familiar with kitty behavior and more specifically, the behavior of our clients' cats.  We notice when things are not quite right and can alert our client and know when to take a pet to vet. We ask our clients to sign a release form allowing us to bring their pets to the vet in case of an emergency and ask that they advise their vet that their Pet Sitter has permission to bring pet and that they will cover costs. We have seen medical emergencies such as a deadly urinary tract blockage that required immediate veterinary care.  (more…)

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