); ga('require', 'displayfeatures'); ga('require', 'linkid'); ga('set', 'anonymizeIp', true); ga('set', 'forceSSL', true); ga('send', 'pageview');
(480) 608-5885 / TLC House & Pet Sitting Service
Welcoming Spring Kittens: A Guide to Care and Preparation

Welcoming Spring Kittens: A Guide to Care and Preparation

Close up of little red kitten lying under beige knitted blanket. Cute Abyssinian ruddy kitten awaking up in the morning. Autumn or winter image. Selective focus.

As the flowers bloom and the days grow longer, spring brings about a sense of renewal and growth. It’s also a popular time for welcoming new furry additions into our homes – kittens! At TLC House & Pet Sitting Service, we understand the excitement and responsibility that comes with bringing home a new kitten. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of responsible pet ownership through practices like Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), as well as essential tips for caring for and preparing your home for your adorable new feline companion.

Trapped (TNR), Spayed, Neutered

One of the most crucial aspects of responsible pet ownership, particularly for outdoor cats, is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR involves trapping feral or stray cats, spaying or neutering them, and then returning them to their original location. This humane approach helps control the cat population and reduces the number of homeless kittens born each year. If you’re considering adopting a kitten this spring, be sure to inquire about their background and whether they’ve been spayed or neutered. If not, it’s essential to schedule this procedure as soon as possible to prevent unwanted litters and contribute to the well-being of your local cat community.

How to Care for a Kitten

Caring for a kitten requires patience, love, and attention to their unique needs. Here are some essential tips to ensure your new furry friend thrives:

  1. Nutrition: Provide a balanced diet formulated specifically for kittens to support their growth and development. Be sure to offer fresh water at all times.
  2. Veterinary Care: Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian to monitor your kitten’s health, vaccinations, and preventive care, such as flea and tick prevention.
  3. Socialization: Spend quality time interacting and playing with your kitten to help them develop social skills and form a strong bond with you and other household members.
  4. Grooming: Brush your kitten regularly to remove loose fur and prevent matting. Introduce them to grooming routines early to make it a positive experience.
  5. Litter Box Training: Introduce your kitten to their litter box early and keep it clean to encourage proper elimination habits.
A girl holds a newborn kitten in her arms.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Kitten

Welcoming a kitten into your home involves some preparation to ensure their safety and comfort. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Kitten-proofing: Remove or secure any potential hazards such as electrical cords, toxic plants, small objects, and accessible high places where your kitten could get stuck or injured.
  2. Provide a Safe Haven: Set up a cozy, quiet area with a comfortable bed where your kitten can retreat to when they need some alone time.
  3. Toys and Enrichment: Stock up on toys, scratching posts, and climbing structures to keep your kitten entertained and engaged in healthy behaviors.
  4. Introduce Gradually: Introduce your kitten to new environments and household members gradually, allowing them time to adjust at their own pace.
  5. Supervision: Supervise your kitten closely, especially during their exploratory phase, to prevent accidents and ensure they feel secure in their new surroundings.

Bringing home a new kitten is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with responsibilities. By practicing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), providing proper care, and preparing your home accordingly, you can ensure a smooth transition for your furry friend and lay the foundation for a happy and healthy life together. At TLC House & Pet Sitting Service, we’re here to support you every step of the way on your journey as a pet parent. Happy spring and happy kitten parenting!

Essential Puppy Care Tips: From House Training to Socialization

Essential Puppy Care Tips: From House Training to Socialization

Puppy care tips: A cute black Staffordshire bull terrier puppy with a red collar and red leash, standing on three legs, being trained by a man in jeans and trainers holding a treat for the puppy.
Puppy care tips: A cute black Staffordshire bull terrier puppy with a red collar and red leash, standing on three legs, being trained by a man in jeans and trainers holding a treat for the puppy.

Welcoming a new puppy into your home brings a mix of joy, cuddles, and a bit of a learning curve. To help your new furry family member thrive, we’ve updated our essential care tips to include everything from bladder control and feeding schedules to crate training, exercise pens, and the importance of vaccinations and social skills.

Bladder Control & Water Intake

A puppy’s age can help you gauge how long they can hold their bladder: one hour for every month of age. To aid in nighttime house training, consider limiting water intake before bedtime to help reduce the need for middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks. Always ensure your puppy stays hydrated throughout the day, especially after play and exercise.

Feeding Your Growing Puppy

Feed your growing puppy every three hours to support their rapid development. Consistent feeding times not only help with house training but also establish a routine, making your puppy feel secure and well-cared for.

Crate Training

Puppy care tips: Boston Terrier puppy in a cage, crate with the door open. Her bed and blanket, plus toys and bowls can be see in the cage.
Puppy care tips: Boston Terrier puppy in a cage, crate with the door open. Her bed and blanket, plus toys and bowls can be see in the cage.

Crate training offers your puppy a safe, cozy place of their own. Start with short intervals and gradually increase the time they spend in their crate. Ensure it’s always a positive space with plenty of treats, comfort, and never used as a punishment.

Exercise Pens (X Pens) – Your Puppy’s Play Area:

An X Pen provides a secure area for your puppy to play and explore safely. It’s perfect for when direct supervision isn’t possible. To keep your puppy engaged and stimulated, fill the pen with toys and a comfy bed. Under this section, it’s important to note that TLC Pet Sitting Service can visit your home to help exercise your puppy, ensuring they are well-rested and happy when you return.

Puppy Care Tips for Social Skills & Training

Socialization and training are key to raising a well-rounded pup. Introduce your puppy to new experiences in a controlled manner. Basic training sessions, kept to just a few minutes each time you play, can significantly impact their learning and behavior. Remember, direct interaction with other dogs should wait until after they’re fully vaccinated to protect against diseases like parvovirus.

Vaccinations: A Shield for Your Puppy’s Health

Vaccinations are crucial for your puppy’s health, starting around 6-8 weeks of age with boosters every 3-4 weeks until about 4 months old. This schedule ensures they’re protected against common canine diseases and ready to socialize safely with other dogs.

Raising a puppy is an enriching experience that requires patience, consistency, and love. By following these updated care tips, including TLC’s in-home exercise services, you’re ensuring your puppy grows into a healthy, happy, and well-behaved dog. Adapt these guidelines to fit your puppy’s unique needs and personality for the best results.

Have questions or need personalized advice for your puppy? Contact us! We’re here to support your journey to becoming the best puppy parent possible.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Pet Sitter

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Pet Sitter

Hiring a pet sitter is a fantastic way to ensure your furry friend remains happy and healthy in the comfort of their own home while you’re away. However, the process isn’t without its pitfalls. To help you navigate the hiring process, we’ve compiled a list of three common mistakes pet owners make when choosing a pet sitter and how to avoid them.

A dog shaking hands with a kind caregiver.
Cute pet dog looking to her owner trainer and giving paw. Friendship and love of human and animal. Trust, connection and care.

Mistake #1: Not Checking References and Reviews

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not thoroughly vetting your potential pet sitter. It’s essential to check references and read reviews from other pet owners who have used their services.

How to Avoid It:

  • Ask for at least three references from past clients.
  • Read reviews on independent websites or social media platforms.
  • Consider services that conduct background checks on their sitters.

Mistake #2: Overlooking the Importance of Experience and Specialization

Not all pets have the same needs. Some may require special care due to health issues, age, or temperament. Hiring a sitter without the necessary experience or specialization can lead to inadequate care for your pet.

How to Avoid It:

  • Look for sitters with experience caring for pets similar to yours.
  • Discuss any special needs your pet has upfront.
  • Choose a sitter who demonstrates knowledge and comfort with those needs.

Mistake #3: Failing to Have a Meet-and-Greet

Skipping a meet-and-greet session can be a recipe for disaster. It’s crucial for your pet to meet the sitter in advance to ensure they’re a good match. This meeting can also help the sitter familiarize themselves with your home and your pet’s routine.

How to Avoid It:

  • Schedule a meet-and-greet before finalizing the hiring process.
  • Observe how the sitter interacts with your pet.
  • Use this opportunity to discuss your pet’s routine, likes, dislikes, and any emergency procedures.

Finding the right pet sitter is paramount to your peace of mind and your pet’s well-being. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a positive experience for both you and your furry friend. Remember, a good pet sitter is not just someone who feeds and watches over your pet; they’re an extension of your care and love.

Happy puppy on a walk.
Jack Russell Terrier in harness walking on loose leash

Are you looking for a reliable, experienced pet sitter who can provide the best care for your furry family member? Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help keep your pet happy and healthy while you’re away.

Here are some more Pet Sitting Mistakes to Avoid!

Is Your Cat Feeling Under the Weather?

Is Your Cat Feeling Under the Weather?

How to Tell if Your Cat is Sick

Cats, with their mysterious and independent nature, are often experts at concealing their discomfort and pain. As loving pet owners, it’s crucial for us to decipher the subtle signs that indicate our feline friends might not be feeling their best. Understanding these signs is not just about being attentive; it’s about ensuring the health and longevity of our beloved pets. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various indicators of illness in cats, drawing insights from renowned cat behaviorist Pam Johnson. For more in-depth information, visit Pam Johnson’s website.

Recognizing cat sickness

Changes in Behavior: Cats often express discomfort through behavioral changes, which can be subtle or significant.

  • Less Active or Playful: A sudden decrease in activity or interest in play can be a red flag.
  • Hiding or Seeking More Attention: Uncharacteristic behavior, like hiding more often or becoming unusually clingy, can signal distress.
  • Aggression or Irritability: A change from their normal temperament, such as becoming irritable or aggressive, may indicate discomfort.

Changes in Eating and Drinking Habits: Eating and drinking habits can tell a lot about a cat’s health and well-being.

  • Appetite Changes: Both a decrease and an increase in appetite warrant attention.
  • Drinking Habits: Changes in their drinking patterns, either drinking more or less, can be significant.

Grooming Changes: Grooming behavior in cats is often a good indicator of their health status.

  • Over-Grooming or Neglect: Excessive grooming or a lack of grooming can both be signs of underlying issues.
  • Hair Loss: Matted fur or noticeable hair loss should not be overlooked.

Physical Signs: Physical signs are often the most noticeable indicators of a cat’s health.

  • Weight Fluctuations: Both weight loss and gain are important indicators.
  • Discomfort or Pain: Signs like limping or reluctance to be touched are clear distress signals.
  • Lumps or Bumps: Any unusual growths should be checked by a vet.

Vocalization: Changes in a cat’s vocalization can be a subtle sign of discomfort or illness.

  • Changes in Vocalization: An increase or decrease in vocalization, or changes in the tone or type of meowing, can be telling.

Litter Box Habits: Litter box habits are often one of the first things to change when a cat is unwell.

  • Changes in Frequency or Consistency: Any alteration in litter box habits is noteworthy.
  • Accidents: Urinating or defecating outside the litter box is often a sign of a problem.

Breathing and Coughing: Respiratory issues in cats should never be overlooked.

  • Respiratory Issues: Labored breathing, persistent coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath are all causes for concern.

Eye or Nose Discharge: Discharge from the eyes or nose can be a sign of various health issues.

  • Discharge: Unusual discharge from the eyes or nose, or a change in the appearance of the eyes, should be noted.

Vomiting or Diarrhea: Digestive issues can range from mild to severe and should always be taken seriously.

  • Digestive Issues: Frequent vomiting or diarrhea, especially if blood is present, is a serious concern.

Cats are adept at hiding their illnesses, so it’s up to us to be vigilant and responsive to any changes. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment are key to effectively managing health issues in cats.

Don’t wait for an emergency to arise. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining your cat’s health. Visit Pam Johnson’s website and explore her books for more insights into cat behavior and health. We also invite you to share your experiences or tips in the comments below. Remember, your observations could help other cat owners too!

Holiday Separation Anxiety in Pets

Holiday Separation Anxiety in Pets

Ensuring Comfort & Care

The holiday season brings joy and excitement, but for our furry friends, it can be a time of stress, especially when travel and separation are involved. As pet owners, understanding and addressing holiday separation anxiety in pets is crucial to ensure their well-being while you’re away.

Why Pets Struggle with Separation During Holidays

Pets, much like humans, thrive on routine and familiarity. The holidays can disrupt this, leading to anxiety. Signs of stress in pets include reduced appetite, shyness (particularly in cats), destructive behavior like chewing, and even accidents inside the house.

Also Read: Holiday Foods for Pets – What’s Safe and What to Avoid

The Risks of Leaving Pets Isolated

Isolation can exacerbate these issues. A lonely pet is more likely to engage in unwanted behaviors as a coping mechanism. This not only affects their mental health but can also lead to physical health problems.

Preventing Separation Anxiety: A Proactive Approach

  1. Familiar Environment Meet and Greets: Introduce your pet to their sitter in their own home before you leave. This familiar setting helps build trust and ease anxiety.
  2. Maintaining Routine: Keeping your pet on their regular feeding, walking, and playtime schedule is vital. This familiarity provides comfort and a sense of normalcy.
  3. Exercise and Engagement: An active pet is a happy pet. Regular exercise and playtime keep your pet engaged, reducing the likelihood of destructive behaviors.
  4. Building a Relationship with Sitters: Consistency in caregivers allows pets to build a bond with their sitters, making your absence less stressful.

TLC House & Pet Sitting Service: Your Partner in Pet Care

At TLC House & Pet Sitting Service, we understand the nuances of pet care during the holidays. Our professional sitters are trained to maintain your pet’s routine, provide ample exercise, and offer the loving care they deserve. We believe in a gentle approach, never forcing pets into uncomfortable situations.

Our goal is to ensure that your pet feels secure and loved, even when you can’t be there. With our experienced team, you can enjoy your holidays knowing your furry family member is in safe, caring hands.

The holidays don’t have to be a stressful time for your pets. With the right preparation and professional care from TLC House & Pet Sitting Service, you can mitigate separation anxiety and ensure a happy, healthy holiday season for your beloved companions.

TLC House & Pet Sitting Service is Hiring in East Valley, AZ!

TLC House & Pet Sitting Service is Hiring in East Valley, AZ!

Hello, fellow pet lovers!

At TLC House & Pet Sitting Service, we pride ourselves on offering an alternative to boarding, ensuring pets are cared for in the comfort of their homes. As we continue to grow, we’re on the lookout for dedicated individuals who share our passion for animals and can deliver the TLC experience our clients have come to love.

Who Are We Looking For?

  • Independent Contractors: We value the expertise and flexibility that independent contractors bring to our team.
  • Retirees: If you’re retired and have a love for animals, we’d love to have you on board!
  • Animal Enthusiasts: Those with a background as vet techs or with volunteer experience working with animals are highly desired.
  • Customer Service Pros: Excellent communication is key! We need individuals who can follow directions, interact professionally with clients, and work during major holidays.

Location, Location, Location!

We’re specifically hiring for the following zip codes: Ahwatukee (85044), Scottsdale (85257), Tempe (85284), Gilbert (85298), and Chandler (85249). It’s essential that our sitters reside in these areas to ensure timely and efficient service.


We have multiple positions available across different areas and services. Check out our detailed job descriptions on Indeed:

For a general overview, visit our Work With Us page.

Join us in making a difference in the lives of pets and their owners. We can’t wait to meet our next pet-loving team member!

Why Pets Feel Like Family

Why Pets Feel Like Family

The Emotional Bond: Understanding the Psychology of Why Pets Feel Like Family

Have you ever wondered why your pet feels like an integral part of your family? Why the mere act of coming home to a wagging tail or the soothing purrs of your cat can instantly lift your spirits? You’re not alone in this sentiment. For many people, pets are not just animals residing in the home; they are beloved family members. This article delves into the psychology of why pets feel like family and the emotional bonds that tie humans and animals together.

The Oxytocin Connection

One of the key chemicals responsible for emotional bonding between humans and pets is oxytocin. Often referred to as the “love hormone,” oxytocin is released during moments of close interaction, such as hugging or cuddling. Studies have shown that both humans and pets experience an increase in oxytocin levels during shared moments of affection, deepening the emotional connection and reinforcing why pets feel like family.

why pets feel like family

Emotional Support and Well-being

Pets offer a unique form of emotional support that’s different from human interactions. Their non-judgmental presence, loyalty, and unconditional love make them exceptional companions in times of stress, loneliness, or anxiety. For people who treat their pets as family members, this emotional connection can be as fulfilling as any human relationship, further highlighting why pets feel like family.

The Role of Routine and Shared Experiences

Another reason pets often feel like family members is the shared daily routine and experiences. Whether it’s the morning walks, feeding schedules, or playtime, these repetitive interactions create a sense of stability and belonging, not just for the pet but also for the human caregivers. Over time, these shared activities cement the perception of pets as integral family members.

why pets feel like family

Investing in Quality Care

Recognizing why pets feel like family often leads us to invest more in their well-being. Just as you wouldn’t compromise on healthcare or education for a human family member, the same ethos applies to pets. High-quality food, regular vet check-ups, and even specialized services like professional pet sitting contribute to the overall health and happiness of your pet. These items are further consolidating their status as a family member.

The Sociocultural Aspect

Finally, societal norms and values play a significant role in why pets feel like family. Many cultures view pet ownership not merely as an individual choice but as a form of extended kinship. This notion has been reinforced by media, literature, and social narratives. That is what is making the idea of pets as family members a widely accepted and cherished concept.


The emotional bond between humans and pets is not just anecdotal; it’s backed by science, psychological insights, and sociocultural factors. From the release of oxytocin to the shared daily routines, multiple elements contribute to why pets feel like family. As our understanding of this emotional bond deepens, it further solidifies the importance of investing in quality care and time for our furry, feathered, or scaled family members.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

Walking Your Dog Safely in Hot Weather

Walking Your Dog Safely in Hot Weather

Is there such a thing as walking your dog safely in the scorching embrace of an Arizona summer? Only sometimes.  Ensuring your furry friend’s well-being during these intermittent walks becomes so much more important. TLC House & Pet Sitting is here to guide you through the essentials for keeping your dog safe on those oh-so-warm days.

Understanding the Impact of Heat on Your Dog

Unlike their wild ancestors, modern dogs live indoors and are more vulnerable to the effects of high temperatures. Their paw pads are less resilient, and they struggle to adapt as swiftly to warmer weather. Thus, it’s your job as a pet parent to recognize the signs of overheating in dogs and be proactive in ensuring their comfort.

walking your dog in hot weather

Temperature Thresholds for Walks

Determining the ideal temperature for walks is important and maybe a little confusing. At TLC Pet & House Sitting, we have a quick test.  If you can’t put your hand on the ground, then it’s too hot to walk your dog. Therefore, we only walk dogs early morning or after the sun goes down.

Even more, at temperatures surpassing 89°F, dogs are at risk of heat stroke, and any reading of 90°F or higher should prompt you to avoid outdoor activity. For several dogs, even temperatures ranging from 70°-77°F can prove excessively warm. High humidity also plays a significant role; if the sum of temperature (in °F) and humidity crosses 150, outdoor exercise should be avoided altogether.

Where we are in Arizona for example, the climate is often very hot and moderately humid in August. Temperatures are up to 106°F on the day of writing this with a humidity of 41%. On average, Phoenix residents (and most cities surrounding)  can expect to experience 86°F or higher throughout the month.

Factors Affecting Your Dog’s Heat Tolerance

Your dog’s response to heat hinges on various factors, including:

Breed Considerations

Brachycephalic breeds, characterized by flat faces, such as English Bulldogs, Shih-Tzus, and Pugs, are more prone to heatstroke due to their impaired ability to cool down through panting. Walking these kinds of dogs in hot weather should be approached with caution.

Body Type, Size, and Weight

Smaller dogs possess a higher surface-area-to-mass ratio, allowing them to dissipate heat more effectively than larger counterparts. Overweight dogs are more susceptible to overheating than lean ones.

Age and Health

Senior dogs and puppies struggle to regulate body temperature efficiently, and their sensitivity to heat is heightened. Preexisting health conditions, particularly heart or respiratory ailments, can amplify vulnerability.

Coat Characteristics

Coat thickness and color also influence heat tolerance. Double-coated breeds like Golden Retrievers are prone to overheating, while dark-colored dogs absorb more heat from sunlight.

Don’t Rely on a Fan

Did you know that dogs sweat primarily through their feet?  Pets respond differently to heat than people do.  And while we love a cool breeze from a fan, they don’t do the job of cooling off pets as effectively as they do humans.

Acclimation and Humidity

Walking your dog in hot weather may be more difficult if your pup isn’t used to those conditions. The general temperature range your dog is accustomed to matters, along with the humidity level. When combined with these factors, you can refer to the following chart for guidance.  Remember to do the touch-the-street/sidewalk test first:

Temp °F           Recommendation

100°                 It’s too hot to walk your dog (and yourself, too, probably)

90°                   Dangerous heat – use caution (go outside for potty breaks only)

80°-89°            Modify or skip the walk (early mornings or after sun goes down)

70°-79°            Low risk of overheating (depending on the pup, you may need to keep it short)

60°-69°            Enjoy your walk!

Ensuring Safe Paw Patrols: Checking Pavement Temperature

While ambient temperatures might seem manageable, the pavement’s heat can be significantly higher, causing potential harm to your pup’s paws. On sunny days, surfaces like asphalt, concrete, or sand can be 40°-60°F hotter than the air temperature. Stop and think about that for a minute. That’s super-duper hot.  To test the pavement’s suitability for your dog, place your hand (or bare foot) on a sunny spot – if you can’t endure it for 10 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog.

Recognizing and Preventing Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a dire concern during hot weather. Dogs are more heat-sensitive than humans, so identifying symptoms early is crucial:

  • Fast panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Gums turning red, blue, or bruised
  • Dry or sticky gums
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
walking your dog in hot weather

If your dog displays these signs, act promptly. Call or take them to the vet and initiate cooling measures. Move your dog into the shade, apply cool (not cold) water, and avoid laying wet towels. Offer water, but don’t force it. A prompt response can avert severe consequences.

Navigating Hot Days: Safe Walking Strategies

To ensure your dog enjoys walks even on scorching days, consider these strategies:

  • Time Your Walks: Opt for early mornings or evenings when temperatures are cooler.
  • Plan Your Route: Choose shaded paths and grassy areas instead of hot pavements.
  • Adjust Your Pace: Slow down, especially if you have a flat-faced breed, to avoid overexertion.
  • Dress for Success: Utilize dog boots and cooling vests to enhance your dog’s comfort.
  • Hydration Matters: Carry water and a collapsible bowl for your dog to drink.
  • Alternative Activities: Swimming or indoor games can provide exercise without excessive heat exposure.

The Wisdom of Staying Healthy

Not unlike us humans, exercise is easier when we are healthier to begin with.  If you’re walking your dog in hot weather, they’ll appreciate all the help they can get. If you’d like to help your pup be able to have a pep in their step, consider their overall diet. Reader’s Digest put together ‘The Very Best Diet for Dogs, According to Vets’.  The article quotes a veterinarian as saying “As with people, when dogs eat highly processed foods, we see an increase in chronic inflammation which can show up as arthritis, chronic elevation of liver enzymes, immune thyroiditis, and inflammatory bowel disease, among others.”

Walking Your Dog in Hot Weather: Conclusion

When temperatures surge in Arizona (or anywhere, for that matter), ensuring your dog’s safety becomes an important mission. Armed with the knowledge to read your pup’s temperature cues, assess pavement conditions, and recognize signs of heatstroke, you’re equipped to provide the best care for your furry friend. Remember, a few simple adjustments can make all the difference in ensuring enjoyable walks even on the hottest days.

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

Understanding and Treating Yeast Infections in Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding and Treating Yeast Infections in Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

It’s not uncommon for our beloved canine companions to encounter health hitches from time to time. Among these, yeast infections in dogs stand out due to their recurrence and discomfort they cause to our pets. Effectively treating yeast infections, seeing symptoms, and learning how to understand and prevent them are crucial for keeping our pets’ overall well-being.

The Nature of Canine Yeast Infections

Yeast infections in dogs, primarily caused by the yeast species Candida, are a type of fungal infection. These yeasts naturally reside on the skin and ears of dogs without causing issues. However, when they multiply uncontrollably, usually due to a compromised immune system or hormonal imbalance, they can lead to an infection.

yeast infections in dogs

Symptoms of Yeast Infections in Dogs

The manifestation of yeast infections can vary. However, the most common symptoms include:

  • Persistent scratching: Dogs may exhibit more than usual scratching, biting, or licking of the affected area.
  • Changes in skin color and texture: The skin may become thick, greasy, or take on a reddish or brownish discoloration.
  • Unpleasant odor: An unusual musty smell is commonly associated with yeast infections.
  • Head shaking or tilting: If the infection is in the ears, dogs often shake their heads or tilt them to one side.

Diagnosis of Canine Yeast Infections

A proper diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian is crucial for the effective treatment of yeast infections. Veterinarians typically diagnose yeast infections in dogs through a combination of physical examination, symptom evaluation, cytology, and culture tests.

Treatment of Yeast Infections for Your Dog

Once diagnosed, the treatment of yeast infections in dogs usually involves the following:

  • Topical Treatments: Antifungal shampoos, creams, and sprays are often prescribed for local application.
  • Oral Medication: In severe or systemic cases, antifungal drugs may be administered orally.
  • Ear Drops: For yeast infections in dogs’ ears, specific antifungal ear drops are generally recommended.

Prevention Strategies for Yeast Infections in Dogs

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some strategies:

  • Maintain cleanliness: Regularly bathing dogs with vet-recommended shampoos can prevent the overgrowth of yeast.
  • Healthy diet: A well-balanced diet that supports a strong immune system can help keep yeast infections at bay.
  • Regular check-ups: Routine veterinary check-ups can catch early signs of yeast overgrowth and prevent infections.
yeast infections in dogs

Concluding Thoughts

Through understanding and attentiveness, we can safeguard our canine friends from the discomfort of yeast infections. While yeast infections in dogs can be troubling, with proper care, diagnosis, treatment, and preventative measures, they are entirely manageable.

Remember, when it comes to the health of your pet, always consult with a professional. If you notice symptoms that may show a yeast infection, schedule a visit to your vet as soon as possible.

The bond we share with our dogs is amazing. Let’s do our part to keep them healthy, happy, and infection-free!

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

Reasons for a Pet Sitter in Arizona

Reasons for a Pet Sitter in Arizona

So you’re going away? ….and your pets know it.

Are these the main reasons for a pet sitter in Arizona? Rex sits and stares at you with sad, soulful eyes. Mittens jumps into your suitcase, clambering back every time you remove her so you can pack.

Whether you’re leaving for a week or weekend (or longer) leaving your pets is a primary concern; for them as well as you. Pet parents worry about their dogs and cats as much as human parents worry about their children.

You could ask your neighbors to freshen their food and water, but that’s an imposition for them as it is with adult family members. Plus, you wonder if they would know what to do in an emergency. Have they ever cared for an animal other than their own. What if they forget to stop by? If you’re concerned about these items, and more, it’s time to hire a pet sitter in Arizona.

Reasons for and Benefits of Hiring a Pet Sitter:

reasons for a pet sitter

Pet sitters are qualified and professional.

No more worrying about Fido accidentally missing a meal. Sitters care deeply about the animals in their care. They make sure all your pets needs are being met to per your request.

Your pets will have companionship.

Your furry friends will be walked and played with according to their own established schedule, and to your instructions. Walks will always be on time, and your pets’ unique favorite things will be there for them. Does Rex have a favorite squeaky toy? Does Mittens go nuts for the elusive red dot? We’re on it.

Familiarity breeds no stress.

One of our favorite reasons for a pet sitter is this. Surrounding your pets with familiar smells, sights, and sounds is comforting. Also, your pets will have their normal meals at the normal times, and sleep in their very own comfortable beds, stress-free and happy. Find a pet sitter in Arizona that services the areas near your home.

Home care is safest.

By staying at home, your pets won’t come into contact with other – possibly unvaccinated or sick – animals, as they might at a boarding kennel. They stay on their own routine and diet. Pet sitters receive training in health issues and animal first aid, including pet CPR. They’ll immediately update you with any concerns, and follow your instructions.

One on One Time

Reasons for a pet sitter, #5.Unlike a boarding facility, our pet sitters are spending one-on-one time with your pet. There won’t be other unfamiliar animals competing for a caregiver’s attention.

Home security.

It’s an added benefit: your home is less likely to come to the attention of unsavory types if there’s ongoing activity and someone’s clearly there. Closing blind and turning on/off lights is part of what we do.

Best Reasons for a Pet Sitter in Arizona

One of the best reasons for a pet sitter is that your pets are part of your family. They unfailingly provide companionship and unconditional love. Hiring a pet sitter is returning the favor in some ways.

We know that separation is hard on both of you. It’s a pet sitter’s job to keep your furry friends safe and happy, and your home secure, while you’re away.

Find a reputable pet sitter, like TLC Pet Sitter. They often cost less than a boarding kennel and they’re well worth the price!

For More Information

If you have questions about this topic or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC House & Pet Sitting. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com. View more of our articles on pets here.

Hazards of Christmas Decorations for Pets

Hazards of Christmas Decorations for Pets

Hazards of Christmas Decorations for Pets

Including the Not So Obvious Ones

The Christmas and holiday season is upon us once again.  If you’re like many, there are time honored traditions visible in most corners of your home.  From the fresh cut Christmas tree to the twinkly lights to the masses of sweet confections (you may want to check out our article on Holiday Foods for Pets).  It’s an exciting time for all of us.  Not unlike having a toddler in the house, extra precautions are needed with your pets.  The hazards of Christmas decorations for pets may not be immediately obvious.  With a little preparation and consideration this holiday season is sure to be festive and accident free.

Christmas Decorations for Pets
Our pets are part of the family

Dangers of a Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree, decorated from head to toe, feels magical to some.  The smell of fresh pine and the twinkling of the lights can mesmerize and delight.  Until your pets get a hold of it, that is.  With an innate desire to chew on sticks and twigs, your pup may seek out the perfect branches for a snack.   While this may seem harmless, did you know that oils from a fir tree can be quite irritating to mouth tissue?  It can cause excessive drooling and even vomiting.  Even more hazardous are the needles of the tree if ingested.  If consumed in enough quantity they can  puncture the lining of the intestines.  Worse, the needles can create a blockage in your pet’s intestinal tract.  Both can have serious consequences.  We recommend keeping an eye on your pets while the tree is in your home.

If you live in an area like Arizona that doesn’t get a lot of snow, you may be tempted to bring a flocked tree home.  Flocking is a process that deposits small fibers onto branches to simulate the look of snow.  Beware that if Fido starts to nibble and ingests too much flocking, he could become quite ill.

There’s one more item to be conscious of with a fresh tree.  Many of them are treated with chemicals to extend their life span after being cut.  These chemicals can seep into the water supply in your tree stand.  When Fido gets thirsty and sneaks a sip from the tree (which looks like a big water bowl to her) she may be ingesting poison.

Sparkly Lights

No Christmas tree is complete without a bounty of beautiful lights.  Whether you’re an all-white-lights kind of person, or prefer blinking multi-colored lights, every tree comes alive with them.  Your pets couldn’t agree more.  For whatever reason, many pets are drawn to the cords of lights.  Whether they are on your tree, mantle, or around a door frame, pets are intrigued.  Did you know that electrocution from chewing on cords is the most common form or electrical injury for pets.  Electrocution, as it sounds, is quite painful.  It can cause burning and scarring of the mouth and surrounding tissue and hair.  Some animals even experience long-term complications from injuries sustained during cord chewing. 

If you have a pet that likes to chew, we suggest keeping lights up and away from their reach.  Even if you think you can trust your pet, it is wise to periodically check cords for chew marks.  Or, an extreme alternative that we’ve seen is placing a cage around your tree.  This may dampen the Christmas mood a bit, however.

Christmas Decorations for Pets
Don’t let those cute faces fool you :o)

Christmas Decorations for Pets

Bringing out your favorite decorations from years gone by can be a tricky prospect with a tail wagging pup or a cat that can leap tall buildings in a single bound.  If you need to scale back this year because of a new furry family member, here are a few alternatives that are safe and mostly pet proof.

  • Paper decorations dyed with food coloring are inexpensive and safe ornaments (and fun for the kids to make)
  • Shatterproof Christmas ornaments will last for years and usually survive a swat or bump off of the tree
  • Silk Christmas ornaments are an alternative to glass and will withstand the curiosity of pets

Decorations Not on Your Tree

Even though the biggest attraction for your pets may be the tree, there are other hazards of Christmas decorations for pets to keep in mind.  This abbreviated list may help you keep your home pet-friendly during the holiday season:

Poinsettias can be dangerous to pets
  • Poinsettia Plants – which are mildly poisonous to pets if ingested
  • Advent Calendars – which often contain candy that can make your pets ill
  • Live Mistletoe – which is mildly to moderately poisonous to pets and humans
  • Cookies, Cakes, Pies – Some contain ingredients, such as chocolate or nuts, that can make our pets ill
  • Jerusalem Cherry – which cause painful intestinal issues
  • Lilies and Daffodils – which can cause convulsions and are fatal when ingested in large amounts

At TLC we are wishing you and your pets a happy and safe 2020 holiday season.

For More Information

If you have questions about the hazards of Christmas decorations for pets or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.

Holiday Foods for Pets

Holiday Foods for Pets

Holiday Foods for Pets

What’s Safe and What to Avoid

holiday foods for pets

With less than a week to go until it’s officially the holiday season, you may be doing a lot of menu planning.  Many of the holidays have traditions surrounding food, and none more so than Thanksgiving. You may be already aware that there are many foods unsafe for your pet. However, this list will show you that it is possible to prepare holiday food for pets that is delicious and safe for them.


What would a Thanksgiving meal be without turkey? Luckily, the meat from this bird is safe for your pets as long as it is thoroughly cook. It should also be given without the skin. Of course, never give your dog the bones from the turkey. Bones can splinter easily becoming sharp weapons in your dog’s delicate digestive tract. In order to qualify as a good Thanksgiving food for pets, the turkey meat should be unseasoned.

Sweet Potatoes

There are several traditional Thanksgiving vegetables that your pets can enjoy with you.  Sweet potatoes are often a pup favorite.  They are rich in many nutrients, such as Vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium.  Most dogs will gladly chow down on some raw or dried pieces of sweet potato. You do not want to give your dog the canned kind or any that have been baked with marshmallows.  Most marshmallows contain Xylitol, which is toxic for dogs.  Your pets also do not need the additional sugar that is often found in sweet potato casseroles.  

Want to make a home made treat for your pup for the holidays?  Enjoy this recipe for a DIY Sweet Potato Dog Chew.

Green Beans

Another great veggie to share with your pets is green beans. They are high in both fiber and Vitamins C and K. The trick here is to feed them to your dog while you are cooking up your green bean casserole. Your pet will much prefer the raw, crisp version over the finished product. If your secret green bean casserole recipe involves onions or mushrooms, it is even more important to not let your dog sample it, as these ingredients are toxic to them.


This fall classic is often one of the first foods to make an appearance at the holidays. That being said, feeding your animals leftover pumpkins from Halloween is not advised and could make your pet very ill.  You can, however, feed them pure fresh pumpkin. This holiday food for pets can be either raw or cooked, but it should not contain any added sugar or spices.


The bread debate; should I or shouldn’t I?  Dogs are not going to get much nutritional value out of bread (just like us).  Feeding your pup small servings of white bread or dinner rolls from time to time won’t hurt them.  It won’t help them either.  Bread is a filler food and doesn’t contain any extra nutrients that they are not already getting from their daily dog food diet.  There can be significant health risks, however, from bread dough or not fully cooked bread.  The yeast in many breads, if uncooked, will continue to rise once it enters your pets tummy.  Read more about bread and your dog here from the American Kennel Club.

Avoid Feeding Your Pets These Foods, Any Time of Year

Walnuts and Raisins

Many people know that raisins and grapes are dangerous for dogs.  These mini treats pack a punch to your pups kidneys. Avoid them always.  What many people do not know is that several types of nuts, in particular walnuts, are also very dangerous.  For more information on nuts and pets, reading this article will help.

Mac and Cheese

This holiday food for pets should be approached with caution. There is a debate on mac and cheese in the pet community. Dogs and cats do not need a daily dose of dairy products.  But some sure do love it!  However, some pets, even cats, can become intolerant of dairy products.  This is especially true in older pets.  In these cases, even small amounts of mac and cheese could result in gas, vomiting, and diarrhea.  You know your pet best, if their tummies can handle it, keep the treat to one small serving.  

Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Onion

Garlic and onion can make your dogs very ill. Even the powdered versions can wreak havoc on your pets body.  Further, raw potatoes should be avoided as they contain an element toxic to animals; solanine.  If your pet loves potatoes, be sure that they are fully baked or boiled (and cooled) before serving to your furry friend.  Skip the salt and butter, too, for the best version for Fido.

As always, for items that may affect the health and safety of your pet, consult with your veterinarian. 

For More Information

If you have questions about holiday foods for pets or general questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.