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(480) 588-1364 / TLC House & Pet Sitting Service
Redirected Aggression in Pets

Redirected Aggression in Pets

Redirected Aggression in Pets

Perhaps this has happened to you. You come home and find your mild-mannered pet has ravaged a curtain or torn apart a shoe from your closet – objects she has never paid attention to before. What is going on here?

It could well be a case of misdirected aggression from your dog or cat. Have you ever been upset with your boss at work and taken out your frustration on a co-worker instead? That is a form of misdirected aggression. Dogs, who are social creatures living in a hierarchal environment, do the same thing. If a dog is upset or out of sorts or challenged, he may lash out at an alternate target. Which could well be your favorite sofa cushion or TV remote.

Cats, who operate more as independent contractors, are especially prone to misdirected aggression. When a feline routine is disrupted a cat can take out its displeasure in myriad mysterious behaviors – including aggression towards you.

Understanding an incident of misdirected aggression is critical. Your pet is demonstrating an appropriate behavior but choosing an inappropriate target. If you can analyze your pet’s surroundings you can perhaps decipher the cause and correct it through counter-conditioning. One way a pet sitter can help is to minimize disruptions in your pet’s daily routine during your work and travel schedules. Stress reduction helps keep anxiety levels low and property destruction to a minimum.

At TLC we can help pet owners assess common redirected aggression in pets and help channel that energy into appropriate responses.

For More Information

If you have questions about redirected aggression in 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.

Raising a Puppy

Raising a Puppy

Raising a Puppy

If You Want a Great Dog, Raise a Good Puppy

Raising a puppy sounds like a good ole’ time of throwing a ball and watching him scurry after it. We all know how holding a sweet puppy can just melt your heart. However, there is so much more to raising a puppy. Becoming a responsible puppy owner requires a lot of work and patience. If you want a great dog, raise a good puppy.

Never Know “No!”

Your puppy was born into this world completely helpless and blind. Now, in your care, he is fully dependent on you to teach him about the world around him, as well as what behaviors are unacceptable. Unfortunately, many trainers using old, outdated methods still tell you that the first thing you should teach your puppy is the meaning of “No!” The science and theory of learning, however, states otherwise. A puppy learns quicker and far more consistently when you can prevent his bad behaviors and reward the good ones. This motivates him to perform good behaviors instead of focusing the bad behaviors. An excellent example of preventing bad behaviors would be the use of a crate or playpen for housebreaking. Keeping your puppy in a safe place while you cannot keep an eye on him prevents him from wondering into another room to potty. When you take him to the proper potty place, you can reward him for doing his business. With time and consistency, he will want to potty in the right place, because you have positively conditioned him to do so!

Training Starts Now

The very first thing you should do with your puppy is begin training. This does not mean that you should begin a full training session before stepping foot indoors, but it does mean that the moment your puppy becomes yours, you should jump straight into his schedule! Dogs rely on schedules, and your puppy is no different. If he is given the ability to potty at the correct times, eat at specific times and given ample exercise and play times you have already started training! Puppies learn from repetition, and a schedule will get his mind and body in sync with the schedule you have made for him.

Involve Everyone

Even if your puppy is meant to be yours and yours alone, ask others to chip in on his care. Puppy care can be a difficult and daunting task to do it right all alone. Puppies need a potty break every hour or hour-and-a-half. If this doesn’t fit your schedule, ask a close friend of family member to do it and get them involved in your puppy’s life. It will be both rewarding for you, your friend or family member as well as your puppy. There may be times when you cannot be there when your puppy is in need, and it is helpful for him to learn to continue his schedule, even when it is with another person.

It’s Cute Now, But Not Later

Your puppy’s jumping and barking may be cute now, but when that little Labrador grows into an extra-large canine, it will just be annoying! A large, or even medium sized dog can easily knock over a person, making it a dangerous behavior to learn. Begin your puppy’s obedience by reinforcing behaviors like: no pawing, jumping, or being forceful with others in order to get what he wants. It’s simple to teach. First, hold a toy or treat that your puppy wants and wait. Then, he will get excited, jump, bark, or even lay down. These are all typical behaviors puppies use to get what they want. Finally, the moment he gives up and looks the other way is the moment you reward him by giving him the treat or toy! Continue doing this throughout the day, especially during play sessions. He is learning that he must be polite and gentle to get what he wants.

Consistency is Always Key

You will hear this one a lot, but it is for good reason. If you let your puppy get away with something you have just reinforced bad behavior that you were working to change. Telling yourself, “It’s okay, just this one time,” will simply add confusion to your puppy’s understanding of boundaries. Stick with your puppy’s training regimen and schedule. Remember to keep it training fun. After all, it is just one big game to your puppy. With the right attitude, it can be a fun game for you, too!

For More Information

If you have questions about raising a puppy 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.

Spay and Neuter for Dogs: What You Need to Know

Spay and Neuter for Dogs: What You Need to Know

Spay or Neuter for Dogs:

What You Need to Know

It has become a widely held belief that every pet owner should spay or neuter their dog without question. However, what spay and neuter advocates won’t tell you are some of the risks. Along with the benefits, there are risks to this life altering surgery. Not every dog must be spayed or neutered. Every pet owner should consider the options and make a personal choice, just as they would with every other decision relating to their pet.

spay neuterBenefits

Most of the benefits associated with spay or neuter procedures are true. Your dog will most likely calm down from his hormonal need to multiply, but this does not mean he will gain weight and become slow. He will maintain all of his natural energy and healthy weight as long as you provide a quality diet and daily exercise.

A spayed female is given prevention from mammary tumors and will never get Pyometra (a life threatening infection of the uterus). A male who is neutered also is given prevention from an enlarged prostate and testicular cancer, as his testicles will be fully removed in a typical neuter.

Risks

Your veterinarian should go over the risks involved in this surgery before-hand. These risks may include problems with anesthesia, especially in small dogs. If you have an experienced vet who is passionate about what they do, the risks are lowered. Going under anesthesia will lower your dog’s body temperature, which should be constantly monitored. Other problems, such as anaphylactic shock can also occur in a dog who has a reaction to a type of anesthesia.

Along with the typical risks of anesthesia from the surgery itself, you also have to keep an eye out for infection around the incision. While your dog is recovering, you must watch for signs of pain and discomfort. Your vet can provide medications for pain if it is severe.

The removal of a major body part will place stress on anyone’s body, even your dog’s! When a reproductive organ is removed, such as the uterus or the testicles, the dog’s body undergoes a change. Removing these organs adds a higher risk to joint problems, incontinence, and some types of cancers. If neutered before the age of 2, a dog has a significantly increased chance of hip dysplasia and major hair or coat changes.

spay and neuterThe Big Decision

Still unsure if you should spay or neuter your dog? First, you should ask yourself if you feel you can handle an intact animal. A dog who is kept intact has a higher likelihood of marking, or urinating on objects within your home. This can be addressed through training with diligence and consistency, but you must ask yourself if you have that kind of patience to deal with a dog urinating in a home at 2 years of age!

Almost any dog of any breed can be taught boundaries and to stay within their owners’ sight. However, keeping a watchful eye on a female dog in season can be challenging. If she is not monitored carefully, you could end up with an unwanted litter.

Not everyone is able to successfully raise a pet that is not spayed or neutered.  For those simply seeking a best friend, it may be best to get your pet ‘fixed’. The downside to an altered pet is that the increased risk of long term health problems. They may also require more vet care in their senior years. If you do choose to spay or neuter, it may be safer to wait until your dog reaches full maturity.  At 2 years old, risks associated with arthritis, mobility issues, and hip dysplasia, are decreased. For some who are up to the challenge, consider keeping your dog intact primarily for your pet’s health, but also to maintain a healthy wallet!

For More Information

If you have questions about spay or neuter procedures for dogs 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.

Aggressive Dogs and Knowing the Signs

Aggressive Dogs and Knowing the Signs

Aggressive Dogs

How to Spot Fear & Aggression in Dogs

News headlines are constantly highlighting dog attacks. As such, even more dogs are being euthanized in shelters as they are deemed aggressive, dangerous and unpredictable. Would it surprise you to hear that all of this would be preventable with a basic knowledge of canine behavior?

The Fearful Attacker

It is true that no dog attacks without reason, and almost every time that reason is that his body language was ignored. The vast majority of dogs who bite, bark, growl or lunge do so out of fear. Something occurred, whether you can see it or not, that made the dog feel threatened and fearful. His language was ignored, and thus he reacted in the only way he knew to protect himself. Other behaviors can come into play as well, such as resource guarding which is another fear based behavior. Remember being told as a child to not pet an eating dog? It is because a dog with resource guarding problems may lash out if prompted, even when you are just trying to be his friend.

The fearful dog who causes harm to a human or other animal is a serious danger. The people and animals around him can become hurt or even killed, which also puts his life in danger. If your dog has a bite history or at risk of biting, don’t try to train him yourself! You need a specialist or experience animal behaviorist to help your dog get a better grip and understanding of the world around him. This expert help will keep you all safe!

Unpredictable Shelter Dogs

Shelter dogs are often characterized as aggressive dogs. Dogs who are healthy and yet considered non-adoptable according to a shelter’s temperament testing system also falls into the category of being misunderstood. These dogs are in need of help and are often just scared. A scared dog will act in the only way he or she knows, which is to protect themselves from harm. This is often seen as an aggressive dog.

Considering a dog has no ability to understand what humans are telling them, they have no idea if the next person that walks into their kennel, picks up their food dish or puts a leash on them will cause them harm or not. The human may unknowingly provoke the dog by moving their body in a manner that gives the dog reason to be fearful, such as walking straight up, bending over the dog, reaching a hand towards the dog and even eye contact.

There is hope for these shelter dogs if they are given a chance. The fear in them can be changed through the training method called counter conditioning. It is a simple, but time consuming tactic based on the premise of changing a dog’s emotion over his trigger. The trigger can be a human, another dog, or even loud noises.

Counter Conditioning for Fear in Aggressive Dogs

Teaching a dog to accept something that he is terrified of can be challenging. It can take from a few days to months to change how a dog feels about something, but it can be done! Counter conditioning is the act of doing just that, and it requires patience, time and consistency. Get started with a handful of irresistible treats and the dog’s trigger at such a distance that the dog hardly notices. Every time the dog acknowledges the trigger without reacting, give him a treat. Work up, over time of short sessions, to having the trigger within only a few feet from the dog without him reacting. When you get to that point, you can call it a big success!

Dogs who are euthanized or have lashed out, bitten or snarled over resource guarding is a terrible tragedy. Resource guarding is a natural behavior that even the dog’s wild cousins, the wolves’ exhibit. Resource guarding is when a dog feels protective over an item, food, or even a person or another dog. This is the dog’s fear of that item being taken from him. Even this dangerous and overly common behavior can be trained out of a fear aggressive dog, sometimes within days!

Don’t Throw In The Towel!

It is extremely rare that a dog may be beyond the ability to rehabilitate or reform in their fearful and aggressive behaviors. Professional help is often times the best answer, but those few who are lucky enough to have the natural ability to communicate with dogs and are educated in the theory of training can effectively treat or even cure fear aggressive behaviors. Learn all you can, and never throw in the towel!

For More Information

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

Free Feeding Your Pet While You’re Away?

Free Feeding Your Pet While You’re Away?

You Want What’s Best

Is Free Feeding Your Pet a Good Idea?

So you’re going away for a few days. It can be tempting to simply leave a self feeder full of kibble out for your cat or dog, but it’s not always the best idea. Consider the following before you begin free feeding your pet while you’re out of town.

What is Free Feeding?

Free feeding, also known as grazing, is when you set out a large, unmeasured quantity of food for your pet. It’s different from meal feeding because your pet has the opportunity to eat throughout the day instead of at predictable intervals.

Unlike when you measure a portion of kibble that your pet can nibble until the next scheduled serving, free feeding doesn’t have any means of portion control. You would keep topping it off every time it gets low and rely on your pet to determine how much to consume.

What are the Advantages?

Of course, the biggest advantage to free feeding is the convenience. Once you set out the food, you wouldn’t have to do much monitoring other than keeping it full. Some animals benefit from free feeding, particularly elderly or sick pets who need help keeping their weight on. Pets who are prone to anxiety from food insecurity may have to be free fed as well.

What are the Disadvantages?

However, free feeding kibble throughout the day has serious health drawbacks. Especially when you’re out of town, some cats and dogs will begin grazing on their kibble out of boredom. Then, their overeating could lead to obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract disease. For cats, a free fed diet can also lead them to be more sedentary, because they are naturally more active before meal time.

Dogs in particular have a harder time knowing when to stop eating. Dogs’ wild ancestors, wolves, instinctively gorge themselves on large prey animals, and then go days without eating while they digest. Today’s dogs express that wild instinct by eating as much food as there is in front of them. Since the kibble expands in their stomachs, some dogs will eat to the point of becoming nauseated.

What Are Some Alternatives to Free Feeding?

If you’re only going to be gone for just one evening, you might want to invest in a timed feeder. Timed feeders come in a variety of configurations. Some have a reservoir on top and a mechanism on the bottom that turns to measure an amount of kibble. Others pop open to reveal a pre-measured amount of food, which is particularly useful for wet food.

However, if you’re going out of town for an extended period of time, the best thing you can do is hire a pet sitter. A pet sitter can monitor your cat or dog’s eating levels to make sure that they have a healthful appetite. Our professional pet sitters also have emergency plans in place, so you don’t have to worry about your pet ever missing a meal.

Questions About Free Feeding ?

If you have any questions about free feeding, or other questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.

What to Do When Your Cat is Shy for Strangers

What to Do When Your Cat is Shy for Strangers

Mittens is Typically Full of Personality

But My Cat is Shy for Strangers

You could have the sweetest cat in the world, but no one would ever know if kitty rushes to hide under the bed whenever there’s company! It’s fairly common for cats to be afraid of strangers, especially if they weren’t socialized as kittens or grew up on the streets. If your cat is shy, try the following tips to help your cat feel less shy around strangers.

Provide a Safe Space

Before your company arrives, designate a safe area for your cat. It could be in a back room or a quiet area of your house where your cat usually feels calm and likes to sleep. Then, let your company know about your cat’s safe space. Advise them not to disturb kitty when he or she goes back there to be alone. This will help ease feelings of anxiety in your cat. He or she will know that there’s always a safe escape if things get too exciting.

Avoid Loud Noises

Some cats are afraid of strangers because they associate them with scary noises. Instead of using the doorbell or buzzer, let your guests know ahead of time that they should call or text once they’ve arrived. Try to keep the noise level of your conversation low and laughters down to a quiet chuckle to keep from spooking your cat.

Let the Cat Come to You

It could take several visits before your cat comes out to say hello to your company, and that’s perfectly normal. Don’t force your cat to greet strangers by catching them and holding them once your guests arrive. Alternatively, you can give your visitors a handful of treats to put down if kitty ventures close to them. You can also leave a pile of treats halfway between the safe area and your guests’ area to encourage kitty to come a little closer.

Use the formal feline greeting

Once your kitty feels comfortable approaching your guests, coach them to extend one finger and wait for the cat’s response. Your cat will either brush his or her cheeks on the finger, which means he or she feels comfortable enough to be petted, or simply walk away if not. Once your cat indicates it’s okay to be petted, remind your guests not to overdo it. One gentle chin rub should be enough.

When it comes to cat sitting, it can take a little time for kitties warm up to their sitters, too. Let us know if your cat tends to be shy, and we’ll do everything possible to make him or her feel comfortable and secure during our visits.

Questions About Why Your Cat is Shy?

If you have any questions about why your cat is shy, or other questions about pet care, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.


Fun Things to Do With Your Dog

Sports, Games and Just Plain Fun

Looking for some fun things to do with your dog?  Think you’ve tried it all?  We’ve compiled a list of activities that should keep you both pretty busy! This list will help with training, exercise, and overall fun for you and your dog.

  • Agility– in, out, over and through this sport is all about working as a team
  • Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy– the warm head of a friendly pet can soothe a lonely heart
  • Bikejoring– some dogs love to run. Adding the responsibility of teamwork adds to the fun.
  • Canicross– dog powered running for those who want to share their running goals with their best friend
  • Carting– channel the desire to pull into harness work that lets the dog feel useful and skilled
  • Coursing and racing– root instinct drives the joy of running with purpose in coursing and racing
  • Day trips and vacations– the dogs need not be left behind, bring them along for even more fun
  • Disc Dog or Flying Disc– if there was ever meaning to jump for joy this is it, jumping with achievement
  • Dock Jumping or Dock Diving– dogs who excel in this sport are love to show they can do it further and better
  • Dog Camps – Activity Sampler– too many choices? take a vacation with your dog and sample a variety
  • Dog Parks and Dog Walks: Socialization and Off-leash Play– a joy for the social dog, think tot lot
  • Dog Scootering– some dogs love to run. Adding the responsibility of teamwork adds to the fun.
  • Earthdog Trials– instinct, drive, and flying dirt – what more could an earthdog want
  • Flyball– excitement, speed, and focus, a sport for dogs driven to do it faster
  • Flygility– racing and teamwork to build confidence and a sense of belonging
  • Games– the most basic of interactions, fun ways of practicing skills of hunting, fetching, working together
  • Herding– it’s all about the dog’s instinct and desire to control and direct movement for the pack leader
  • Hiking, Backpacking and Dog Walks– sharing our quiet moments, our contemplations is the essence of being a pack
  • Hunt and Field Trials– working as a team is what drives these dogs
  • Kids and Dogs– dogs and kids can be a wonderful pairing with a little learning to keep it safe and fun
  • Mushing– for dogs who love to pull and people who want to let them
  • Musical Freestyle– the ultimate in teamwork is working with rhythm and coordination
  • Obedience– precision, focus and a great activity for perfectionist dogs, those who love to get it exactly right
  • Performance Art (Tricks)– curiosity and a willingness to try new things makes this fun
  • Pet Facilitated Therapy– for the dog who loves attention what better way to get it than visiting people in need
  • Precision Drill Teams– the excitement of success, of meeting a challenge and being a part of the team
  • Pulling– great for dogs who love to pull, and people who want to let them
  • Racing– for the dogs who love not just running but being faster than the next one
  • Rally Obedience– more focus on teamwork, less focus on precision, fun and relaxed for human and dog
  • Ring Sport– a sport that says “I can be a contributing member of the family” Some dogs thrive on responsibility
  • Rollerblade– a fun way for dogs and humans to share exercise and fresh air
  • Schutzhund– tracking, obedience, protection, schutzhund is all about what a well rounded dog is all about
  • Search and Rescue– for some making a difference is important, that includes dogs, they know it matters
  • Skijoring– dogs love to pull, people love to ski. Put the two together and you have skijoring.
  • Sledding
  • Sniffer Dog
  • Stock Dog Trials
  • Tracking
  • Treibball– herding balls instead of sheep
  • Visiting Pets
  • Water Work
  • Weight Pulling

These suggestions are thanks to http://www.dogplay.com/

Six Tips on Dog Walking for Pet Owners

Six Tips on Dog Walking for Pet Owners

6 Tips for Dog Walking

Even if you do not like it, your dog definitely likes to take a stroll. You may be surprised by these tips for dog walking. After all, dog walking seems pretty easy.  Dog walking is essential for maintaining your pet’s health and keeping them happy and active. Therefore, if you do not have the habit of taking your dog out every morning or evening, you should get started with at least twice a week and let the habit build. Dog owners will enjoy these tips for dog walking. They will help you master the art of dog walking sooner than you think.

1.      Lead your dog

Always walk in front of your dog or by its side. If your dog is ahead of you, it will keep dragging you along with it and you will never know who is walking whom. Dogs are naturally programmed function in packs so they will only find it natural if you lead them. Make sure you are the first one to step outside your house every morning and the first one to step in when coming back from the walk.

2.      Switch to shorter dog leash

Many believe that having longer leashes would allow your dog to walk freely, but longer leashes mean less control and increased chances of your dog running in the middle of the road with you running after. Shorter leashes allow you greater control on your dog and you can easily direct and train them. However, when buying the leash, make sure it is not hard on the skin and not hazardous in any way.

3.      Set aside fixed hour each morning

Dogs are diurnal and they like morning walks, so set aside an hour every morning for the walk. However, the need may vary from breed to breed, so have your dog’s vet tell you how much time a day would be suitable for your dog’s health.

4.      Let your dog sniff around

Dogs like to sniff around. It is their playtime activity and they enjoy it more than anything else. This is how they gather all the information about what is going around them. You as a dog owner should know how important this walk is for their health and mental stimulation. If you do not want to stop at every step while your dog sniffs every next thing, you can loosen the leash for a bit after a while so you can walk without constantly running after your dog.

5.      Do not forget to treat your dog!

Dogs are famous for learning through reinforcement method – treat them when they behave good to promote that behavior and turn it into habit Every time you complete a run or a walk with your dog, treat them with their favorite meal and give them plenty of water to replenish from the walking and sniffing. By doing this, you will be conditioning your dog in a way through which they will look forward to daily walks.

6.      Clean what he leaves behind

A good dog walker is also a good citizen. Clean up dog poop if they leave any on the walk and properly dispose it off. It won’t be a pleasant thing to do, especially when you are out on a good sunny day but it only makes you a good dog owner and a responsible neighbor.

Responsible Pet Ownership

Responsible Pet Ownership

Responsible Pet Ownership

Responsible pet ownership is nothing less than caring for a child. Luckily, most pet owners do consider their pets a part of their family. However, loving is not enough when it comes to being a good and responsible pet owner. Just like you work on raising your child, work on his education, make sure he is eating a well-balanced diet, his hygiene is maintained; you do the same with your pet as well. If you are wondering what should you do to become a responsible pet owner and how it is more than just loving your pet, continue reading the post.

Caring for Your Pet’s Physical Health

Taking care of your pet’s healthIt does not matter if you have gotten your pet vaccinated or not, regular checkups are must. With us humans, we can easily tell if something is not okay or not feeling well, but since we don’t speak the language of our pets, we don’t really know what might be going inside their body and how they are feeling. This is why it is important that you get their monthly physical check-up scheduled. Your pet’s health includes making sure they are free from fleas and parasites which can be sucking onto them and eventually weakening your pet. Also, get your pet’s teeth brushed twice a day as well.

Caring for Your Pet’s Diet

Healthy and balanced diet – Like every living being, your pet also needs a complete diet that’s a combination of fats, carbs and proteins to maintain a healthy gut system. Homemade pet food is the best option for pet food. However, even if you are buying instant pet food, make sure it contains the daily nutritional requirement of your pet. Also, do not feed your pet too much. Diabetes and obesity does not only exist in humans. It can also affect your pet and make them sick and lethargic.   

Spay and Neuter Your Pets

Be sure your pet is spayed or neuteredSome might think this practice is unethical, but pet overpopulation has become a serious problem because not everyone is a pet lover nor there is enough space in pet shelters. Which is why getting your pet neutered is important to control the pet overpopulation. It also reduces the risk of your pet getting testicular cancer and other health risks.

Being Prepared

Be prepared for pet emergencies – Just as you always make sure to keep a baby bag prepared with all the baby essentials in it, you have to do that for your pet too. Keep all the emergency supplies ready in a kit including eye ointments, vet wraps, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, anti-septic, and tweezers. Also, keep a pet first aid book at hand, especially when travelling with your pet in a car.

Basic Training

Timely training – We are not just talking about professional training here; basic training is equally important for your pet. It stimulates their mind and keeps them active and happy. Reward based training is known to help in promoting good mental health in your pet and enhance the relation between the pet and owner. Training also conditions and eliminates violent habits from your pet’s behavior, making them friendly and calm.

Choosing a Pet Sitter That Your Dog Will Love

Choosing a Pet Sitter That Your Dog Will Love

Choosing a Pet Sitter

That Your Dog will Love

In today’s busy world, it often becomes difficult to care for your pet the way you’d want to. So enters a positive alternative; a doting pet sitter. Choosing a pet sitter that your dog will love may seem daunting. With the right tools, you’ll be all set to make a choice that your furry friend will love. Read on for what to consider when looking for a pet sitter.

You are looking for someone to take care of your pet in your absence, and you have to make sure you leave this responsibility to someone who is responsible enough to treat your pet as their own. Before hiring a pet sitter, ask around about the sitters offering their services in the vicinity. If they have an online page, look for testimonials and reviews by their previous clients. Moreover, make sure you meet them once or twice in person before you finally hand them the responsibility to take care of your pet. Do not hire a sitter who has no prior experience with animals because even a minor careless act from their side can be dangerous for your pet.

2.      See How Resourceful They Are

See how knowledgeable your pet sitter is and we’re not talking about the general knowledge here only. A good pet sitter must have thorough knowledge about animal care, with a good understanding of ergonomics. Ask your pet sitter if they know the safety measures to be taken in emergency or if they know where to take the pet if something goes wrong with it. Check if they have a sound understanding of animal psychology to respond to your pet’s separation anxiety or changes in its moods. If you feel like the sitter has enough knowledge to be trusted, hire them.

3.      Do They Have a Pet Friendly Home

Leaving your pet in someone’s care is not an easy thing for a pet owner. Not being sure if your pet would be safe while you are away can add extra mental burden. A pet friendly home lessens that burden by assuring you pet security. Make sure the sitter’s house is equipped with all essential safety measures for the pet. If there is a yard, make sure it is pet-protected with high fences and no loose wires hanging here and there. As for interior, it would be better if there is paw-friendly flooring and small carved out spaces for pets to hide in, otherwise chances are they will end up stuck behind the washing machines, sofas and what not.

4.      They Should Genuinely Love Animals

Dogs have a strong sense of judgment and they would know who is friendly enough to take care of them. Dogs can sense it on people if they have pet aversion and they will act distant around them. When choosing a pet sitter, make sure they genuinely love pets, especially cats and dog. Also, make sure is the sitter is patient with the animals. You do not want someone to scare off your pet while you are away.

5 Tips for Pet Care While You’re Away on Vacation

5 Tips for Pet Care While You’re Away on Vacation

5 Tips for Vacation Pet Care

Going away on vacation is a fun time for you and your family. Feeling comfortable with your vacation pet care can make things a little more difficult. However, you can rest easy when you know that your furry family members are well taken care of during the time you’re away. We’ve put together a few tips that will help.

Detailed Instructions

Make sure that whomever is watching your pets has detailed instructions. You may have someone coming over to take care of the pets, or have them boarded. Either way, you’ll have to leave detailed and clear instructions on their care. Vacation pet care instruction helps eliminate confusion or guesswork of any sort. These instructions should include exactly how much food your pet should be given for each meal, how many treats they get, what medication (if any) they’re on and how much of that they need to take, and any other vital information. If you’re going to have a pet-sitter, it’s a good idea to have them come over in advance so you can show them where everything is and walk them through the routine, as well as introduce them to your pet.

Mention Important Personal Details

If your animal has any quirks, do the babysitter a favor and mention them so that they know what to expect and are prepared to keep the pet safe. For example, does your dog tend to get into fights with the mailman? Will Fluffy socialize well with other animals? Does your pet behave well when on the leash? Does he bolt after squirrels or cats? Point out these behaviors to the sitter so they aren’t taken by surprise.

Update Pet ID Tags

While not common, animals in strange surroundings or with strange people may get nervous and make a run for it. If so, you’ll want to ensure that their pet ID tags are updated and that they’re wearing the phone number you’re using on vacation so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Leave a Few Little Comforts for Your Pet

You’re not going to miss your pet all on your lonesome; it’s going to miss you quite a bit as well. Take some steps to keep it as comforted and content as possible. This becomes crucial when a sitter is doing the job. Leave an old shirt in its bed or sleeping place to comfort it with your scent, or a treat leaving toy so it’s occupied. Let the sitter know what its exact routine is, so everything is as familiar as it can be.

Say Goodbye Normally

The more dramatic and long drawn the goodbye, the greater the chance that your pet is going to start feeling anxious. Leave the pet like you normally would when you go outside. The swifter your departure, the more relaxed your pet will feel. It may be hard for you to remain so calm and composed when you’re going to leave your beloved pet for a stretch of time, but it’ll only make the reunion all the more worth it.

Emergency First Aid Tips for Pet Owners

Emergency First Aid Tips for Pet Owners

Emergency First Aid Tips for Pet Owners

Since emergencies don’t come with prior notice, the only way to handle them is to be prepared. One might think pets would require the same emergency care as humans. However, since animals are biologically different from us humans, there are different guidelines for emergency care. Here are some first aid tips for pet owners so that you’re prepared to properly handled emergencies at home before heading to the doctor.

Give Your Pets Space

If your pet is in distress, hurt or in pain, be sure to maintain a safe distance from them. Even the friendliest of animals tend to become aggressive when in pain and may bite anyone in close proximity. Keep a muzzle at home for such situations to minimize further injuries. If you do not have one, you can make one at home using a belt strap and tying it around your pet’s mouth.

Be Quick

Do not waste time deciding if you can treat the pet on your own. If you have even a slightest doubt about knowing what is wrong with your pet, call the doctor immediately. Quick thinking can be your biggest asset in such situations.  Put vet’s number on speed dial.

What to Do If They are Vomiting or Experiencing Diarrhea

If your pet has been vomiting or has diarrhea, do not feed him for 24 hours except water. After 24 hours, start feeding them with light meals and see if their condition gets any better. If not, contact the doctor.

Do Not Self-Medicate

Often, people are tempted to treat their pet on their own by giving them medicines that they think are suitable or suggested by another pet owner. However, you never know which medicine might be toxic for your pet since every animal is different. Not every medicine will work. Some may cause harm.

Heat Stroke

Symptoms of heat stroke in animals may include bloody diarrhea, feebleness, excessive panting, vomiting, or excessive salvation. These can also be a sign of abnormally high body temperature. In extreme heat summer days, measure your pet’s temperature. If it is above 104oF take immediate precautionary measures. Do not put your pet in an ice bath in such condition; it will slow down the cooling process. Keep your pet in shady areas, where it is cool and they have access to water all the time. Contact your veterinarian.

Pet Wounds

If your pet is bitten or wounded, take them to a vet immediately to prevent infection. Have them checked for internal wounds. If your pet gets involved in a fight with another animal, never come in between them. Chances are you may be bitten too.

First Aid Emergency Kit

You should always keep an emergency first aid kit with you, especially if you are traveling. It should have gauze, plastic wraps, anti-septic, eye ointment, thermometer, tweezers and bandages. You never know what minor injury may happen.

Abnormal Behavior

If you notice your pet is not sleeping, eating or playing as it usually does get him checked to identify any underlying illness. Also, be aware if your animal is using the bathroom as they would normally. This too, can be a sign of abnormal behavior.

Short of your animal learning to speak, they cannot effectively communicate their problem. it is our responsibility as pet owners to remain attentive to any unusual behavior in our pets.  Our watchful eye allows them to receive the care they need in a timely manner.

For More Information

If you have questions about raising a puppy 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.