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.

Safety of Client Keys

Safety of Client Keys

Safety of Client Keys with Us

When you give someone the keys to your house, it’s an exercise in trust. As pet sitters, we take our duties to look after your pets and your home very seriously. Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes at how we handle our clients’ keys,

Management of Client Keys in Our Office

Once you provide us with your keys, we code, label, and enter them into our specialized tracking software. This allows us to keep any information that can be used to identify you from falling into the wrong hands. Likewise, we keep all of our keys in a secure, locked location when not in use.

As an extra precaution, we also ask that you provide us with two sets of keys.  Always having a spare set of keys at the office means that we can quickly dispatch a second sitter if your regular pet sitter is unable to make it.

Management of Client Keys Outside of Our Office

Sometimes, unexpected events arise when traveling. It’s not uncommon to be significantly delayed or to have to extend your trip a few days. For that reason, we will never lock the keys in your house behind us. That way, you won’t have to worry about giving your sitter access if your plans change at the last minute.

Lockboxes are another secure method of giving your sitter access to the keys. As long as you provide us with the code, we can access the keys as needed. However, we don’t recommend that you hide your keys in an unsecured location such as under a doormat or rock in the garden.

For More Information

If you have questions about the safety of Client keys or general questions about pet sitting, you can contact Kara Jenkins, Owner of TLC Pet Sitter. We are also available by email at info@tlcpetsitter.com.

What is House Sitting? What to Expect

What is House Sitting? What to Expect

What is House Sitting?

What to Expect:

What is house sitting? That’s a great question. If you go out of the country for a business trip, or spend any amount of time traveling, you may need someone to look after your house. You may also need someone to look after your pets and/or plants. This is where house sitting benefits you. Simply hire the TLC team to stay in your house and let them take care of it while you are away. Part of the responsibility of house sitting is the upkeep of your home, feeding your pet, taking care of the plants, retrieving your mail and in some cases, looking out for burglaries.

However, as straightforward as it sounds, conflicts may arise if both parties have not clarified the terms, as well as their expectations. To make that clear, below you’ll find what to expect during a house sitting job, and what each party agrees to.

Home Owners – What to Expect

House sitting is a two way street, with both parties having their own expectations. As a homeowner, it is pretty clear that what they expect out of a house sitter:

  1. They expect you to be trustable enough to leave their home, property and pets in your care.
  2. They expect you to look after their plants if they have any.
  3. They expect you to clean their pet, feed them and look after their needs and in case of health emergencies, take them to the vet.
  4. If it is a part of the agreement, they expect you to look after their pool, garden area and keep the house tidy without displacing anything in it.
  5. They expect you to keep them updated on their pet’s health.

House Sitter’s Expectations

Now on the other hand, house sitters also have a set of expectations, which should be carefully laid in front of the homeowner during the agreement process.

  1. House sitter expects the homeowner to give them complete information about their pet, their eating habits, if they have any allergies, about their temperament and how they like to be handled.
  2. House sitter expects the homeowner to provide them with proper living accommodation in the house, with a bedroom, proper space for hanging clothes and a space to carry out their day-to-day activities.
  3. House sitter expects the house to be in a clean and tidy state without any risk factors involved. They don’t expect to see any plumbing issues, leakages, infestations or any kind of damages.
  4. If the house sitter is working remotely, they  expect  internet connectivity with all the downtime issues taken care of.
  5. There should be no pending utility bills, electricity bill or internet charges that the house sitter might have to deal with in your absence.
  6. If the house is situated in far and remote areas, house sitter expects to be provided with a vehicle to commute for getting groceries or for emergencies. If a vehicle cannot be provided, then at least a car rental services should be accessible nearby.
Sitters Care for Sensitive Pets While Owners Travel

Sitters Care for Sensitive Pets While Owners Travel

Sitters Care for Sensitive Pets While Owners Travel

Scottsdale Republic June 13, 2005

NORTHEAST VALLEY – Let’s face it, some of us are just homebodies. The same can be said for our pets.

So although some folks – and some pets, for that matter – may look forward to getting away from it all and hitting the road, others want nothing more than to be able to stick to familiar routines. Call them creatures of habit.

So if your plans have you away from home, but the last time you boarded your cat it lost all of its hair from worry, don’t sweat it. There are people happy to help you.

A visit to www.petsit.com can give you information about what to look for and point you toward quality pet sitters in your area.

To help get you started, here are a few places serving the Northeast Valley.
TLC House and Pet Sitting Service: (480) 588-1DOG (1364).

Kara has been caring for animals for most of her life. Her company offers both day and overnight visits, and she said it’s very important to know whom you’re dealing with.

“Make sure they’re bonded and insured,” Kara said. “Look for

pet sitter newssomeone who’s been in business for awhile.”  TLC’s rates vary according to the type of pet involved and the number and types of visits needed.