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Toy Recommendation From Your Northville Pet Sitter

Many people think the only way to wear out your dog or cat is by giving them lots of physical exercise. Though physical exercise is key to a well mannered, happy pet; mental stimulation is also a very important factor in your pet’s overall health that many of us don’t think about.

When you give your pet a task or a challenge that requires them to use their problem solving abilities they are not only happier, they are also less hyper!

That’s why I love the product Kong Wobbler for both dogs and cats. This toy works just like a weeble-wobble for kids.  It has a weight in the bottom of it that allows it to continuously bounce back to the upright position when hit with a paw or nudged with a nose. The side of it has a small opening that allows treats to fall out of it when hit just right. The challenge for your pet is to figure out who to get the treats to come out of the toy. The Kong Wobbler is the perfect level of difficulty. It doesn’t allow treats to fall out quickly or in large amounts, but it doesn’t make it so difficult that your pet wants to give up after awhile.

Use the Kong Wobbler to feed your pet their daily meals, when you want them to stay occupied during the day or while they are in their crate.

The toy does need some room to be batted around so I suggest using it in an open area like a kitchen or family room that doesn’t have a ton of furniture that it can knock in to.

Just like all Kong products, the Wobbler was built to last so you can allow your dog to chew on it, bump it in to things and carry it around with out worrying about it falling apart.

I also love it because there aren’t too many toys on the market for cats to get their mental exercise. Fill this with your cat’s kibble or favorite treats and you have a great way to keep your cat using his sophisticated feline brain.

 

What does a pet sitter REALLY do?

Many people think that pet sitting is just walking in to people’s homes and playing with cute puppies and kittens all day while making sure they are fed and have water and clean liter.

“What a great and easy job that must be!” I hear all of the time.

While it is true that, in my opinion, I have the greatest career on earth; being a professional pet sitter is not for the kid next door.

Professional pet sitting is a 365 day (366 days on leap year) job. You have clients that need you while they are at work during the week, out with friends in the evenings and on vacation during the weekends and holidays.

The typical daily schedule for a professional pet sitter starts at 6:30 or 7am where we go out for morning visits for a few hours, come home for an hour and then go out for several more hours to do afternoon dog walks and visits. We typically have a few hours (between 4pm and 6pm) to have dinner and relax for a few minutes and then we are back out from about 6:30 to 9:30.

During the hours that we are pet sitting we are dealing with some nervous, anxious or shy animals who not always want us around. We are cleaning up pee, poop and throw up accidents and we also need to clean up after the occasional “redecorating” that some dogs decide to do.

We have to be able to handle security systems for people’s homes (and know how to deal with the  police when we accidentally set them off). We have to react quickly to an emergency if a pet is sick or there is flooding, heating/cooling or electrical problems in the house while we are there.

All while answering phones calls, emails and texts from both existing clients and potential clients!

Being a professional pet sitter is not for people who “just love to be around animals”. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but it is worth it.

Even though the job can be stressful, there are always wagging tails waiting for you at the door. Not a day goes by where you don’t get to walk in to a home with a pet that is so excited to see you and can’t wait to go on a walk, play or snuggle with you. They are never in a bad mood and the only care in the world they have is to be with you.

Not to mention how wonderful it feels when a client tells you how much they appreciate all of the work you do and how valuable your services  are to them. My personal favorite is when I client calls me when they return home from a trip, just to tell me how happy and calm their pets were when they arrived home. That means that all of the hard work I put in, has paid off.

 

 

Pet Sitter Hiring Checklist

So you’ve decided to hire a professional pet sitter to take care of your precious babies, but now who do you hire? Pet Sitter Hiring ChecklistHiring a pet sitter isn’t just about finding someone who is capable of feeding your pet, scooping some liter and making sure your dog has gone outside to relieve himself. You’re asking for someone to take a key to your home, come in when you’re not there, show up when they say they’re going to, do the things you’ve asked and not steal any of your belongings or leave your house a wreck. How do you know who is going to be reliable and trustworthy enough for that? We’ve compiled a check list of things that you should look for in a professional pet sitter to make your search easier.

1. Insurance – A professional pet sitter should be insured, no ifs ands or buts about it. Does the sitter you’re considering hiring carry liability insurance? Be sure to ask to see their certificate of insurance.

2. Pet First Aid Certified – A professional pet sitter should be certified in pet first aid so they’re prepared to take care of your pet in an emergency.

3. Experience – Even if the pet sitter you’re considering hiring has not been in business for years, they should have experience caring for their own pets and the pets of friends and family and volunteer experience.

4. References – A professional pet sitter should have a list of references that they’re willing to provide to you. Don’t just ask if they have references either, actually check these references out! Ask them how they’re experience was with the sitter, if they’re pet’s seemed to be well adjusted when they returned home and if they will be using them again in the future.

5. Emergency Procedures- Be sure to ask the potential sitter what their emergency plan is if they’re unable to make it to your pet because of inclement weather or personal emergency.

6. Security- How does the pet sitter handle keys? Be sure you know how they keep your keys and home information safe.

7. Service Contract- Not only does a service contract protect the pet sitter, it also protects you. Be sure they have a written service contract that you will sign BEFORE services begin.

8. Initial Contact- How soon after you contacted the pet sitter did they get back to you? Phone calls or emails should be returned within 24 hours.

9. Continued Contact- Does the sitter make it easy for you to contact them while your pets are in their care? Do they offer regular updates?

10. Payment – Does the sitter have established fees that they’re able to quote over the phone? Do they explain clearly to you when payment is due and what forms of payment they accept?

You tell us: Is there anything else that you look for in a professional pet sitter that wasn’t mentioned in the list above?

Menlys Pet Care – The Mercedes of Pet Sitting in Northville Mi

Let’s be honest, there is not much of a difference between a Ford and a Mercedes. Both are cars, have the same mechanical parts, need regular maintenance and will get you from point A to point B. Yet, when you think of a Mercedes you automatically thNorthville Pet Sitting Excellenceink of luxury and value. They design their cars to provide you with a high quality, luxury experience.

That is what Menlys Pet Care does. The truth is, all pet sitting companies essentially do the same thing. We all come to you to take care of your pets and your home while you are out of town or at work. We feed your pets, give them exercise, scoop liter boxes, rotate lights and blinds and take care of your mail and trash etc. But that does not mean that all pet sitting companies are created EQUAL.

How do we provide you with a Mercedes experience?

1: We use a state of the art online scheduling system. Each client has their own profile where they can manage the care instructions for their home and pets and schedule their pet sitting visits.

2: We do not charge by time. Our visits are not structured so that your pet sitter is looking at the clock constantly to be sure they stay for only the contracted amount of time. We provide flat rate, full service, quality guaranteed visits.

3: We interact with our clients. We don’t want to just hear from our clients when they need service from us, we want to interact with them on a regular basis! We use Facebook and our blog to keep clients up to date on recalls, pet news and create a constant conversation that everyone can participate in.

4: We use employees, NOT Independent Contractors. By law, independent contractors cannot be trained by the company they contract with. They are only to be given their assignments and it is up to the IC to decide how they do the work. Our employees have been personally trained by the owner to ensure that every member of the Menlys Pet Care team adheres to the same standards of quality that the company stands for.

There are many pet sitting companies out there to chose from but wouldn’t you rather drive the Mercedes over the Ford if you had the opportunity?

 

Why Menlys Pet Care Offers Pet Sitting Quality and Not Quantity

I love getting my nails done. I have had acrylic nails (fake nails for you men out there that don’t know what acrylics are) for six years. I’m not big in to dressing up, getting my hair done or buying shoes but there is something about having nice, long, beautifully done nails that I just can’t resist.

I recently went to my favorite nail salon and there was a new guy working there. I sat down in his chair and after a very long and boring hour and fifteen minutes my nails were done. I was happy with the quality of the work but I had not planned on spending that long at the salon!

The next time I went back, I got a different stylist. I sat down in her chair and in twenty-five minutes I was out the door. I closely inspected the work she had done and my nails looked beautiful! There were no flaws and they looked just as good as when the “new guy” had done them, yet it took her half the time.

What is my point to this and how does it relate to pet sitting?

Menlys Pet Care does not charge for pet sitting based on time. We want our services to be based on QUALITY rather than quantity. We want our clients to know that we are providing them with high quality service rather than a high quantity of time that essentially means nothing to their pets.

Dogs have no concept of time (http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/dogs-perceive-time1.htm). So being with your pet a certain amount of time doesn’t make much of a difference to them one way or another. What DOES matter to them, however, is that they are treated the way they are used to being treated. They want the same exercise, playtime, snuggling, food and cleanliness that they are used to when Mommy and Daddy are home.

Pets are as diverse as people. They have different routines and different needs so why would we standardize our pet sitting visits to one flat rate of time?

There are some cats that are extremely shy around strangers and even their presence causes them stress out. So why would we stay an entire 30 minutes just because that’s our “Standard Service” and do more damage than good during our visit?

On the contrary, you may have a 3lb Yorkie that is used to being hand fed each individual piece of kibble out of her bowl, taken for a walk around the block and then snuggled with on the couch before bed. We would rather take our time and provide her with the quality care she is used to, rather than watch the clock and rush her so we can leave at exactly 30 minutes.

By offering our pet sitting services based on quality and not by time, everyone is happy. Your pets get the same routine they are used to with no worries about time constraints, you don’t have to worry about coming home to an extra bill because we stayed longer than 30 minutes at visits and we get to provide the quality care that our business was built on.

 

 

 

What are the benefits of in-home pet sitting vs boarding?

Okay, I will admit it (as much as it pains me to do so) in-home pet sitting just isn’t for every pet.  If you have a pet that cannot be left alone in the home without destroying everything, a boarding facility might be for you. However, in pretty much every other instance, in-home pet sitting completely outweighs boarding in its benefits. Why do I say that? Let me explain.

Dogs and cats are bonded to their owners and their environment, they don’t adapt to change like we do especially when that change involves being away from you in a completely strange place. They don’t have the ability to realize that you will be coming back for them so often times boarding ends up being a very stressful situation for your pet.

In order to take your pet to a boarding facility they need to be up to date on their DHP, Rabies and Bordatella vaccines and have a negative fecal test on record within the last 6 months. This means extra cash for you to spend. With in-home pet sitting, these things are not required. We obviously encourage you to keep your pet up to date on their vaccines but with today’s growing controversies over just how often our pets need these vaccinations, we understand if they don’t get them every year.

Boarding facilities often have a large number of cats and dogs and a small staff. This means that their isn’t enough staff to provide your pet with one on one attention. When you use an in-home pet sitting service, your pet sitter is at your home for 20-45 minutes at a time and is able to concentrate solely on your pets.

In addition to being away from their environment, often times you are charged extra to send your dog or cat to a boarding facility with their favorite blankies and toys. With in-home pet sitting they are able to stay in the comfort of their own home with their favorite toys, beds and can even sun bathe in their favorite spot by the window.

With in-home pet sitting there is minimal interruption to your pet’s routine. We try to feed them and let them out on the same schedule that they are used to when you’re home. With boarding, your pet is on the schedule of the facility. It is just not feasible for them to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Lastly, in-home pet sitting provides the added benefit of home security as well. Most pet sitters will take out the trash, bring in the mail and rotate lights and blinds to make it appear that someone is home. When your pet is at a boarding facility, there is no one checking in on your home while you’re away.

So, do you now see the benefits of in-home pet sitting? Stay tuned for our next article on how to pick the right pet sitter!

 

How To Schedule Pet Sitting With Power Pet Sitter

Because Menlys Pet Care is always striving to find ways to make using our pet sitting services easier, even more reliable and more efficient we have now started using a great online scheduling program called Power Pet Sitter.

Each client has their own username, password and individual profile. Your profile allows you to keep your contact information and care instructions for your home and pets up to date, schedule future pet sitting services and review past schedules.

Below are simple instructions on how to schedule your pet sitting services:

Example Trip: You need a pet sitter Monday afternoon through Friday morning. You’d like three visits a day.

Step 1: Select Appointment Name (for example: Christmas Trip to Grandma’s)

Step 2: Select Start Date

Step 3: Select End Date

Step 4: Click Continue

Step 5: You should now be at a screen that has all of your days marked with a question that asks “Will the schedule be the same for all days?”. Select NO because you will only be needing two visits on Monday, one on Friday and three on all of the rest.

Step 6: You will now be taken through each day to select the services/times you need on each day.

Example: To do your schedule for Monday you will:

-Select Day Visit as your service

-A drop down menu will appear with all of the time slot options

-Select “Afternoon Visit” and “Evening Visit”

-Repeat for all of the days in your trip

Step 7: Once all of your days have been completed, you will be brought to a screen that says your schedule has been submitted. If you have any special instructions for particular visits, there is a blue notebook next to each visit. Click on that and you can leave a “Note”. After you’ve completed your note, click “Save”.

You’re done! Now just wait for your email confirmation that your pet sitting visits have been approved and you’re all set!

If you need any help, please call me at 248-291-PETS (7387). I’d be happy to assist you in anyway I can.

How You Can Help Save Animal's Lives

Over the past several months I have been lucky enough to work with Last Chance Rescue in Howell Michigan as a volunteer photographer. Not only has the experience been gratifying because I’ve gotten to help animals in need, but I’ve also gotten to meet some of the most amazing animal lovers. All of the volunteers that I have met have been fostering two to eight dogs at a time in their home. They take on liters of puppies, emaciated, fearful and untrained dogs. They go into high kill shelters and pull the dogs that are going to be euthanized and work with them to restore their health and teach them manners. They dedicaate their time, money and homes to saving the lives of these animals.

Last Chance Resue, like all other rescues, work solely on donations. Without our help they’re unable to provide food, medical care and other necessities to the dogs and cats that they rescue.   Below you’ll find a wish list of things that can help Last Chance save many more dogs and cats in need. This holiday season while your out shopping for  loved ones, pick up one of these items and donate it. Your small donation goes a long way!

Keeping Your Pet Safe During The Holidays From Your Northville Pet Sitter

Who doesn’t love the holiday season? We start off with Halloween where we get to spend one day a year dressing up in whatever we feel like without judgement. Then we go on to Thanksgiving which is an entire day dedicated to stuffing ourselves with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggies, cranberries, sweet potatoes, biscuits and more. Which all leads up to the holiday of holidays, Christmas (or Hanukkah/Kwanza for some). Houses are decorated with lights, Santa, snowmen, raindeer and a Christmas tree filled with ornaments, lights and garland. This tree also acts as a home for the presents that we buy for our friends and family, wrapped in shiney paper and bows just waiting for the 25th to come so they can be opened and enjoyed by their recipients. The smell of baked goods fills most homes as they prepare special holiday treats that only get to be enjoyed at Christmas.

With all of the holiday spirit floating in the air, it’s hard to think about the dangers that such a wonderful time might pose to the furry members of our families. However, there are many ordinary holiday items that can pose a big threat to our pets and we need to be aware of them to avoid a trip to the Emergency Vet!

Below are ten tips that will keep everyone in the family safe and happy this holiday season!

1) Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel or ribbon that may fall on the floor. Your pet can sustain serious injury by injecting any of these items or stepping on an ornament hook.

2) If your cat enjoys making the ornaments on your tree his personal play toys and bats at them, be sure to decorate the lower portion of your tree with non-breakable plastic or wooden ornaments. This way, if one falls there won’t be shards of glass on the ground that may be injested or stepped on.

3) I know it’s tempting, but avoid feeding your pet rich, fatty or spicy foods. One regular slice of American cheese for your dog is the caloric equivalent to an entire cheeseburger to us. If you would like to treat your pet to table scraps, give them some of the left over veggies. These make them feel full and provide no additional calories to their diet! You can also add a teaspoon of white meat or broth from the holiday dinner to give them an extra special treat.

4) While we’re on the topic of food, be sure to avoid giving your pets chocolate, onions, raisins and alcohol. These foods are extremely toxic to pets and ingesting them can be fatal.

5) Secure your Christmas to the wall or the ceiling with a sturdy fishing line. This will prevent your tree from fulling if your cat decides to climb it or your dog knocks into it while playing.

6) Poinsettias, mistletoe berries and other popular holiday plants can make your pet very sick. Cats are especially at risk because they love to nibble on plants. Be sure to keep them out of their reach.

7) Snow globes often contain anti-freeze in them which is poisonous to our pets. Be sure to keep them somewhere where they cannot be knocked over and broken.

8) Keep indoor lights out of your pets reach, especially puppies and cats! It’s tempting to your pet to play tug of war with the string of shiny lights but they can easily become tangled in it or suffer an electric shock from the light bulbs.

9) Keep the holiday candles away from areas where your dog’s happily wagging tail can knock them over or where your cat can bump into them while exploring all of the goodies on the counter or table!

10) It is controversial whether or not the combination or water and pine from live Christmas trees is poisonous to your pet if they drink it. However, just to be safe, keep the water stand covered if you have a live tree.

If your does ingest anything that may be poisonous to them, you can call the ASPCA Poison Control (http://www.aspca.org/Home/Pet-care/poison-control)  line and they will assist you with what to do next. They’re available 24/7 365 days a year. There is a $65 consult fee that may be applied to your credit card. Also, be aware of where your nearest emergency vet is located just incase you need it.

Now that you know the pontial dangers you can go out and enjoy your holidays without worry. Happy HOwlidays Everyone!

Great Gift For Dog Lovers

Here is a product that I am pretty excited about; and just in time for Christmas!

I have always been interested in making my own homemade dog treats, though admittedly I have yet to get around to it. The Sunbeam Gourmet Treat Maker, however, makes the idea of making homemade dog treats easy and fun!

Essentially the George Forman for dog treats, it has the capacity to make 4 biscuit shaped treats at once.  You can make healthy, nutritious doggy treats while still maintaining portion control.

In a time where it seems more and more pet food is being recalled, I think it’s great to have a product that not only makes it easy to bake nutritious snacks for you dog but also keeps them safe.

The Sunbeam Gourmet Treat Maker is available exclusively at Petsmart as of November 1st, 2012 for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

This product makes a great gift for the dog lover in your family or buy it and make cookies to give out to all of the neighborhood hounds!

As a pet sitter, I’m excited to get one and give out Christmas doggy treats to all of my four leggedd clients – hopefully they come out with one for cat treats next!

 

For more information, visit: http://www.sunbeampets.com/product.aspx?pid=13111