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11 Reasons To Keep Your Cat Indoors

My 6 year old DSH, Mittens, spends most of her day napping in her favorite spots, eating whenever she likes, playing with her toys and watching the bMittensirds outside in her cat tree.

But every once in awhile her day takes an unexpected twist and she begins running around the house from window to window, meowing. Why?

We have several cats in our neighborhood that have owners that allow them to roam around outside and each and everyone one of them it seems, likes to take some time out of their busy schedules to essentially “mock” Mittens of the fact that she is a mere “house-cat” and can’t come outside to play.

Unfortunately for Mittens (and her pride) she will remain a house cat whether she likes it or not. What is my reason for subjecting her to such humiliation?

Allowing your cat to be outdoors puts them at risk of:

  • Getting run over by  a car
  • Being eaten by Coyotes (even in urban neighborhoods)
  • Accidentally being trapped in a shed or basement and starving to death
  • Getting killed while hiding under a car hood to keep warm
  • Antifreeze poisoning
  • Fights with other cats or wild animals
  • Picking up diseases
  • Intentionally being poisoned by intolerant neighbors (yes, unfortunately, this does happen)
  • Being stolen and sold for animal testing
  • Being attacked by neighborhood dogs
  • Broken bones and lacerations

The average life expectancy for an outdoor cat is 4 times lower than the life expectancy for an indoor cat. Though I am sure she thinks it would be fine to go out and roam the property, to keep her safe and healthy she will be staying indoors and I will make every effort to keep her indoor life exciting and stimulating for her to keep her happy and other cat parents should do the same.

Why Should I Schedule My Pet Sitting Services In Advance?

As pet sitters we get TONS of last minute pet sitting requests (24-48 hours notice) Schedule pet sitting or dog walking servicesand though we always try to be there for our clients, sometimes we aren’t able to facilitate those requests. Why? Last minute scheduling.

At a minimum you should schedule your pet sitting visits at least a week in advance when it’s not a holiday, at least 2-4 weeks when you will be needing visits during a holiday period. What is the point to scheduling early?

First and foremost it greatly increases your chances of your pet sitter having availability. Pet sitting is scheduled on a “first come, first serve” basis because we only have so many hours in the day and can’t be everywhere at one time. If you get on the books far in advance, you don’t have to worry about your sitter being available or not.

Secondly, it is courteous. Contrary to popular belief pet sitters do have lives outside of taking care of everyone’s pets all day. We have friends, family and other personal obligations that we do our best to schedule around our pet sitting visits. When a last minute request for pet sitting comes in, often times in order to meet those needs your pet sitter has to give up something they had already planned.

And lastly, this may seem obvious to some of you but pet sitters have more than just one or two clients. Our company alone (which is relatively small in comparison with other pet sitting companies) services 130+ pet families. It takes a lot of work to keep sitters available and manage all of our client requests so that we don’t have to say “no” to anyone. Scheduling in advance allows us to accomplish this.

While we, and the vast majority of pet sitters, do our bests to accommodate last minute requests we so greatly appreciate and value the clients who take the time to be prepared and schedule their pet sitting services 1-4 weeks ahead of time.

The Benefits Of In-Home Pet Sitting

With summer quickly approaching, many pet parents are starting to plan their summer vacations. As you’re planning your trips andin-home pet sitting activities, you may be wondering what to do with your pets.

Many dog owners think their only options are to take their dogs to a boarding facility or burden their neighbors, friends or relatives with the responsibility of pet care.

Cat owners face the same problems and often times end up leaving their cat with “enough food and water” for several days at a time and skip having someone over to take care of them all together.

Luckily for pet parents there is a solution to your pet care problems: in-home pet sitting.

What are the benefits of in-home pet sitting?

  • Your pet gets to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own home
  • No pick up or drop off times to worry about – your pets are happily waiting at home for you
  • Minimal, if any, changes to your pets regular routines
  • Personalized, one on one pet care
  • No up-charges for spending quality time with your pets, going for walks or playing their favorite games
  • Access to their favorite napping spots, toys and games
  • Overnight pet sitting services are available so your fur babies don’t have to sleep alone
  • Because your pet sitter will be spending one on one time with your pet they are more likely to notice any behavioral or medical changes in your pet and can alert you right away
  • As an added benefit your home will be checked on daily and will have a “lived in look” to lower your risk of a break in while you’re away
  • Your pet sitter will bring in the mail and take out the trash
  • Professional pet sitters have made pet care their full time job so their experienced and can be counted on to not accidentally forget to take care of your pets like friends and neighbors can
  • No risk of injury or illnesses that can be caused from exposure to other animals
  • Once you’ve gone through the sign up process with your pet sitter you’ll be able to count on them again and again rather than “hoping” your friends, neighbors or relatives will be available.

Spend your summer traveling with peace of mind knowing that your fur baby is safe, healthy and happy in their own home; hire a professional pet sitter for your pets today.

Are You Interested In A Pet Sitting Job In Northville?

Menlys Pet Care is currently hiring for a part time pet sitting position. You news iconmay be interested in the job but aren’t quite sure what the job entails. Here is a break down of some of the things to expect if you want to become a pet sitter:

Is the work consistent?

This is the most important thing to understand if you’re considering a job as a pet sitter, work is never guaranteed.

While we do have some clients who use our dog walking services on a weekly basis, the majority of our business is built on pet sitting services for clients who travel.Clients can frequently schedule and cancel at the last minute and there are times when we don’t have very many clients traveling.

Pet sitting is not a job for someone who likes/needs consistency and stability as our schedules are constantly changing.

 

What hours will I be required to work?

Unlike a typical job where you’re at an office or on the job from 8am-5pm, pet sitting has a unique schedule.

Our work is done in time frames: 7am-9am, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm are typical for our vacation clients while the hours of 10am-2pm are for our midday dog walking clients.

As a part time sitter you will likely have 1-3 sits in each time frame which leaves parts of the day open for you to be able to run personal errands, stop at home to take care of your own pets or make it to your child’s school on time to pick them up.

If you’re interested in Overnight pet sitting you’ll be sleeping at the client’s home from 9pm-7am.

Will I have to work with people?

Most people think “I don’t want to have to deal with people so I just want to take care of pets all day. If you don’t have good communication and people skills, this job is not for you.

As a professional pet sitter you will be required to interact with client’s to keep them up to date on how their pets are doing. You’ll also be required to attend “Meet and Greets” which are our new client consults. You’ll be required to go to the client’s home, answer any questions they have about our company and services, as well as take detailed notes about how to take care of their pets.

There is always a human being on the other end of the pet that we are taking care of and it’s your job as a professional pet sitter to make not only the pets happy and comfortable, you need to do the same for the owners.

Pet sitting is a very rewarding and enjoyable job but it is also a lot of hard work, commitment and responsibility. We don’t just play with cute puppies and kittens all day, we have a huge responsibility to our clients, their pets and their homes and the job needs to be taken seriously.

The Benefits To Giving Your Dog A Walk Everyday

Benefits of Dog Walking

Getting a walk everyday is an essential part of your dog’s health and one of the keys to giving them a happy life.

Just like with humans, a 30 minute walk every day packs tons of benefits for your dog’s physical and mental well being.

Here are just a few of the benefits your dog gets when he gets a walk everyday:

Weight Management – Being overweight puts your dog at risk of decreased stamina, breathing difficulties, high blood pressure, diabetes, lowered immune system, liver disease and even cancer. Not to mention the stress the extra weight puts on your dog’s joints.

Makes Digestion Easier – Regular walks aid the digestive process and help to alleviate constipation

Mentally Stimulating – Going out into the world and having a focused task at hand (walking) allows your dog to use his brain. He also gets the opportunity to exercise his nose while he checks his pee-mail.

Reduces Hyper Activity – If you were stuck inside the house all day with nothing to do, you would start getting a little hyper yourself! Dogs need an outlet and somewhere to put all of their pent-up energy

Longevity – Keeping your dog healthy, limber and active allows her to have a long and happy life

Reduces Destructive Behavior – Most of dogs’ bad behaviors are caused by boredom. Your dog didn’t seek out to chew up the sofa or your slippers because he was angry or hungry, it’s because he was bored. When your dog gets to go for a walk he works off both his physical and mental energy which reduces or completely eliminates the desire to do some “redecorating” for you while you’re away

How long should I give my dog a walk?

Every dog is different and you need to provide the right amount of exercise for your dog’s breed, physical capabilities and level of fitness. Obviously Bulldog is not going to require the same amount of exercise as a Border Collie. However, a general rule would to shoot for a 30 minute walk everyday.

If your dog has not been very active lately, gradually increase the amount of time that you walk her. Start at just 5 or 10 minutes depending on how out of shape she is and then gradually increase the length.

Don’t Be Fooled – What Really Matters When Selecting A Pet Sitter

When you’re online searching through the multitude of pet sitting companies in your area it can be a bit search for professional pet sitteroverwhelming and you might be asking yourself, who can I trust and how are these companies any different from each other?

While we can’t tell you who to pick as your pet sitter or a fool proof method of how to figure out if a company is trust worthy or not, we can give you some pointers on what to pay attention to and most importantly, what not to pay attention to.

What does not matter when researching a pet sitting company:

  • Memberships to pet sitting organizations – While it is good that a pet sitter be active in the industry that they work in being a member of large pet sitting organizations really doesn’t mean anything to you, the pet owner. Being a member of organizations like Pet Sitters International or National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters means nothing more than they paid the fee to become a member
  • Insurance and bonding – It may seem odd to have this on the list of things that don’t matter when searching for a pet sitter but let me explain. Yes, a pet sitting company should carry insurance and bonding but this shouldn’t carry much weight on your decision. Carrying insurance and bonding simply means that they paid the fee to carry insurance – there are no other requirements to obtain pet sitter’s insurance so technically being insured doesn’t mean the company is trust worthy.

What does matter when researching a pet sitting company:

  • Online reviews – Sites like Angies List, Yelp or even Google Places are great places to get reviews on the company you’re interested in. The company cannot change the review and customers are free to speak their mind about the experience they had with the pet sitting company. *A note about Yelp: if you’re searching on Yelp to find reviews on any company, be sure to check out their “filtered” reviews. Many times companies have multiple reviews that are hidden simply because they haven’t written many reviews on Yelp. To find out more about how to find a company’s filtered reviews check out this article.
  • Length of time in business – Like insurance and bonding, this topic shouldn’t carry a lot of weight on your decision but it should be a factor to consider. If a business has a history of being unreliable and untrustworthy, they won’t be able to stay in business for a substantial amount of time. Businesses that have been able to stand the test of time are more likely to be trustworthy and reliable.

There are MANY factors that go in to deciding what pet sitting business is right for you but I hope that this article has at least helped you scratch the service with some things that can point you in the right direction!

What Is The Benefit To Using A Pet Sitting Company With Staff?

When you’re searching for a reliable pet sitting company you have two options to chose from:Dog Walking Rates in Northville

1) A company that is run by a single individual – this means that there is only one person doing all of the pet sitting visits, talking to clients on the phone and via email as well as handling day to day business operations.

2) A company that has several different sitters on its staff – this means that not every client will get the same pet sitter and then there is someone behind the scene (usually the owner or a manager) that handles answering the phones and talking with clients as well as the day to day business operations.

Why does this matter to you?

While there are very reliable and successful pet sitting businesses run solely by a single individual, there may be some benefits to hiring a pet sitting company that has staff that you may not have considered.

First and foremost, when you hire a pet sitting company with staff, you’re assured that you have back up.

Life happens and even the most prepared individuals can face unforeseen circumstances that render them unable to get to their pet sitting clients. Some examples include:

  • Severe illness or injury
  • The death of a member of the family or friend
  • Car accident
  • Car trouble

These are just to name a few! When you are working with a pet sitting company that has multiple sitters, your pets aren’t relying on a sole individual. There is always a sitter that can fill in and come and take care of your fur babies in the event of an emergency.

Secondly, when you use a pet sitting company that has multiple sitters you have options. What do I mean by this?

The owner of the company is able to access you and your pet’s needs and find a sitter that best matches what you need.

And if for some reason you and your pets don’t “click” with the sitter you have? You don’t have to go through the whole process of finding another pet sitting company all over again,  you can stay with the same company and just talk to the owner about finding a sitter that better fits your needs.

The conclusion?

While whether or not the pet sitting company you’re interested in has staff or not may not be a major deciding factor for you – it is still something that you should consider all of the possibilities to to ensure that you’re picking a pet sitting company that will fit your needs for the long run.

How To Pick A Winter Coat Or Sweater For Your Dog

Once you have determined if your dog needs a sweater or coat by reading our recent article, “Does My Dog Need A Coat or Sweater In Winter”, it’s time to figure out how to pick out winter gear for your pup.

What materials should I look for?

Dog coats and sweaters come in a variety of materials, the most common being fleece, wool and cotton. While wool is will keep your dog nice and toasty, keep in mind that it may cause itching and can be a bit difficult to clean.

Whatever material you chose, you’ll want to make sure that it’s easy to clean and comfortable for your pooch.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain you’ll want a coat material that is water-resistant, similar to the material used for people coats.

How to do I find clothes that fit my dog?

Just like you would measure yourself before you buy clothes – you need to measure your dog.

You’ll want to measure around your dog’s neck, around the largest part of their chest and the length of their back from neck to the base of the tail.

You want to assure that whatever you buy for you dog fits snuggly but not too tight. You don’t want your dog to be able to take off the garment easily but you also don’t want it to be restricting.

When trying clothes on your dog, pay special attention to the area under their armpit to be sure it’s not too tight and cutting into their skin. You’ll also want to make sure there is enough room under their belly so they can go potty without peeing on any material (especially if you have a boy dog).

Whatever garments you chose, be sure there are no lose hanging parts like zippers, buttons or tags that your dog could potentially chew off. If you’re buying a coat, it’s okay if it has a hook to be attached to a leash because it’s designed to be worn under your constant supervision (while on a walk).

If it’s possible, bring your dog with you to try on different sweaters and coats to see what fits best!

Does My Dog Need A Coat Or Sweater For Winter?

iStock_000007103823XSmallAre you ready for another Michigan winter? How about your dogs? Are you having a hard time figuring out if your dog requires a coat or a sweater to keep them warm? Well hopefully this article should answer all of your questions for you!

Does My Dog Need Extra Warmth?

Dogs that have thick double coats really don’t need any help keeping themselves warm. Breeds with this type of coat include Huskies, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, just to name a few. Their coats are specifically designed to keep them warm by trapping in the heat in the layers of their fur. Putting a heavy coat or sweater on these types of dogs can actually make them uncomfortable or overheat them so if you want to dress them up strictly for fashion purposes, chose something lightweight and breathable.

If your dog naturally has a lot of fur but you chose to keep him shaved like the Poodle, Labradoodle or the Goldendoodle for example, than you’ll also want to give him a sweater or coat to keep warm.

It comes as no surprise I’m sure, that the dogs most in need of additional insulation during the winter months are small breed dogs such as Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinchers and Italian Greyhounds. Larger breed dogs with very thin layers of fur like American Pit Bull Terriers or dogs with both thin layers of fur and very thin body frames such as the Greyhound will need help keeping their body temperature up as well.

You may also want to consider getting your dog a warm coat or sweater during the winter months if your dog is a senior, has a weak immune system or suffers from a disease that causes impaired hair growth.

When should your dog wear a sweater or coat?

Obviously when your dog is outside in the elements they should have on their extra layer of clothing. However, many dogs would benefit from having a sweater on in the house too.

It may be difficult for them to stay warm if you keep your house temperature low. If you need a blanket or sweatshirt to keep warm, than your dog does too!

How To Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy

20120525-IMG_1135-EditIs your indoor kitty getting cabin fever?

Though cats technically can survive outdoors, there are many dangers and risks to allowing your feline friend to wander around outside alone. Not only can they get hit by cars, they can get into fights with other animals, get cut on branches and bushes or be taken in by another family who thinks your cat is a stray.

Though us humans know keeping kitty indoors is the best decision, kitty may not agree. So how can you keep your indoor cat happy and safe?

First and foremost – bring the great outdoors inside. 

  • Hang a bird or squirrel feeder outside near one of your windows. Your cat will enjoy getting to watch the wildlife right outside the window all day long
  • Plant a few pots of cat safe plants and catnip. You can place them near a sunny window or place them around the house. (click here for the ASPCAs list of toxic plants)
  • Provide your cat with perches near the windows in your home so that they can look out at the wildlife throughout the day. You can use shelves or cat trees to create comfortable perches

Secondly, you’ll want to provide your cat with lots of entertainment. You wouldn’t want to be stuck inside all day with nothing to do, so why should you expect your cat to?

  • Offer your cat a variety of scratching mats, posts and trees so they can stretch, climb, claw and play (without using your furniture to do it!).
  • Having a wide variety of toys to play with will help prevent kitty boredom. Your cat’s toys don’t even need to be store bought. Crumple up a wad of paper, use the plastic ring from the milk jug and put down a paper bag and you’ve got a cat version of Chuck-E-Cheese!
  • Try out some “cat videos”. Some cats like watching aquatic, butterfly or bouncing ball computer screen savers, or videos with lots of animal close ups.

Lastly, get connected. 

  • Take time out of your busy schedule each day to play with your cat. Not only will it provide them with daily exercise but it gives you both a chance to bond with each other and reduce your stress. After all, didn’t you become a cat parent to actually enjoy the joys of having a cat?

Have more recommendations on how to keep your indoor cat happy? Post them below, we’d love to hear from you!