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What Really Happens When You Give Up Your Pet

181175_275849285878047_2049830942_nI have been operating Menlys Pet Care for over three years now. In that time I have gotten several emails from clients asking me to help them to re-home their pets for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s because of a living situation, sometimes it’s because of bad behavior or something else in a long list of reasons why they no longer want to keep their pets.

First and foremost I would like to say that I acknowledge that there are the rare occasions where a family may have to re-home their pet for legitimate reasons. But these situations are RARE.

If you’re considering re-homing your pet I would like to give you some straight talk on what your pet is actually going to go through.

Reality Check #1

Your senior pet, if taken to a shelter, will likely get euthanized. If your senior is lucky enough to get taken in by a rescue, he will likely live out his days and die in a foster home waiting for a family of his own to adopt him.

Why? The sad reality is that there are thousands upon thousands of dogs, cats and other domestic animals out there waiting to get adopted. There is a very small percentage of people out there looking to adopt a pet that they’re only going to have for a few short years before it passes away.

Puppies and younger adult dogs are the most likely to get adopted while the seniors get overlooked.

Reality Check #2

Just because you think your pet is the cutest in the world and you’re sure she will get adopted right away – doesn’t make it the truth.

Shelters, humane societies and rescues are overcrowded and there are thousands more animals waiting for their chance. The sad reality is that there are many dogs, cats and bunnies that have given their families faithful years of their lives, are well trained and are cute as a button that are euthanized every day due to overcrowding.

Reality Check #3 

If you plan on surrendering your pet, here is what your pet can expect:

-Your pet will be put through a series of behavioral tests to determine if they can be adopted out. Some pets do not make it past this point.

-If your pet makes it past behavioral tests they will be put in a small kennel or cage in a room filled with the sounds of panicked barking and meowing. They will likely not have a blanket or something soft to lay on and will spend 23.5 to 24 hours a day in a kennel just big enough for them to stretch out in.

-People will constantly be walking by your pet’s small kennel peering inside. Often pets react to this stressful environment by cowering in the corner of their kennel, refusing to move and refusing to eat.

-Shelters often have an “expiration date” for the animals that come through their doors. If your pet is not adopted within a certain amount of time or the cage space is needed, they will be euthanized.

-When a pet is euthanized it’s not a calm and peaceful “goodbye” like it would be if you had to take your pet to the vet to have them put down. When they are taken back to be euthanized…they know. They are completely panicked and often times try desperately to get away because they know what is coming. Their last moments are filled with fear and loneliness.

When you enter into the responsibility of owning a pet – you are making a commitment to them. You are telling them that you’re going to protect them, love them and care for them all the days of their life. And in return they give you their everything – undying devotion, loyalty and love. They deserve more than to have any of this be their ending.

There are people to help you and solutions to your problems that can be solved without having to surrender your pet. You just need to ask for help!

 

8 Things Your Dogs Should Avoid During Thanksgiving

How can you not love Thanksgiving? An entire holiday solely dedicated to sitting aroundHalloween Dog Treats with family and friends to eat delicious home-cooked food until our pant’s buttons pop!

While we are enjoying the feast, if you’re anything like me I am sure you want to give your dogs a special treat as well. There’s nothing wrong with letting your dog indulge a little bit but you have to be careful and use caution with what you give them.

Here are 8 things that can be very harmful to your dog and you should avoid feeding during Thanksgiving:

1. Turkey Skin – The skin of the turkey holds in any marinade you put on the turkey like butter, spices and oils. These things can be very difficult for your dog to digest. If you want to give your dog turkey, make sure it’s skinless and boneless.

2. Cooked Bones – Cooked turkey or ham bones are extremely dangerous to dogs. They can splinter in your dog’s digestive track and cause a serious medical emergency, or worse. Be sure to dispose of bones completely out of your dog’s reach.

3. Onions & Garlic – These both contains sulfides which are toxic to dogs. Onions are the more toxic of the two and contrary to popular belief, cooking them does not reduce their toxicity.

4. Alcohol – As obvious as this should seem, alcohol is toxic to dogs and can cause death. So please don’t attempt to get your canine drunk this Thanksgiving.

5. Nuts – Specifically walnuts and macadamia nuts are very dangerous to dogs. The can cause what is known as “macadamia nut toxicosis”. Within 12 hours of eating them, dogs are unable to stand, have tremors, fever, weakness, elevated heart-rate and vomiting. Usually symptoms go away but they can cause deadly shock.

6. Nutmeg – Nutmeg can cause seizures and central nervous system problems if your dog ingests it. In some cases it can even cause death. If you want to share plain sweet potatoes or pumpkin with your dog, that’s okay. Just make sure it doesn’t contain any nutmeg in them!

7. Sage – Though sage isn’t deadly to dogs, the essential oils in it does cause an upset tummy so it’s best to avoid.

8. Chocolate, Dough & Batter – Chocolate is an obvious one. But dough can actually rise in your dog’s stomach which causes them bloating and severe pain. Bot batter and dough contain raw eggs which could cause Salmonella poisoning so it’s best to keep your pups away from these items as well.

The Best Veterinary Clinics In Novi | Recommendations From Your Local Pet Sitter

Pet Sitter Emergency PlanAre you new to the area and don’t know what Vet’s office to take your pet to? Sick of your current vet for some reason and would like to try something new? Well you’ve come to the right place!

Not only can we personally recommend our favorite vet to you based on our own personal experience, we have a list of the vets in the area that our client’s frequent the most.

Our Favorite Veterinary Office In Novi

Breckenridge/Meadowbrook Veterinary 

Breckenridge Veterinary

21524 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48375

Phone: 248-344-8649, After Hours: 248-348-1758

Meadowbrook Veterinary

41782 Ten Mile Road, Novi, MI 48375

Phone: 248-349-7447

Breckenridge Veterinary Clinic actually has two separate offices that share the same computer database. So you’re able to make an appointment at either office and always have your pet’s records up to date. The veterinarians also rotate between the two offices so you’re still able to keep your favorite veterinarian no matter what office you’re at.

Why we do love them?

Not only is all of their staff extremely friendly and helpful – they keep your wait time to a minimum. They’re very good about getting you into your appointment quickly and not making you wait for 15-30 minutes before you even see the vet.

The veterinarians there (specifically Dr. Joseph Osborn and Dr. Gretchen Kronsbein) are very caring, patient and are very thorough in explaining questions and fully examining your pet to determine what is wrong without unnecessarily up-charging you whenever they can.

Not only do we love them but they rank the highest used among our pet sitting clients.

A friendly word of caution to our dog owner’s out there: when making an appointment with Breckenridge Vet Clinic I strongly urge you to ask for either Dr. Osborn or Dr. Kronsbein and avoid Dr. Mary Collisi. Dr. Collisi is a fantastic cat veterinarian and is actually who I adopted my cat from, but she does lack a certain “bedside manner” when it comes to dogs.

Top 5 Local Vets Our Clients Use

(Note: Menlys Pet Care does not have personal experience with most of the vets that are listed below, however they’re the top 5 most frequently used vets by our pet sitting clients

Dandy Acres

56560 Ten Mile Rd, South Lyon 48178

Phone: 248-347-1765

Hidden Springs Vet Clinic

48525 West 8 Mile Rd, Northville 48168

Phone: 248-349-2598

Novi Veterinary Clinic

43377 Grand River Ave, Novi 48375

Phone: 248-349-7447

Vet Select Novi 

2150 Old Novi Rd, Novi 48377

Phone: 248-624-1100

Animal Emergency Center

24360 Novi Rd, Novi 48375

Phone: 248-346-1788

You should find the best vet for you and your pet’s needs. However, this list should give you a good starting point and point you in the right direction!

Why Your Northville Pet Sitter Requires 2 Sets Of Keys

Pet Sitting Key PolicyWhat is your biggest fear when it comes to using a pet sitter? Is it that they won’t show up to take care of your pets? What about the idea of you being away on vacation and your pet sitter is unable to get into your house?

I believe the two fears just listed are not only a client’s biggest fears but also the pet sitter’s biggest fears! We aren’t going to talk about missed visits today – but what we ARE going to talk about is the risk of your pet sitter not being able to get into your home.

I was scheduled to take care of a wonderful cat client of ours recently. Everything was all set: visits were scheduled, instructions were updated and payment was made. Unfortunately I wasn’t as organized as I had thought I was.

The morning the first visit was scheduled to begin, I was gathering my keys for the day and lo and behold…I had misplaced the client’s key somehow.

All of our keys are secretly coded so I wasn’t concerned about someone finding the key, however I was very concerned about just how I was supposed to take care of the kitty since I had no back up key.

Luckily, this particular client lived in an apartment complex where I was able to get in touch with the manager, show him our service contract stating that I was authorized to be in the client’s apartment and he gave me their backup keys to take care of the kitty for the length of my client’s trip.

I felt awful about it and imagine my client’s initial panic when I had to call her and tell her that the key was missing.

Though this is does not happen often, pet sitters are human beings who lose things and make mistakes. So how do we prevent these mistakes from interfering with our ability to provide you and your pets with outstanding pet sitting services no matter what?

We require 2 sets of keys for your home! One set is in our “active file” and is the main key that will be used any time we need to take care of your pets. The second key is kept locked up securely as an “emergency use only” key so that in the unfortunate event our active key gets misplaced, we are quickly able to grab the back up key and continue with services as normal. No stress, no panic and no interruption of the exceptional pet care your pets are waiting for!

 

 

3 Ways To Fight Doggy Boredom | Tips from your Northville Pet Sitter

1309327_27739819Even if you chose to hire a pet sitter to break up your dog’s day while you’re at work or away from home, there is still going to be points during the day where your dog is alone.

If your dog becomes bored, they WILL find a way to keep themselves entertained. Perhaps they will venture into the kitchen to see if they can get into the garbage or open some cupboards to see what kind of goodies are hidden inside. Or maybe they will decide that your daughter’s stuffed animal looks like the perfect chew toy to keep them occupied!

Dogs not only need physical exercise but they also need mental stimulation as well. So how do you keep your dog’s mind occupied and engaged while you’re not there?

Try these 3 pet sitter approved tricks:

Stuffed Kong Toys

Prepare this the night before you’re going to leave your pup alone.

The best way to stuff a kong?

Step 1: add a bit of dried liver, peanut butter or cheese into the little hole on top

Step 2: Fill about 1/3 of the kong cavity with dog treats such as marrow bites or regular (small) biscuits

Step 3: Fill the remaining 2/3 of the kong with canned food or dry dog food nuggets

Step 4: Leave a treat sticking out of the opening to provide immediate pay off and entice your dog to want to continue digging through the Kong for more!

Step 5: Freeze over night. Not only does it feel good on their teeth, it makes tackling the Kong more of a challenge for them!

(Note: be sure to account for all of the extra calories they will be eating by cutting back their food a little bit so they don’t gain weight)

Hide and Seek

This game is fun and easy!

First, you’ll need to put your dog in a room by himself or in the bathroom while you set everything up (other wise it’s no fun!)

Take some of your dog’s dry dog food or favorite treats and hide them around your home. They can be hidden behind chairs, on the stairs, around corners, really you can hide them anywhere!

Don’t make it too challenging for your dog to find the treats, otherwise they’ll give up. You also don’t want to stuff them too far underneath things because your dog could scratch at furniture trying to reach them.

While your gone, your dog will spend his time using his nose and his mind to figure out where the treats are hidden and will keep him plenty busy and satisfied!

Kong Wobbler

(Can you tell I am a big fan of Kong toys??)WOBBLER

The Kong Wobbler is essentially a giant weeble-wobble, it has sand at the bottom of it to prevent it from ever completely tipping over. As your dog nudges it with her nose, it tips on its side a bit and then bounces right back up, dropping little pieces of dog food or treats as it does so.

This keeps your dog happily entertained and rewarded. She has to figure out how to keep getting treats out of the toy so the excitement doesn’t wear off until there’s no treats left.

Here’s what you do:

Fill the bottom container of the Kong Wobbler with kibble or treats small enough to fit through the treat dispensing hole.

Place the Wobbler in the middle of the room and let your dog enjoy the fun!

All of these tips are extremely easy for you, as the pet parent, to set up for your dog. The reward is a happy, well entertained dog who is more focused on his toys and the “task” at hand rather than wandering through the house looking for things to get into on his own!

We’d love to hear from you! Do you have any games/toys that your dog loves to play while you’re away? Comment below and tell us about them!

6 Places To Shop For Pet Lovers In Northville

great pet stores in northville

Is it just me or is it absolutely crazy that the holidays are here again already?

It feels like just yesterday we were enjoying the weather getting warmer and school getting out for the summer, now it’s that time of the year again!

With the holidays right around the corner and many of us owning our own pets and at least one or two pet lovers on our holiday shopping list, wouldn’t it be great to know where to go and shop for them this year?

Well, you’re in luck! We’ve made it easy for you. Below are a list of the best places to shop for those pet/pet lovers on your list in (or around) the Northville area.

Celebrity Pets Co and Pet Land both carry are wide variety of toys for dogs. Some of the toys they carry are unique and you can’t find them at large chain stores.

These stores also specialize in fashionable doggy outfits, designer style leashes and collars as well as purses to carry around your little one in. Not to mention the designer style food bowls, water dishes and treat jars.

If you’re looking for a more boutique style shopping experience, you’ll want to visit these stores:

Celebrity Pets Co: 124 N Center St, Northville

Celebrity Pets Co: 37574 W 6 Mile Rd, Livonia

Pet Land: 27200 Novi Rd, Novi

Looking for pretty much everything under the sun from cats and dogs to bunnies and hamsters? Petsmart, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus are where you’re headed.

Not only do they carry a large stock of…well pretty much everything for most domestic animals, they also have a large amount of merchandise for pet owners themselves.

From blankets to coffee mugs, flags to mouse pads, these stores have a wide variety of “pet lover” gifts to chose from.

Petsmart: 17677 Haggerty Rd, Northville

PetCo: 43465 Ford Rd, Canton

Pet Supplies Plus: 41660 West 10 Mile Road, Novi

Happy shopping and have a Merry Christmas!

Why Your Pet Wants An Overnight Pet Sitter

Pet Sitting NoviWhere does your pet sleep when you’re at home? If you’re anything like our clients than your fur babies either sleep in your bedroom with you on their own special bed or they sleep right in bed with you!

Most of what makes pet sitting so great is the personalized attention and the ability to very minimally change your pet’s routines. Why not extend this to bed time as well?

Overnight pet sitting is a great way to know that your pets are receiving the best care while you’re away. Not only will your pet sitter be coming in 1-2 times during the day to spend quality time with your pet but they will be returning at 9pm to spend the night snuggling in bed or on the couch with your baby watching movies and giving them unlimited belly rubs.

Even cats can enjoy having an overnight pet sitter stay with them!

Some cats enjoy sleeping with someone or at the very least, are comforted by the fact that they have someone at home with them. Some cats even have odd feeding schedules that require them to be fed at times that normal pet sitting visits wouldn’t allow.

Another great candidate for overnight pet sitting are dogs that need to be crated if left alone.

Personally, I have 5 dogs and 3 out of those 5 need to be crated when I am not home. If I was traveling and had to have a pet sitter, I would not be able to bare the idea of them sleeping alone in their cages all night! Having a pet sitter spend the night with them and knowing they’re cuddling on the couch under the blankets, rather than alone in their crates, would do a world of good for my peace of mind!

Next to having a live-in pet sitter, overnight pet sitting is the best in pet sitting luxury. And don’t we all want the very best for our pets?

How Long Are Pet Sitting Visits In Northville

At Menlys Pet Care, we are constantly promoting the fact that we do not have timed pet sitting visits.1429208_25583604

So how long are we actually with your pets and why do we chose not to have timed visits?

No two pet sitting clients are the same and for that matter, no two VISITS are the same. We are spending our days with live animals that can sometimes be unpredictable and things happen.

Below are some real life examples of exactly why we do not structure out pet sitting visits around time:

Client #1: Client has an elderly cat, she enjoys very short periods of attention and then wants to be left alone to nap and enjoy her favorite blanket. She has an automatic feeder, automatic water dish and only needs her litter scooped.

Client #2:  Client has three cats and several fish tanks. Two of the cats are shy around strangers and prefer to be left alone, however one enjoys getting pet and spending some quality time with his pet sitter. The client also has an outdoor cat that needs to be fed. During our visit we need to: scoop 3 litter boxes located throughout the house, feed the fish, put dry food out for the outdoor kitty, fill up the dry food bowls through out the house, clean the wet food dishes, provide them with fresh wet food as well as refill the three water bowls found around the home.

Client #3: Two doggies that are trained to use a litter box inside if they need to. They do not like to play much or do a lot of cuddling but do enjoy having someone around the house for a bit. They do not require a walk and just get let out in the yard to go potty and explore. They have dry food left out all day and get a bit of wet food added in the AM/PM.

Client #4: Two dog family. One dog enjoys a lot of attention and affection and loves going for walks, the other is a bit more reserved and doesn’t have the same enthusiasm for walks. Dog #1 needs to be taken for a walk first to burn some energy, and then after we come back Dog #2 goes for a short walk around the block. After their walks, they get fed separately, given their medication and then have time in the house with the sitter to play and cuddle some more.

Not one of these client’s visits takes the same amount of time as the other clients. They all have different routines and tasks that make it seem almost ridiculous to say that the visits should be done in exactly 30 minutes.

We prefer to spend all of our time at our pet sitting visits making sure that we give each of our furry clients the individual care that they deserve!

Take The Quiz: Are You An Outstanding Pet Sitting Client?

outstanding pet sitting client

Does Your Pet Sitter Love You?

I would venture to guess that at least some of you would admit to secretly desiring to be your pet sitter’s favorite client. And I’m sure most, if not all of you, would at least admit that you wanted your pet sitter to at least enjoy having you as a client.

Honestly, you don’t want to imagine that your pet sitter secretly pretends they’re booked because you have been so difficult to deal with that the pet sitter no longer wants to have you as clients, would you? But I will tell you, it does happen. Want to know why? Because some pet owners are just downright bad clients.

I know none of you reading this are a bad client! But just to make sure that you’re the outstanding client that we both know you are, take a second and answer yes or no to the 10 questions below:

  1. Do you tell your pet sitter/pet sitting company “Thank You”? (us pet sitters love to hear how much you value the care we provide to your pets)
  2. Do you schedule your pet sitting visits at least a week in advance?
  3. Do you leave your pet sitter a tip?
  4. Do you follow your pet sitter’s policies regarding how to schedule?
  5. Do you pay your pet sitting bills on time?
  6. Do you leave enough food and supplies for your pet sitter for the length of time you’ll be gone?
  7. Do you make it easy for your pet sitter to find the supplies they’ll need (leashes, food, medications etc.) while taking care of your pets?
  8. Do you keep your pet sitter up to date on any changes in your pet’s care needs?
  9. Do you address concerns with your pet sitter in a polite and professional manner?
  10. Do you treat your pet sitter/pet sitting company with respect and courtesy?

If you have answered “YES” to all of these questions, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re an outstanding pet sitting client and you’re likely  among your pet sitter’s favorite clients!

The greatest pet sitting relationships are when there is mutual respect and courtesy on both sides of the coin. Pet sitter’s have a responsibility to provide our clients with outstanding, reliable and caring services and pet parents have the responsibility of being great clients in return.

How Your Northville Pet Sitter Can Help In Emergencies

Having a pet sitter is about more than getting your dog walked while you’re at work or having someone come in to take care of the cat while you’re on vacation.

1095705_83196012

In the past month we have had two clients unexpectedly need to use our services because they had a close family member pass away. They were able to call us up and immediately have us booked to come and take care of their pets while they went out of town to be with their family and make arrangements for their loved ones.

Both of our clients expressed how wonderful it was that they were able to call us on such short notice and know that their pets and home were being taken care of during this difficult time.

This is not the first time, nor unfortunately will it be the last, that our clients have to use us so unexpectedly for family emergencies.

We don’t mind! That’s what we are here for. As morbid as it may sound, our business lives for moments like these because we are able to come through for our clients when we are needed most.

This all begs the question: What would you do with YOUR pets in an emergency? 

Would you be prepared? Would you have someone that you can call up right away and know that they will be there to take care of the pets for the foreseeable future?

You can’t always rely on friends and family because a family emergency will involve all of your family and you can’t expect them to take care of the dog and the cat for you at the same time.

It’s also a huge burden to put on friends or neighbors. Though they would help you I am sure, they also have lives and responsibilities that they need to tend to and visiting your pets for 20-45 minutes three times a day, probably does not transition easily into their daily lives.

Hiring and establishing a relationship with a pet sitter now, will better prepare you for life’s unexpected moments.