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Why The Price of Pet Sitting Services Should Be Your Last Priority

It’s natural, we all do it. We decide we have a want/need for a service and start shopping around. However, most of us don’t know the right questions to ask a company to see if they are the right fit for us so we go to our go to question: “How much does it cost”.  And it’s no different when you’re looking for a pet sitter. What questions do you ask?

I’m sure you’ve read things like “The Pet Sitter Hiring Checklist” that lists certain qualifications that you should look for when hiring a pet sitting company (like insurance and experience for example). But lets be honest here, most professional pet sitting companies that have been around for longer than a year and are successful, have all the basic requirements that are necessary to be a reputable pet sitting service. So when there are 2,5 or sometimes 10+ pet sitting companies in your area, how do you decide who to hire?

It’s time to think deeper!

Having a pet sitter is more than just having someone who is available to “puppy sit” while you go away for a little while. Your pet sitter can be just as important in your pet’s life as your veterinarian, so it’s probably a good idea to ask these questions when looking for a pet sitting company:

1) Does the pet sitting company you’re looking into have a blog that frequently posts relevant information to you and your pet?

Why should this matter? If your pet sitting company has a blog it means they are concerned with keeping pet parents up to date on information that can help them learn more about pet sitting, pet care health tips and product recommendations. They want to keep their clients in the loop and it’s important to them to keep up to date on the best way to care for your pets.

2) Does the pet sitting company you’re interested, have a page on Facebook that they post to regularly?

Check to see if this pet sitting company is on Facebook and see how often/what type of content they post. This is another way for you to find out if they’re up to date on relevant information AND, another bonus, you can see how they interact with their clients. Do they reply to their posts? Are they respectful in their responses, even if they might not agree on something?  This can give you a lot of valuable information about the company.

3) How quickly does the company return your calls/emails? How are they when they interact with you?

When you make initial contact with the pet sitting company you’re thinking about hiring the absolute longest it should take them to reply back to you is 8 hours. You need to have a pet sitting company that has great costumer service because nothing is more annoying than trying to schedule pet sitting services but you can never get a hold of your pet sitter!

4) Pay attention to the little things!

I may have put this as number 4 on the list but in my opinion, this one is the most important. When you’re interacting with the pet sitting company you’re considering hiring, pay attention to how they talk about your pets. Do they understand that your pets are more than just animals? Do they remember your pet’s names if you mention them? Do they ask you about your pet’s personality, habits, and likes/dislikes? These little things show you where the heart of the company is. Of course, all pet sitting companies love animals, but the ones who take the time to find out more about you and your pet’s needs rather than sell you on their services, truly has the highest of quality care for your pets in mind.

When you find that pet sitter that understands you and your pets, has great customer service, provides your pets with outstanding care and interacts with you on a regular basis to keep you up to date on pet care information, the price of the service no longer matters. Do yourself and your pet a favor, start looking for a pet sitter that actually fits your needs and don’t fall into the “price shopping trap”.

Reviews of Menlys Pet Care

I was recently searching the internet to see if there were any reviews of Menlys Pet Care that have come up that I should be aware of. While doing my search I looked at a popular site, Yelp.

Needless to say I was a little irritated when I saw that our company had received 8 wonderful reviews from customers but ALL of them had come up as filtered.  This means that when you’re looking for honest reviews of a pet sitting company, you cannot see them unless you click on this tiny little lettering at the bottom of our Yelp profile that is barely readable and says “read 8 filtered reviews”. Since I know that conscientious pet owners want to do a little research about the pet sitting company they are going to be hiring I wanted to be sure that you were able to see reviews from other pet owners like you that have used our services. I will also show you how to read these filtered reviews for yourself right on Yelp!

(to view the larger image, double click)

Yelp Review1 Yelp Review2 Yelp Review3

 

Now, how do you look at these reviews live on Yelp for Menlys Pet Care or any other company? Find whatever company you want to search for reviews for in Yelp. Scroll down until you get to the area of the company’s profile where it has live reviews or, if there are no live reviews of the company, scroll down to where it says “About This Business” and you will see small grey lettering that says “read filtered reviews”. Look at the image below to give you a better idea. I hope this helps you to better accurately read reviews of local companies, whether they be for your pet sitting needs or not!

 
Yelp Review4

Natures Variety Recall of Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula

Nature’s Variety has issued a voluntary recall. Below are the complete details as sighted by the FDA:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 15, 2013 – Nature’s Variety has announced a voluntary recall of one batch of Instinct® Raw Organic Chicken Formula with a “Best if Used By” date of 10/04/13. This action is being taken because pieces of clear plastic may be found in some bags and could cause a potential choking risk to pets. The source of plastic has been identified and the issue has been resolved.

The affected product is strictly limited to a single batch of Organic Chicken Formula with the “Best if Used By” date of 10/04/13. This includes:

  • UPC# 7 69949 60137 1 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula medallions, 3 lbs. bag
  • UPC# 7 69949 70137 8 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula medallions, 27 lbs. case
  • UPC# 7 69949 60127 2 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula patties, 6 lbs. bag
  • UPC# 7 69949 70127 9 – Instinct Raw Organic Chicken Formula patties, 36 lbs. case

The “Best if Used By” date is located on the back of the package below the “Contact Us” section. The affected product was distributed through retail stores and internet sales in the United States and Canada. No other products were impacted.

Nature’s Variety became aware of a potential issue after receiving a consumer complaint. The source of the issue was identified and resolved. To date, there have been no reports of harm to dogs or cats.

Reed Howlett, CEO of Nature’s Variety, stated, “At Nature’s Variety we take quality and safety very seriously. We believe that under all circumstances, the health and safety of pets comes first.”

Consumers feeding the affected product should discontinue use and monitor their pet’s health, and contact their veterinarian if they have concerns. Consumers who have purchased one of the above products can obtain a full refund or exchange by either returning the product in its original packaging or bringing a proof of purchase back to their retailer.

Consumers with additional questions can call the Nature’s Variety Consumer Relations team at 1.888.519.7387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST. Or, questions can be emailed directly to cservice@naturesvariety.com.

How We Really Feel About Being Pet Sitters

I’m sure there are some of you skeptics out there that believe pet sitting companies don’t actually care about your pet. You and your pet are just another customer, another job, another dollar. However, you couldn’t be further from the truth!photo (4)

One of the greatest joys of pet sitting is getting to take care of pets over the course of many years. We really get to know these pets and start to form very deep bonds with them. Every time we come to take care of them, it’s like visiting with an old friend.

However, there is a flip side to that. At some point or another, the time comes that we have to stop taking care of that pet. Whether it be because of their passing, moving or changes in finances at some point or another we have to say goodbye to our old friends.

I recently had to say goodbye to one of my dog walking clients, Chola. I had been walking with her Monday through Friday for almost a year but now her and her Daddy are moving to a new house.

Everyday I could expect the same thing. I would call her name when I walked in and she would just wait in the bedroom with her tail wagging essentially saying “I’m happy to see you! But can we just do bellyrubs instead of a walk?”

After some convincing we would go for our walk and there wasn’t a time that she didn’t enjoy it as soon as we got outside.

These are the types of bonds and friendships that make pet sitting such a great profession but also, very difficult. We aren’t in the pet sitting industry because we want to get rich, we are in the pet sitting business because we truly, 100% do love our clients and what we do.

And in a very cool way, we are the luckiest pet lovers out there because we get to have deep bonds with more animals than we ever could have had if we weren’t pet sitters.

Even though it is difficult to say goodbye to our clients, it always makes it a little bit easier when the clients appreciate us as much as we appreciate them. photo (3)

Chola isn’t the first pet that we’ve had to say goodbye to and she won’t be the last. But each pet family brings with them their own unique memories and experiences and we treasure each and every one of them.

Menlys Pet Care Now Accepts Credit Cards For Pet Sitting

The more efficient we make Menlys Pet Care when it comes to things like billing and scheduling, the more time we have to dedicate to throwing the ball with your dog and snuggling with your cat during the day! In our continuing efforts to make our pet sitting services easier and more efficient for you, we now accept credit card payments.

If you would like to make credit card your preferred method of payment, all you have to do is:reliable pet sitting services

  • Call Sarah with your credit card information
  • Your credit card information will be kept secure and confidential in your client profile
  • Whenever you book pet sitting services we will automatically charge your card for the applicable amount the Monday before service starts
  • You check “Pay the Pet Sitter” off of your to-do list

No more worrying about leaving payment on the counter or sending it in the mail, we take care of everything for you so you can worry about the more important things in life.

Contact Menlys Pet Care today to see all the ways we make pet sitting easy for you and fun for your pet!

Does your pet sitter have an emergency plan?

When you’re an active person who enjoys being out walking dogs and doing pet sitting visits for cats, nothing is worse than hearing the doctor tell you that you need to go on complete bed rest. This is my reality this week as I am suffering from severe back pain that just won’t quit!Pet Sitter Emergency Plan

This situation got me thinking, what would happen if I was the only one who could do pet sitting visits? What would all of my furry clients, that depend on me, do? Working as a pet sitter does not provide you with the luxury of calling in sick and taking time off. You have live animals depending on you for their food, water, potty relief and companionship. You also have their owners trusting you to take care of a precious member of their family.

Luckily, Menlys Pet Care is compiled of three great pet sitters. We not only love what we do, we are there for each other when we need it. If any one of us are in an emergency or are physically unable to get to the pets in our care, than the other two are able to pick up the slack, fill in and still be able to provide the same quality care that each of our clients expect from us.When your pet is in our care you don’t have to worry about someone showing up to care for your precious fur baby if the unexpected happens.

This is just one more way that we provide our clients with reliable pet care and peace of mind.

Is Your Dog Right For Doggy Day Care?

For some dogs, doggy daycare is a great place to burn off some extra energy and make new friends. For other dogs, doggy daycare is a nightmare. How can you know if your dog will enjoy daycare or not? 1309327_27739819

Answer the following 5 questions to find out if your dog would enjoy doggy daycare:

1) Is my dog friendly with strangers? – Even though doggy daycare is a place for your pup to interact with other dogs, they also need to interact with staff members. If your dog is nervous or timid around strange people, not only are they going to be miserable, the staff is going to be miserable trying to bring your dog in and out of the play areas.

2) Is my dog easily overstimulated? – It is possible for there to be TOO much excitement for your dog. There are new scents, new people, new dogs, new toys, loud noises, new places to potty, new routines and an entirely new environment. This can be extremely overwhelming for your dog.

3) Is my dog dominate or aggressive with other dogs? – This one is a bit obvious but just in case you hadn’t thought of it. If your dog is dominant or aggressive with other dogs, he is not going to be a good candidate for spending hours and hours cage-free with them.

4) Is my dog old or ill? – The impact of playing with other dogs and constantly moving can be very stressful on a dog’s joints. When they’re old, it’s not a very good idea to put them in an environment where there body is going to be constantly exposed to being bumped into, jumped on, bitten, pulled and wrestled with for hours on end. And if your dog is ill, not only is it not fair to him to put him into daycare, it’s not fair to the other dogs attending the facility. 

5) Is my dog frightened of new places and loud noises? – There is constant noise at a boarding facility. Dogs are almost non-stop barking and playing. Staff are yelling over the barking so they can communicate with each other. There are people coming in and out of the building at all times and it’s a completely different environment than they are used to. If your dog does not enjoy new experiences, especially without you by his side. Say no to daycare.

Just like all things in life, doggy daycare isn’t for everyone. Be sure you take the time to really understand your options before you take your dog into a situation that is going to be more harmful to them than it will be good.

Big Blessings Come In Small Doggy Packages

The night my Grandma passed away was the night she was told her long haired Chihuahua, Saidey, had a home and that she was taken care of.  After a long struggle to stay alive, she could finally let go and rest in peace knowing that her loyal companion was being well taken care of.

When she knew that she was getting close to the end of her life, my Grandma continually made me promise that Saidey would be taken care of and not just taken to the pound. I am so happy that I am able to honor her wishes.

This little 8lb, long haired Chihuahua came into my life with a personality that doesn’t quit and loyalty to match it. Sometimes I swear that my Grandma passed away and a little piece of her went into Saidey to watch over me. Though at times she really tries my patience with her stubbornness and desperate need to be my alarm system; she more than makes up for it with her goofy personality, playfulness and the many naps shared together cuddled up in warm blankets.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never something that is easy to face, but knowing that I was able to bring my Grandmother peace before she died comforts me on those days when I wish she were here.

Pet Sitting in Northville

Rest in peace Grandma Bev, Saidey is taking good care of me down here 😉

 

Chicken Jerky Recalls – Dog Health From Your Northville Pet Sitter

It is my job as a pet sitter to keep you informed of the latest pet related news and already in 2013 there are recalls that can affect your dog!

After an entire year of over 2,000 reported reactions and 360 deaths, Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek brand dog treats are FINALLY off the shelves. Milo’s Kitchen, though not pulling it’s products off the shelf yet, announced yet another recall on January 9th, 2013 on it’s Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers dog treats.

These chicken jerky treats, which are made in China, may be made with a chicken antibiotic that is not approved in the United States. The FDA has received thousands of complains from dog owners who say their dogs are experiencing symptoms like gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, and kidney problems.

Pet Sitter Warns of Treat Recall

Bottom line? DO NOT FEED YOUR DOG ANY CHICKEN JERKY…PERIOD!

If you’d like to get your dog treats or snacks do your research first. Investigate and find out if the treats you’d like to get your dog have a history of being recalled and find out their ingredients.

Just like with humans, just because it is on the shelves doesn’t mean it is safe for us to eat. Our dogs rely on us to keep them healthy and feeding them chicken jerky is not the way to keep them healthy and feeling their best!

5 Doggy Daycare Truths You Need To Know

Ah, the great pet care debate: isn’t doggy daycare a better option for my dog than hiring a dog walker? I mean, my dog will get a full day of playing with other dogs compared to just one or two visits from a dog walker, right?Doggy Daycare Northville

These are common questions that we hear most of the time from clients who are looking for the best option for their dog while they are at work. These are completely valid questions and in theory, it sure does look like doggy day care is the best option for your dog right?

However, most pet parents don’t look at the whole picture when debating between doggy daycare and a dog walker. Often times the “length of time” and the price are the only things that they focus on but in reality there is so much more to factor in before you make your decision.

The following are 5 things that might make you reconsider taking your dog to doggy daycare:

1) Your dog will not be getting much one on one attention. It’s just not possible for a daycare facility that often has anywhere from 15-50 dogs at a time, with one or two staff members, to provide your dog with individualized care. The staff is there mainly to break up any fights that might happen, keep up on cleaning up pee and poo and to make sure no one is getting hurt. Beyond that, your dog is on their own.

2) Your dog is at a high risk of injury. Your dog can get injured from rough-house playing  or getting into a fight with another dog. And YES this DOES happen. I took my Golden Retriever, Copper to a daycare in Novi for the day so he could play and socialize with other dogs. Within an hour of play, I received a call from the facility saying they were rushing my poor boy to the vet because another dog attacked him and tore his ear into two halves. When there are that many dogs in one place interacting with each other, it is absolutely impossible, no matter how much pre-screening a doggy day care does, to prevent fights from breaking out.

3) Playtime with other dogs is great but too much play with no structure and no mental stimulation can create behavioral problems. Dogs thrive off of structure and having rules. When they do not have to follow any structure of any sort, they start behaving like animals rather than our trained companions.

4) Get ready to do some driving and rearranging your schedule. Doggy Daycare facilities all have pick up/drop off times of some sort. So, you need to plan extra time in your morning commute to drop your dog off at the facility, plan extra time driving home and be sure you leave in enough time from work to make the pick up deadline otherwise you incur extra charges or your dog is forced to stay overnight in boarding.

5) Your dog will be at risk of infections and illnesses from other dogs. Most doggy daycare’s require vaccinations including Bordetella vaccinations. However, those are not the only illnesses that dogs can pick up from each other and there is no way for a large facility to health screen every single dog beyond having their vaccinations up to date.

Doggy Daycare is certainly not an evil place with only negative sides to it, otherwise they wouldn’t be around! However you need to really evaluate your dog and what you’re willing to expose him to and what he can handle. Not every dog is the same and your decision to take him to daycare should be based on more than just the amount of playing he can do or the price.