Thursday, October 22, 2015

Your Dogs Think We Are Guardian Angels

This is hard to live up to but here is a fun spin on it.

Your dogs think we are guardian angels! When you are gone we appear every single time to take care of them like we somehow (although they really have NO idea how but it must have a connection to suitcases) know when they need us.

We will continue to live up to this one but don't tell them our secret!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

4 Easy Steps to Biking With Your Dog

Now that cooler weather is coming we can finally start giving our dogs more strenuous exercise! Biking with your dog is one of the best ways to burn off energy while strengthening the bond by going out on the adventure together.

Here is what you'll need in addition to a bike and a happy dog:
  1. A harness that fits your dog properly
  2. A bungee cord that is adjustable length with ends that snap closed (rather than the typical hooks)
  3. An 18 inch to 2 foot lead to go from the bungee cord to the harness
  4. A 4 foot lead to go from the bike to loosely loop around the dog's neck in the event the harness breaks. (Use a shorter lead if you have a tall dog)
In this short video play list I will show you how I bike my dogs starting with the harness and bungee cord attachment to my bike and ending with a demonstration of riding down the road with my dog.

There are also several commercially available products, like the Walky Dog, on the market that easily attach to your bike and keep your dog safely at your side. I have one but prefer using a bungee cord, as shown in the video, for my comfort as I find that the back of my leg hits the pole mount on the Walky Dog while pedaling.

It is important to monitor the condition of your dog's paws while engaging in any type of exercise. Start off with short sessions (whether biking, jogging, hiking, etc). Be sure to check the pads for foreign objects and to make sure they are not cracking or bleeding. There is an excellent product, Musher's Secret, that will help condition your dog's paws to exercise.

If you want to try biking with your dog but you fear you lack the coordination or your dog has way too much energy, or maybe you just need a demonstration and practice session or two, give us a call! We will be happy to help you get started on this fun sport!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Schutzhund Grand Champions

Many people will ask us if we have breed restrictions. We take all dog breeds and we have plenty of experience with the powerful breeds like Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds and our recent furry client additions - Presa Canarios. 

These boys are grand champions at Schutzhund but, as you can see, they are big babies. The biggest challenge with them is telling them apart to know which one gets the supplemental Cosequin with dinner.

No matter what kind of pets you have  you can call us for your pet sitting needs. If you're uncertain whether your dog is suitable we'll come over for an evaluation during our free consultation. 


Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Frosty and Snowflake

These two mini schnauzers are happy to be home while their mom travels for her PhD dissertation.

They love to romp and play in the living room, chase lizards and crickets in the back yard and go for walks around the neighborhood.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Veterinarians On Call in Sierra Vista

There has been much discussion on local Social Media groups about the lack of after hours emergency veterinary care in Sierra Vista. You definitely don't want to wait until your pet has an emergency to find out if your vet is available or where you can go for help.

Here is a listing of the local veterinary clinics and their after hours policies as well as links to their websites for office hours and phone numbers:

Coronado Veterinary Hospital
No after hours veterinarian is on call
All emergencies are referred to 24 hour clinic in Tucson

New Frontier Animal Clinic
After hours vet on call weekdays until 9 pm and weekends until 6 pm
Pets must be a client of New Frontier
After on call hours emergencies must go to 24 hour clinic in Tucson.

Sierra Animal Hospital
No after hours veterinarian is on call
All emergencies are referred to 24 hour clinic in Tucson

VCA Apache Animal Hospital 
No after hours veterinarian is on call
All emergencies are referred to 24 hour clinic in Tucson

24 Hour Veterinary Clinics in Tucson on the East Side:

  • All of the below clinics have a veterinarian at the clinic 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
  • Call ahead to let them know you are coming.

Tucson Veterinary Hospital
(520) 441-3187
Speedway and Swan

Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center
(520) 888-3177
Broadway and Kolb

Valley Animal Hospital
(520) 748-0331
22nd St between Craycroft and Swan


Sometimes You Just Need to Roll Around

Clancy and Golly sure enjoyed a roll in the grass during their noon potty break.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why You Need to Know Your Veterinarian's Emergency Policies

We have recently had the opportunity to work with two of our clients and their veterinarians while the two dogs in our care needed medical attention. One experience was very stressful and the other was, thankfully, very easy.

Fluffy needed two cones and an

inflatable collar to keep her from
getting to her foot.
Our first story is about Fluffy. Her owners traveled to Australia for 6 weeks and we stayed at their house for overnight visits. On the second day Laryssa noticed Fluffy was limping and had licked her rear foot raw. We Skyped the owner to advise her of the situation and we took Fluffy to their veterinarian.

The vet examined Fluffy and agreed to limited treatment using the credit the client had on her account. The vet didn't find a foreign object, as we had suspected, and sent us home with an antibiotic and an elizabethan collar and instructions for her care.

Fluffy's foot had gotten much worse
Several days went by and Fluffy was not healing. In fact, she began having blisters that burst and her foot looked terrible! We took her back to the vet the day the blisters began. The vet examined her again and gave us a quote for surgery to remove dead tissue, suspecting the injury may have been the result of a spider bite which was causing tissue to die. 

The piece of wood removed from
Fluffy's foot.
The client, being in Australia, was 18 hours ahead and not easily reached. The vet wanted to keep Fluffy until later that afternoon while they, and we, tried to contact the client. In the event they were successful they would already have Fluffy and be able to do the surgery. 

They called us later in the day to come pick her up as they had not been able to reach the client and treatment was, unfortunately, refused. They sent us home with a different antibiotic and told us to keep trying to reach the client and advise her to call the clinic.

Fluffy was ultimately treated and a large piece of wood was removed from her foot.

Your vet will require important information in order to treat your pet when you aren't present. 

Fifi shown with her IV catheter still in place just in case she were to
crash again. She was such a trooper!
Our next story is about Fifi; an 11 year old diabetic, blind and arthritic Doberman whose owner traveled within the US for a two week vacation. On day three, Fifi's blood glucose became critical. 

We called the vet and they told us to rush her right in where they immediately administered IV dextrose and syringe fed her high calorie canned dog food. They worked on her for 3 hours before she finally stabilized enough that it was safe to take her home. 

We visited Fifi 4 times a day. The vet called every morning and every evening to find out what Fifi's blood glucose readings were on each of the 4 visits and how much food she had eaten in order to tell us how much insulin to administer.

It was a very challenging week trying to find a balance, overcome the diarrhea brought on by multiple Caro syrup doses, find something that would increase her appetite and take her off a drug that may have been the cause of her decreased appetite. Fifi made a few visits to the clinic during this time. 

Do you know which course of action your vet would take in your absence with your pet during an emergency?

Each veterinary clinic has different policies. We send an email to our clients a few days before each schedule begins reminding them to call their vet to let them know their pets will be in our care and follow their vet's policies for emergency treatment authorization and payment requirements.

Anything can happen. Healthy dogs can become injured, be stung by a bee, snake bite, swallow a toy or become ill for no apparent reason. Pets with known medical issues or chronic conditions may have the condition exacerbated by stress with routine change. 

By following your clinic's policies in advance we can take your pet in for emergency treatment that will not be hindered financially and/or by waiting for your verbal authorization.

In addition to finding out what your clinic's policies are you should also know their hours and whether they have an on-call presence after hours. Only two clinics in Sierra Vista do. We have written an article outlining On Call Vets and the closest 24 hour clinics in Tucson.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Scheduling Service Types

When you're ready to schedule visits for your pets this guide, that explains each service, will help you choose the right service types. You may choose a variety of visit lengths as you create your schedule.

Our most common schedule for indoor dogs is: 7 am 30 minute visit, 4 pm 30 minute visit, 8 pm potty break. You may, of course, add visits or change visit timing based on your dog's needs.

  • Potty Break. This is a 20 minute visit and does not include meals or other services. Choose this visit if we are coming by to let your dogs out to go potty.
  • Pet Sitting 30 minute visit. This is our most common visit to cover almost all situations. Please choose this visit for meal times to allow the extra 10 minutes for meal preparation, potty before and after eating, and cleanup. 
  • Pet Sitting Extended 45, 60 or 90 Minute Visits. Add $5 for each additional 15 minutes on top of our basic 30 minute visit if you want or need longer visits. 
  • Pet Sitting Overnight. Choose this visit type if we will be staying overnight at your house. The pet sitter arrives at 7 pm and stays at your house until 7 am. This includes feeding breakfast and dinner. If your dogs are housebound (no dog door) please also schedule a mid-day potty break.
  • Kitty Stop. For people who have a few cats and just need us to stop by to feed, water and clean the litter boxes. If your cats need medication or if you have other chores we need to do like watering plants or if you have a lot of cats with a lot of litter boxes please choose our 30 minute Pet Sitting visit.
Other Services:
  • Dog Walk. Choose a 30 minute or 45 minute dog walk. There is a $2.50 additional fee for the second and each additional dog.  
  • House Sitting. This is a live in visit. Choose this service if we will be at your house the entire time you're away. The sitter will typically leave to run errands and may do a few visits for other clients but will be at your house most of the day and all night. 
  • Pet Taxi. Choose whether we are picking your dog up at your house to take to an appointment or we are picking up at the appointment and taking them home.
  • Pet Waste Removal. The manager will schedule this recurring visit for you to maintain your yard weekly or every other week year-round. It is not necessary to schedule pet waste removal during our pet sitting schedule as keeping your yard clean while you're away is included in our pet sitting care.
  • Home and Garden Care. This is for our clients who don't have pets (yes, there are people who don't!) or who are taking their pets with them and need us to come by to water the plants and/or check on the house.

All other services you will see in the drop down menu in the scheduling system are assigned by the manager to account for additional or unexpected circumstances like an emergency trip to the vet while you're away, purchasing food if there wasn't enough to last, jobs that are so large they require more than one person, etc. These services will be added if needed and we will discuss them with you in advance.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Managing Water Emergencies

Our collection of jugs for Appie
Appie's dad emailed us the night before they left town for two weeks over the holidays to let us know the water heater had gone on the fritz. It had flooded their laundry room and into the garage. They had to shut the water off and asked us to keep emptying the bucket as there was still a slow trickle.

The first thought was - oh no! Followed immediately by - thank goodness it happened when they were home to control the situation! (Another great benefit of having a pet sitter coming is that we encounter and resolve household emergencies, too).

During the record breaking cold snap in 2011 we contacted our clients and, with permission, left water trickling overnight in preparation for the big event. If pipes froze we shut the water off at the main supply to prevent flooding when it warmed up a few days later. Luckily, the horses on our watch didn't have pipe issues - they drink a lot of water!

Our team is prepared for water emergencies! We will bring containers and keep your pet's water fresh throughout the outage.