Tag Archives: dogs

Lil Red’s House/Pet Sitting Tips & Tricks

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Lil Red’s House/Pet Sitting Tips & Tricks

Hello! A great way to make some extra scratch and earn some brownie points with your neighbors is to house and pet sit for them. I just finished up a week long gig watching over my next door neighbor’s two pups and home while she celebrated the holidays in sunny California with her husband, son, and daughter in law. Although this might sound like an easy task, there is a lot more to it than you would think and this post will offer some of my go to tips and tricks to make you the best sitter ever.

If you are house sitting:

Always Get Their Mail/Newspapers:

During my criminology class in college, one of the prime things that burglars look for as told by actual burglars was a pileup of newspapers or an overflowing mailbox. If this doesn’t scream “no one is home” than I don’t know what does! If the family you’re sitting for isn’t cancelling their mail and papers for the week, be sure that you are prompt in picking them up upon delivery. Place the newspapers and mail in separate piles and voila – you just knocked one task off of your list for the day!

Make Yourself Known:

It is always a good idea to let your neighbors know that you will be house or pet sitting for a family, if they haven’t done so already. Nosey neighbors love to snoop and one of them had the nerve to text a client of mine that she thought that someone was breaking into their home when it was just me! This will also let your neighbors know to keep an extra eye out for anything suspect when you aren’t home. Try to be at the site that you are sitting for as often and long as you can, because an occupied home is a major deterrent to burglars.

Clean Up:

This should go without saying, but do make sure that you clean up after yourselves! Wash the linens and remake the bed that you slept in upon the homeowners arrival back. Run the dishwasher if there is a pileup of dirty dishes. Water their plants. Get the house looking how it did before the owners left in the first place. I like to Swiffer the floors when I’m housesitting, too. With the snow and rain that Akron has been getting lately, tracking mud is easy to do, and no one wants to come home to that!

If you are pet sitting:

Stick To Their Schedule:

Whether your watching dogs, cats, rabbits, or fish – house pets love their schedule. Learn when the pet owners feed their pets, walk or exercise them, and take them out to potty and stick to it. The pets are probably in a state of confusion or worry that their owners aren’t there and adhering to their schedule can be a huge comfort to them.

Stay And Play:

All of the pets and snuggles can also be a comfort to the animals that you are watching so stick around and just be with them. Play with their toys with them, talk to them, or do some of your own busy work in the house. Your presence can help the pets feel at peace, so if you don’t have to leave just yet, don’t. And, if you have to sneak away to work for a while, turn on the TV or some music until you get back.

Clean Up:

This should also go without saying, but do make sure that you are cleaning up after the pets. Put their toys back in the bin, wipe them off if it was rainy or muddy when they were out (No one likes eau du wet dog and dirty paws!), and clean up any accidents they might have had in the house. It’s not fun, but could you imagine how you would feel if you got home from a trip and there was number one and two everywhere?! If the pets are prone to having accidents in the house, set down some newspaper or piddle pads to make your job a little easier.

If you do your job well while the home or pet owners are away, you will surely be invited back the next time they need someone. And, if they spread the word, you might have your own mini business in no time!

What are some of your tips and tricks when you’re pet or house sitting? Where was the last trip that you went on? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Four Paws First: Winter Dog Care Tips

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Four Paws First: Winter Dog Care Tips

The winter months can be a magical time of frosty early mornings or cozy sunset walks with your canine companion. But, just as the colder temperatures and extreme weather conditions can take their toll on us, they can also take a toll on our pets. Learn how to combat the conditions and keep your four pawed friend happy and safe this winter:

Adjust Their Diet:

When the temperature drops, you may need to adjust the amount and type of food that you offer. It could be that dogs who are outdoors and being active will require richer food, while animals that become reluctant to exercise outdoors may need less food in order for you to manage their weight. Look up care tips for the particular breed and age of dog, like German Shepherd puppy care, to adjust the food mix to your particular dog and nourish them right.

Keep Them Active:

For some dogs, nothing puts them off from exploring, while others can be very resistant to going outdoors when it gets colder – much like some humans! If your canine companion is less keen on venturing out, make sure that you can keep then active indoors. Provide lots of dog toys to keep them busy and consider setting up an obstacle course if you have the space to keep their bodies and minds active.

Prepare Them For Walks:

When you do go out, bear in mind that bad weather conditions such as fog and the darker early mornings and evenings can reduce visibility. First, make sure that you have good verbal command of your dog and that you can recall them easily. Check to ensure that their microchip details are up to date in case they do get lost. Look for reflective collars or attached LED lights to collars and coats to make them more visible to drivers. And, make sure that you have a winter dog coat if needed, especially if you own a short haired breed such as a greyhound – they will really need the extra warmth.

Keep Up With The Grooming:

Don’t let winter be an excuse to get lax with your animal grooming! Make sure that you are still regularly brushing out the coats of longer haired breeds and using a mild dog shampoo to get out any mud and dirt that becomes matted into their coat during walks. Inspect your dogs paws regularly too, especially if the weather turns icy. A lot of the gritting agents used to stop the ground icing can be damaging on delicate paws, and you may need to use a protective paw balm in icy weather to prevent sores and cracks from forming. If your dog has a longer coat, check that the hairs between their paw pads aren’t trapping little balls of ice and damaging them.

Beware Of Food Hazards:

With your pet in the house more and lots of festive food around, there can be dangers, as most dogs are opportunists when it comes to sneaking a snack! Chocolate can be a particular hazard, as it’s as enticing to canines as it is to humans and yet it contains a compound called theobromine which is toxic to them and can cause their kidneys to fail – this substance is present in the highest concentration in dark chocolate. Foods like avocado can cause an upset tummy, corn on the cob can block their intestines, cooked bones (say from a roast bird) could splinter and perforate their insides, or anything sugar-free containing Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia in dogs. All of these must be stored safely away from curious noses.

Providing your dog with the best care year round, especially during the winter months, will keep them happy, healthy, and around for many more Christmases to come!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!

Greetings everyone and a very Happy Halloween to all of you! I hope that all of you who celebrate enjoy a day of tricks and treats and, to those of you who don’t partake in the festivities, have a great normal day! Here is a friendly reminder of my angry dog in her minion costume last year wishing everyone a wonderful day:

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Gem says…

Happy Halloween!!

Two Sleepy Doggies

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Two Sleepy Doggies

Howdy and TGIF! Monday is my long day at work, and by the time that I get home, all I want to do is get in my jammies, put my dogs up, and watch The Voice with my mom. Normally, my two rescue pups, Gem and Ollie, just want to play all day until everyone else goes to bed, but they must have been just as tired (Or bored with The Voice!) as I was, because they ended up falling fast asleep on the bed with my mom and I. It was so cute I could hardly stand it and I just have to share these Two Sleepy Doggies with all of you:

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Lol, so the first picture of Gem is more for me because I think it’s hilarious. But, the other one of her and my little Ollie is just cuteness overload. My dogs are honestly the most perfect creatures on the planet and I love them oh so much. To have them curled up and snoozing away while my mom and I watched a crappy singing contest was the best way to end a long, hard day and it was just what I needed before I went to bed, myself.

How do your pets greet you after a long day? Who are you rooting for on The Voice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Flashback Fun

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Flashback Fun

Hi everyone and happy Sunday! When I talk about my dogs to anyone who will listen, nine times out of ten, I end up showing them the pictures of my rescue pups dressed up for Halloween. Ollie, my terrier mix, and Gem, our Golden Retriever, make up a huge part of my happiness. And, when I think about them, I often flashback to their Despicable Me minion costumes for Halloween this past year:

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I LOVE the polar opposition in these pictures between my babies, because Ollie is just going about his day as normal. Gem, on the other hand, looks freaking PISSED. I am that crazy dog mom who would have pictures of them in my wallet if I could. But, when dogs are the topic of discussion, showing these pictures from my iPod always gets a laugh – and hopefully it makes you laugh, too! It’s just a fun party trick of mine, you know?

Do you dress your pets up for Halloween? Are they like Ollie or Gem when it comes to wearing clothes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pavlovian Conditioner: Grooming Hacks For Pet Owners

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Pavlovian Conditioner: Grooming Hacks For Pet Owners

Ivan Pavlov is a famous Russian physiologist best known for his work with dogs. As good as he was at training their behavior, he never took a shot at their personal hygiene. Why, oh why, Ivan? It would have been your best work to date! As much as we love our furry pooches, there grooming can leave a bit to be desired at times. From their breath to their coat, they sure can smell! Admitting they smell from time to time is the first step, and now is the moment to move onto number two, three, and four.

These are grooming hacks for dogs that need a little extra TLC in the personal hygiene department:

#1: Brush

Throwing a canine into a bath and rinsing him or her with a shower head is easy because it’s quick and simple. The thing is, that it doesn’t work one-hundred percent due to the volume of fur. As the ladies know, a long mane gets tangled and mangy when wet and needs a good brushing. The same goes for dogs. So, before applying shampoo try and massage out the knots. There may be some resistance, but it’s for their own good!

#2: Doggy Shampoo

Shampoo and conditioner are essential, but the human-made stuff won’t suffice. Men and women have hair, while pooches have fur. There’s a big distinction, and it means regular treatments won’t work. Instead, they need a proper dog shampoo and conditioner combo to get down and dirty in the fur follicles. Before applying, these dogs guides by Nina Lyman recommend trimming or cutting their coat if it is too long. For one thing, it helps to reduce the overall volume. Secondly, it reduces the smell as there is less chance of grime getting stuck. You don’t have to be a hairdresser to do it, either, as long as you’re confident with clippers.

#3: Learn To Love

Hopefully, your pet will take to the bath like a duck to water. However, there are enough horror stories to suggest that it’s a 50-50 chance. Good luck, then! All jokes aside, canines that aren’t water babies may learn to love it in the long-term. This is where you have to channel your inner Pavlov and manipulate their conditioning. For instance, remove the obstacles first and foremost. A non-slip mat is a smart idea so that they aren’t scurrying around, as are cotton balls in their ears. Don’t forget to play and give them words of encouragement, too.

#4: Outsource

Learning to love the process goes for the owner, as well. Anyone who hates the process should think twice beforehand because it affects the animal. They can feel negative energy and will respond accordingly. The good news, is that there are professionals who will do it for an affordable fee. Plus, they will clean the dog’s teeth and clip their nails. Sometimes, outsourcing is the best option for pet owners.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Hello, Spring!

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Hello, Spring!

Hi everyone!! A few days ago when I was walking my pups, I noticed some lovely little flowers poking out from underneath the layer of leaves that are still damp with melted snow. It was such a sight for sore eyes, especially because the sun was shining and it was FIFTY DEGREES at the end of February. Oh my goodness, guys, it was amazing.

To walk outside with a light jacket on, with my pups keeping up pace beside me and the sun shining on my face was such a treat after a long and grey winter. And, then, to make things even more glorious, I look down and see bright yellow crocuses and another yellow flower that I’m not sure what it is popping out to say hello:

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Of course, it’s not quite lovely spring time yet. But, on that day, it felt that way and I could literally feel the crippling weight of seasonal depression on top of normal old depression being lifted from my shoulders. I was so happy to be breathing in fresh, clean air and looking up to no clouds in the sky. And seeing the first promises of spring flowers in tiny yellow buds peeking out just added to the delight. It was a great day.

Are any flowers popping up in your neck of the woods? What is the weather like in your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah