Author: Tony

What do you do if you suspect heat stroke? PART 2

Yesterday we discussed the signs of heat stroke in dogs. Today we will talk about what to do if you suspect your dog may have heat stroke. First get the dog out of the sun/heat immediately.  Ideally you take your dog’s rectal temperature every 10 minutes to monitor body temperature. If it is above 103 you should take your dog to the vet immediately as this should be considered an emergency! If below 103, you can place the dog in cool, not icy water.  Icy water may cause the blood vessels to constrict and inadvertently keep the body from cooling.  You can also place a fan in front of the dog to aid in cooling. Do not put wet towels on the dog though since this may actually trap body heat as the towels become room temperature. You should continue cooling your dog until the body temperature reaches 103. At that point...

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What are signs of heat stroke/exhaustion in dogs? PART 1

Since we live in a very warm climate in Arizona, it’s important for us Mesa dog sitters/owners to know the signs of heat stroke.  Heat stroke is a very serious condition that occurs rapidly and can cause collapse and death if not treated immediately. Certain short nosed breeds are more susceptible to this condition and should be monitored even more carefully, as are larger dogs, older dogs and puppies. Some of these short nosed breeds are the Pekinese, the Pug and the Bulldog. You should also monitor dogs with longer, thicker hair and black coated dogs. Dogs do not sweat through their skin glands like we do; they cool themselves by panting.  The potential for this condition to strike occurs when the air temperature is warmer than the dog’s body temperature (typically between 101 and 102 degrees) and panting is not sufficient enough for the dog to cool themselves. This is why...

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The most difficult part of pet sitting

Critter Caretakers gets to pet sit for all kinds of animals in Mesa and Gilbert. We’re dog pet sitters, cat sitters, ferret sitters, rabbit sitters, goat sitters, chicken sitters; well you get the idea.  But regardless of what kinds of pets we pet sit for, there is one thing that is absolutely, positively THE most difficult part of pet sitting. And that is when we have to say good-bye to one of the pets we’ve watched because it’s their time to cross the Rainbow Bridge. One of my most recent pet sitting jobs in Gilbert over Memorial Day was with a cat named Baxter. Prior to his visits, his beloved owner had shared with me that he wasn’t doing his best, had slowed down considerably and was not eating as well as he used to. So I was aware of all these things going into the sit. But when his visits...

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Should I free-feed or schedule feed my pet?

An age old question that some of our pet sitting clients in Gilbert ask us is, when it comes to feeding my pets, (especially for most cat owners), should I free feed (leaving food out readily available for them to eat at will) or put my pet on a scheduled feeding? There are many reasons why an owner might choose free feeding over scheduled feeding: one less thing to have to remember to do during the day, the pet will eat when they’re hungry, owner has long work hours, and of course ease for the owner. However, some pets, again especially cats, do not have an ‘off’ switch when it comes to their food. They eat because it tastes good and/or they are bored. There is nothing telling them they have had ‘enough’ so they over eat. Overeating can lead to many potential illnesses, not the least of which is diabetes....

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What does a Mesa Pet Sitter do if your dog won’t eat?

As pet sitters in Mesa, obviously we feed dogs as part of our job. And sometimes our dog clients won't eat. So what do we do? Well, your pet sitter comes armed with several tricks for this situation. First we have to decide if it is due to illness or something else. Oftentimes, our pet family members get sad when we go away and so they won't eat. Most of the time it due to the fact that your dog is missing you. If a dog doesn't want to eat for one meal, generally we are not overly concerned with it and will let the dog eat as much or as little as it wants. But because we don't want your dog's blood sugar to be effected by not eating, your Mesa pet sitter will keep a vigilant eye on the situation. Let's say we go to the next visit and your...

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Dog Walking in Arizona – Not like other places

Well it’s getting to be that time again. We’re just barely in to the month of May and triple digits are already on those of us here in Arizona. As dog walkers in Mesa and Gilbert, we need to pay attention to those temperatures. Did you know that unlike other states, not all weather is ok to walk your dog in here? So, how does your dog walker, or you, know when it is too hot to walk your dog in Arizona? We tell our clients (and sitters) to do the pavement test. If you hold your hand to the pavement, sidewalk, street, etc. for 5-7 seconds and it feels too hot to your hand, then it is too hot to walk your dog. Your dogs paw pads can, and will, burn. Don’t believe us? Try walking barefoot on the sidewalk you want to take your pup on. You’ll be doing...

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How to prepare for your pet sitting experience in Gilbert

After all your research you’ve found your perfect Gilbert Pet sitter – we hope Critter Caretakers was top on your pet sitting company list.  Fluffy, your iguana, and Killer and Jaws, your Chihuahuas, are going to be safely cared for while you’re away. The consultation has been done, dates reserved and your bags are ready to be packed. Now that we’re coming to your home, what can you do to have the best pet sitting experience? First we encourage you to have all the proper pet sitting supplies you will need. That means plenty of food (and treats, if provided), available. Does Fluffy need special bugs flown in from Madagascar for her diet? Please have her favorite beetles stocked in your pantry so we don’t have to try to track them down if she runs out.  Do you have cats? Yep, that means plenty of litter on hand for us to...

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Why are once a day visits necessary for cat sitting?

Critter Caretakers does a lot of cat sitting. And occasionally we will get a call from a client requesting a cat sitter who will do every other day visits.  However, our company does not offer every other day visits. Many pet owners underestimate the importance of every day pet sitting for cats. Contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals. While they may not show it like our dog friends, they enjoy the companionship of their human counterparts. Once a day visits let them know they have not been forgotten about when you go on vacation. They also dislike any change to their routine. By having a once a day cat sitter come, they continue the feeding and play routine they're used to. Cats are incredibly curious and playful creatures. If they don't have something (or someone) to spend time with, they will go looking for something to do. This can lead...

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Gilbert Pet Sitter alerts clients to another recall

We're not just another pet sitting company in Gilbert. We like to let our clients know about nutrition and food advisories that we run across. So today we are alerting you to a raw food recall from the pet food company, Bravo! Raw diet frozen dog food is being recalled due to a potential contamination from salmonella, a bacteria that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever according to the article. It can also lead to similar symptoms in humans, which the article lays out in detail. Those feeding a raw diet should always err on the side of caution and wash your hands thoroughly after handling such a  diet. You can find the full article here which outlines specifically which of their products have potentially been effected: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/bravo-raw-frozen-dog-food-recall/    ...

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Why hire a dog walking professional in Mesa?

Dogs need exercise. Period. Most dogs love love LOVE their daily dog walk and depending on the breed and energy level of your dog, they may even need more than one walk a day. Why is it so important to walk your dog you ask? Dog walking has many benefits. First and foremost are the health benefits. Just like people, dogs need to be exercised to stay in shape. It keeps their heart and lungs strong and healthy contributing to a longer life span. It helps them avoid being overweight which can potentially lead to chronic illness such as diabetes. It can also help with their digestive system to prevent constipation. Second is the fact that dogs live their lives through their noses. Getting out and allowing your dog to sniff around his neighborhood is mental stimulation for them; it serves the important purpose of providing relief for an instinctual urge and...

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