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Is Your Pet Sitter Prepared For The Unexpected?

All your bags are packed with excitement and looking forward to that long deserved vacation…. ahhh no stress, no work for the next two weeks! How awesome is that!!

Scenario 1:

You prepared with putting the mail on hold with the post office, set up with your lawn care guy to come by a certain day and arranged with your friend who offered her help to look after Spike and kitty cat Lucy, so all good to go.
You even checked that enough food, cat litter and poo bags are set out to make it as easy as possible on your friend.

Scenario 2:

You engaged with a pet sitter which you had found through craigslist.org or care.com and feel really good after meeting with her and reading about all the good reviews. At the initial meeting you spoke about all the care details, filled out paperwork, exchanged the house key and agreed to the dates for the pet care visits. Your pet sitter also explained that she would send you a text once a day so you know everything is well at home with everyone.

Your flight went well and you didn’t even have any annoying person in the seat next to you, the hotel room is perfect and the drink you are holding in your hand while listening to the waves breaking the shore is simply fabulous tasting! What wonderful first two days! Tomorrow you plan to explore the near by city and try some local foods!

Scenario 1:

Suddenly you see your friend’s phone number pop up on the screen… you’re not too worried about it, she probably just couldn’t find the extra cat litter in the garage. You pick up but your friend’s voice doesn’t sound too promising and just a minute later you find out that she needs to leave town because her father got admitted into the hospital and she booked the first flight out of town…..

Scenario 2:

You just realized that you haven’t received the promised text from your pet sitter with an update about your pets but since the day isn’t over yet you just try to be patient and wait for a few hours longer. At sun down you just can’t help it anymore but get nervous and send a short text to your pet sitter. Hours later with continued efforts to reach her via text and phone calls you find out that your pet sitter got severely sick with the flu and can’t even get out of bed……she’s still trying to find someone who could cover for her, she never thought of the possibility that she could ever not be able to do her work…..

 

Both very upsetting Scenarios which can end a happy, relaxed vacation very quickly!

Does your Pet Sitter have a backup plan in place?

Do you have a backup plan when utilizing friends or family members for your pet care needs?

Can you leave town KNOWING that your pets are covered no matter what?…..

Ring, Ring… Do You Have Availability For Pet Boarding This Weekend?

Ring, Ring…

We receive a lot phone calls and messages each week from all over Killeen and Harker Heights, asking for boarding and pet parents hoping for extended hours and weekend office hours to pick pets back up from the boarding facility.

I’m Sorry We Don’t Board…

Just by these phone requests we could easily fill a pet boarding place! Instead, I keep repeating that we do not board, that we are indeed not a boarding kennel BUT we are mobile pet sitters- allowing pets to comfortably stay at home and giving pet parents the convenience this type of pet care service brings along and this already for now almost 9 years.

Often I hear surprise in the callers’ voices saying it is something they never heard of but it sounds appealing. 
I can relate to that because when I first got here from Germany about 10 years ago, I had never in my life heard of pet sitters and had a big ? on my forehead when a friend said I should do pet sitting professionally since I had gotten busy watching friends and my husband’s co-workers pets. 
Though I thought then it must be a widely known industry in the US.

Are You Guilt Stricken And Could Ball Like Me?!

I loved (and love) the idea of pets being able and allowed to stay home as I am, to be honest, guilt stricken and I could ball my eyes out when I’m just thinking of going out of town and dropping my feline kids off at a different place other then home. My head starts spinning with all these super uncomfortable thoughts….

  • I can’t explain to them that it’s just for a temporary amount of time and for sure they are not abandoned by me! (you know.. my cats are all strays which had been left behind, never had a family or were put in the pound because they became a hassle for their previous owners)
  • Oh my, of a sudden they are amongst howling, barking and the buzzing. I KNOW about my cats that they would be traumatized! They already hide when the doorbell rings!
  • My cats in cages? Oh no, they are free spirits which like their lounge areas and hide-a-places… they are not used to be caged up or sitting in small rooms.
  • I’m afraid that they might end up with kennel cough like it happened twice before after picking them up from getting them fixed and, of course, they had to be medicated for that.
  • I would have to get them vaccinated for things I’m not really too fond of or of which I know they wouldn’t react good to.
  • When I come back home on the weekend, I’d have to wait until Monday to get them back from boarding… so extra days they have to stay there and I’m really not talking about money…it’s simply the fact that they’d have to stay extra time while I’m already back home.
  • Well and last but not least, we care for the neighborhood strays too so who would care for them while I’d be gone? I can’t explain to them either to just come back in X amount of days….
Ha, and did I say we got 10 cats?!? I would need to have reservations for half of the boarding kennel to fit all my felines 😉

 

My Own Conclusion To Tone Down Those Voices

So! Yes, I love me some pet sitters which come to visit my feline kids at their home where they are happy and comfortable, eat and sleep and play as they do every day and see in update pictures how content and happy they are with their human play buddies.

Now I have the advantage that I can hire my own staff, yay :)
You too though can join our EaseMyMind family of pet sitters and dog walkers, giving Peace of Mind not only for me but all the pet Moms and Dads in our main service areas of Killeen and Harker Heights but also other cities like Fort Hood, Copperas Cove, Kempner, Belton and Temple.

Give us a shout, I promise… you’ll LOVE it just like I do when I head out of town.

PS: not just for vacations or business trips but pups also LOVE LOVE LOVE our regular Walkercise! Dog Walks 😀
PPS: and pet parents LOVE LOVE LOVE their more laid back pups in the evening when they get home tired from work 😀

TTYS

Kitties In A Box, Why Do Cats Like Boxes So Much?!

 

In many years I haven’t quite found the answer to why cats like boxes so much and in particular the cardboard kind of container. And it doesn’t seem to matter if big or small or tiny kinda box or tiny kitten or gianormeous Main Coon, they just LOVE IT :)

So I gave up to search for the reasons and just accept~  It is what it is!

 

Check It Out What Killeen And Harker Heights Cats Are Up To!

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Peak-a-Boo – making use of the discarded shipping box for Bulls Eye’s new cat condo.
She looks a little like saying “Hey, what are you doing peaking in my house?!”

 

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Sometimes no box may be available but kitty, of course, is inventive and finds other
objects to fit in.
Mel discovered that the wood bowl fits him like a snug glove! :D

 

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Catnip adds a whole sack full of fun to the box deal and keeps the mess somewhat
contain(er)ed….. Pumpkin fully agrees to that!

 

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“What do you mean with you need this box for storage?”…… “Okay well, the box
stores Mr. Priss now, go find yourself your own box.”

 

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Be environmentally friendly and recycle your gift boxes is the way to go. JoJo is an advocate and leads the way with good example. :D

[And do not try to get him outta there, haha.]

 

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Oh, and cats surely love presents too and what else then giving their gift in a….. BOX! :)
Well, maybe Mizpah and Boots have to work on the sharing part ;)

 

To Be Continued……..

 

Does your cat love boxes?  Share a photo of your “contain(er)ed” kitty on our
Facebook page with us!

We Keep Giving FREE Services To Our Killeen And Harker Heights Pet Sitting Clients

 

Free? What is free in nowadays you might ask? Here you find out what you get free with your professional pet sitter while caring for your fur babies.

The main job of a professional pet sitter indeed is to care for your pets in their/your own home, to your detailed instructions and your pet’s routine, that is the main goal a pet sitter wants to achieve and accomplish.


Lets See Here What You Would NOT Get When Boarding Your Pet

[I promise, the boarding people do not come out to do that for you ;) ]

Alternating lights in your home – for security reasons to let your home look lived in and surely your pets love it too to have some ambient light at night. Who doesn’t like a night light.

Taking the trash bins out on trash day – again a security feature as it looks like someone is home to take care of business but also to not have the trash sitting there for days or a couple of weeks and grow what isn’t supposed to grow.

Bringing in your mail – no more hassle to deal with the post office for holding your mail. Often it doesn’t quite work anyhow and they still deliver to your mail box. Your pet sitter can pick it up from the box and bring it in for you.

Newspapers and other – your pet sitter brings in what is sitting in your driveway, let it be the newspaper or a box you were waiting on [appreciating a note for what should be delivered], the new area phone book or just flyers or biz cards stuck to your front door.

Opening/closing blinds – just like with the lights, opening and closing blinds leaves the impression someone is home but also allows for your pets to look outside during the day but have it closed at night so no one can peak in.

Watering flowers and plants – though not every pet sitter is born with a green thumb, he/she will try best to keep flowers and plants pretty and alive.

Watering the yard – some pet sitters even don’t mind to water the yard for you. Here either with extra allotted time when needed or when hoses and sprinkler are all set up, turning it on at the start of a visit and turning off when leaving is not a problem and doesn’t add extra time.

Security and bad weather checks – your pet sitter could probably tell you stories about bad weather damages but which could be kept to managable level as it can be discovered at your pet sitter’s visits. No coming home to bad surprises!

Maintaining temperature – might sound unnecessary but the Central Texas weather indeed is unpredictable! Warm at one minute and freezing an hour later. And yes, those freezes will eventually damage the pipes in your home. Your pet sitter can make sure to adjust the thermostat in your home as needed, especially during the changing seasons.

Dishes left behind – not every pet sitter out there will do that but it is not totally uncommon that dishes are getting washed what were left in the sink due to a rush out of the house on departure day.

     | All this and more can also be booked as a stand-alone service with no pets
     | —> House Sitting/ House Security Checks

That’s a pretty long list of free stuff, isn’t it?!
And there could even be added onto this list, depending on some requests clients may specifically have.

 

What’s The Conclusion?

Now those are all services, extras or bonuses if you will what you get when engaging a professional pet sitter.
Boarding a pet at a boarding kennel doesn’t come with this nice “side effect” of an included house sitter, which either would mean:

  • your home is all alone, unsupervised for the entire time you are away hence, it’s taking a chance and the hopes that everything will be alright when returning
  • you have to ask friends, a family member or neighbor to check on your home and do all those things listed above [many feel too uncomfortable to put that upon friends]

OR

Hit Two Flies With One Swat and have your pet(s) AND your home cared for in one roundabout service with daily updates for your peace of mind that your precious pets AND your precious home is safe!

What do you think? Isn’t it great to get something free in nowadays?

Alternatives To Declawing Your Cat Or How Do I Save My Furniture

What’s Up With This Annoying Scratching

For cats the scratching is what a Pedicure is for us, taking care of their claws and especially to remove the outer dead layer of the nail [sometimes you can see a cat trying to pull it off with their teeth].
Of course it’s also a form of play and stretching out from head to toe and when you watch a cat closely, you will recognize that the scratching is also used to communicate with humans and other cats alike.
So overall an inherited trait of species cat, no matter if tiny kitten or huge tiger.

 

The Humane Alternatives To Keep Kitty From Destroying Your Furniture

Instead of amputating a cat’s toes [what declawing really means] here are the safe, humane ways to save your furniture from Ms Kitty’s claws:

Keep Your Cat’s Nails Trimmed

Clipping the sharp point of your cat’s claws makes it less destructive and less painful while playing of course ;)
It may take a while for your cat to get used to this pedicure session but it can really be trained and a routine be established.
The easiest is to have Ms Kitty on your lab and pet her while touching the paws and eventually apply pressure which exposes the nails. Now it is important to just clip the white portion of the nail and not get into the pink part, the quick.
The white is the dead part similar to our fingernails but the quick is full of nerves and will bleed when cut.
If this should happen, dip the nail into simple flour and it will stop bleeding.

Applying Soft Nail Caps

You can even get really fashionable with colorful or sparkly claw soft caps [neutral Cat Claw Capsavailable too ;) ] which are applied after trimming the nails with an adhesive similar to faux fingernails and last for about 4-6 weeks and save your furniture and yourself when ruff housing with your cats.
They are now readily available at Petsmart and Petco or directly online at i.e. SoftClaws Nail Caps

Providing Scratch Surfaces For Your Cat

When your cat tends to scratch inappropriate areas, observe if those areas are vertical or horizontal and what the material is like and what height or coverage is affected.
This can determine the best cat scratching device for your cat which could be a scratching post covered in sisal rope or a flat or slanted corrugated cardboard scratch pad.
By now there is a good selection in store to choose from and many already come with catnip to rub or sprinkle on Ms Kitty’s new scratch parlor to attract her to it.
I would recommend to stay away from carpeted material as the cat cannot define an allowed and forbidden carpeted area to scratch and the soft material is not sufficient enough for the cat to condition her claws.
Keeping the new scratch post or pad near the undesired area and later gradually moving it to a more desired area usually works with patience and a treat for rewarding.

Training Your Cat To NOT Scratch Where You Don’t Want Her To

Covering the affected areas of attack can happen with draping a blanket, applying double sided tape or aluminum foil which Ms Kitty doesn’t like for the sensation those cause.
Don’t try to correct her with yelling or hitting, it will have no or worse, reverse effect –> bad attention is attention too!
Catch her in the act of scratching [after is too late!] with a loud noise giving a quick scare and your cat will start associating the noise with scratching. An air can for the noise [and the noise only, do NOT spray a cat with the air] is working beautifully.
Squirting water with a spray bottle is a way too but means you must be close and of course have the water to clean up after.

I think when understanding that Ms Kitty isn’t viciously scratching just to annoy her owner, it is easier to work WITH the cat’s trait instead of taking away a vital part of inherit behavior and worse, her claws/toes.

1.) photo credit: Mr. T in DC via photopin cc
2.) photo credit: .robbie via photopin cc

Who Are The Best Boarding Kennels In Killeen And Harker Heights? (Reviews/Ratings)

Every so often we get phone calls of pet owners who are asking for boarding their dogs or asking if we can give our rating or review on a boarding kennel in the area of Killeen or Harker Heights.
Yes, there are times were we are not a good fit for a pet owner~ let it be that it’s a move to the area so not yet a home to stay at or budget or simply because a kennel is preferred over in home pet sitting.

Though we have no direct personal experiences with the boarding facilities in Killeen and Harker Heights, we think that the following three are noteworthy for being established in the Central Texas area (in no particular order):

 

1.) Stillhouse Luxury Pet Hotel      Located in Killeen, TX, Stillhouse Luxury Pet Hotel is around for about five years now, serving the needs for dog boarding with each room having it’s own little yard, cat boarding with no cage cat studios and bird boarding as well as boarding of small caged animals like rabbits, ferrets, turtles, etc.

2.) Barker Heights Bed & Biscuit Calling it’s home the city of Harker Heights, TX, Barker Heights Bed & Biscuit too offers boarded dogs access to little private yards right outside their room. Cat Condos and small animal boarding is also available.

3.) Shangri Paw- in Harker Heights, TX, is not only a dog boarding kennel but mostly known for being DIY doggy wash and dog day care which can be combined with boarding.

Although I could also list all the great Veterinarians in Killeen and Harker Heights on the subject dog and cat boarding, I limited this list to actual boarding facilities only and these 3 deserved mentioning, especially if you find in home pet sitting doesn’t fit your needs and thus you are looking for a boarding kennel.
But, of course, before you decide on any boarding facility, get informed and see for yourself if the facility is to your liking and gives you a good vibe.

Don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts or share your experience below

photo credit: Natalia Romay via photopin cc