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Peanut Butter Alert! – Contains Your Dog’s Peanut Butter Xylitol?

Peanut Butter Alert! – Contains Your Dog’s Peanut Butter Xylitol?

Peanut Butter – An Easy And Inexpensive Dog Treat

Peanut Butter, many dogs LOVE it for the nutty sweet taste and dog owners for it inexpensiveness and easiness to fill Kongs and other stuffable dog toys. Even better frozen in the hot summer months!

The new hype though with everyone trying to go low sugar, low calorie is that brands substitute real sugar with the sweetener xylitol but you won’t be aware unless you read labels.
For your four legged friends though this can be a fatal mistake!


Xylitol – A Dangerous Sweetener For Your Dog

We know Xylitol for years for mainly being used in sugar-free gum and also know that these are toxic to animals but now have to be aware that this sweetening substitute made it into other foods.
Xylitol when ingested tricks the pancreas with thinking that it is real sugar, triggering the release of insulin which in return causes the body to remove glucose (drop in blood sugar) and then results in acute hypoglycemia.
Symptoms for hypoglycemia are weakness, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, disorientation and even potential seizures!

That not be enough, Xylitol can also cause hepatic necrosis in dogs leading to acute liver failure. Though for that to happen it seems that it would have to be given in higher dosages and over a prolonged time.

It does not take much of this sugar subsitut to trigger hypoglycemia- only 0.045 grams per pound of body weight but though it does not sound all that much, a typical stick of gum already contains 0.3 – 0.4 grams!


Please Read Labels

Please make sure to always read labels before you give any human products to your dogs and be alerted when you read “sugar free” or “no sugar added” to make sure those are not indicated for sugar being substituded. Peanut butter is just one food product containing Xylitol but you can find this sugar substitute also in medications and supplements like in some fish oil or vitamin brands.

Known peanut butter brands with Xylitol:

  • Go Nuts, Co
  • Krush Nutrition
  • Nuts ‘N More
  • P28 Foods


Aim For An All Natural Product

Of course your dogs don’t have to give up on their favorite peanut butter stuffed Kong toy and peanut butter is overall a healthy treat alternative when chosen the right product, all natural and with no added sugar or sugar substitutes – for happy and healthy pups.


What do you have in your pantry with Xylitol?


photo credit: JeepersMedia Jif Peanut Butter with Omega-3 Creamy, 12/2014, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Jif #Peanut #Butter #Omega #3 via photopin (license)

How Do I Keep My Dog From Digging Up My Yard

It sure is true that it takes quite some maintenance to have a nice, presentable and usable GRASSY backyard with especially larger canine family members romping around, running along the fence to socialize or argue with the neighbor dogs and of course poo-ing.
I see dog owners at loss when their canines develop their habit of having a blast turning the yard into holey field…. you have a digging problem! And they sure have a different opinion of how the perfect hang-out area should look like.


So What To Do??

Always supervising them while outside? — That gets old fast and you wanna be able to do other things in the meantime and not restrict outside time to just a few minutes to go poo…

Scolding them? — Nah, that doesn’t work because bad attention is attention too and that’s exactly what your dog loves, attention from you…

Well, and praising him doesn’t make sense either lol

The “Quick” Fix

Covering dug up areas with chicken wire. I know.. It’s not pretty for the moment but keeps your pup from digging as it’s not comfortable and he is not getting anywhere with the chicken wire in place.
Just make sure that the cut edges are not poking upwards to hurt your pup. Your grass gets some rest to grow back or you want to spread some new grass seed out.


The Fun Zone

How about embracing what your dog loves so much?

A designated fun area! Just pick an area of your yard like off to the side but still in sight so your pup still feels like part of the party when you are out there too and fence off this partition.

You can really deck that out nicely with a fence style of your choice if you don’t like chicken wire, like wooden posts with robe or modern wire cables.
If you choose a corner of your yard, you can hang a sun sail in the corner for a shady area and even a cool dog house for nap time.

image credit:minimotives.com

image credit:minimotives.com


If the idea of building a cool dog house got your hooked,
check out these sites for building plans:





You can keep a grassy area for going poo (lovely because the rest of your yard is not a land mine field anymore)
and to get back to the digging issue, you could have a good sized spot within this fun area covered with sand or even put up a large sand box like you’d have for two-legged toddlers …. overall you pooch is your fur kid, right?! 🙂

Now to add even more to the excitement, burry dog toys and/or treat bones in the sand and you can only imagine how much FUN this not only is for your dog but also for you watching him having a blast while enjoying YOUR area dig-(and poo)spot-free!


Got another idea to keep dogs from digging? Would love to hear from ya.

Is Your Dog Suffering From Itchy And Dry Feet? Here An Easy Remedy How You Can Give Him Relief.

You may have noticed that your dog is often nibbling on his paws or licking in between his toes, even to the extend to were it gets all red and raw. Uhhh, I can imagine how it must be to have itchy hands and feet!


Seasonal And Food Allergies As The Cause

Often caused by seasonal allergies or food allergies which can be quite a process to find out the exact cause and lots of trial and error to find the perfect food without the ingredients causing the issues, there are some easy “home” remedies to give your pups some relief from the symptoms.

When you suspect seasonal allergies so pollen causing the discomfort, it is wise to rinse your dog’s feet when coming in from the yard or after a walk.
Especially grass and tree pollen are known triggers and of course stick to your dog’s feet and fur. Just look at your car in the spring time and you can imagine what is all stuck to your pup 😉

Either a garden hose or a small sized bucket to give a quick rinse will do the trick and of course a towel to dry off. Your pooch will get into the routine.


An Easy And Inexpensive Recipe

For irritation, itchiness and dry, cracked pads here is an easy and fairly inexpensive salve you can make from just two single ingredients:
[Best choice is always all organic ingredients]

2 Table Spoons Coconut Oil
10 Drops of Lavender Oil

[for bigger batches just multiply the amounts equally]

Heat up the Coconut Oil in the microwave or on the stove and mix in the Lavender Oil, then put in a container with lid and apply as needed to the entire paw, in between the toes and massaging into the pads.
The Coconut Oil salve will harden once cooled but it melts in your hands so it’s easy to apply.

A soothing and safe “paw conditioner” for your pup!


Drop me a line to let me know how you like it 🙂

Yikes, Who Knew That Pet Sitting Cost You Taxes 20 Times A Year?!

Wow, I just realized how often I actually make tax payments throughout the year with being a pet sitting business owner! Or to be more specific, with being a business owner with employees since I choose to not take the “easy” way out trying to run my biz with Independent Contractors to save some bucks.

It’s a whooping 20 times!!

12 x 941 Federal Income Tax
4 x 940   Federal Unemployment Tax
4 x TWC State Unemployment Tax

and now I got reassessed by the TX State Comptroller to pay/do my sales tax return quarterly instead of annually, so I add

4 x THAT to the mix.

Oh… but hold on, that’s “just” the biz part. I can’t forget about my own tax obligation, I’m also required to make quarterly Estimated tax payments. So adding another 4 tax payments

= Grand total: 24 times!!

No, I’m not complaining.

It is what it is and I just came to realize these numbers. But it is definitely something which “outsiders” are not seeing when I get phone calls just asking for our prices and then even some being ticked off at me how “expensive” our rates would be.

I agree 🙂 It is expensive….. to run a business the correct way in the means of paying employee wages and meeting obligations like employment taxes, unemployment taxes and personal taxes to give the government it’s share and to be part of the society and social system.
It all boils down to the greater picture!

So these “high” rates for pet sitting as some rant about, even may at some point pay social benefits to exactly those folks when they should ever have the need for it like food stamps or welfare and don’t let us forget about our great soldiers, they too are paid by all of us, the tax payers.

With that in mind, I don’t feel all so bad when I yet make #19 of my 24 tax payments throughout the year 😉


PS: I LOVE LOVE LOVE my CPA, John Lister INC., P.C. in Copperas Cove, TX and especially Janice at my CPA’s office for keeping track of all those due dates and deadlines for me, you rock!

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 😀


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!

Bulls Eye3

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?!”


Picture 765

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



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!



“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.”



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.]



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]


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?

Best Dog Walking Trails In The Killeen And Harker Heights Area

Stillhouse Hollow Lake
(Photo credit: Wikipedia and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)


Though Killeen and Harker Heights are definitely not as dog friendly as the city of Austin with it’s liberal views on taking our four-legged friends on a stroll through the city and stopping off at our favorite cafe’s patio and numerous parks and trails which allow our dogs to walk and swim with us but to be fair and absolutely noteworthy for dog walking trails is our nearby Dana Peak Park at the Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Harker Heights!


Dana Peak Park Trails- Adventure For The Entire Family

Dana Peak Park is a great recreational area for the entire family [dogs and horses included! YAY!] with camp grounds, water sports, mountain biking and maintained facilities with bathrooms.
While the park itself is closed for the winter times, the trails are open and accessible all year around just depending what you and your dog view as suitable hiking or running weather.
Make sure you have a sufficient amount of water with you while walking with your dog for the both of you as there are various lengths of trail loops about 2-8+ miles long with many single side tracks to explore, ranging from easy to moderate with a couple of steeper climbs [not really flip-flop material ;) ]

How To Get There

From Hwy 190 take exit FM 2410 [Knights Way] and follow the road for about 3 miles until Comanche Gap Rd. Turn onto Comanche Gap and travel until you see the entrance to Dana Peak Park. You can actually park at the Cul-de-sac prior to the park entrance or pay $2.00 to enter. The trails are accessible either way.

View Larger Map

Though there is not really a great map on the actual trails available, the hand drawn map here should give a good glance while the paths are maintained and easy to follow.

Have you taken the trails already? Or plan to take your dog for a hike or walk to the Dana Peak Trails?
We would love for you to share your experience in the comments below :)