Grieving The Loss Of A Pet – Pet Loss Support Group

By | Cats, Dogs, JenLovesPets, Pet care, Pet CPR & First Aid, San Diego pets | No Comments

“Family, friends, and society don’t always understand how drastically the loss of a pet can affect us, and can find it difficult to support the grief we often feel. Our Pet Loss Support Group provides an environment where thoughts and emotions can be shared and feelings of grief are understood and validated. Our Pet Loss Support group is facilitated by a licensed, clinical social worker.” ~ San Diego Humane Society 

 

I just got off the phone with an “almost” client who I met once to care for her fur baby Sushi. She ended up not needing our services but has been a registered clients. She responded to our email we sent out the other evening saying Sushi had passed away and was wanting to talk. She was suffering Pet Loss.

Immediately I felt her pain; been there! So I called her and after talking a little bit we both cried. It’s been a few months since Sushi passed away but she was still having a difficult time. She says the guilt is overwhelming, she keeps going over everything in her head and thinking “If I had done this or that she’d still be alive” I listened to her, and remembered the time I met them. It was obvious Sushi was tired, I could tell she was holding on and being strong for Mom.

Sushi’s Mom is an amazing cat Mom! I won’t go into the details but she did everything for Sushi; medically, personally, etc. But in grief and self doubt we’ll believe it wasn’t good enough. I reminded her how great she was to Sushi and I told her Sushi was alive for as long as she was for because of her and for her. She got her strength to live from Mom. She would have let go awhile ago if it wasn’t for Mom’s love.

My almost client gasped and said the night before Sushi passed away she whispered to her “I will always love you, no matter what. It’s ok” as if to say if she was ready she could cross the Rainbow Bridge. I cried. What an amazing and unselfish gift to give Sushi! Then next morning Sushi crossed. I reminded her to stand in that truth, to remember Sushi chose to hang in there for you, and passed away with your permission. “You gave her a gift”

I also told her guilt is horrible, it eats at our souls and we have to let it just wash off of us when we start to feel it. She asked “How?! How do you just STOP feeling it. Just say STOP IT! Because that’s what I keep trying to do” I told her “No, you can’t. I’m great at beating myself up and then beating myself up for beating myself up. But what helps is remembering the pain she was in. Cancer is extremely painful, pancreatitis is probably just as if not more painful, chemo is horrible on the body. Sushi hung in there through all that for you because of your bond but now she has no pain. She is just pure painless love watching over you. You’ll feel her. You know those times you see or hear something move in her spots? Or catch a whiff of her? That’s her reminding you she’s still there with you. Just out, all around now and not trapped in her little pained body”

My heart aches for her, but it fills with joy knowing Sushi is in a better place. I’m so glad I was able to help her even for just a moment. To my “almost client”, if you’re reading this, please know I’m thankful for you and your time today on the phone. Thank you for allowing me to bring some peace.

Those who are struggling with Pet Loss here in San Diego there’s a Pet Loss Support Group through the San Diego Humane Society (Gaines Rd). My wonderful “almost” client told me she has been attending. Wow! What a great way to help those of us that suffer from Pet Loss Grief. So thankful she told me about and now I want to share it with everyone!

Inspire Compassion

San Diego Humane Society

For some reason beyond my comprehension the grief in losing a pet can be far worse than losing a loved human. Take a look at the SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY PET LOSS PAGE. There’s also a link to their CALENDAR for you to see the dates and times of the support group meetups and it offers additional resources to overcome pet loss grief. You don’t have to struggle alone, you are not alone. Pet Loss grief is real, it’s common but it doesn’t have to eat away at our souls.  

 

Professional Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers vs Tech Companies

By | Dog walking, Dogs, JenLovesPets, Pet care, Pet sitting, San Diego pets, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

JenLovesPets was born in 2010. We started off as a solo sitter for emotional, mental, and physical therapy and quickly grew to over 450 clients and 8 professional pet sitters and dog walkers as employees. We’ve had over 450 meet n greets and combined over 80 years of pet care experience.

I’m so proud to work with this group of team members! With our passion and pet CPR & First Aid Training we’ve proven to be the best in north San Diego (more specifically the Rancho Penasquitos (and an 8mile radius) area.

I expect the best pet care =)

I expect the best pet care =)

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of, well…most likely everyone reading this have heard of Rover, DogVacay and/or Wag! They’re pretty much trying to take over the pet sitting, dog walking, and boarding market. From a business stand point Rover is rocking it and have left the others in the dust. Their money is never ending and their marketing is amazing!

But. That doesn’t make them professional pet sitters. I cringe when I hear “My dog walker is Rover” or “We use Rover pet sitters” I’ve seen it on Facebook, Nextdoor and other social media sites.

HEAR ME AS I TYPE THIS:

ROVER, DOGVACAY, & WAG! ARE NOT PET SITTING AND DOG WALKING COMPANIES. THEY ARE SELF PROCLAIMED TECH COMPANIES!

These tech companies allow anyone to join their sites. Anyone can be taking care of your fur babies. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think most people have good intentions but good intentions usually does not save a life or prevent something drastic.

San Diego Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Yelp Review

San Diego Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Yelp Review

Experience and knowledge mixed with passion and care in a legal business that have true employees will always be the best option for pet care. Not saying emergencies don’t happen but when they do you want a team of professionals handling them to prevent unnecessary stress on you and your babies. You want a professional team in a local professional business. A business with the proper license and insurance in case something happens.

JenLovesPets’ pet sitters complete Pet CPR & First Aid Training, weeks of shadow and hands on training by myself and our leads. We use a scheduling and note system that keeps us all in the loop while caring for your pets. When you’re on vacation or at work you receive an email every time we check in on your baby with cute notes and pictures so you’ll never be in the dark. It’s constant contact!

San Diego Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Yelp Review

San Diego Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Yelp Review

As I type this I’m trying to decide if I want to tell you the horror stories some of my clients have gone through while using these tech companies. Or some of the stories I’ve heard on the news or within the multiple pet sitter networking groups I belong to. Accidents and mistakes can happen to anyone, trust me we’ve made our own. The difference is you open yourself up to more of a horror story when using hobbyists from these sites. More than half of these pet lovers don’t have the training to handle serious situations, they don’t have the legal responsibility to care for your pets properly. Ok….so on that note I will tell one story. A fellow pet sitter’s Aunt used Rover (to her dismay) and days into the service the dog went missing. Years later that fur baby has never been found. The Rover hobbyist did nothing to help find the pup; absolutely nothing. Rover did nothing. And because Rover is not a pet sitting company just a tech company (a huge tech company) the effects of their mistake was non existent except to the pup and her parents.

After caring for over 500 dogs and cats in San Diego I’m confident I can say “We

Aint this the truth? You don't want a Rover hobbyist!

Aint this the truth? You don’t want a Rover hobbyist!

know what you as a pet parent and what your fur babies want” and I don’t think it’s just cheap pet care.

I don’t consider these tech companies as competition (and I hope no other professional pet sitter does as well) however I am concerned for our fur babies and pet parents. I feel as a professional I’m obligated to you; to let you know the dangers in not hiring professionals. Side Note: I know you can find sitters and walkers in these sites that are upscale but it’s a lottery and do you really want to play the lottery with your pets? or Russian Roulette? I know, you don’t. That’s why we’re here for you!

As I said above I’m so proud of our team. Take a look at the About Page and get to know us a bit and if you live in our service area (Rancho Penasquitos, Mira Mesa, Torrey Highlands, Santaluz, 4SRanch, Del Sur, Rancho Bernardo, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Poway, and Scripps Ranch) please register as a new client so we can get to know you and your babies!

Want A Puppy? STOP! READ THIS FIRST

By | Dog walking, Dogs, JenLovesPets, Pet care, Pet sitting, San Diego pets | 2 Comments

So…you want a puppy?! YES!
I think they are a blessing and a love to have around but not everyone is able.

STOP!

BEFORE YOU GET THAT BUNDLE OF CUTENESS!

READ THIS!!

Puppies are adorable, they melt the most hardened hearts but they are also terrors. They are little raptors wrapped in fur. They are babies but a hell of a lot more work.

They need to be taught a feeding routine, need potty training, may whine all night wanting to be with you. THEY WANT TO BE WITH YOU ALL THE TIME

Puppies eat everything

 

They eat shoes, curtains, couches, chairs, pillows, computers, remotes, white out, pens, socks, underwear. Yes they eat underwear, that’s their favorite snack especially if they’re dirty.
They dig, dig in dirt, dig in carpet, on the walls. Did I tell you they EAT? Like everything?

Do you have a back up plan if the puppy is howling during the day while you’re at work?

Puppies need training, they need to be taught where to potty, to alert that they need to potty, they need to be taught leave it, drop it, come, sit, stay. They need to be taught how to walk on a leash, need to be

Puppy Smiles

socialized around people and other dogs.

(Notice I’m saying they “need to be taught” not “they need to learn” because it’s all on YOU to teach them. They will not automatically get it.

Puppies need potty breaks during the day while you’re at work. Young puppies (12 weeks) need to potty every 3 hours at the most. So you’ll need a dog walker to care for them.

$$$$ Do you have $$$$ ???? Because they need vaccinations, spay or neutered. Vet money for the late night vet visits….and YES you will have them especially if you’re a first time dog parent. They need parasite prevention; most are monthly treatments and

Walking dogs with treats help with distractions

they need baths and nail trims.

Exercise. Lots of it. Daily walks sometimes twice or three times a day. Are you willing to change your entire schedule for this

puppy? Because you’ll need to!

They need a pet sitter for when you go on vacation…even if you leave for just one night. They need a sitter.

And….

Allergies. Say you get this precious baby and you’re allergic. You start itching, eyes watering, body aches. You’re allergic to your new baby….even though you’ve never been allergic before. But you’ve never had a dog before either, just played with other pups.

This is probably the most devastating outcome. Heartbreaking. Ideally you would know if you’re allergic ahead of time but…So you have a decision to make, fight against the diagnosis; allergy shots/medications and hope you feel better and develop an immunity or bite the bullet and take the baby back.

Sometimes the best decision is to take the baby back, and sometimes it’s for you to step up. Only you can make that decision.

Older dogs need special care too.

Whatever you choose, please do your homework first. Check yourself, make sure you’re ready to go all in and make a 100%

commitment before the baby goes home with you. Because this raptor dressed in dog fur will grow into the best dog ever with the correct training and guidance but it will also grow old and need more vet and hands on care. And many years later there will be a quality of life question.

Be Ready. Be Informed.

And know: JenLovesPets is there for you when you need those daily check ins, pet sitting, and puppy tips!

What Happens During A Meet N Greet?

By | JenLovesPets, San Diego pets, Uncategorized | No Comments

Will you stop by my house so I can show you around and meet my pet?

ABSOLUTELY!

Professional Pet Sitting Meet N Greet

It’s Meet N Greet Time!

JenLovesPets requires a (30 minute) Meet N Greet to ensure we’re all on the same page. As the business owner I like to have a detailed phone discussion to go over the specifics you’re looking for. I’ll be asking questions about you, your fur babies, and will explain our procedures. Once it’s confirmed you’re ready to book JenLovesPets as your professional pet sitting/dog walking company I’ll ask you to register online and pay the $20 Deposit. 

As of this writing, JenLovesPets is the only pet sitting and dog walking company in our area that requires a $20 deposit for the Meet N Greet. This goes towards your first service as long as it or the meet n greet is not canceled or rescheduled.

Why a deposit?

Great question! And as a solo sitter I did offer free meet n greets but as a business owner and leader to my employees I decided to make sure they’re paid for their time IF something were to happen and you need to cancel/reschedule. Their time is valuable to us. 

Once the registration is completed and the deposit is paid we’ll confirm a time to meet.

Where do we meet?

Leashes for Dog Walks

Where’s the Leash?

It’s best to meet where the pets will be during our service. This is typically your home for pet sitting, dog walking, and overnights. It will allow us to tour the home, see where the feeding stations are, medications, check out fish tanks, bird cages, or any other pets that will be in the home. Plants too! We’ll need to know where the cleaning supplies are, leashes, litter boxes, extra water bowls, poop bags, brooms, and many more! Most importantly we’ll be able to start a bond with your baby(ies). — We’ve had over 400 meet n greets in the past 7 years and every single one of them (minus boarding clients and a few others) we’ve come into the house, said “HI” to the new clients and sat right on the floor to bond with the babies!!!! It’s just our thing, our M.O. lol!

Will I be able to meet our sitter and when is a good time to meet?

Most definitely! Your lead sitter/walker will be there and so will I. We have a team that works closely as back ups to back ups but it’s important that you meet the lead professional. Your lead sitter/walker will be the professional that is first in line to care for your babies, we DO however keep other sitters in line as a back up and yes this does include me =) 

We try to be flexible with the meet n greet times, it depends on your schedule and what you are able to fit in. We will work around your schedule of course keeping in mind that our professionals do have days off. This is why it’s important to plan (at least) a few weeks ahead of the requested service. 

Do you need anything from me?

Keys for a Meet N Greet

Two keys please.

Yes please. We’ll definitely need two house keys, and if there’s a key pad or code we’ll need at least one back up key in case the battery dies or for some reason it fails. 

We’ll also need you to have treats readily available for us to hand out if your fur baby is nervous. We prefer to use yours rather than inadvertently handing out a treat that triggers an allergic reaction.

We’ll also ask that you double check your profile in the scheduling system (Time To Pet) you registered on. The more information you give us the better we’ll be able to step into your shoes in case of an emergency. 

And please, have a list of questions or concerns you may have. We’ll be happy to go over them with you!

NOW, I will ask one more thing of you. PLEASE do not be alarmed if we get all googoo and the baby talk comes out when we meet your pet. We are professionals but our passion does over ride the professionalism occasionally (ok, maybe more than that)! It’s something we have not been able to tame, though you can be assured: A Pet CPR & First Aid trained, professional sitter/walker will be very happy to care for the kiddos with the best training and knowledge we can offer!

 

Pet Emergency – When The Babies Scare The Heck Out Of You

By | Dogs, Pet care, Pet CPR & First Aid, San Diego pets | No Comments
Princess Bella

Princess Bella

Last night I got ready for bed kind of late. I had been enjoying the evening watching the sports channel with my husband (sports channel not so much but time with the hubby yes). When I couldn’t take anymore sports I went to get ready for bed and then went back to the living room to show Dwayne something. He was on the floor; panicking a bit, telling Bella to “Get it out, it’s ok get it out”

I saw Bella laying in front of her cubby, struggling to breathe like a fish out of water. I dropped my phone, ran to them, immediately started CPR. She kept stiffening up, then I saw her loose bladder control and was foaming/drooling….She was seizing. I (softly) barked orders for Dwayne to get the other dogs out of the room, lower the tv, grab keys and get dressed. When he returned I had him stay with her while I got dressed.

When I returned to them Bella had recovered slightly and was running from Dwayne and had hid in a corner scared to death. This is common after a seizure. I grabbed a soft blanket, covered her, picked her up and held her. She was covered in urine and saliva, was shivering and whimpering. Her eyes were wide from fear and neurological issues.

These are all common post seizure symptoms.

From what we saw (we don’t know how long she was seizing in her cubby-hubs saw her fall out of it, so he doesn’t know how long it was going on beforehand) her seizure lasted for almost 2 minutes. This was her first one, no other health issues so we took her to the vet immediately. Dwayne drove like a bat out of hell, running every safe red light and breaking a few other minor laws and I called the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley letting them know we were on the way. All the while keeping my voice calm and soft.

When pets seize lights and sounds are magnified, you want to keep everything as soft as possible to help keep them calm. Which is why I’m upset that I didn’t recognize her seizure before I did CPR. That’s the last thing I should have done. Next time in an emergency I’ll remind myself to stop and assess the situation before jumping the gun. I know these things, I practice the basic first aid principals every day at work…I just panicked seeing my little 3 pound baby struggling and my husband scared. ALWAYS STOP, BREATHE, AND THEN ASSESS.

Bella and I about to leave VSH @ Sorrento Valley

Bella and I about to leave VSH @ Sorrento Valley

It’s advised to take your pet to the vet immediately after a first seizure, mainly for them to take a look and draw blood for possible poisoning or symptoms of external issues that caused the seizure. If you wait too long blood work won’t give a clear picture. You also want the vet to check post seizure motor skills.

Bella was still scared by the time we got to the vet, she was so insecure and didn’t want to leave my chest. The vet checked her over, all was well considering and took her to the back to draw blood. We had them do a Chemistry Panel,CBC w/differential and check her blood pressure and went home. Bella was exhausted as were we, but we had to give her a bath and clean up all the urine..this little 3 pounder sure did let out a lot of pee!!!

She slept with us, shivered a lot of the night and woke a little out of sorts. She wouldn’t eat her Honest Kitchen and wouldn’t take treats. Dwayne finally got her to eat some mushy kibble and she perked up when a contractor stopped by to give us a quote for artificial turf in the backyard. (She’s a flirt…and turned it on for him!) Hussy.

Now she’s good. She’s almost back to normal and we have the test results back. She has some abnormalities but nothing too severe. Our plan is to monitor her and if she has another seizure within a month we’ll do more testing.

I’m experienced/trained to handle pet emergencies and have seen a lot, we had a foster dog that I love dearly named Bauer who has epilepsy and took care of him during his big seizures….but when it’s your little princess who has never had a seizure and is suffering and your “manly” husband is panicking it gets to you. Thankfully we were able to get her care and thank goodness most of the blood work was ok. Now hopefully, we won’t have a roller coaster ride of episodes. You never know. But I will keep all updated, to share our experience in hopes to ease others fears and pain.

Pet emergencies scare the heck out of us, they’re our fur babies and we want them to be safe. Knowing what to do in certain circumstances can help ease our fears to be more beneficial and helpful in their care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Letter – A Passionate Pet Person’s Apology

By | Cats, Dogs, JenLovesPets, Pet care, Pet sitting, San Diego pets, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I’m sorry.

I feel the need to apologize to pet lovers, owners, and just people in general.

“Why? What did you do this time?” You may ask. It isn’t necessarily something I’ve done, it’s something us passionate pet people do ALL THE TIME. We judge. We think everyone should treat their pets exactly the way we treat ours, we think everyone should think and be just like us when it comes to pets. We think everyone should do as we do. Because We Are Right.

We’ve become so passionate that we are now extremely intolerant and just darn right hateful to those that overstep the very thin line we’ve created.

“Jennifer, what are you talking about?!”

Ok, here’s the deal. I’m anti-shock, choke, and prong collar. I don’t think they’re the best way to train or walk a dog. In my opinion they can be easily misused and considered abuse. There are a lot of trainers that swear by them, and say “When used properly they are a great tool” I don’t believe they need to be used EVER…if you have the patience to figure out what the pup needs and works around his needs you can humanely and positively train him.

With that said. I caught myself becoming a little judgmental, thinking I shouldn’t care for the pets that have owners using methods I don’t believe in. I had to reevaluate my thinking and motives. If I cut off those that use these aggressive tools I’ve cut off any ability to help change their thought patterns. If I chastise them or bully them into stopping these methods they’ll just cut me off possibly leaving the pup in the hands of another pet sitter or dog walker that may not go about things in a more positive manner. How would I be able to make a difference then?

Another example. ADOPT DONT SHOP Us passionate pet people are all about adopting and rescuing that we tend to judge those that purchase a pure bred dog or cat from a breeder. We’ve become so intolerant and hateful that we can’t recognize decent, responsible, loving, breeders and pet owners that are doing their best for the pet and or breed. We’ve become so blinded by our passion we’ve publicly shamed those that are not in and don’t deserve to be in the same puppy mill category.

I’m one that talks to my dogs and cat and to all my furclients. And I’m pretty sure they totally understand me and I even imagine them responding back in some form or fashion. I believe all animals have emotions and are very similar to us humans. What I forget is…and we all forget…they do not feel and understand things like we do. This becomes an issue when a family or person needs to re home a pet. Passionate Pet People come out of no where and have to voice their opinion. And usually in a very judgmental way. Those that say “You’re just being lazy and selfish for rehoming” Or those that say” You shouldn’t find someone to take your pet you should relinquish it to a rescue” etc. We’ve become so blinded in our passion that we don’t/can’t see a person’s (or the pet’s) current situation. We have to state our thoughts of how you should do this or that. Or how we would NEVER do this or that. And unfortunately we just don’t SEE you. When did we become so INHUMANE in our humaneness?
The whole pit bull, bully breed, certain dogs ban. That one irks me like you have no idea. Just typing that brought my claws out….Seriously. Are we really that ignorant … Still? See?! See how easy it is to become intolerant and angry? “Woosa” Ok. I do understand peoples fear, those that want to protect their little pups and their human children. But that brings me back to the whole blinded by our passion thingy. I grew up with a step mother from hell. She was a red head. And in my childish mind was evil. For a long time I stayed away from red headed women, and if I came across them I was ready to fight if need be. (really personal I know, but I need to paint a picture) It took many years, almost in my 40s to realize my step mother was only 18 trying to take care of two 7 year olds that weren’t hers and that she was clueless but really trying to be a good wife. We make these judgements by one personal experience or a friend’s personal experience that we don’t recognize how limited our thinking has become. Each dog is different. Each dog has a personality. Each owner is different. There are some (unfortunately a lot of) irresponsible owners but that doesn’t mean every dog of a certain breed is just like this one or two that you may have known or heard of.

And us bully breed advocates. We are there too. We’ve become so hateful to those that fear our babies that we actually can’t see them or their fear. We forgot that we actually have the tools to help those that fear our babies. As long as we don’t isolate and bully.

Crate training..Or NO crate training. This has become a war in certain forums.

Raw diet, kibble diet. Canned Diet. This is a heated subject…and so is Cesar Millan…OMG! I can’t tell you how many times I thought WW3 was on it’s way because of a discussion on CM.

The pet sitter world is oh so judgmental. I won’t tell you how catty us pet sitters can be. We have our opinions and everyone else should think and do just like “me”. We work with pets so much I’m afraid we’ve lost our humanity.

Pet People are passionate. We love our animals. Sometimes we’ve almost become animals within our passion. We’ve alienated our PEOPLE.

We have got to snap out of it.

So I apologize on behalf of all of us Passionate Pet People. Us judgmental pet folks. To those that have become victims of our lashings.

And here’s the kicker. Everyone of us has it buried within to become so passionate you can’t SEE the other.

So PLEASE.

STOP before you make a comment about your thoughts and opinions. PLEASE don’t alienate those that could honestly use your help.

REEVALUATE your thought patterns and techniques.

Division is not a positive tool and will not help your (our) cause.

That’s my rant for the day. I love you all (with very little acceptation HAHAH!)
And know we can all make a change, we just have to be careful how we go about it. We should be as compassionate to humans as we are to the furkids.

Cat Sitter Talks Cat Box

By | Cats, Pet care, Pet sitting, San Diego pets | No Comments
Peaches is a sweetie, one that is a bit picky on who he loves

Peaches is a sweetie, one that is a bit picky on who he loves

Ok. Let’s talk the Cat Box. I’m a cat/pet sitter that has scooped at least 150 cat litter boxes in San Diego County, some days I’ve

Ava, a special baby that left us too soon. She watches over her family from above.

Ava, a special baby that left us too soon. She watches over her family from above.

actually scooped so many litter boxes I had litter nose. What’s litter nose? It’s when you look in the mirror and realize your nose hairs have caught the dust of litter and you have white dust all in your nostrils. Let me tell you, that’s the worst!! I have come across many no no’s in litter maintenance and setups and I have seen the best set up you can possibly have for a litter box. I call those best setups a cat sitter’s dream.

Let’s first talk no no’s, the cat sitters nightmare. Cat’s are clean pets and prefer their litter box cleaned at least once a day. I know some cats that prefer twice (trust me they let you know by going outside the box) There have been a few times I’ve walked in and could tell the litter hadn’t been cleaned in a week. That’s my first no no. For your kitties sake – and your cat sitter’s =) clean the litter box at least once a day, maybe at the most every other day.

Patches is a beautiful girl that lets you know if she loves you!

Patches is a beautiful girl that lets you know if she loves you!

On that note, sometimes we don’t clean the litter box like we should because we’re just being lazy. So

setup the litter area where it’s easy to scoop. Some of the best setups I’ve seen:

  • The Litter Genie (cat litter disposal system) sitting right next to the box (with litter mat in front of box) The Genie has a scoop on it’s side and all you have to do is put the litter in the Genie, switch the Genie bag when it’s full. Poof..easy peasy!
  • Litter box (with litter mat in front of box) in its area with the bags and scoop in a container next to it.
  • The box with flushable litter (litter mat in from of box), a small office garbage can next to it with the scoop so you can scoop the poop and litter into the garbage can and take to the toilet – assuming you don’t have the box in the bathroom. Another easy peasy set up! We like The Worlds Best Cat Litter.
  • The Breeze Cat Litter System. This rocks! No litter dust and no tracking of litter, so no mat needed! It’s
    Cali is always up for loving and play!

    Cali is always up for loving and play!

    different and may take time for a cat to transition to if she isn’t used to it. It has pellets in the box with a bottom that allows urine to seep down to the bottom on a pad. All you do is scoop the poop, flush and change the pad out as needed.

Russell is a tomcat for sure. He's a proud boy, and I love him!

Russell is a tomcat for sure. He’s a proud boy, and I love him!

Note, all boxes (but the Breeze System) have a litter mat in front or under the boxes, this helps keep the litter on the mat keeping it from being tracked around the house. The best litter mat I’ve seen is the Purr-fect Paws Litter Mat. You also want to have a little sweeper and dust pan or dust buster in the immediate area to help keep you on track in cleaning. This also helps the cat sitter from needing to search for the cleaning supplies!

Another no no…too little or too much cat litter. Obviously

Chai is a furniece Auntie Jen loves to photograph

Chai is a furniece Auntie Jen loves to photograph

too little cat litter makes the box pretty dirty requiring more cleaning rather than a weekly or biweekly box cleaning. But trust me, there is such thing as too much. Too much litter especially clay litter can break the plastic scooper (a metal scoop is ideal, as long as it’s holes are big enough that you’re not sitting there for 30minutes sifting the litter) Too much litter can also be easily kicked over the box causing a bigger mess than we prefer to clean up. Depending on the kitty three to four inches of litter is perfect! It allows the ones that like to dig and bury to do so and keeps the box clean and it isn’t too high it goes over the box and great for scooping without having to dig too much yourself and unintentionally breaking the pooper scooper.

Tiger is the coolest cat ever! He's more dog and a lot of heart!

Tiger is the coolest cat ever! He’s more dog and a lot of heart!

Maverick is another cool cat, who knows it! He has me at hello!

Maverick is another cool cat, who knows it! He has me at hello!

As far as boxes go, have one large enough for kitty to easily go in and out of and to

make sure they aren’t inadvertently pottying outside the box. I prefer the open box so I don’t hide what’s in it, keeping me on my toes. There’s the new cool dome boxes that aren’t so cool when you can’t seem to get the dome top back on…lol! Us pet sitters don’t care for those, because we end up spending 10 minutes putting the lid back on …. we prefer to spend that time with the kitties. Cat’s see two litter boxes in one room as one box, and those that are territorial can end up having behavior issues. So always

have a box per cat and each box in a different room.

Hmmm, I think that’s enough for now. What about you? Do you have any cat box tricks? What works for you?

Hope you guys enjoyed these pics, they’re just a few of our awesome kitty clients! I wanted to post a pic of all of them but I’m afraid we’d overload the site. Call JenLovesPets at (858)205-8132 if you’re in need of a cat sitter!

Vlad says "Call JenLovesPets!"

Vlad says “Call JenLovesPets!”

 

 

 

Choosing a Vet For Your Fearful Dog

By | Cats, Dogs, Pet care, San Diego pets | 2 Comments

Our service area includes zip codes 92127, 92128, and 92129. There are many great veterinarian offices in our area, each have their own personalities and specialties. I know many of them and recommend them, very rarely would I not recommend one. But when you have a fearful pet not only are you looking at a vet’s pricing, personality, or specialty. You’re looking for the ability to tame a beast.

My Tango was rescued at 6 months old off the streets of northern San Diego County and I when I went to adopt him I was told he was aggressive…. Wish you could have seen my face when I just typed that…I still get that irritated/whatev look when I think about it. First meeting I saw what they were talking about and knew immediately he was scared and was only trying to tell people to leave him alone…especially the man walking hunched over arms wide towards him. As soon as I had him he was a loving happy baby! The lady that said he was aggressive said (as we walked out) “Ohhhh, he’s not aggressive at all!!” Well duh!!!

Tango does have a fear of veterinarian offices…a lot of dogs do. But since he’s a Rottweiler most vets are afraid of him and don’t respond well. He’s had a few major issues that require vet visits and it’s so stressful on him… and us. My husband and I (even as professionals) get just as anxious if we don’t take him to the vet that will work patiently with him…We have found only one.

Then staff a Veterinarian Specialty Hospital had Tango googoo. You can see the original picture here:https://www.facebook.com/VeterinarySpecialtyHospital/photos/pb.131750505222.-2207520000.1456769272./10154302148445223/?type=3&theater

Then staff a Veterinarian Specialty Hospital had Tango googoo. You can see the original picture on their Facebook Page

In 2014 Veterinary Specialty Hospital (VSH) treated him for MMM (Masticatory muscle myositis) an inflammatory disease in dogs affecting the muscles of mastication (chewing). I told them, like I’ve told all the vets that he’s fearful and will voice his fear and urinate all over the floor. They understood, and 30minutes later the staff snapped a picture of Tango sitting on his nurses lap. He stayed there even when I told him it was time to go.

As a Mom to a fearful dog let me tell you how much anxiety I get just at the thought of taking Tango to the vet. I pack up a muzzle, treats, towels for when he pees on himself, wipes, and if I have Zanax I’d probably take one or two. Now, I’m a pet professional. I’m one of the very few pet sitters in the 92127, 92128, 92129 area code that specializes in fearful dogs…but when its your own it becomes personal. And when you see others react in a negative way to your baby the lioness emerges. This day in the picture didn’t happen the way it normally does. It was a good day. I cried on the way home out of relief.

Well back to present day. This weekend Tango started limping and couldn’t put any weight on his back leg. He has luxating patella which is a condition where the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal location on both hind legs. The left one required surgery a few years ago and the right one is where he started limping. I maneuvered it to try to figure out where it was bothering him and never heard a pop (this happens when the knee cap pops back into place) I knew immediately he needed pain pills and a vet visit. That second my heart rate quickened. First mistake! Moms, Dads…our anxiety feed the fear in our fearful babies! Second mistake, I called the vet’s office that did the first surgery (because that history is there) even though they’re afraid of him and he hates them.

*I won’t name the vet office because they are great for economical care and basic veterinarian care, just not fearful Rottweilers*

I called them because they have the history on his legs, and because they are a 1/3 of the cost at VSH. I will never do this again. After the visit ended and the nurses were looking at Tango with fear and pity they asked how he did with the Doctor. I said “Better than me, I wanted to bite the Dr” They laughed, I forced a laugh. But my blood pressure was so high, my face was red, I was rushing to get Tango out of there, he was panting so hard I was worried about his heart. (possible heart murmur) We had to make the doctor do his job because he didn’t want to “deal” with my baby. When I said never mind we should have gone to VSH and was about to leave the Dr softened and worked with us.

Long story short. I chose convenience, price, and history (which could have easily been transferred) over my baby’s comfort. Even as a pet professional I get caught up in the no no’s …. that I tell my clients to not do. I thought it would be different, I truly did.

Never again.

And why does it seem the dogs that are more fearful tend to need more vet visits? Who knows. But will say look for a vet that patiently works with YOU and YOUR FEARFUL PET!! Do not settle. Do not think it will be different. Take treats the pups can eat. And most importantly YOU have to STAY CALM. —The caps are for me mostly, just so ya’ll know lol!

My husband and I decided on the way home, Veterinarian Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley will forever and always be Tango’s vet. We hope he stops limping in a few weeks with the pain pills and muscle relaxers but if not I’m actually happy and secure at the thought of going there.

If you are a parent to a fearful pet (dog or cat) you know how I feel. We can relate. You can always work with a dog behaviorist if your fur baby is in the extreme category to help rehabilitate them. Let me know if you need a referral, I know one the best one here in Southern California!

Do you have a fearful pet? Where do you take yours? What steps did you and your go to vet take to help your baby?

*If you need a dog walker or pet sitter and want the best in northern San Diego call us!!! 858-205-8132*

What Happens To My Pets When I Die?

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Pet sitter and her crew

Jennifer, with her crew. Brezzi the labrador, Hobo the westie mix, Tango the rottweiler, and Bella the 3 pound chihuahua.

It’s the New Year. We are in February of 2016 can you believe it??? And my husband and I are going over certain life planning details that no one ever wants to think about much less talk about. We’ve decided to revisit life insurance and in doing so we are making sure we include our furkids. And making sure we are on the same page about who and how our fur babies will be cared for in case we die.

I swear, it’s breaking my heart to think I could actually die before them….I’m not sure what’s worse, the thought of me losing them or them losing me. But as a responsible pet owner we (my husband and I) want to make sure all scenarios are covered. I know if I die my husband will care for our four dogs and cat, and vice versa. But what we forgot to think about is if I die we need a dog walker to check in on the pups while he’s at work. So we need to make sure our life insurance can cover those expenses for a few years. If he dies I need to be able to care for them without his income.

What if we both die? Who will take care of our zoo? We need to make sure they have funds to properly care for them, which includes their freakin high quality diet and lifestyle!!! $$$$

Will they all stay together? No shelters!!!

Oh gosh. I need a glass of wine. This is exhausting just thinking about it.

But it’s important. As important as making sure your spouse is taken care of, or your children. Pets, not by their choice, you chose them, are part of your family and need to be included in end of life care. We should make sure they are taken care of and not dumped. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen “Owner past away, family doesn’t want them. Needs to be adopted before taking to shelter” posted on Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook, etc. It’s heartbreaking. But we can plan for this. We can make sure our babies don’t get left in the cold.

First off. You need to assess your family. Ex:

  • Me
  • Hubby
  • Son
  • Angel
  • Brezzi
  • Hobo
  • Tango
  • Bella
Cat care in San Diego, during and post life.

Cat care in San Diego, during and post life.

Assess how much the bread makers make. How much do each require to live. For the pets this includes meals, treats, grooming, dog walking, pet sitting, parasite prevention, medications, yearly vet visits, toys, and geriatric care, and etc. And then extra. (Because our fur babies are a little spoiled) We’ve decided to increase our life insurance because our pets depend on our living wage and need it!

But, there’s more. If you’re alone, or God forbid both owners die. You need to make sure your pets are included in your Will, Trust, or Estate. And yes, make sure pets are included in the Power of Attorney information in case your alive but not able to handle your estate.

I’m not a lawyer or estate planner so I won’t go in detail about that but in your planning please include your pets, but make sure you’re aware of the cost to care for each pet, speak to family members, friends, pet sitters, dog walkers, etc and make sure the specific care takers are in the loop and agree to the pet care terms to illuminate the possibility of your babies ending up in a shelter. Don’t just assume. Get it in writing (whatever way you prefer and works for you)

In case of medical emergency or car accident. Make sure you have a card in your wallet that states:

         I have number of  pets at home. Please call my pet sitter/dog walker at number 

so she/he may care for them and make the appropriate arrangements.

Or something that fits your situation. You also want to make sure there’s a decal on a noticeable home window stating very clearly  how many pets you have and a number to call in case of emergency.

HERE’S THE KICKER

YOU CAN MAKE ALL THESE ARRANGEMENTS

BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF GRIEF PEOPLE FORGET PETS FIRST

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’ll tell you what you do.

He brings joy and spunk to the family.

He brings joy and spunk to the family. Photo from Duyen, Soldier’s Momma

 

Make sure your pet sitter/dog walker is included in your plans. Humans will be human in grief and you can’t expect them to do

otherwise. Unfortunately the first to feel the neglect is our pets. The benefit of including your sitter/dog walker is that they are not grieving as much as your relatives and closest friends (who are the people we tend to rely on after life)

Us pet sitters and dog walkers are there for you and your babies. Sometimes we’re the last thought of in an emergency but the most needed. I’ve seen a couple of posts in the Rancho Penasquitos Nextdoor community stating a pet needs to be adopted because the owner died and there have been positive results. You just don’t want to gamble with your baby’s lives. If the sitters and walkers are included in all life’s plans we can limit the gambling of all pet’s lives! Please, don’t put it off. Don’t get to it when you can.

Make your after life plans now. Because they don’t always pass before we do.

Do you need a sitter or walker and live in the Rancho Penasquitos area, or Sripps Ranch, Poway, Mira Mesa, Del Mar, Santaluz, Rancho Bernardo, or Carmel Valley? Call us at 858.205.8132

 

Holiday Pet Care Planning

By | JenLovesPets, Pet care, Pet sitting | No Comments

Bande-in-suitcase-with-clothes-9wide-by-6-tallPhoto by Peggy Storsved
~ This article was written by Jennifer Taylor for 92129 Magazine in 2012, click here to see the article.
It’s time to plan our holiday vacations. Some folks will take their pets with them. Most will need pet care while they’re away. Many prefer to have a family member or neighbor care for their pet but during the holidays it can be bothersome for all involved. There are other options; not all are ideal for every pet so it’s best to plan your pet care around your pet’s normal lifestyle.
Cats are independent by nature and can handle being alone for long periods of time with a few exceptions. For example if he’s anxious or destructive then you’ll want to board him in a cat friendly facility. If you have a low-key cat then hiring a pet sitter to visit twice a day to feed, give fresh water, clean the litter box and play with them works quite well.
Dogs are more reliant and finding the best option for them can be difficult. Dr. Sprouse with Peñasquitos Pet Clinic tells her clients “If the dog is relatively calm while alone they’ll do well with a pet sitter coming 2-3 times a day. If a dog is used to having someone at home all the time, then a “live in” pet sitter would be a better option. Such dogs might do better being boarded at a facility with around the clock personnel. If the dog has health problems then boarding at a small facility or veterinarian office is the best option.”
PQ resident Amy Kapsis has worked with a local pet sitter for over a year; “We’ve found quality pet sitters book up during the holidays, so we call way ahead when we know we’ll be leaving town. After all, Noby our dog is part of our family and worth every ounce of planning!” Whether a pet sitter, veterinarian, or boarding facility make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure your pet will have the care they deserve.