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The Barking Blog

The Barking Blog

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Challenges and Rewards of Cat Sitting
cute kitty

I was recently asked to write a piece for a cat lovers newsletter and it got me thinking about my cat sitting experience and cats in general. Having two kitties of my own, their shenanigans never cease to amaze me and keep me smiling.

Pet sitting for cats can come with its own challenges and rewards. As we all know, the regal feline often does not feel the need to impress anyone with their ability to sit, stay or lie down on command. If they do lavish you wish such feats, it's completely of their own accord. Their sophisticated approach to life and ability to make a pet sitter truly work for them, is uncanny. I'm owned by my cat clients. There are kitties who love to watch me play "find the cat", usually from a hiding place where I can't see them but they can clearly see me. I'm sure for these felines, my ability to run around the house and come up with no leads as to where they may be hiding, amuses them to no end. Others make me work for their affection as I sift through my arsenal of cat enticing toys to see which one may.. or may not.. get them to engage. They usually like to make me think I have them figured out and then quickly they change the game by losing interest and wait for me to find another way to entertain them. I do not give up easily.

Then there are the lap cats who understand they are descendents from royalty and appreciate, well... expect, nothing less than 100% attention in the form of petting, grooming, massaging and of course, lots of love! Regardless of the feline personality I'm pet sitting for, each kitty is different and unique in their own, individual way. They'll show you who they really are, if you take the time to truly observe their behaviors. Their antics can speak volumes and can help you connect with them on a level that only cats can fulfill.

Appreciate each quirk, each meow, each play for attention, as these little treasures can bring genuine joy to your life. Once you've gained their trust and their love, you'll know it's deserved and truly from their heart.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Tips for Pet Owners!

Easter Tips

A Dog's Eye View of Easter - by Miss Zoey Rayne ~ Pit Bull Extraordinaire

So I hear the Easter Bunny is coming! Apparently this is a bunny I'm not supposed to chase and he will, in return, leave me a basket of goodies. Sounds like a decent trade to me..

With this in mind, I wanted to share with you what us furry folks would prefer you leave out of our Easter baskets this year.... well, and every year.

First on the list would be chocolate! While this is more of a problem for us canine kids as opposed to the feline variety (we'll get into their problems in a moment), it's smart not only to keep chocolate out of our Easter baskets but if you have kids (the ones not covered completely in fur), you may want to ensure their Easter baskets stay safely out of your canine's reach. We ARE curious beings by nature and we may just decide to bite the chocolate ears off that adorable bunny if you give us the chance. 

So why is chocolate a no-no? Chocolate contains Theobromine and caffeine - yes believe it or not, caffeine isn't good for us either (my mom doesn't know how we are able to survive without it but we are, after all, amazing and phenomenal creatures).

The type of chocolate we could get our hands on coupled with the amount we may be able to scarf down before you catch us, can greatly determine how sick we become. Dark chocolate contains the highest concentrations while white chocolate contains the least.

So why is chocolate bad for us but wonderful for humans?  It has to do with that dreaded Theobromine. Humans are able to break down and get rid of Theobromine in the body relatively quickly  but in dogs, it stays around FOREVER... ok not forever.. more like 17.5 hours... bottom line, it sticks around in our bodies way too long.

So if you notice your furry child trembling, vomiting or having diarrhea, check your Easter baskets for looting and call the vet.

Now onto feline fancies and Easter. Cats love Easter Grass! Ok, ok, so dogs love Easter Grass as well but cats REALLY love it and it can be deadly. Ingested Easter Grass can create a linear foreign object which can cause a life-threatening gastrointestinal blockage.

Easter Grass can pose a huge risk to your kitties so do yourself and your cat a favor and opt for shredded paper in the bottom of their basket (or your kids). If you have Easter Grass in your home and notice your pet with Easter Grass showing from the mouth or "the other end", if your pet is vomiting, straining or has a painful abdomen, get them to the vet immediately. DO NOT attempt to pull the grass out as this can cause more damage if the piece is long and trapped inside the body. Leave this one to the professionals and get your furry child to the vet.

Lastly, keep those Easter Lilies where they belong - OUTSIDE! While lilies are beautiful, they are poisonous, especially for cats. Their toxin can be deadly so please don't take this warning lightly. Cats can suffer from kidney failure after ingesting even a small amount of the flower or plant. It can also effect the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.

Please be aware that even the pollen is toxic! Have you ever seen the small amounts of pollen that fall onto your countertops when you have these flowers in your home? Yep! Even that stuff is bad for us.

 If you suspect that your cat has ingested part of a lily plant including the pollen, consult your vet immediately. Remember kitties can get the pollen on their paws when it falls on your countertops which can then be ingested during grooming. Mortality rates with lily toxicity when left untreated or treated later than 18 hours after exposure is as high as 100% so keep those bad boys away from us.

As for what we CAN have ~ clearly we love treats, bones, toys and the like.. but all we really need is your love and affection. Happy Easter!

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Zoo Sitters Awarded Constant Contact 2012 All Star Award for Pet Newsletters
2012 All Star Award
This just in! Zoo Sitters has received the 2012 All Star Award from Constant Contact, marketing advisor to more than half a million small organizations world wide for our online efforts of providing our clients with quality newsletters filled with valuable information that statistics show our clients actually use!

Each year, Constant Contact bestows the All Star Award to a select group of businesses and nonprofits who are successfully using online, paperless, eco-friendly tools to engage their clients and help drive success for their organization. We ranked in the top 10% of Constant Contacts international customer base of over 500,000 for our efforts!

We are thrilled that our ability to connect with our clients in an environmentally friendly way is being recognized and that statistics have shown our newsletters are filled with information that has value and quality.

Being able to connect with our clients is a focus for us here at Zoo Sitters and we plan to continue to utilize our newsletters to develop deeper relationships with our clients and their pets for years to come.

Thank you for helping us save some trees!
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