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Madison Dog Blog

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Learn more about our pet services by reading our weekly articles.

By Doghaus University, Jul 15 2017 05:57PM

Pet Sitting Tips: Peeing Outside The Litter Box Can Be A Sign of Bigger Problems

Cats are mysterious animals. If someone has a cat, though, and that cat suddenly stops using the litter box, that's a sign there may be serious problems beneath the surface. Maybe the cat is still peeing in the general vicinity, but sometimes it's nowhere near the box. Once or twice might have been an accident, but after that you have a definite pattern. Instead of being upset that the cat has decided to forego using the proper bathroom, take a moment to ask, "what are they trying to tell me?"

The cat can't speak English, but if you read between the lines you might be able to figure out the message they're trying to send you.

Peeing Outside The Litter Box: Is It A Sign of a Problem?

Before you read too deeply into your cat peeing outside the litter box, the first thing you should do is take a look at the box itself. If the box isn't clean, it can be a lot like going to a porta potty that's overflowing. Sometimes all it takes to get your cat to start using the box again is to scoop it out, and clean it up. Emptying the box entirely, rinsing it clean with a hose, and putting in fresh litter is also a good way to make it feel hospitable for your cat.

If you're regularly scooping the box, though, and it's as clean as such things get, then peeing outside the box could mean something else according to Pet MD. Watch your cat, and observe their behavior. If they're peeing near the box, for example, ask why they aren't getting inside. Older cats, particularly those suffering from arthritis, my find that getting into the box is hard work. If that's the case with your pet, try taking off the swinging door, or the lid, and seeing if that makes them more likely to pee in the box. You may even need to change the kind of litter you're using, especially if your cat finds the kind you have uncomfortable on their paws.

If the box is clean and your cat has no physical problems getting into the box, that's when you need to consider other options. For instance, has there been a lot of stress in your cat's life recently? Did you move, rearrange your house, or adopt new pets? Do you have a new significant other, or a new addition to your family? Cats can adjust to changes, but stress and anxiety may make them pee outside the box. They could be marking territory, but they could just as easily be acting out. So take some time, and try to calm your cat's anxiety. Play with them, give them some catnip, or just take a few hours to spend with them.

Unfortunately, peeing outside the little box can also be a sign that your cat is ill. Something like a urinary tract infection, more commonly referred to as a UTI, can make a cat less likely to use the box. Kidney problems, diabetes, and any other condition that makes your cat feel off their game might result in them peeing somewhere other than the box. If you've tried everything else you can think of, but they still aren't using the box, it might be time for a visit to the vet to make sure there isn't something going on with your feline friend's health.

Even if we've a cat for years, that doesn't mean we always understand why they do the things they do. If you need advice in discerning your cat's behavior, simply contact us today!

By Doghaus University, May 15 2017 02:09PM

4 Easy Ways to Know You Have Picked The Perfect Pet Sitter

Leaving your beloved cat or dog, the furry friend who has become a very important part of your family, with a stranger is no small matter. Understandably, if you are like most pet moms or dads, you'll find it quite difficult to leave your pet with someone else for a few days, especially if this is your first time doing it. But when you can know for sure that you have left your pet in the hands of someone truly exceptional, it definitely helps you have greater peace of mind. So how can you be sure you do have the best pet sitter for your pet? In this post, we will take a look at four ways you can know that you found the right sitter for your cat or dog.

They Are Passionate About Animals: Dogs are delightfully weird, wacky, playful creatures that we truly are blessed to have as our friends and pets. If you are going to leave your lovable furry friend with a stranger, you obviously want to know without a shadow of a doubt that that person is a true dog lover. It shouldn't just be someone who pet sits because that's their job and they are looking to make a few extra bucks. It needs to be someone who you can tell very easily loves animals and caring for them. When your pet first meets the person, observe their interaction? Is your dog receptive to the person? Does your dog seem to take an immediate liking to them? And does that person seem like a warm, caring, and empathetic individual? These are good signs that this is a person who is passionate about animals.

They Are Educated: While a pet sitter clearly isn't the same as a veterinarian and doesn't need the same kind of education, the pet sitter still needs to have a pretty impressive knowledge of animals. Do they have some pet-sitting training and experience? Do they know about the different animal breeds and their needs? And are they prepared to handle emergency situations? Don't be afraid to ask the pet sitter about their experience with animals, their training, and any credentials they have.

The Environment They Provide is Right For Your Pet: Unfortunately, some pet sitters and doggie day care centers do not provide the sort of warm, safe environment needed for your pet to be happy. When you visit the environment that the pet sitter is providing, take note of everything you see. Is the area clean and well-organized? Do other pets there seem content and well taken care of? Is there plenty of room for your pet to get some outdoor exercise, play, and be walked? When you visit the center where your pet may be staying for a few days, it is a good idea to bring them along with you so they too can get a sense of whether or not it is the right environment for them.

You (And Your Pet) Can Trust Them: Trust is the most fundamentally important part of any relationship, including the relationship between your pet and the person who will be watching them. The pet sitter should be able to prove that they have a secure facility for your pet that will keep them protected and will ensure they can't run away. You'll want to ask the pet sitter if they have a plan in place should your pet get anxious while they are away from you. Ask the pet sitter what they will do in this situation and what their protocol is.

Looking for more advice on ways to pick the perfect pet sitter? Keep reading our blog posts or contact us today!

By Doghaus University, Apr 23 2017 04:30PM

Pet Sitting is the Best Option for Your Furry Friend

One of the hardest things about making plans to go on vacation is leaving your pet behind. It feels like leaving a part of your family at home while you travel, relax, and enjoy yourself. It's heartbreaking because our pets become a part of who we are. They're engrained in our hearts and such a huge part of our lives. Leaving them alone is almost too much to bear. So, what should you do?

Comfort is Key

One of the main drawbacks when it comes to leaving your pet behind is the thought of them spending their days in a pen or a small room, all alone or surrounded by other animals they don't know. It's often a stressful image, especially when you know you'll be having a fun, carefree adventure. That's where pet sitting comes to the rescue. Pet sitting provides a way for your pet to feel safe, loved, and taken care of in your absence. Staying at home, a place they're familiar with and comfortable in makes the days or week that you're gone less stressful for your furry friend.

They'll Have Fun Too

If you were to leave your pet in a kennel, they'd probably spend most of their time alone, wondering where you are. But, if you choose pet sitting, your dog or cat will spend time lounging on the couch, spending time with their new friend, and playing to their heart's content. Whether you choose to have a pet-sitter stop by 3 times a day or stay overnight, your pet won't feel alone or abandoned. Our pet sitters will play with them, pet them, take them on walks, and cuddle with them. After all, we love pets too.

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Pets often suffer from anxiety when their owner leaves for extended periods of time. They miss the constant company, the loving belly rubs, and the walks around the neighborhood. When a pet sitter stays with your pet while you're away they still get to enjoy all of their day-to-day luxuries. They'll miss you, but they won't suffer anxiety and distress because you're gone. It's the best thing you can do for your pet.

One is a Lonely Number

No one likes to be alone, and that's true for pets too. They don't want to spend hours a day in solitude. Pet kennels don't completely ignore their guests, but there's no way they can focus solely on your pet when there are so many others demanding their attention. Your pet will get a few minutes of affection here and there, and then they'll be on their own again. Pets, especially those who are extremely close with their owners, need a lot more than that to stay happy and healthy. They're used to being the center of attention, and they won't understand why they suddenly aren't. A pet-sitter has all the time in the world to spend with your pet. They're there to make sure your pet is healthy, safe, well-fed, and loved.

Pet sitting is the best way to make your vacation, not only bearable but enjoyable for your pet. You won't have to worry that your pet is alone, unattended, or not getting enough exercise. At Dog Haus University, we take care of your pet as if they were our own because we love pets. They're not only our business, they're our world. And we know just how special your pet is to you. We always ensure your dog or cat gets enough exercise, love, attention, and food. Our pet-sitters are only a phone call away if you get worried about your pet, and they'll have accurate up-to-date information. We offer several pet sitting rates and services, so you can choose the one that works best for you. If you're planning a vacation, and you want the absolute best for your pet while you're away, please contact us today.

By Doghaus University, Mar 14 2017 09:53PM

Why NAPPS Certification Is A Crucial Aspect To Look For In Pet Sitters

Choosing a doggy daycare center can often seem like a crap shoot. While most are filled with very friendly dog-loving individuals, a few won't be so great. That's why it is important to find a way to gauge the quality of a doggy daycare center quickly and easily.

The best way to do this is to find out whether a center has a NAAPS certification and hires NAAPS-certified employees. This gives you a quick understanding of the training they've gone through and lets you know that they are serious about dog safety and health and are true dog lovers.

What Is This Certification?

NAPPS is a group that helps train and certify pet sitters and daycare specialists to ensure that only the best, most loving, and skilled are working. They offer a certification program that utilizes a broad and in-depth training method that immerses potential pet sitters in a unique and heavy-hitting environment.

For example, certified pet sitters will learn how to:

Feed dogs healthy food at their centers

Promote exercise and healthy behavior in dogs

Manage bad behaviors in a constructive way

Show dogs love in a friendly and happy way

Keep pups safe in a sitting center

Perform first aid on a sick or injured dog

Balance the business side of daycare center

Most of all, NAAPS certification shows that your doggy daycare specialist is very serious about their business and their love of dogs. It indicates a professional who has learned how to best take care of a dog and who is willing to go the extra step to ensure your puppy is safe and happy at their center.

Other Benefits NAPPA-Certified Daycare Centers Offer Dog Owners

A NAAPS certification offers dog owners the peace of mind knowing that their dog is taken care of by people who have been trained. Doggy daycare requires very little training and many centers open up without doing proper certification.

Some cynical center owners without certification may think that doggy daycare is simply an easy way to make money. However, even if they are well-meaning in their intentions and truly want to offer a great doggy daycare experience, non-certified care center owners and their workers will lack certain skills that keeps a puppy safe.

Working with a NAAPS-certified doggy daycare center ensures that the care experts will fully understand your dog and how to care for them. They will know how to perform proper first aid, will know how to gently correct bad behaviors, and can feed them only the healthiest and most beneficial food.

Gauging The Certification of a Sitter

When visiting a doggy daycare or pet sitting center, talk to the manager or whoever else is in charge and ask them about their NAAPS certification. A good center won't hesitate to show you their certification right away, as they know how important it is to many dog owners.

If they stall or refuse to show you their certification credentials, there's a good chance that they never received it. The reasons for this are complex, but are usually based on money, as certification classes are not cheap. Thankfully, it is possible that many centers even have their certification hanging up on the wall.

Make sure to look for these certificates in the center and check their expiration date. They should be up-to-date to ensure the highest quality care. While an expired certification isn't a huge deal, it does indicate a carelessness that could translate to poorer doggy care.

If you are interested in a NAAPS-certified doggy daycare experience, please don't hesitate to contact us today. We offer your pup a wide range of benefits, including certification, healthy living tips, a comfortable place to stay while you're at work, and much more.

By Doghaus University, Jan 30 2017 05:19PM

The Benefits of Overnight Pet Sitting

Finding the perfect place to take care of your pet is a pretty daunting task. Even if it is just for one night, you can’t bear the thought of leaving your pet somewhere that they might spend an evening suffering from anxiety or even fear, but there is one place that is perfect for your pet – right in their own home. However, for most pets, you can’t just leave them in your house unattended. Dogs need to regularly go outside to relieve themselves and cats can get in all sorts of trouble when left to their own devices, but all pets need adequate attention.

However, if you want to keep your pet comfortable in their own home, you can reap the benefits by having a pet sitter. Unlike boarding facilities, pet sitters come to your home, or take your pets to theirs, so they can get one-on-one attention in a familiar environment.

What are the Benefits of Hiring an Overnight Pet Sitter?

Routine – All pets love routine and thrive under it. Unlike humans who occasionally like the unknown, pets don’t. When their meals and walks are on time, they are happy. There are enough stressors on them when you are out of town, and a breach in routine shouldn’t add to that. Pet sitters are also a great option if your pet is on medication or has any special needs. Most kennels are usually pretty professional about addressing these things, but typically they have a lot of animals to care for. Sometimes things slip through the cracks. When a pet sitter accepts a job, they are dedicated to just your pet.

Familiar Environment - Your pet can’t tell you so, but they would much rather stay in a familiar environment. The sights, the sounds, the smells, they have all become comforting to them. When they can sleep in their own bed, walk their own halls, and play with their own toys, they are happy, even if it would be better if you were there with them. It is a much preferred setting to both pet and owner than being in some sterilized, white-washed kennel somewhere.

Security - Your pet is pretty good security while you are away, but it is even better when another person is there is assure everything is just fine. After all, a cat can’t dial 911 and a dog can’t lock the doors, unless they are a super special good boy or girl. Regardless, not only does a pet sitter offer someone to turn off the lights and have a human presence in your house, but they are also there to keep your pet company so they don’t get freaked out at every little bump in the night.

Illness Prevention – When you leave, it is a big old ball of stress for your pet to handle. Like in people, stress can compromise a pet’s immune system and it can cause them to get sick. When you place your pet in kennel, this ends up as a double whammy. Not only is your pet compromised by the stress, but there are a lot of other pets with a lot of other germs located right next door. By hiring an overnight pet sitter, the stress will probably still be there, but it will be lessened and you aren’t exposing them to any new germs.

Sold on getting a pet sitter? If you are in the Madison area, contact us today. Dog Haus University provides an array of pet sitting options including visits, stay-overs, and watching your pet in the home of one of our professionals. No matter what you think is right for your pet, we can provide so they stay safe and happy while you are away.

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