How do I choose a food for my pet? The food choices for your pet can be overwhelming. This week Kristi from Treat Your Pet joins us to talk about the different types of foods, and how to be sure you’re making the right choice.
As a professional pet sitter my schedule gets booked up well in advance, and it’s not unusual to have over ten visits per day booked. Typically, this is not an issue and my day goes as planned BUT sometimes life happens.
Last Sunday started like any other weekend morning. I had a few visits booked before church and I went about my day. However, on the way to church I started to feel pretty sick. I’ve been sick before and still been able to get my visits done so I wasn’t too concerned.
Long story short, my little stomach bug turned into a full fledged emergency and I ended up in the hospital for the entire afternoon and evening. It took me a few days before I could leave the house.
All of the pets I had on my schedule still needed to get outside to use the bathroom, litter boxes still need scooped, pets definitely still needed food, and vital medication still need administered.
This is why I own a professional pet sitting business which is built to sustain itself if an emergency arises.
We didn’t miss a beat. My team members stepped up and were able to complete all of our client visits as scheduled. With Atlantic Pet Sitting we use a state of the art software system which allows a team member to access vital pet information if they are called in for a backup role.
When it comes to pet care, you can cut some corners when it comes to hiring and paying a pet sitter. But, at what cost? Always be sure your pet sitter whether it’s a friend, neighbor, or “professional” pet sitter has a backup plan!
This is just a small example of what could happen, and thankfully it wasn’t something which kept me sidelined very long. However, life happens and you NEED to be sure your pets will be cared for if something happens to your pet sitter.
Over the past few weeks, we haven’t been able to escape the ads for Arm & Hammer’s new litter, SLIDE. We’ve heard them on the radio, tv, and online. We also started to have some clients ask us if we tried out the new litter. Of course, we were happy to give it a try and share with you what we liked, what we didn’t like, and if we buy Arm & Hammer SLIDE again.
We purchased Arm & Hammer SLIDE at our local pet store, and it was priced at $14.95 for the 28 lb option. This price point puts it right in line with Arm & Hammer’s other litter offerings. Arm & Hammer offers a 7 day odor challenge with most of their litter so we never hesitate in giving them a try!
We started our SLIDE challenge with a fresh, and completely clean, litter box. After adding the recommended amount of litter, it was time for our 3 cats (Yogi, Zoey, and Mali) to do their thing.
At the end of the first day it was time for our first litter cleaning. As expected, the litter smelled fresh and the scooping was easy. The one thing we were really interested in was the corner of the litter boxes.
Like most cats, ours like to pee in the corners and typically it’s very hard to keep those areas clean without a ton of digging. Arm and Hammer SLIDE seemed to stick much less to those corners and required less work in keeping them clean.
Over the next week, we continued to be very happy with the performance of SLIDE. Most importantly, we still didn’t have any noticeable odors in the room we keep the litter box even after a week of use by 3 cats.
The clumping also continued to be very effective after a week of use. The litter also continued to “slide” out of the litter box without too much work.
Overall, we think Arm & Hammer nailed it with SLIDE. It continues to be one of our favorite litters, and we will continue buying it as long as they keep it competitively priced!
Driving to my first pet sitting appointment I was terrified. I had been working to find a client for almost 4 months, and finally I was going to meet a lady who expressed interest in our service.
Atlantic Pet Sitting was a new concept. We were looking to create an option for people who wanted a service other than traditional boarding. An option which allowed pets to stay in the comfort of their own home.
Creating a pet sitting company which was trustworthy, on time, dependable, professional, and affectionate towards animals was our main goals, and they continue to be our main goals.
We owe so much of our success to those first few clients who took a chance on us. We had no reviews, but were willing to do everything we could to earn the trust of the Myrtle Beach community.
As the first few months started to progress, I learned a really large need existed for our service. More importantly, I learned how much our service was really helping people.
We met families who hadn’t traveled to see grandchildren in years because of the fear of leaving their pets. After giving us a try, they learned they could travel whenever they wanted, and we would be here to care for their pets.
Atlantic Pet Sitting is designed to provide reliable service, ALL THE TIME. This year, we are excited to offer service 365 days a year to ensure you can make your travel plans with the confidence of knowing your pet sitter will be there.
I see year 3 as a year of growth for Atlantic Pet Sitting. We will be starting the interview process in the coming weeks to hire our first employee outside of immediate family. This is both scary, and very exciting!
Our promise as we grow is to maintain the highest level of service you have come to expect from Atlantic Pet Sitting.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to own a business which truly makes me excited to wake up each morning, and thank you for making Atlantic Pet Sitting the highest rated pet sitter along The Grand Strand.
You, and your pets, are the best! We’re just getting started!
Your Pet Sitter,
It all started with a camping trip.
One Spring weekend, my wife and I were heading to McClellanville, SC for a weekend camping with friends. When we arrived at the camp site, a very malnourished coonhound dog came wondering out of the woods.
He had no collar, and clearly had been in the woods for weeks. He quickly stole our heart, and long story short, he came home with us at the end of the weekend.
We quickly learned what a responsibility Coleman would be when we weren’t at home for long periods of time. We knew boarding was out of the question because of the horrible anxiety Coleman had, so we when looking for another option. After doing some research, it seemed like pet sitting would be the best fit.
We went on the search to find a pet sitter. After chatting with some people through “pet sitting” websites and meeting a few locals we still couldn’t find what were looking for.
We wanted someone who was trustworthy, reliable, could send us photos and video, insured, and would treat Coleman like their own pet. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a business providing all of those qualities.
At the time, I was working in the life insurance industry and had no intention of starting a pet sitting company. But, as time went on the idea stuck with me. I couldn’t shake it.
So, in early November I decided to give pet sitting a try. Atlantic Pet Sitting was started.
With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, I figured people would flock to my company as boarders started to book up. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Thanksgiving came and went, still not clients for Atlantic Pet Sitting.
Although I was a bit discouraged, I stayed diligent. I passed out more flyers and waited for my first client.
Christmas of 2014 also came and went without me getting a single pet sitting call. It took until March 2015, but I finally received the first call I had been waiting for.
Ever since the first client joined Atlantic Pet Sitting we have been consistently bringing on new family members. Our success is solely dependent on our clients.
From our earliest family members, to our most recent, we say THANK YOU!
Dog boarding is a common option for owners while they travel, or work long hours. However, we have heard from our clients that many dogs become very stressed out with boarding. A great alternative to dog boarding in Myrtle Beach is pet sitting.
One of the most common questions we get is, “how does the cost of dog boarding compare with pet sitting?”. We took the time to gather the pricing for the reputable dog boarding facilities in Myrtle Beach.
The average cost for boarding JUST ONE dog in Myrtle Beach is $44 per night. Of course, this is just for the most basic package and doesn’t include any space upgrades or the cost to administer medications. Be sure to check out the space your dog will have available to them if you opt for dog boarding.
The average cost for boarding TWO dogs from the same family who can share the same space is $78 per night.
Atlantic Pet Sitting offers customizable pet sitting plans which can include 3-4 visits to your home while you are away. All of our rates include ALL dogs, cats, and other pets which live in your home. The average cost of care per day ranges from $60-$80. The exact range depends on exactly how many visits per day you prefer and the duration of the visits.
We also offer overnight pet sitting services, where your pet sitter sleeps in your home with your pets. This is a great option if you’re already planning an evening and morning visit.
Using a professional pet sitting service is a great option for pets who are not comfortable in a boarding environment. Pets are often most comfortable in their own home, and pet sitting allows them to stay there.
Pet sitting also guarantees your pet one on one attention, which is essential in situations where daily medication must be given. Professional pet sitters can also perform tasks such as watering plants, bringing in the mail, and other household items.
To receive your customized quote for pet sitting please ‘contact us‘.
We share a common characteristic with our pets. We are both creatures of habit.
Dogs love to go on the same exact walk around the neighborhood each day. Cats love to lay in the same spot day after day. We have our favorite places and foods to eat, as do our four-legged family members.
A Sudden Change
I have heard stories throughout the past month of pet owners who noticed a change in their pets daily routine, but really weren’t too alarmed. I have been guilty of the exact same thing. In multiple cases the pet was very sick and required in depth treatment.
When the dog doesn’t want to go on his typical walk, we chalk it up to the cold winter weather. When the cat doesn’t want her favorite treats, we think they must have gone stale or something.
However, it’s rarely in our best interest to chalk up a change in behavior to a coincidence. It’s typically our pet trying to tell us something is wrong.
What To Look For
The most common aspect to change when a pet isn’t feeling well is their appetite. If your dog who usually eats his bowl of food in 30 seconds, is now letting the food sit all day something could definitely be wrong. Don’t wait all week to see if he feels better. Call your vet and get him checked out.
If your cat religiously uses the litter box, but has started to go elsewhere, it is most likely a warning sign. It could be a sign of a urinary tract infection, or a number of other conditions.
While You’re Away
As your Myrtle Beach pet sitter, we are always trying to learn about your pet. When we meet with you for the first time, we always like to learn the feeding habits, normal energy levels, and exercise routine of your pet.
It is typical for your pet to act a little bit different when you leave town for an extended period of time.
Many cats and dogs will go on what I call a “mini food strike” which normally lasts about 24 hours. Once they realize the pet sitter is their friend they end the food strike quite quickly and go back to a normal routine.
Our goal when providing pet care is to keep your pet on their normal routine. If we feel something is different than what you, as the owner, explained to us we always let you know!
Make it a point this week to notice the routine of your pet. Always be aware of a change, and contact your veterinarian when you notice one. It could literally save your pets life.
This is a story about a cat.
It was a typical Myrtle Beach day about 4 years ago. I was inside doing work, when I noticed our two inside cats were paying attention to something outside.
For anyone who has indoor cats, this is not an unusual occurrence. Typically they see a bug, bird, or squirrel and get all worked up. This time however, I looked out to see a cat limping around in our backyard.
As an animal lover, I immediately went outside to see what was wrong with the cat. He was a very healthy looking cat (definitely not underfed), but it seemed he couldn’t put any weight on one of his hind legs. He didn’t seem to be in too much pain, but he was having a hard time getting around.
Carolina Forest, a neighborhood right outside of Myrtle Beach, isn’t the best place for an injured cat to be wandering around. I put him in a separate room of our house to let him get rest and food.
He was one of those very friendly cats, who just starts purring when you walk in the room. He was great!
I wanted to keep him apart from our cats just in case they didn’t get along, or just in case he was carrying a disease which could be transmitted to our cats.
The Next Few Days
My first thought was he belonged in our neighborhood and he got away from his owner. I spent the first day printing out lost and found flyers and distributing them throughout the area.
The next day, I took him to the vet to see if he was microchipped. No luck!
After the days ticked off, it was apparent nobody was coming to claim this tabby color cat.
We already had three cats, and certainly were not looking for a fourth, but we still wanted to take him to the vet to get his leg and health checked out.
After some inspection of his leg, which he still couldn’t put weight on, the vet at Cat’s Meow determined he was bitten by a snake and had been dealing with this issue for awhile.
The vet recommended some blood tests to make sure he was healthy before putting him around our cats, or before looking at potential homes for him to be adopted into.
The Bad News
I can still remember the road I was on, and who I was in the car with when I got this call.
It was the Cat’s Meow Animal Hospital calling with the lab results. She said, “I regret to inform you, but the tabby cat you brought to us tested positive for feline AIDS.”
My heart sank. I could feel his chances of adoption going out the window.
I was very unfamiliar with feline AIDS, so I asked the vet what they felt was the most humane thing to do. They recommended euthanasia may be the best option given his circumstance, and unfortunately I agreed.
I let them know that when my wife got off work she would come to the office to be with him during those final few minutes.
I called back Sav-R-Cats, who I had been in touch with about finding him a home, and left the bad news on their voicemail.
An Unexpected Call
I was consigned to the fact that this was the only thing which could be done. Until I got this next phone call.
It was the director of Sav-R-Cats. She was wondering if we still had this tabby cat who had been diagnosed with feline AIDS.
She told me of a lady in Darlington, SC who had three cats, all with feline AIDS, who had just recently had a tabby color cat pass away. She was looking for a new cat with feline AIDS she could provide a home for. Our tabby color feline AIDS cat was a perfect match!
My wife had already texted me letting me know she was at the office to be with the cat during the process.
My next frantic call was to Cat’s Meow Animal Hospital. I was probably screaming into the phone when they picked up.
“DON’T PUT THAT CAT TO SLEEP”
I asked her if they had euthanized the cat yet, and she said, “I don’t think they have completely done it yet.”.
My wife tells me they had already done the first injection to calm the cat, when the office manager ran in and told them to stop the procedure because we found a home for him.
It took him a a few hours to wake up, and Cat’s Meow was kind enough to hold on to him until he was able to travel.
It’s Not A Death Sentence
When you hear “feline AIDS” most people think it’s a death sentence for a cat. The reality is that a cat with feline AIDS can go on to live a long and relatively healthy life.
According to PetMD,“Within 4.5 to 6 years after the time of infections, about 20 percent of cats die; however, over 50 percent will remain without clinical signs of the disease.”
Infected cats can pass it on to non-infected cats through things such as bite wounds and scratches so it is important to keep them apart.
However, if you only are ever planning on having one cat than you can absolutely adopt a cat with feline AIDS. Unfortunately, many cats with feline AIDS are not adopted because of the stigma which goes with it.
A Happy Ending
The next day we drove him to Darlington, SC where he was united with his new family. His new owner couldn’t believe how close he was to not making it, so it was only fitting she named him Lucky.
He now lives with two other cats who also have feline AIDS. He lives a normal cat life, despite not regaining use of his snakebitten leg.
We still get updates on him about once a year, and all I can think is how Lucky he really is.
Adding a pet to your home can be exciting, challenging, expensive, and yes, at times overwhelming. Every family or individual has a different reason for adding a pet to their family.
We add pets to our homes because we just love having them around, we live alone and want the companionship, we recently lost a beloved pet, or the classic reason, the animal showed up at your door with no chip or identification, and you fell in love.Most of the pets in my home, my parents’ home, my in-laws homes, pretty much my entire friends and family have been the latter. Two of my cats were strays, found at various places over the past 10 years.
A Personal Story
My third cat, Yogi, seemed to come with the house. Shortly after we moved in, a cat was at the back door, staring in at us. We really did not want another cat, so I called my mother to ask her what I should do, even though I knew her answer. “Feed him and try to find out if he belongs to anyone.” Well, we all know how that goes. Yogi got a name, a place to sleep, and food and water.
At first he slept in a bed on the porch, and we told ourselves that’s where he would stay. After about a month, we took him to the vet for shots and had him neutered. After he was neutered, my wife and I agreed he could stay in the house just to recover. Well, four years later, he is still with u, and lives a very happy, full life as a house cat. Our dog, Coleman, a Treeing Walker Coon Hound, was found in the woods while we were camping.
We knew he was really sick, and we took him to the emergency vet the next day. She told us he probably would not have lived another 24 hours. He weighed just 28 pounds when we found him. Coleman now weighs a healthy 66 pounds.
Finding A New Family Member
A very important place to secure a wonderful pet is the local animal shelters. The number of healthy, beautiful, loving animals euthanized every day is alarming and heartbreaking. There are several shelters in and around Horry County, that have great pets available.
If you are purchasing a specific breed, I recommend you go to the breeder’s home, look at the conditions of the parents and the home, and ask a lot of questions before you buy. There is probably a rescue, either local or online, for every breed of cat or dog you might be interested in adding to your home. I encourage you to consider adopting first.
The Right Fit
Prior to adding a pet of any kind to your home, think about your work and home schedules, vacations, children’s after school activities, and life in general. Do you have time to properly care for a pet? If not, do you have the resources to hire a pet sitter, or do you have outside help available?
A pet sitter can be a valuable tool in helping house train your pet, as well as providing much needed exercise throughout the day. If you decide to get a cat, and think “they don’t take much time.” Think again. Cats may be independent, but most cats, especially kittens, love to play and crave companionship. Cleaning a litter box may seem like a minor detail, but some cats will not use a dirty litter box. We all know they have to go somewhere!
Happy To Help
As a pet sitter, the pets I see live in homes where they are treasured family members. I enjoy spending time with every pet we care for. Pets add immeasurable value to our lives. They are totally dependent on us for almost everything, and they reward us with unconditional love.
However, no matter what kind of pet you have, they take time, money, patience, and sometimes a lot of work. But in the end, no matter what kind of pet you have, they are worth it!
I have had the pleasure of taking care of hundreds of pets during my time as the owner of Atlantic Pet Sitting. I have seen pets who accept me from the moment I walk in the door, and I have some pets who I am still gaining the trust of.
As pet parents, we are very good at worrying about our pets while we are away. This can be worrying about what time we can get off work when our pets our home alone, or how they will react to a sitter while we are gone for extended periods. One of the most common questions I am asked is, “How can I make my pet more comfortable while I’m away?”.
A calm pet makes for a happy sitter and happy owner, so here are some tips which can make things easier for everyone.
Arrange A Meetup
One of the most important steps in working with your pet sitter is getting to know them, and them getting to know you and your pet. When working with a new client we find a time to come to your house and take some notes about the care of your pet.
During this first meeting you should allow your pet to see you interacting with the pet sitter. This will help ease the tension when the pet sitter enters the home for the first time on their own.
This meeting would be a great time to discuss any special needs, as well as detailed notes regarding the care of your pets.
Keep Surroundings Familiar
It can be tempting to change things up a bit when you’re leaving your pet alone, but typically they will sense something is different and this could cause them to rebel.
If your cats like a certain scratching post, leave it there. If your dog likes to eat in a certain spot, make sure your sitter knows to feed them there. Also let your sitter know the typical walking route you do while outside.
The closer you keep the environment to when you are at home, the better it will be for your four-legged companion.
Maintain The Same Routine
Like us, our pets are creatures of habit. Similar to our previous tip, it is best to keep your pets in the routine they are accustomed to.
For example, it is best to have your sitter to come for their visit during when your pets are typically fed and/or walked. The easiest transitions we have seen is for pets who continue their feeding and exercise schedule they are accustomed to.
Access To Stress Relievers
It is very typical for pets to exhibit some levels of stress while owners are away. This is why it is so important to have stress relievers available to calm the pet and avoid destruction to the home.
I have had clients use Thundershirts, scratching posts, calming diffusers, leaving music on, and a variety of other methods to help their pets. Experiment with some methods before heading out of town.
Keep In Contact
Remember, your pet sitter is working for you and your pet. Never feel like you are bothering, or bugging your pet sitter. Keeping in touch allows the sitter to let you know of any tendencies they are noticing.
Being proactive is a great way to ensure your pet stays calm and happy while under the care of someone else. At Atlantic Pet Sitting, we are always happy to provide phone, text, and picture updates while your pets are under our care.
Following these simple steps will help you, your pet sitter, and your pet adjust to your time away.