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Why should you hire a professional pet sitter? - by Aunt Tami

If you've never hired a pet sitter to care for your pets, your circumstances may have changed which is why you're considering hiring one now. Perhaps the friends and relatives you used to rely on aren't available as regularly to care for your pets.  Maybe your pets are getting older and need medication to be administered and that makes you nervous about boarding them in a kennel environment.  Or, maybe you've noticed that your pets are returning from kennels stressed out and you're worried about the effects stress can cause on your pets health.  All are good reasons to hire a pet sitter.

But when you approach the idea of hiring a pet sitter, you may wonder what sets professional pet sitters apart from everyone else.  Sure, you can hire high school or college kids to come and care for your pets, and they're generally going to come for less money than professionals. You can find someone on Craigs List pretty easily who will charge less, too.

 

Here is what sets us apart.  We are your piece of mind when you are on vacation, thousands of miles away from your beloved pets and your home, and your piece of mind is priceless. Our pet sitters take pet sitting seriously.  This isn't a hobby for us.  We've gone for Pet First Aid/Pet CPR courses.  All of us are animal rescue volunteers who have worked with many different breeds of dogs and we've learned quite a bit about dog behavior.  We're also mature homeowners.

For example:  If your water heater breaks and begins flooding your basement while you are on vacation in Canada, will the high school student you hired to care for your cats know what to do (if they even notice it at all)?  If your cat suddenly has a diabetic seizure, will the college student you hired know what to do and what emergency hospital to rush your cat to in the middle of the night?  We know what do.  We've been through these events over the past few years and we are experienced, mature pet sitters. In our last two examples, the vacationers came home to a dry basement after we shut the water off and dry vacuumed the water, and the sick cat was promptly rushed to the nearest emergency hospital where the vet credited us with saving his life.  

We hope you'll consider hiring us.  We are confident that you'll love us as much as we will love your pets.  

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How to save on pet medications - by Aunt Tami

When it comes to our pet's health, we'll do whatever we have to do to keep our pets living longer, healthier and happier lives.  However, we'd rather save some of our hard earned cash that we would overspend at the vets and put it toward spoiling our pets.  Here are some of our tried and true methods to save on pet care.

Did you know that you don't have to purchase your pet's medications directly from your vet?  The next time you visit the vet, ask the vet for a written prescription for your pet's medications.  Bring that prescription to your local Target, CVS, Walmart, or Kmart and sign your pet up to get prescriptions filled.  Recently these stores have been promoting that they can fill prescriptions for pet meds as well at a substantial savings.  Hand over your pet prescriptions to them and take advantage of these savings.

 

You see, vets typically charge what is called a "dispensing fee" when you get your pets meds directly from the vet, and this dispensing fee will greatly increase the cost of your pet's medications.  Your local pharmacist will not.

Also, if you are a AAA member, before you take your prescription to the pharmacist, be sure to print out a free AAA prescription discount card at:  http://www.aaa.com/aaa/AAAPrescriptions/prescription_card.htm

 

You'll need to enter your AAA club code and membership number on the card, and then you can hand it off to the pharmacist.  The AAA card may only save you a dollar or so, but that's still an extra dollar in your pocket that you can put toward dog treats for your best friend!  

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How to safely, easily give your dog a pill - by Aunt Tami

From time to time, as our dogs age, it may become necessary to give them medication. For many reasons, I highly discourage an old school method of opening your dogs mouth, tossing a pill down his/her throat, clamping his jaw shut and vigorously rubbing your dogs neck until you're pretty sure the pill went down. Don't do it. Take that old school method and toss it out the window with the first Blackberry you bought.

Forcing your dog to down pills can be dangerous. Depending on the dog, you could get bitten, you could cause your dog to choke, could cause him to bite down on his tongue, and half the time the pill will end up getting spit out anyway where you'll eventually find it nestled in the fibers of your carpet. Worst of all, you will lose your dog's trust. Was it worth it? No.

We've used pill pockets, but they're pretty expensive and my dogs have long since gotten bored with them. We've had the most success with soft mozzarella cheese and prosciutto which we get at Costco. To keep doggy life interesting, about half the time I'll hide my dogs pills in a pocket of soft, squishy cheese, and half the time I'll wrap it in sticky strips of prosciutto. I just hand my dogs a cheese or meaty "treat" and generally they are happy to eat it without missing a beat.

I hope these methods help you have an easier time giving your dogs pills. If you have any other safe, humane methods to share with us, we'd love to hear them.

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How to make your own healthy, simple, budget friendly dog treats - by Aunt Tami

If you have ever baked cookies, you can do this. Really. If I can do this, I know you can. Here goes...

Ingredients:

3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk (one box of this stuff will last you a year - you'll use half an envelope per batch)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups of whole wheat flour (I found 5 lb bags at A&P for $3.50. One bag will last you a while)

*If my mother got her hands on this recipe, she'd probably toss in leftover bacon scraps and maybe some grated cheese. Don't do it people! Just stick to the plan...

Directions:
In a large bowl, pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in the powdered milk, salt and egg. Add the flour, a 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form a stiff dough.

 

If you want a lot of cookies, then pat or roll to 1/2 inch thickness with a goal of making 48 cookies. If you want a thicker cookie, just roll them out to the size of regular cookies and you'll end up with about 40.

Cut into bone shapes. (you can pick one up at any craft store or any yard sale held by people like me, who once had HIGH hopes of being a crafter...)

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. (If you have a big enough oven, put the cookie sheets on the bottom oven rack. If not, swap the cookie sheets from top to bottom after 20 minutes).

Let them cool. They'll dry out hard - like Milk Bones. Makes about 40 dog biscuits for about .40 a pound.

I found this recipe at Bullwinkle.com.

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© 2017 by Aunt Tami's Pet Sitting, LLC.  

Aunt Tami's Pet Sitting, LLC.

89 Plymouth Street

Fairfield, New Jersey 07004

AuntTamispetsittingllc@gmail.com

862-703-0637

We are proud members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
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