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My Favorite Pet Sitter


July 2008 Newsletter

Five Ways to Discourage Cat Spraying

Here are a few suggestions for controlling spraying (and, yes, female cats can spray!):

Have your cat spayed/neutered by the time she is six months old. In addition to the many other good reasons to have your cat neutered, more than 90% of cats will not start spraying if they are fixed before the behavior begins.

Restrict her view of the outdoors. If your cat sees another cat, her natural response will be to mark her territory... your home. Move furniture away from windows, pull the drapes, or cover the lower portion of your window. You might also provide a well-located, cat tree or play area to refocus attention.

If you have more than one cat, foster a positive relationship among them. Cats that get along are less competitive, and are therefore far less likely to spray. Play with your cats together, and give each one equal attention. Have them eat and sleep together. Encourage them to groom each other by wiping them down with a damp cloth.

Reduce stress in your cat by keeping things routine. Changes of any kind in your household can create anxiety, for example, new cats in the area, new people, or re-decorating. Feed your cat at the same time each day, and keep her litter box and bed in their respective places. When people visit, put your cat in a separate room, particularly if your visitors have cats of their own and may carry in their scent. Feliway Spray, or Comfort Zone Plug-in with Feliway, contains a pheromone-like substance designed to help calm cats, can be used for cats under stress, or when you think planned events might foster anxiety.

If your cat does spray, thoroughly clean the area to prevent re-marking. We recommend Cat-Tergent or Stainaway that uses natural enzymes to devour odor-causing bacteria instead of covering up its scent.

SSSCAT Spray and No-Scratch! Spray repel your cat with unpleasant essences, so your cat will avoid treated surfaces or your houseplants. They can be used to keep your pet away from selected areas, furniture, and drapes, which may help disrupt the undesirable pattern of behavior.

Spraying is definitely a problem you don't have to live with. Whenever you spot spraying or recognize its signs, the sooner you take action the better.

Dog Exercise

Here are a few ideas for stimulating activities you can share with your canine companion:

How Outdoor Activities Benefit Your Pet:


Behavior: maintaining housetraining, releasing excess energy


Psychosocial: continuing use of social skills with people, dogs, and other animals outside of the family


Intellectual: continuing work on obedience commands when distractions are present


Physical: maintaining weight, building muscle, keeping joints loose and limber, and keeping the bowels healthy (preventing constipation)

Take a Walk - This is a great, low impact way to enjoy some time outside with your dog. In fact, daily walks are recommended for most dogs as a minimum element to their exercise routine (and people too). Walks give your pet a chance to meet new friends in the neighborhood, stimulate her senses, and relieve herself. Any time you take your dog outside the yard, remember to use a lead or leash, and make sure she is wearing a comfortable collar with name & ID tag.

It's a common courtesy to clean up after your dog, especially during walks around the neighborhood. Waste cleanup doesn't have to be a dirty job anymore. In addition to the scoopers and rakes you may use to clean up your yard, there are a variety of biodegradable scoop bags you can use to neatly pick up and dispose of dog mess.

Backyard/Park Fetch - Whether you play in your yard, or take your dog to a local park, there's nothing more fun than a good old-fashioned game of fetch. It taps into their instinct to hunt and retrieve, and they look forward to the reward of returning to a happy owner again and again. There's a whole variety of fetch toys available to replace the soggy tennis ball many of us remember. Other favorites include popular fetching toys for both land and water. Soft Bite Floppy Discs and Flexibone Discs make great flyers, stimulate interactive fun with your pet, and retrieval in water is a great way to cool off your pet in the summer heat.

Hiking Adventure - If your dog likes a little cross-country action, take him on a nature hike. Like any walk, we recommend bringing along a leash or retractable grip lead to ensure he doesn't stray too far. Hiking through wooded trails or tall grass exposes them to a few more dangers than a stroll down a sidewalk - fleas & ticks, sharp rocks and twigs, the unexpected downpour - but there are several products designed to protect your dog from these outdoor elements. Before hiking in the woods, consider getting your canine a tick collar or using a long-acting repellent treatment like Frontline® Plus, which our veterinarians consider one of the most convenient methods of flea & tick control.
Just as we slip on our hiking shoes and jacket before heading out, dogs too, need protection from the elements. You never know if the trail has sharp rocks, sun-hot asphalt, or the occasional shard of broken glass, but luckily there are dog boots available for almost any size or breed. They slip on comfortably right over all four paws and Velcro® securely in place. Be sure to clip your dog's nails before a hike to protect them from getting caught in boots.

For long hikes on hot days, keep in mind that dogs and puppies need plenty of water to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. Be sure to keep a water source handy, such as a collapsible bowl or water bottle with folding reservoir.

Water Sports, Anyone? Those of us who own a retriever or labrador know that on a hot day, it's hard to keep them out of that nearby pond, lake, or stream. No matter what the breed, water sports are a great way to cool down your dog as the temperature heats up, and now it's safer than ever to let your pet go for a swim. Many of the fetching dog toys mentioned earlier also come in waterproof, buoyant models, such as the Floatable Gumabone Disc.

Just as you would with any member of your family, consider water safety if you like to take your best friend out boating with you. While many dogs are natural swimmers, you may still want to bring along a coast-guard approved pet life preserver to keep your dog's head above water without restricting his movement or breathing.

Dog Agility Parks/Trails - More and more communities are offering dog agility parks and trails, which feature various courses specifically designed to give your dog a fun and challenging workout. Canines leap hurdles, climb ramps, balance narrow bridges, and navigate their way through various obstacles. Many parks also offer classes for beginners to acclimate both dog and owner to the equipment. This is a growing new sport recommended for the active and fearless dog in your life.

Pup Cup Recipe for Dogs

Remember to check for allergies - especially the peanut butter!

1 cup yogurt, plain or vanilla
2 tablespoons no-sugar-added or organic peanut butter OR pumpkin (use canned pumpkin, NOT pie mix)

Other yummy adds:
Shredded carrots
Little apple chunks
Chopped or mashed banana

REMEMBER - NO raisins or grapes as they are toxic to dogs!

Stir together, and spoon in little cups, about 2 tablespoons per cup.  You can add more yogurt by the teaspoon if the peanut butter is particularly thick.  Then freeze

You can also stuff this into Kongs – just set the Kong in a little dish while preparing and freezing so the filling doesn't drain out one end.


Pets of the Month





Congratulations to Buddy and Dudley!  Buddy is a very sweet dog and Dudley is a parrot.  They were recently interviewed by their dad, Blair, and had this to say:

How we met our family:

Buddy: I came from my mommy's sister's family first and then came to live with my current family 7 years ago in S.F.  We moved to Orange County then up here to EDH.

Dudley: I was born in 1980 and was captured in the wild!  I came to my mommy back in '93, when my first mommy was her roommate, but my current mommy adopted me, and now I'm Daddy's bird!

What we have to say about the companion human(s) we share our home with:

They used to spoil us more but now they have little kids so we have to be content with being second best!  We know they still love us though and they still give us lots of attention and spoil us with treats!

Our favorite hobbies:

Buddy:  Going for walks, barking at other dogs walking by!

Dudley:  Eating people food (esp. chicken legs), talking, and being held.

Our favorite foods:

Buddy:  Anything with meat in it!

Dudley:  Anything Daddy is eating!

Our favorite toys:

Buddy:  I love my babies and I love to chew on them and fling them around!

Dudley:  I love my rope and peanut toys and love to chew on them!

Our most exciting adventures:

Buddy:  Riding up to Nor Cal with Daddy in the U-Haul.

Dudley:  Going for road trips in my cage in the front seat of the car!  I love to squawk at other cars passing by!

Our idea of a perfect day:

Buddy:  A long early morning walk, lots of rubbing and scratching, running around the back yard and wrestling with Daddy, taking big naps, and eating lots of yummy treats! 

Dudley:  Sit on the shower door while Mommy & Daddy get ready in the morning and singing, lots of shoulder and lap time, lots of yummy people food, being held & petted on Daddy's lap in front of the TV at night.

What I like most about my pet sitters:

They give us tons and tons of TLC when our parents are away!!!  They are the bright smile and cheery voice we look forward to seeing twice every day!

Service Announcements

Here are a couple reminders about payments. 

Payment is due at the time the pet sitting visits are requested and is considered late if not received before you leave on your trip.  You can pay ½ of the amount when you request the visits and the balance before you leave.  There is a 14-day grace period for payment, otherwise a WEEKLY LATE FEE will accrue.  A weekly late fee of $5 will be charged on accounts unpaid in excess of 14 days starting from the first visit. 

If you’d like to tip your pet sitter, you can include an additional amount to your payment and the difference will go directly to your sitter.

Please remember that there is a 48-hour cancellation policy (100% refund for 48-hour notice, 50% refund for 24-hour notice, no refund if less than 24 hours).  This policy applies regardless of the reason (illness, traveling issues, family emergency, etc.).  So it’s important to let us know as soon as your plans change or if you are coming home early for whatever reason.

Focus on Fundraising

I am collecting books for a book sale fundraiser to be held in August for Folsom Feline Rescue.  Please let me know if you would like to donate some books and I’ll arrange to pick them up.  You can also drop off books at the adoption event at Petco at 855 East Bidwell in Folsom (at Montrose, next to OSH) on 20th between 11am and 4pm.

Dog Haiku

I lie belly-up

In the sunshine, happier than

You ever will be

Today I sniffed

Many dog behinds—I celebrate

By kissing your face.


I sound the alarm!

Paper boy—come to kill us all—

Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I lift my leg and

Whiz on each bush.

Hello, Spot—Sniff this and weep


I sound the alarm!

Garbage man—come to kill us all—

Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!


How do I love thee?

The ways are numberless as

My hairs on the rug.

I sound the alarm!

Mail carrier—come to kill us all—

Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!


My human is home!

I am so ecstatic I have

Made a puddle

I sound the alarm!

Gardener—come to kill us all—

Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!


I Hate my choke chain—

Look, world, they strangle me!

Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!

Look in my eyes and

Deny it. No human could

Love you as much I do


The cat is not all

Bad—she dots the neighborhood

With Tootsie Rolls

Dig under fence—why?

Because it's there. Because it's

There. Because it's there.


I am your best friend,

Now, always, and especially

When you are eating.

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