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Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services

We treat your pets like MVP'S               760-644-0289

MVP Blog


Pet Etiquette

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 7:39 PM Comments comments (328)
Today I am featuring a wonderful article by Aurora James: It is loaded with excellent information.

Put Your Best Paw Forward: Dog Etiquette and Training

"Are you and your dog the life of the party and welcomed wherever you go, or do people shy away when you enter the room? With more and more places becoming pet-friendly, dogs and and their owners are everywhere these days. As such, your dog should possess manners and training that will serve him from the dog park all the way to Park Place.  Here are some tips and tricks on making sure you’re both on your best behavior.
As dog lovers, we sometimes forget that not everyone loves our dogs. So the polite thing to do is to make sure they’re invited before we bring them along to an event or activity. Check with your host/hostess or business proprietor to ensure you’re complying with their pet policy. Know your local zoning and leash laws so you don’t run afoul of them. Always keep your dog collared, tagged, and leashed and his shots up to date. Also, check out Pet Life Today for reviews of all the best equipment. When you go out in public, make sure to properly dispose of any waste. It’s a good idea to carry glove, wipes, sanitizer and bags at all times. If he steps in some mud, clean him up immediately. No one likes a muddy dog who flings dirt on their ankles. Ensure he’s always clean and well-groomed so he can make the proper first impression.
Good Training Makes Good Dogs
Dogs jump, bark, get distracted, and try to give chase. Yours must be trained to act against his natural instincts. Dog training takes a lifetime, but priority attention goes to the basics of house training and obedience. At a minimum, your dog should respond to “Come,” “Sit,” “Drop It,”  and “Stay.” He should be taught to walk beside you politely on a leash. You can enlist the services of a professional, but you can also teach your dog yourself with the aid of online videos and how-to articles. Dogs are constantly watching and learning from us, so every second is potentially a teachable moment. Be consistent and provide copious positive reinforcement in your training.
Cultivate a Sense of Humor
Even the most well-behaved dog will make mistakes, and accidents do happen. Learn to laugh at him and yourself; this can defuse some of the tension when he embarrasses you in public. Practicing saying, “I’m so sorry!” because you’ll need it eventually. Dogs are not people, and they don’t share our vanities. Inevitably, he’s going to put his nose into a trash can, break wind at a picnic, or do some other potentially embarrassing thing. What they lack in decorum they make up for in loyalty, and we humans love them for that.

As a pet owner, you’re responsible for the health and safety of your pet and also for how he behaves in the company of others. If he tears something up, you’re on the hook to replace or repair it. If he acts up by jumping on people or begging for food, it reflects badly on you. However, these are simple matters of training and preparation. A well-fed dog can be trained not to beg or bark excessively. He can be taught not to jump on other people. If he does these things, the fault lies with his human, not with the animal himself. Remember, you’re a goodwill ambassador for all of us when you’re out there, so do us proud. A courteous dog owner and a well-behaved dog will encourage pet ownership as a whole. However, an ill-trained dog and a boor of a pet owner will make the entire community look bad."

National Pet Travel Safety Day

Posted on January 2, 2018 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (234)
In the newsletter I received today from Dr. Karen Becker of "Healthy Pets", she addressed the importance of car safety when travelling with pets in your vehicle.
When driving around the city, it is quite common to see dogs sitting in the passenger seat or the back seat with their heads out of the window,. What is even more common and frightening is seeing the dog on the lap of the driver.  An unrestrained animal in the car is a huge distraction to the driver and can create an accident as a result. In the event of an accident, a loose pet becomes a projectile and can injury the driver, other passengers and definitely itself. It can fly through a window or get crushed in a collision. 
The best advise is to restrain your dog in an approved CPS-certified safety car harness or in a crate secured with a seat bell. Cats should always be in a crate or carrier that is secured with the seat belt.
I know dogs love to put their heads out the window and enjoy the fresh air rushing by, but it is your job to protect them and allowing them to do this is just plain dangerous. Bad pet parenting and lack of responsibility on your part can lead to your dog's injury or even death.
Also, always make sure your pet is wearing an up to date identification tag and is micro chipped. In the event of an accident, if your pet is thrown from the vehicle or jumps and you are unconscious or hurt, rescuers will be able to identify your pet if he wanders off or is injured.

For more very important information on pet travel safety refer to Dr Becker's article at "Healthy Pets" presented by Mercola on the Internet.
Safe travels!

Total Eclipse of the Sun

Posted on August 21, 2017 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (198)
  As you know, today is the day we are to experience a total eclipse of the sun. Here is some important advice for pet owners from Pet Sitters International.
Best advice for pet owners and pet sitters during the eclipse
   "While damage to pets’ eyes are unlikely, pet parents, as well as professional pet sitters and dog walkers, should consider not bringing pets outdoors for walks or play during the eclipse. Keep pets indoors with windows closed and shades or curtains drawn.
Pet sitters and dog walkers may consider adjusting their schedules to offer their walks at least thirty minutes before or after the eclipse, or recommend that walks for the day be replaced with indoor play instead.
This way the pet is not exposed to large crowds that may gather to view the eclipse and will not be startled by the excitement that may be displayed by the sun gazers.  
If pets will be outdoors, take extra precautions and ensure that all pets have proper identification tags should they be spooked and flee."

4th of July tips to keep pets safe

Posted on June 26, 2017 at 8:19 AM Comments comments (816)
Here are some very important tips to keep your pets safe over the 4th of July holiday from Pet Sitters International

  "1. Keep pets inside during celebrations. While many humans love fireworks, they can be terrifying for pets, and a neighborhood that is normally quiet but becomes busy and loud on the Fourth of July can also cause undue stress—even to pets who are normally outside. When fireworks are likely to go off in your neighborhood or nearby, be sure to keep your pet inside in a safe space. Close all doors and windows, and turn on the television or play calming music.

2. Make sure your pet wears an identification tag. Even if you plan to keep your pet inside over the Fourth of July holiday, it’s a good idea to make sure your pet is wearing a tag with your name and contact information—or the contact information for a professional pet sitter who will be watching the pet. If your pet somehow escapes the property in a moment of panic over loud noises from fireworks or other celebrations, an ID could be vital to ensuring your pet gets back to you. You may also want to consider microchipping your pet.

3. Watch out for unsafe foods and decorations. If you are planning a holiday gathering or party, be sure to keep your pet away from the grill, as well as alcohol and any unsafe foods. While you may be aware of substances that are bad for your pets—for example, chocolate, xylitol, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, onions, avocado and bread dough—other guests may not be.
You should also take special care to keep your pet away from décor that could cause harm if chewed on or ingested, as well as any used or unused fireworks, which may look tasty to pets due to their shiny or colorful wrappers. Keep festive items like sparklers and glow sticks away from animals.

4. Don’t just hire a pet lover to watch your pet. If your Fourth of July plans will keep you away from home, your pet could benefit from the services of a professional pet sitter. Your pet will be happier at home, away from crowds, fireworks and loud noises. PSI advises pet owners to only use the services of professional pet sitters.
“Just because someone is a pet lover and has a profile on an online directory—or even on a nationally-publicized site—doesn’t ensure he or she is a qualified pet sitter operating a legitimate business,” said PSI Vice-President Beth Stultz. “In today’s sharing economy anyone can offer their services online, so it’s important for pet owners to take a closer look to ensure they are hiring not just a pet lover, but a pet lover who is also a true pet-care professional.”

How Long Should you leave your cat alone?

Posted on June 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM Comments comments (187)
  With the July 4th holiday weekend just a week away, it is important to make arrangements for the care of your kitty if you are going to be away from home. I have had numerous calls over the past week or so for kitty care and many potential clients have requested visits for their cat every 2nd or 3rd day while they are gone. I repeatedly tell them that I will not take on a cat sit unless I get to visit the cat/s every day. Dr. Debra Primovic, DVM agrees. In a recent post on she says the longest a cat should be left alone is 24 hours. Too many things can happen while you are away and someone needs to check on the cats and ensure they are okay. And if you are going for only 3 or 4 days and plan on leaving the cats a big bowl of food and fresh water, without anyone checking on them, think again. You could come home to a dead cat. Ideally, you want a professional pet sitter to look after your fur babies as we have the knowledge, skills and experience to deal with pretty much anything that may occur. If you do not want to spend money on a professional, then at least get a responsible neighbor, friend or relative to check the kitties every day. 
You will have a much better vacation with the peace of mind knowing your fur family is being cared for.


Posted on May 24, 2017 at 12:53 PM Comments comments (4)
The No Hot Pets Campaign is BACK!

“I left the window down for him” “I wasn’t going to be gone long” We’ve heard it all! The issue of owners leaving their pets in their vehicles during the hot summer months, putting animals’ safety at risk and even causing death, is an ongoing problem across Ontario. There is NO excuse for leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle.
 The Ontario SPCA, in partnership with SPCAs and Humane Societies from across Canada, are launching the 2017 No Hot Pets campaign. The campaign’s goal is to educate the public on the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles during the summer months.

This campaign may be launched in Canada but it is a great reminder for all of us as we hit the hot months.
Please pledge now NEVER to leave your pet in the car when it is hot out.

Cat Wellness Veterinary Visits

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 8:47 AM Comments comments (3)
  One of the things I have noticed in several of the consultations I have done recently with cat parents, is that many feline owners are not taking their cats to the vet unless they are ill.
Just like we humans, cats need to have a check-up once a year and even more often when they become seniors ( 8+). Unlike us, we know when we are not feeling well and can make our appointments to see the doctor to check things out. Cats cannot tell us if they are having a problem with their health. Not only that, but it is instinctual for a cat to hide any health issues or signs of weakness. What this means, is that by the time they display any sort of health issue, they are often in such bad straits that cure or treatment can be extremely difficult and expensive. 
I am not suggesting that you need to go to the vet for vaccinations annually, and this has nothing to do with vaccinations. It has everything to do with making sure they are healthy and not in any discomfort that they may be hiding. A veterinary check-up doesn't have to be expensive and if you take your kitty annually and are able to avoid any major illnesses or problems as a result, you can save thousands of dollars in treatment not to mention, keeping your kitty comfortable, healthy, and happy and giving you peace of mind.
If your cat hasn't seen a vet in over a year, I urge you to make an appointment for a wellness check. And for those of you who are worried about actually getting your cat in the carrier to go to the vet, there are some excellent Youtube videos as to how to get your cat carrier friendly and in a worse case scenario, there are a few mobile vets around who will come to your home to check out the cat. SO there are no excuses.

Handling Open food for Pets

Posted on April 20, 2017 at 8:33 AM Comments comments (3)
I came across some very important information in a newsletter from Care2 Healthy Living this am regarding the handling of pet food. I want to share it with you and advise you to follow their suggestions.

"How long to leave out canned or moist food is a common question from pet owners. Dogs and cats don’t always eat the entire can, and food safety is always questionable when food is left out. Burkholder and Conway weigh in, “The length of time that food can be left out safely depends on a number of variables. Uneaten or open canned/moist food should be covered and refrigerated as soon as possible. As a general rule of thumb, do not leave open canned/moist food sitting unrefrigerated (e.g., in your pet’s bowl or on the counter at room temperature) for more than two hours. This is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly and lead to foodborne illness.”
Dry food and dishes should be handled similarly to canned food. The FDA recommends storing dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed. Ideal storage conditions are a cool, dry place — under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after handling dry food and use a scoop that is dedicated just for pet food. The FDA also recommends keeping pets away from food storage and preparation areas, garbage and household trash."

Dirty Pet Bowls

Posted on March 23, 2017 at 8:34 AM Comments comments (423)
One of my biggest pet peeves as a professional pet sitter is caring for pets whose food and drinking bowls are filthy. It amazes me how people, who clearly love their furry kids, can allow them to eat and drink out of bowls that are encrusted with old food, pet hair and infested with bacteria and germs. You wouldn't eat or drink from a bowl that wasn't sparkling clean and neither should your dog, cat, bunny rabbit or any other pet you may have. I recently came across this article in Consumer Affairs written by Sarah D. Young on the subject.

"Pet bowls are one of the germiest items in American homes, according to a study by the National Safety Federation (NSF). Yet, 1 in 5 pet parents who responded to a new survey by Petco admitted to waiting at least a month to clean their pet's eating and drinking bowls.
To get rid of germs and bacteria that may upset your pet’s stomach, wash your pet’s bowls daily with hot water and mild dish soap. If the bowl is dishwasher safe, you can simply toss it in the dishwasher.
During those times when your pet’s bowls are being cleaned, it can be helpful to have one extra set of pet food and water dishes on hand. Additionally, be sure to replace dishes and bowls if they are cracked, chipped, or scratched. "

When I or my staff come across filthy pet bowls when doing a pet sit, we always take the time to scrub them and clean them till they shine. We continue to wash them after each usage every day while the pet parents are away. Hopefully, the pet parent will notice this when they get home and get the idea. I will also leave a note for the parent if the bowls are chipped and need to be replaced.

Please be kind and loving to your pet and clean their bowls so that you could eat out of it if necessary.

Stop feeding your dog Evangers until you have read this report!

Posted on January 30, 2017 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (1)

This news from Susan Thixton today, a pet food advocate and the creator of

Test Results Show Pentobarbital in Evangers Dog Food 

On New Years Eve 2016, 3 pug dogs became ill – another died – believed to be linked to Evangers Pet Food. Lab results provided by the pet owner show the pet food contained pentobarbital – a drug used to euthanize animals.  

Please check out this link.