Ease Your Pet’s Holiday Stress.

Holiday stress isn’t just for humans; it can be hard on our pets too, but it doesn’t have to be if we’re mindful of a few ways to ensure our pets have a wonderful holiday season. We know you’re busy, so we’ve assembled a super-quick list to help you ease your pet’s holiday stress…

  1. Visitors.
    Problem:
     Unfamiliar people and extra noise and activity can be stressful on your pet if they are not used to having visitors. They may become overly excited (and forget their manners or dash out the door) or they may become frightened.
    Solution: If your pet shows signs of either extreme, let him spend time in a comfortable, private room with the door closed. If he has a cozy rug, some treats, toys and water, he can relax and de-stress.
  2. Smells.
    Problem
    Pets, especially dogs, can find strong odors overwhelming. Air fresheners, potpourri, and scented candles may be too strong for your pet.
    Solution: If you must use them, it is best to do so only occasionally and keep the areas well ventilated during use.
  3. Exercise.
    Problem: 
    As your schedule gets busier, you may find you are not exercising your pet as often as he needs (and he probably needs more exercise during the holidays – it’s a great stress reliever). Lack of exercise can cause behavior changes such as chewing on furniture, tearing up household items or even unwrapping gifts (causing YOU more holiday stress!).
    Solution: Plan for more frequent exercise sessions, and we can help! Just see our special discount below.
  4. Rules.
    Problem
    Don’t want Fido sharing the sofa with your guests? If you usually allow him on the furniture, he’ll be stressed and confused if you change the rules at the last minute. The same is true for begging at the table – not that any of us would ever allow that 🙂
    Solution: Use the quiet room idea from tip #1 above if your pet has some habits that might cause you stress while entertaining. He’ll be happy and so will you.

Our schedules fill up quickly during the holidays,
especially Thanksgiving!

Whether you are going out of town or entertaining guests, book your VIP sitter now to make sure your pet is cozy and cared for all weekend long.

Schedule your Thanksgiving service by November 9th and get $10 off!
Your booking must include at least 4 standard or premium visits.

Click here to get started, or leave your number and we’ll call you!

(Cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions.)


I love the ease of scheduling an appointment. Also love the consistency of the pet sitter – I like the security of knowing Trudy will take care of the pups with minimal instructions as we have an established relationship. -Luis G


 

Halloween Safety Tips and Costume Ideas for Your Pet

First, two ways to keep your pet safe:

Keep your pet indoors on Halloween. It’s a prime time for injury and malice toward pets (particularly black cats), and they are much better off in the protection of your home unless they are on a leash by your side.

Use a leash. With all the activity on Halloween, your pet can become nervous and dart away. Keep him safe and secure with a comfortable leash and collar or harness.

And now, costumes!

Your pet is adorable in his costume, but if he doesn’t love it, we recommend leaving it at home and letting him enjoy the holiday ‘au naturel.’ He’ll be much happier and so will you! If your pet does tolerate a costume, there are lots of fun ideas to get him ready for the big day. We’ve found a few sites to help you choose the best costume. Just be sure to use lightweight materials, and remove any loose objects that he could choke on or become tangled in.

  1. If your pet doesn’t mind wearing a sweater, all you need is a white paint marker to make this quick and easy skeleton costume. Tip: use glow in the dark paint to make your pet more visible and safe!
  2. We love this watch dog costume!
  3. How about a no-sew iPhone costume? This is a child’s costume but could easily be transformed into a comfortable costume for your pet!
  4. And here’s a whole list of simple DIY costumes to choose from!

 

 

 

Celebrate Labor Day with Your Dog

Labor Day is coming up Monday September 4th!

You probably have the day off.  What better way to spend the day than celebrating with your dog?

The cooler temps give great opportunities for lots of outdoor activities. Picnics, hikes, BBQ’s, chilling on the screen porch or in the pool, all provide a sweet farewell to summer.

If your plans involve a lot of noise, people, activities and new smells, remember these can be stressful for your dog. Pet Smart has a great article on keeping your dog safe, quiet and occupied during parties and festivities. The ASPCA  has some great guidelines for pet safety during holidays including some surprising warnings about citrus, glow sticks, sun screen, and a few other things you might not have realized could be a hazard.

Your dog wants nothing more than to be your constant companion in whatever you’re doing. Here are some ways to enjoy this last unofficial day of summer with your dog:

  • Being part of a small family picnic or BBQ at home
  • Sharing a nap in the hammock
  • Taking a long walk in a quiet familiar place
  • A long hike together in the great outdoors
  • Some dogs loving going for a good ride in the car. Road Trip!

You know your dog better than anyone.  Consider planning this holiday around what your dog loves to do most and you’ll both have a great time.

If your Labor Day plans can’t include your pet this year, the next best plan is to have a qualified pet sitter come to your home! VIP Pets has a great group of well-trained sitters who would love spending quality time with your best buddy while you are away.  Contact us for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Ways to Celebrate Father's Day with Your Pet

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19.  And whether you have (human) children or not – there’s still reason to celebrate!  You’re a proud pet parent!

While your dog, cat, snake or parakeet may not be able to head out to the store to pick up a card and special gift for you – that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate being a great pet dad.

Here are four fantastic ideas for ways to Celebrate Father’s Day (June 19) with your pet.

  • The Great Outdoors: There are tons of dog-friendly hiking trails in the Dallas and Austin areas, so why not spend the day outside? Hiking or backpacking with your dog is a great bonding experience and can give you both some fresh air and a much-needed break from life’s little stresses.  Just be careful with the heat – pack lots of water for you and your pup and don’t spend too much time in the outdoors.
  • Indoors With a Big-Screen: Not all ‘Father and Pet’ Days have to be filled with the great outdoors. Sometimes the best way to celebrate an important day is to just be home and around the ones you love. Spend a little extra time petting your cat, and give them some good exercise with a lazer-pointer or their favorite toy. If you have a pet who is good with excitement, mix up a few treats for them and settle in to watch the game.
  • Game Day with a Barbecue: If you’re looking for fun outdoors but aren’t really the hiking/camping/backpacking type, look no further than your own backyard! There’s bound to be other dogs and dads in the neighborhood who wouldn’t turn down a barbecue! Many games can be easily modified to include man’s best friend, including soccer, baseball (humans bat, dogs catch), and flag football (if a dog snags your flag, you’re out!).
  • Something From the Heart: Whatever the pet, if you’re the gift-giving or crafty sort, why not take on a low-stress Father’s Day project and make your best furry friend a handmade pet bed or some homemade treats?

There are all kinds of ways to spend Father’s Day with your pet. The most important thing is finding something that’s enjoyable for the both of you – spending time together, and having fun.

Looking for the perfect gift for the pet dad in your life?  How about a framed photo of him and his dog?  Or a keychain or t-shirt?  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy … just a little something to show how much you care and appreciate him as a pet parent.

If you’d like more ideas on how to celebrate Father’s Day with your pet, feel free to contact us. One of our expert sitters will be happy to give you a few ideas!

Celebrate the Ultimate St. Patrick's Day in Dallas

Imagine Texas on a warm Spring afternoon. The grass finally coming back, the flowers blooming, and our favorite green holiday is here. The hours are filled with a festive parade, concert, people, pets, and fun. No better time to enjoy the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day in Dallas!

This past Saturday was the 36th Annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, the largest St. Patty’s Day parade in the Southwest. There wasn’t a better place to “get your jig on” than at this hugely popular event in Lower Greenville. The sound of bagpipes, the mugs of beer, Irish dancing and the wearing of the green overflow. It was an experience not to forget!

As you strolled around the area amid all the laughter and song, you may have seen several  huge dogs standing quietly with their owners, looking around at the crowds calmly. As an animal lover, your heart skips a beat. Those are Irish Wolfhounds! A memory takes you back to a dream you always had of having your own, and you suddenly decide to make that wish come true.

Irish Wolfhounds are the gentle giants among the dog world and the pride of Ireland, heroically remembered in myth and tradition. In Gaelic they are the “Cú Faoil,”  used in ancient history for hunting wolves and knocking enemies from their horses in battle.

Treasured in the land they were born along beautiful Erin’s shores, Wolfhounds have touched our hearts here in America. Their gain in popularity has been swift as the word spread about their gentle loving natures, and wiry mutt look. The only downside really to this breed is their size. At a minimum of thirty-two inches high at the shoulder standing on all four paws, the Irish Wolfhound is not a pet designed for life in a city apartment.  At the very least, these animals need a tall fenced yard, with plenty of space to romp around.

There are many breeders and rescues for Wolfhounds in Dallas and the surrounding areas. If you wish to rescue an animal we always support the idea. The primary local rescue contact for these hounds is called The Texas Irish Wolfhound Rescue. Local breeders abound as well, easily viewed online if a young pup is what you would prefer.

While you explore the area looking for that perfect pet, you may sample the Irish world that the city itself has to offer. Everywhere you step the sights and sounds of Dallas are humming and vibrant but none quite so much as in an Irish pub!

There are several places to recommend in Dallas itself. The Trinity Hall Irish Pub, and The Dubliner, Malarkey’s Tavern and The Idle Rich Pub. All four places mentioned are authentically warm and welcoming establishments filled with song and laughter, and best of all? Should you find that Irish Wolfhound of your dreams, you can bring him along. All are pet-friendly…you can enjoy the fun with your hound at your feet as it was in bygone years!

Today will prove to be lively and full of St. Patty’s Day celebrations. Should you find that you need a sitter for your pet, just relax. We are here to help!

VIP Pet Services is a responsible and highly efficient pet care business. We take pride in the job we do, protecting and keeping your pet safe and happy. We know that if you are confident your pup (or kitty) is enjoying himself, then you can relax, take in the sights and sounds of the Irish and the beautiful sunsets Texas has to offer.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions and have a fun, safe St. Patty’s Day in Dallas!

Love Your Pet Day 2015

When we think of February, we almost always think of Valentine’s Day. It seems February is a month of love though, because another important holiday happens this month that you may not have known about–Friday, February 20th is Love Your Pet Day 2015! What better day to give the animal members of your family a little extra love and attention? We’ve come up with these four tips to show the love on this special day of the year.

1. Tasty Snacks

We all know dogs love food (and who can blame them?). Why not show your pooch how much you care with a little something special to snack on? This could be a yummy dog bone from the pet store, a new kind of treat, or some cookies made just for pups from a doggy bakery. Kitties also love their snacks…check out this informative article from WebMD on healthy treats for cats.

2. Go For A Walk

Show your four-legged friend you care by taking him on an extra walk to the park or around the block. Working this Friday and won’t be home to walk Fido? Not to worry! Our dog walkers would be more than happy to help you out. Your dog will be sure to appreciate it! If your cat is harness-trained, we can also walk him!

3. A New Squeaky

Remember that squeaky toy your dog loved to death–literally because she destroyed it? Celebrate Love Your Pet Day 2015 by treating your pup or kitten to a new toy or two she’ll love!

4. Cuddle Time

One of the best ways to show your dog or cat how much you care is as simple as taking the time to give your pet the attention he craves more than anything else. Scratch behind his ears or rub his tummy–you know what he loves best–and don’t forget to tell him who’s a good boy. You’re a good boy, yes you are, yes you are.

Interested in dog walking and more of the pawsome services we offer? Contact us!

Fun Presidential Pet Trivia for President's Day

President’s Day is coming up, and what better way to honor it than with fun presidential pet trivia. VIP Pets indeed! Of course, you’ve heard of Bo and Sunny, President Obama’s Portuguese Water dogs, and Millie, President George H.W. Bush’s famous spaniel, but did you know we’ve had presidents with ponies, cats, parakeets, and even tigers?  (Okay, the tigers weren’t really pets, but a gift to President Martin Van Buren from the Sultan of Oman…)

It’s always fun to hear news about pets of our presidents – it’s a bit of “aww” right in the middle of all the hard-hitting news.  In honor of President’s Day, how about some Presidential Pets trivia?  Use the online Presidential Pet Museum to find great information on our “First Pets” (answers below).

1.  Which three presidents never had a pet in the White House?

2.  Which president was the first to pardon a turkey (which later became a family pet, Jack) for Thanksgiving dinner?

3.  From 1953 to the present, which president had the most pets in the White House?

4.  Which president owned the last cow as a pet?

One of the most beloved presidential pets, however, was Macaroni, Caroline Kennedy’s pony.  Macaroni was a gift from Lyndon B. Johnson, and the pony even received her own fan mail for years!  In 2007, Neil Diamond revealed that a photo of Caroline on that pony inspired his famous song “Sweet Caroline”!

Curious about how many First Pets there have been?  Only 10 of our 44 presidents have not had at least one dog.  There have only been 11 cats in residence at the White House, and there haven’t been any birds in the Oval Office since Lyndon B. Johnson.

For more information about Presidential Pets, check out Pets at the White house: 50 Years of Presidents and Their Pets, or First Dogs: American Presidents & Their Best Friends.

“Purr”residential Pet Trivia Answers:  (1) James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, and Chester A. Arthur  (2) Abraham Lincoln (3) John F. Kennedy had at least 23 pets in his three years in office! (4) William Taft

Contact us for your own VIP treatment!

Valentine's Day Safety Tips for Your Pet

Valentine’s Day is a time to show love and spark some romance! Chocolate, candy hearts, or champagne are a common indulgence.  Flowers are beautiful and fragrant, a symbol of affection.  Gifts are frequently exchanged, wrapped in pretty paper and topped with a bow.  Turn off the lights and dine by the glow of beautiful candles. All of this warms the heart.  Just don’t forget your beloved pet, who is sometimes too eager to share the love.  We have a few Valentine’s Day safety tips for your pet to keep in mind:

1. Be careful with those tasty Valentine’s!  Chocolate and sugar-free candy are potentially deadly.  Chocolate can contain Methylxanthines, a stimulant like caffeine, which can impact the gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiovascular systems.  Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea, pets can become hyper, and have seizures.  Those cute candy hearts can contain Xylitol, which can result in an unhealthy drop in blood sugar, leading to depression and seizures.

2. Alcohol, if ingested by animals, can mimic intoxication, but the results could be much more serious than a hangover.  The symptoms can range from vomiting to respiratory failure, even coma or death. So keep a lid on the cocktails in front of your furry family members!

3. Pets don’t just stop and smell the roses, they occasionally eat them.  The thorns, if ingested can cause puncture wounds in the mouth, throat, and stomach, leading to infection.  If possible, remove the thorns from the roses.  There are other flowers that are toxic, such as lilies, especially to cats.

4. Beware of chewing kitties or puppies! Pets have been known to chew plastic and ribbons, even balloons.  These items if chewed, can pose serious dangers such as becoming lodged in the throat or digestive tract resulting in choking or suffocation.

5. Candlelit dinners are very romantic, but don’t leave a lit candle unattended.  A curious pet’s fur could ignite or the candle could easily be knocked down and cause a fire.

Being aware of these hazards can make for a safer Valentine’s Day for both you and your pet. For additional tips or to schedule a VIP Sitter for the big evening, contact us.

Fun Valentine's Day Treats for Your Pets

Valentine’s Day is no longer just for us humans, our furry friends deserve some extra special love too! While chocolate is a definite no-no, there are plenty of fun Valentine’s Day treats for your pets. Great gifts too!

Valentine’s Treats For Your Pet

  • Make your own treats at home! There is no need to pay a lot of money for fancy treats, you can easily make some tasty snacks for your beloved pet at home. You can make Carob-Dipped Valentine’s Day Dog Treats or the adorably named, Red Velvet Pupcakes! Try some of these other great recipes!
  • If you live someplace that gets extremely cold then a great gift would be a pair of booties or a coat for your beloved pet, make sure to keep them nice and warm this time of year (but don’t forget the treats too!).
  • A new bed. Nothing makes a furry family member happier than a nice, warm bed to sleep on. Why not indulge them this Valentine’s Day with a new pet bed!
  • Dog or cat gift baskets make a great treat. Make sure to include a few special treats, some new toys and (for you) some treats good for their breath and teeth. You can either make them up at home or purchase one ready made.
  • Nothing says, “I love you” better than taking time out on Valentine’s Day to play with your pet. Take your dog for a walk and give him extra time at the dog park. Give your pets some extra love and they’ll be in dog or kitty heaven!

Pets are pretty easy to please, and they are always there when we need them the most so it’s extra important to make them feel special every once in a while. Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to give them a few extra treats, some extra love, some extra playtime and lots of snuggles.

For more information, click here.

 

Fun Holiday Pet Toys and Gift Ideas


Seasons Greetings! With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to a favorite holiday pastime – shopping. There are so many fun holiday pet toys to choose from for our furry and feathered family members. We’ve put together a few helpful suggestions of amazing gifts to help you stuff their stockings.

Our favorite pooch-approved items include:

Pampered felines will enjoy a toy full of catnip such as the 100-Percent Catnip Filled Chili Pepper.  Other gifts sure to please include:

For our fine feathered friends, check out www.drsfostersmith.com for a truly festive selection of bird toys. Some of our favorites include:

Finally, for small pets, ideas range from chew treats to run-about balls.  Ferrets in particular would enjoy the Pop-N-Play Ball Pit, Hide N Sleep Alligator, or Hanging Nap Sack, all by Marshall. Other Marshall products for small animals include the Woven Grass Play Ball and Hide-A-Way Hut.

We hope this post has given you some ideas and inspiration to round out your gift giving list.  What are your favorite holiday gifts for pets? Share in the comments section below or over on our Facebook page. Happy Holidays!