Friday, October 7, 2011

Taking Care of Homeless Pets

As times get tough for humans, they get even tougher for the pets we care for. Let's face it, the mortgage crisis forced a lot of families out of their homes, and finding pet-friendly apartments at an affordable price is next to impossible. The lucky pets were rehomed with a friend or family member. The not-so-lucky pets were dropped off at shelters, which are already strained. the really unlucky ones - they were set loose, or worse, left inside the home with no food, water, or companionship, until they died (or were found barely alive - some made it, some didn't.)
I network daily with local shelters and rescue groups, and to say they are in need is an understatement. What they seem to need most right now are good foster homes to help with the overflow of pets that come in daily.
Have you ever considered fostering a pet? Have you thought about opening your home and heart to an animal in need on a temporary basis, until they can move on to their "fur-ever" home? Maybe you thought that you'd like to try it, but you are afraid you'll get attached and will have too hard a time giving them up. Or maybe you weren't sure how it all worked. Or maybe you have pets or kids and are a little nervous as to how they'd get along.
These are really important questions. And there are answers!
Shelters and rescue groups have resources for you. No reputable shelter would just dump a pet on you and leave you to deal with it. That doesn't help you, the pet, OR the shelter! Shelters want to create great relationships with their foster families. They have the skills and experience to guide you through the process.
If you currently have pets, they'll make sure that the pet you foster has been tested around dogs or cats. That does not mean that you won't have to supervise their interactions, or that it will be 100% hassle-free! But experienced shelter / rescue workers will give you tips on introducing the new pet into your home, and they're there to answer questions for you every step of the way.
Fostering is not forever! The upside to that is you get to enjoy all of the fun of having a new addition to your home, knowing that you're saving a life, and they will soon have their "furever" home. You can make that possible! The downside, of course, is saying goodbye. That can be tough. But you can make the transition easier by always keeping in mind that you're really just watching a pet for a little while, helping it on its path to a loving home. Will you get attached? Of course. But the pain of saying goodbye is tempered by the joy of knowing you saved a life. And of course, you can then foster another pet in need, and save another life!
Cats and dogs are in the most need when it comes to foster homes. But I have also seen rabbits, ferrets, rats, lizards, and snakes needing foster homes. If you have some experience with those types of animals, why not foster?
If you live in Northeast PA, and you are interested in opening your heart and home to a foster pet, contact me and I'll be happy to help put you in touch with area shelters and rescues in need.
To those who work in animal rescue - I salute all you do for homeless animals!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Can Has Website? LOLcats and New Designs

If you want a wonderful way to waste a little time or laugh at some cute pet photos, check out I'll admit it is torture trying to decipher the really over-the-top "LOLspeak" on some of them, but the cute pics are worth it.
Your Best Friend Pet Sitting is working on a new website (that is to say, I am working on a new website, I am a "do-it-yourselfer"), one that will provide easier navigation and more information for pet owners and clients. If there's anything you'd like to see included on the site, drop me a line at kristen (at) and let me know! I am happy to share the many resources I've developed over the years in running my business and taking care of homes and pets in the area. I welcome your ideas, always.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rainy Dogs and Muddy Paws

With the rainy days, I'm of course dealing with lots of muddy paws. My usual solution was a good old towel, I keep a stash of them in my car in case people don't have a "paw towel" of their own. I guess I never thought of another option! But recently I have found that there are a whole line of products to deal with this very issue.
Some are vase-like vessels for water, and you dip the dog's paws in to get them clean. The Paw Wash and the Paw Plunger are examples of these. I've never used them, firstly because I just found out about them, and secondly, because I am trying to imagine my own 3 dogs using these. My 3 pups are used to barreling out and in, usually at top speed, and the idea that they would slow down or sit still while I dipped all 12 paws in water...I just can't picture it! But for a single dog who is a lot more laid back about things, they may be a good solution. Although you'd have to wipe the paws anyway to get them dry, wouldn't you? I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts on this!
Another item I just found out about is a paw-cleaning mitt. Here are some examples of what's out there: The Spotless Paw, the Paw Monster, and the Evri-Pet paw cleaner. I have used a mitt like the Evri-Pet, and I found it to be a lot easier to get water, dirt and mud off dogs' paws. It's not flawless, only because dogs are dogs and some wiggle less than others of course! But I found it really fast to use and clean.
I don't get paid by any company to mention products (I'd mention it if I did!), but I always want to help people find good solutions to everyday pet problems.