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Pee pads are approximately 2ft by 2ft and a thin pad that pet owners can place on the floor. They have a plastic bottom and a cotton top. Some of them even say that there is a scent on them that intakes the pets to pee on them. Some of our clients use them and they usually start off as training methods and more times than not end up being a permanent fixture in the home. We have seen it all. From almost 20 of them lining the house and furniture (for the pets that lift their legs), to a fee strategically placed around the house, to them lining a crate.  Here are our thoughts on them:

Pro’s

For those who have pets that actually go on the pads, they can protect your floors, carpet or furniture from being ruined from pet urine and poop. Aside from this purpose, we really don’t see any other pro’s. If you have some, sound off on the comments below and we would be happy to add them.

Con’s

Maybe it is because we go into numerous homes but we see these things all the time when pee pads are involved:

  1. The pets think that every carpet in the house is a pee pad.
  2. The pets learn that it is ok to pee in the house.
  3. No matter how many pee pads are put down, there always seems to be some liquid that runs off it, spilling out to the floor.
  4. Often times it makes the house smell. Interestingly enough our noses become used to things when they are a part of our normal environment. It isn’t until later when a person might go on a vacation and then come home their senses clear up and they realize the smell. Unfortunately, as pet sitters, we smell this smell on occasion.
  5. Leaving pee pads in crates only teach pets two things. One, they can tear it us and eat it (which could give you another problem) and two, that is it ok to pee in their crate.
  6. They usually do not prevent the spillage overflow onto the floor basically eliminating the original reason to have pee pads.
  7. They are not a training tool. All they do is teach pets that it is ok to pee indoors and on a pad (or sometimes a area rug which seems to be the same thing to them)

In our experience, pets are not knowledgable enough to know that pee pads mean they can only pee on them when they are in the house. Overall it sends the message that peeing in the house is ok. It hardly ever solves the problems that pet parents start out to do which is to give them pets and opportunity to pee in the house only on the pad and to train them.

If a pet parent is trying to get their pets to stop peeing indoors, the best thing to do is crate training combined with frequent opportunities for your pet to go potty. Creating a potty schedule (just like you would a baby’s sleeping schedule) is highly recommended along with a lot of positive reinforcement and reward based training for when they potty outside. Sticking their nose in accidents and reprimanding them is not recommended or effective.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you agree or disagree? Have you had pee pads before for your pets? How did it work? Feel free to sound off below. We want to hear your opinions!!!

What Airlines Offer Bereavement Fares?

English: A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-323E lan...

English: A Delta Airlines Airbus A330-323E landing on runway 18C at Schiphol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Losing a loved one can be a painful and trying to time.  There are usually a lot of things to do in a short period of time such as gathering the family together and organizing the funeral arrangements.
When the family and funeral are in an out of town location it can be extra trying as things need to be arranged for an absence from home and plane tickets bought.
You might be wondering if anyone has your back? Is anyone out there to help make it easier for you?
Well, as a matter of fact, some of the major airlines have your back by offering bereavement rates for those traveling under these solemn circumstances. These reduced rates will alleviate some of the cost with getting family closer together in times of grieving. Below is a list of the airlines who do offer these reduced rates. We send our personal KUDOS to them!

Alaska Airlines:

This airline offers a reduced bereavement fare.  The ticket must be purchased by phone within seven days of travel time through the reservations department.

Delta Airlines:

This airline’s Bereavement policy offers additional flexibility on the best published fare for your itinerary due to death or imminent in your immediate family.  This flexibility allows for changes in return flights with service fees waived.  Tickets need to be purchased through the reservation desk within a week of travel time.

Hawaiian Airlines:

This airlines does not offer bereavement fares but they will waive the two day advance purchase requirement and offer the lowest available fare at the time of booking to the immediate family member(s) through the reservation department.

United Airlines:

United offers 5% off their lowest fare price for people traveling due to a family member’s death or in the event of severe illness.  They also allow for open return tickets with the bereavement fare.

Airlines that do NOT offer reduced fairs:

Frontier Airlines, Jetblue, American airlines, US Airways, and Southwest do not offer bereavement fares stating that they already offer the lowest fares available to all their customers.

All of this information above was found on the airline’s websites.

 

What To Know Before Booking A Bereavement Fare:

When booking a bereavement/compassion fare with an airline’s reservation department they will likely require some proof of illness or death such as a doctor’s phone number or a funeral home number.  They will also ask what your relationship is to the deceased/ill person.  Do be aware that the bereavement rates are likely to be discounted from the full, standard price of a ticket and you may be able to find lower ticket prices then the bereavement fare on the airlines online booking system or websites such as hotwire.

Where Does This Leave You With Your Pet Sitter? Our 3 Promises To You:

At Bella’s House & Pet Sitting, we have your back to!  In fact, I will make three promises to you right now:
1 - If you have death in the family, I personally promise you, that we will be there for your pets. I guarantee to minimally have day visits available to visit your fur kids. This is the last thing that you should have to worry about during this sad time.

2 - We will extend a $40 discount to your total bill as our “bereavement rate” Just mention it when you make your booking.

3 - We will be there for you for however long you need. We understand that you might get that call and need to GO within 24 hours and not know exactly when you will be returning. Not a problem. We will make a open ended reservation for you and wait for you to let us know when you will be back home.

Tired and cooling off in the fountain.

Tired and cooling off in the fountain.

One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “How much time will you be with my pets?”  It is a great question, and very valid. You want to know what you are getting for your money right? But what if I told you, that the time on the clock DOESN’T matter and the tongues hanging out of your pets mouth DO matter?

What Do I Mean?

Simply put, 20 minutes does not mean that your pets are tried and happy. What if it is a day where they have extra energy? You have those types of days, don’t you? Or what if it is a day where they just want to lay around and get belly rubs or be brushed? By our team not being chained to the ticking of a time clock they are able to more accurately gauge the pets physical and emotional happiness. Not all households are created the same. Not all pets are created the same so why should we, as pet sitter, assign something like the number of ticks on a clock to “a good job pet sitting?”

I never understood this correlation so that is why we have become one of the leaders in the industry who has turned around the “normal way of doing things” upside down.

Your Fur Kid Is Unique!

We will make you a promise. There will be no up charges for anything having to do with their care!  Guarantee, in fact!  No up charge for dog walking, picking up their messes inside the house, or their “redecorating”, no extra charge for pills, medication, insulin shots, making food, light brushing, watering your plants… nothing!  We acknowledge and appreciate that every household is different and we want to do what it takes to take care of YOUR HOUSE & PETS the way the need to be.

Let Us Prove It:

Watch this 1:30 video to see exactly what I mean. These three kids LOVE playing ball and will do it all afternoon. Until one of them ends up in the fountain, which is when we really know they are hot and tired. Watch how we “know” when our “time is up” :)

In every business, I am sure you will find a cancellation policy. This policy protects the consumer and the business to make sure that they are mutually committed to the transaction and for the business to be able to adequately schedule their staff for services.

Especially in the pet sitting world, where we can only be in one place at a time (especially for an overnight), these policies are particularly important. Our clients book 6 month to 2 days out and we need to be able to tell them if we can help them.

Cancellation Policy:

In order to best serve your needs, the strict cancellation policy is as follows – Day Visits are subject to a two (2) week cancellation period. Overnight visits are subject to a four (4) week cancellation period. Cancellation period begins the first day of the service period. Client will be responsible for half the invoice if canceled within this time period.

This has been our policy for over 7 years! It is one that we do strictly enforce for our  vacation pet sitting clients. 

Our cancellation policy is a little different when we have our daily dog walking clients  That situation is entirely different where sometimes our clients get sick. They work from home. Business is closed. As long as our daily clients contact us by 8am we will not charge them a cancellation fee and roll over a credit to the following week.

What Happens With Your Cancellation Fee?

It is shared between the business and your pet sitter who was counting on the income from the booking. Often times our sitters plan their vacations around our clients schedules!  They plan their family in town around our clients schedules. In fact,  some of them hold their clients schedules more important than their own because they love the pets so much!  So this fee, is strictly enforced to repay the staff for their dedication to the job. The client always has the ability to refuse to pay it, but the chances of us accepting further bookings are slim to none. We want clients who respect us as much as we respect them, their homes, and pets.

The cancellation policy is found under the policy tab on our website. It is also handed to the clients at the consultation. It is in the terns that they “click here to agree” and beside every single booking that they create online.

Pet Sitting Cancellation Policy

Pet Sitting Cancellation Policy

How To Break 5 Bad Dog Habits

 

Ozzie Dog

Ozzie Dog (Photo credit: merfam)

All dogs have different personalities and quirks — it’s part of why we love them so much. But while we think it’s cute when they beg for treats or hide your socks, there are some habits that can lead to more serious bad dog behavior. If your dog is displaying aggression or other bad habits, there are ways to regain control.

1. Digging

Does your dog dig up your flower boxes? This issue will make it even harder for any amateur gardener to nurture their green thumb.

To stop this behavior you need to be supervising your dog while he is in your yard. When your dog decides to dig, interrupt him with something he wants to avoid like a loud noise or spray him with the hose. Doing this several times should get the point across.

2. Barking

Your dog is your warning device. When you tell him to stop, he should. The best way to keep any behavior from happening again is to associate that behavior with something negative. Your effective negative reinforcement depends on your dog’s age, breed, timing and device. Some methods to try include shaking a can filled with coins or a water bottle to squirt him with.

When your dog barks, in an authoritative voice say ‘Quiet!’ If he barks again, you need to activate the reinforcement. For example, spray him with the water bottle.

3. Submissive Urination

Submissive urination is not a house-training issue. This problem occurs when the dog is frightened or excited. A weak bladder, or young age usually causes it. It is also more common in female dogs.

You come home, she is happy to see you. As you reach down to pet her, she urinates. She has no idea that it is happening and is wagging her tail, spreading it all over. You scream ‘No!’ and she becomes afraid because your mood changed so quickly, so she urinates even more. If this scenario is not fixed, she may begin urinating as soon as you pull in the drive in anticipation of you screaming at her.

Next time you come home, ignore your dog as if she was not there. Avoid making eye contact. After a few minutes, your dog will settle down. Now lower your hand so your dog can lick it or smell it. Lastly, squat down to your dog’s level (it is less intimidating) and greet her. Remember not to show too much enthusiasm.

4. Separation Anxiety

If your dog is not house-trained, keep him inside his crate with some toys while you are away. Have a talk radio station playing in another room. This keeps him from feeling all alone. Do not make a big production when you are leaving, just leave. The Humane Society of the United States suggests giving him a piece of your clothing that you have recently worn.

If he is house-trained and you would like to allow him to venture throughout your home, make sure he can get to his piddle pad. If he goes outside, you should consider installing a pet door. Advancements allow you to program your pet door. Some models even require a collar key.

5. Food Guarding

This is a common problem because your puppy may have learned to snap or growl at his littermates to get food. If you smack your dog or take his food away, it may only reinforce his thoughts that he should guard his food. If you challenge his food guarding once he has possession of it, he will probably increase his defensive behavior, according to the ASPCA.

If your dog knows how to come and sit, you can use this behavior to correct the food-guarding problem. Call him to you and have him sit. Immediately give him a good treat (like pieces of chicken) and tell him to ‘Take it’ at the same time. If he snaps at the treat too hard, say ‘Gentle!’ in a harsh voice. Try to hold onto the treat until he takes it gently. Remember to praise him with a friendly ‘Good dog.’ Delay the treats a couple of seconds, and if he jumps to get it just close your hand and tell him ‘Off!’ With this tactic, he should learn that as his owner, you have the right to control his food.

Ryan Harrison Ryan and his therapy dog Marley love making people feel better. Ryan loves writing about anything pet or health related.

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