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Halloween Tips for Your Pets!

Halloween Tips for Your Pets!

5 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe on Halloween:
Halloween can be a fun time for you and your family – but frightening to Fido and Fluffy. The sounds of the doorbell and children’s voices plus the sights of costumes and jack-o-lanterns can cause high anxiety in pets. Here are some tips to help them handle the holiday stress:

  1. Ditch the doorbell. No need for the cats to be diving for safety and dogs to be guarding your front door every time a trick-or-treater stops by.
  2. Provide a safe space away from the commotion for your dogs and cats to relax. Include their favorite toys, blanket, an article of your clothing, and some yummy treats to keep them comfortable and content.
  3. Costumes are scary as are all the people coming and going. Consider creating a safe space away from the front door (driveway, front lawn, car trunk) where you can set up a candy station.
  4. Off-limit items for pets:
    – Candy: especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute).
    – Candles and jack-o-lanterns
    – Glow sticks and glow jewelry
  5. For everyone’s safety, keep pets inside and away from any trick-or-treaters. You don’t want Halloween to turn into a nightmare.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!

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Pet Loss and Emergencies

Pet Loss and Emergencies

I have cared for a lot of pets since I started my business. Some are no longer with us. I know that’s part of the circle of life, but what surprises me is the sadness that never lessens. You would think that after the first one, it would get easier. Yet with each subsequent loss, the familiar sadness returns. Some pets have been in our care for over ten years and have lived a long and full life. A few have gone too soon. All were loved by their family and lived a good life.

There have several times when I’ve rushed a pet to the veterinarian or the emergency clinic. Our staff is trained to look for and report to me immediately if anything is off. One cat was limp after being bitten by a spider, a dog was in pain with an undiagnosed UTI, another had an uncomfortable flare up of pancreatitis. We know our actions have saved lives. These health issues are critical, and we stop whatever we are doing on our busy schedule to see that these pets get the care they need.

My team and I have a special relationship with our clients’ pets. Whether we know them from dog walking, pet sitting, or training – they have captured a piece of our heart.


Happy Pet! Happy Home!

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Did you know? There are lots of fun indoor activities for your kids and pets during the summer heat.

Did you know? There are lots of fun indoor activities for your kids and pets during the summer heat.

When it’s not safe to be outdoors in the heat, games are a way to keep your pets and children from being bored. And I don’t mean board games! These games are just active enough where you won’t break a sweat, but you will still be mentally engaged.

Hide & Seek – Ask your dog to sit, go to another part of the house to hide, call your dog’s name, reward with a treat when you are discovered.  Or your child hides with a handful of treats and then calls the pet’s name.  When the pet comes running to find the child it is presented with a yummy treat as a reward.  This is a fun way to practice recall and for your pet to learn listen to your child’s voice.

Find it – Use toys instead of treats.  Let your child hide your pup’s favorite toy; the one that he knows by name.  After it is hidden, have your pet hunt for it by saying their name to get their attention, give the command “Find” and the name of the toy. This is a little advanced so let your pet watch you set up the game first a few times.  Then see how he does solo.  

Find the treat – You and your child can hide treats throughout the house on different surfaces and varying heights (keep it safe).  In addition to treats, you can do this with your pet’s meal instead of placing it in a bowl.  Mix a variety of textures (chewy, soft, lickable, or crunchy) and observe your dog finding them.  Dogs love this stimulating activity and their preferences may surprise you.

Tricks – You and your child can teach your dog some fun tricks.  Start with the easy ones: give me your paw, spin left, spin right before adding more advanced tricks like beg, play bow, leg weaves, go around, and so many more.  Click here to see instructions for some easy tricks and keep it fun.

Hide Treats in a box – Have your child place a treat in a box and then ask your pet to find it.  When your pet understands the game, add more boxes some with and some without treats. Your dog will love the chance to hunt.  This is a calming, fun, activity for dogs of any age.

Children and pets can be a great combo.  Games and activities can build confidence in our pets and create a strong partnership with children.  How we guide their interactions will them help create fond memories that will last a lifetime for them and us. 

Pet Tips for Spring

Pet Tips for Spring

Spring has arrived! Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and happy as the weather warms up.

  • Use pet-friendly products for spring cleaning; follow the directions for cleaning and storage.
  • Hide the antifreeze. If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a poisonous substance – call the Animal Poison Control Center immediately at (888) 426-4435.
  • Clean up the yard. Pick up sticks and acorns that you pet could chew on. These can cause harm to your dog’s mouth and throat. Remove leaf litter where ticks and fleas could hide. Make your yard and garden unattractive to snakes by keeping them tidy.
  • Cats and screens: Be careful to use strong and sturdy screens in your windows and have them fit snugly. Curious cats can pry screens off their hinges and storms can blow screens off their frames.
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car. Travel with pets inside the car (not in the back of a pickup) and in a secure crate or seat belt harness to keep them safe, unable to stick their head out the window, or interfere with your driving.
  • Watch your pet for signs of seasonal allergies. Pets can be allergic to pollen, dust, grasses, and plants. For many pets, this reaction shows up in skin issues. You may notice itching, minor sniffling and sneezing or life-threatening anaphylactic shock from insect bites and stings. If your pet suffers each spring, see the vet to ease their suffering.
  • Flea and tick control. Check your pet for these pesky critters regularly – especially after they have been in tall grass.
  • ID tags will help your pet be returned to you, if they go astray.
  • Xylitol poisoning: there is a significant increase in pets being poisoned by ingesting this artificial sweetener. A tiny amount can be fatal. It can be found in some sugar-free gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, pudding snacks, cough syrup, children’s chewable or gummy vitamins and supplements, mouthwash, and toothpaste. Xylitol is also showing up in over-the-counter nasal sprays, laxatives, digestive aids, allergy medicines, and prescription human medications, especially those formulated as disintegrating drug tablets (sleep aids, pain relievers, anti-psychotics, etc.) or liquids.
  • Prep for storms. Gather your hurricane kit together, teach your pet to go into a crate or carrier, and have important papers handy. If your dog is frightened of thunderstorms, ask your vet about medications that can ease your dog’s fears.
  • Standing water can cause health concerns (Leptospirosis) so don’t let your pet drink from puddles. Steer clear of communal water bowls.
  • Blue-green algae – keep your dog out of water sources that have been known to be contaminated with this toxin. Always wash your dog after swimming outside. Last August three pets died hours after swimming in a pond in Wilmington, NC.
  • Sign up for alerts from Dog Food Advisor regarding pet food recalls.
  • Take your dog out for a special treat to any of our beautiful parks.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!

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DID YOU KNOW? 5 Tips for Purrfect Cat Sitting Visits

DID YOU KNOW? 5 Tips for Purrfect Cat Sitting Visits

You want to get out for a full day or even a few nights away from home, but your kitty is happier at home. Learn what a professional pet sitter does for your feline friend.

  1. Hire a Crockett’s Critter Care professional pet sitter. We know the right questions to ask and information to gather before we confirm and approve your request. We will ask where your cat’s hiding places are, how they react to strangers, how they cope with your absence, what they like to eat, and what games and toys they enjoy. We will gather a health history and contact you if we suspect a medical emergency. We are trained in Pet First Aid/CPR and can provide immediate care and assessment to determine if a vet visit is warranted.
  2. Insist on daily visits. Too many things can happen that, if gone unnoticed, can result in a serious medical outcome. A urinary tract infection, getting caught in the window blinds, getting stuck in a tight place, or chewing an electrical cord are just a few of things that pet sitters have discovered just in time to save a cat’s life. A daily observance of your cat will ensure that it receives the care and attention it needs.
  3. Your cat’s daily routine can be noticed which includes maintaining the litter box, monitoring input and output of food and water, washing food bowls and providing fresh food at each meal on a clean plate. We can cat proof your house to make sure dangerous plants are out of the way and that the temperature is comfortable.
  4. Your mail, packages, and newspapers will be brought in giving your house an occupied vibe. We will notice if something looks wrong and help solve little problems before they turn into big ones.
  5. Cats love attention, and we love cats. You want to be able to breathe easier on your trip and come home to a happy cat’s contented meows. We will play with them, talk to them, and hang out with them while you are gone so they will miss you just a little bit less.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!


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DID YOU KNOW? -How to keep your pet happy, fit, and healthy for a lifetime

DID YOU KNOW? -How to keep your pet happy, fit, and healthy for a lifetime

Here are 7 simple things you can do to ensure your pet’s health and happiness.

Happy Dog
  1. Feed them a good diet. This promotes a shiny coat, healthy skin, and bright eyes. It also strengthens your pet’s immune system, helps maintain their intestinal health, increases their mental acuity, keep their joints and muscles healthy, and good nutrition means a happy pet.
  2. Keep your pet lean. Obesity is a huge problem today and can shorten a dog or cat’s life span by as much as two years. Being overweight or obese puts your pet at risk for joint disease, heart disease and diabetes. Since you can control what your pet eats, it is up to you to count their calories.
  3. Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly. Pets that are getting older should see the vet twice a year. In many cases, an early diagnosis improves the chances of successful treatment of minor problems before they become serious and costly health issues.
  4. Keep your pet’s mouth clean. Yes, brush your pet’s teeth! You can also provide dental chews and drops in their water. Untreated dental issues can contribute to heart and kidney disease. It’s best to introduce this to cats when they are kittens.
  5. Supervise their outdoor activities. Roaming pets are subject to car accidents, predation, exposure to contagious diseases, exposure to poisons, and other dangers. Protect them by not allowing them to wander without you.
  6. Exercise your pet. It’s good for the mind and body. It lowers stress, increases endorphins, and balances their mind. It helps maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass.
  7. Provide positive attention. Give them affection with petting, grooming, kind words, and enriching activities. Our loving companions deserve to be appreciated and well-cared for.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!


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