11 Questions to Ask Your Future Pet Sitter

pet_6289_1When parents hire a babysitter, they normally spend their time getting to know the individual who will take care of their children. This is no different from hiring a pet sitter.

If you’re thinking about hiring a new pet sitter, don’t just pick the first one you see on a Google result. Instead, you’re going to want to ask a handful of questions first to make sure you’re making the best choice.

1. What do you like about pet sitting?

This is an important question which is often overlooked. Ask your pet sitter why he or she went into the business. A good pet sitter will often tell you they do it because of their love for animals, not the money.

2. What’s your experience?

Pets are quite unpredictable in several ways. However, when you have an experienced pet care provider, it means you are going to have a peace of mind since they will know how to deal with all sorts of situations.

3. Can my pet meet you first?

Before even hiring a pet sitter, see how the potential pet sitter relates with the pet. Even with all the training in the world, it will not matter if the pet does not get along with the pet sitter you are interviewing. Occasionally, pets have an immediate negative reaction to an individual or the pet may just want to warm up to a stranger first. Most of the time you won’t have to ask this as most reputable pet sitters will want to meet your pets before you pay the bill.

4. How frequently can you walk my dog?

Make sure your pet sitter is able to take the dog on the walks for the time and length they are used to. Sticking to a schedule is going to help your pet feel less anxious and happier when you get home.

5. Are there going to be other dogs around?

If your pet gets along with others, that’s fine; however if not, it may pose a problem. You will want to ensure the pet sitter is not walking 6 dogs at once or bringing other pets to your home while working, for example. It’s vital that your pet sitter provides your pet the full attention he or she deserves.

6. Can you take care of my dog’s special needs?

When your pet requires everyday medication or freshly prepared food, make sure you let your future pet sitter know about this up front. There might be an additional charge, depending on the circumstances. A good pet sitter will know to ask this before you even think about it.

7. What’s the amount of time you are able to spend with my dog?

Take this time to find out the amount of time your future pet sitter is going to be able to spend with your pet. Dogs and even cats like routines, and sticking to this as much as possible is going to lead to best experience for everyone. Most pet sitters will hang out with your pet for about 30 minutes.

8. Are you able to handle an emergency?

If something were to happen to your pet while you were away, see what the pet sitter’s course of action would be. Do they contact your vet? How do they pay for an emergency procedure? Would they have time for an emergency?

9. Are you insured?

All pet sitters should be bonded and insured to cover expensive accidents or damages. Even if they say yes, be sure that they show the insurance and any necessary paperwork to prove it.

10. Do you have a list of references?

You want to know about your pet sitter, don’t you? The best place you can gather information is through references. Reputable pet sitters will be more than happy to offer email addresses and phone number of their current clients.

11. How can I reach you if I want to check in on my dog?

While you are away, you probably want to know how your dog is doing. It can be quite frustrating if you are unable to communicate with your pet sitter. Ask if it’s easier to respond to an email, a quick call or text message. Also ask how he or she will keep you updated. Will they send daily emails? A text message? Frequent updates are a great way to know your pet sitter showed up and took care of your pet.


Judge makes decision in case of Waller County 34 horses

By Amy Hemsell
September 2, 2016

Hempstead, TX – Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Judge Charles Karisch read the final decision in the civil matter for the 34 horses that were seized last year on July 10, 2015 due to neglect. The horses were seized from a property owned by Dr. Kathy Digilio, DVM in response to complaints by neighbors. The Waller County Sheriff’s Department requested the assistance of True Blue Animal Rescue with the seizure. The horses were seized and placed at caring foster homes through True Blue Animal Rescue & have remained in their care for almost 14 months while awaiting an outcome. All the horses have received much needed veterinary care, food, rehabilitation, and love.

Judge Karisch ordered that before any horses are released, Dr. Digilio pay True Blue Animal Rescue $30,000 for the care her horses have received by veterinarians and foster homes, no longer make appeals in the civil matter for the 34 horses. Dr. Ben Buchanan with Brazos Valley Equine Hospital is to inspect the property and make sure it is clear of debris, parasites, salmonella, and livable conditions for horses. True Blue Animal Rescue can have a veterinary of their choice go the same day as Dr. Buchanan to do an inspection as well. Dr. Digilio was ordered not to breed or acquire any more horses than the 7 she will be allowed to have back. She has free choice as to the 7 she wishes to pick from out of the 34. She will be regularly evaluated & checked on for the living conditions of the horses. If at any time they are not cared for and she does not abide by the judge’s orders the horses will be seized again.

Pet of the Week: Lil’Hombre Dog

TBAR-Adoptable-Dog-Lil-HombreThe pet of the week is Lil’Hombre. He’s a chihuahua mix that is current on shots and neutered. He is a sweet little guy that gets along with other dogs and is learning to sit on command. He currently weighs 7 pounds at 6 months old so he will be under 10 pounds full grown. For more information, please email [email protected] or call (936)878-2349 and leave a voice mail. A TBAR volunteer will return your call at their earliest convenience. If you would like to adopt a pup, please download and submit via email or regular mail an adoption application so that the foster home can arrange a meet and greet with your family.

Adopted Dog: Shilo

TBAR-Adopted-Dog-ShiloShilo’s adopter fell in love with her when she met her. She couldn’t take her right away because she was moving so Shilo’s foster Mom held her till Maddy was ready for this special girl. Here’s Shilo, finally content and living in her new forever home!! Thanks for adopting! If you’d like to adopt a pet check out our list of adoptable pets and see if we have one that’s right for you!

Is Your Dog Overheated or at Risk From Dehydration?

Photo of Opal by Moore Photography

Photo of Opal by Moore Photography

Texas is well known for it’s heat and humidity so keeping our canines cool can be challenging. During the “dog days of summer,” some canines can suffer from dehydration, becoming overheated and suffer from possible heat exhaustion. It’s important for pet owners to understand when their dogs may be at risk and what they should look for in the way of signs and symptoms.

Sometimes we may not notice if our dog is simply being lazy or if them being lethargic (a huge red flag) is heat-related. If your dog is normally excited to see you when you get home from work or school, they’re less than enthused when it’s time to go for a walk, there could be a problem.

Some dogs are at a higher risk

Older dogs and younger pets are at a greater risk of developing heat-related problems along with dogs who may be overweight or obese. Canines with black hair or skin, and dogs like pugs (known as Brachycephalic breeds) who have shorter snouts are often victims of breathing disorders that can be elevated in the heat. If you notice your dog is having difficulty breathing when it’s hot, you should take them to see a veterinarian immediately.

The dangers of dehydration and heat stroke in dogs

When it comes to dehydration, there’s one quick and easy test that humans can perform on dogs to quickly see if their lacking in fluids. Using your thumb and forefinger, gently pinch a small amount of skin on a dog’s back and after releasing, it should pop back into place almost immediately. If not, this lack of elasticity is a sign they’re in trouble and should be taken to the vet.

Some symptoms of possible dehydration can mimic those of heat stroke, so we should pay attention to any of these warning signs your dog could be in danger, including:

  • seeking cooler places to lie down
  • lying down and is difficult to rouse
  • behaving confused, disorientated, weak and/or lethargic
  • showing a lack of coordination
  • panting persistently, which could start, stop and begin again
  • expressing restlessness, agitation or aggression for no apparent reason
  • whining or barking for no reason
  • foaming or frothing at the mouth
  • drooling excessively (known as hypersalivation)
  • breathing in a way that is labored or difficult
  • having an increased heart rate
  • developing dry, white or red and tacky gums
  • vomiting or diarrhea

Signs of dehydration in dogs that weren’t listed above can often include:

  • a loss of appetite
  • rapid weight loss
  • depression
  • excessive urination, which means water isn’t being absorbed properly
  • sunken eyes

Dogs who are housed outdoors can be prone to drink less since their water can become too hot and canines who are outside during winter can have their water bowls freeze without their owner’s knowledge. Anything that adversely affects a dog’s appetite or water intake can predispose a dog to possible dehydration.

If left untreated, these types of symptoms can lead to seizures, collapse, coma or even death in some cases.  Remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be hot for a dog to become overheated or dehydrated. While it’s obviously more prevalent during summer months, we should still monitor their behaviors and actions for signs of heat stroke or dehydration year round.

Pet of the Week: Annie Dog

TBAR-Adoptable-Dog-AnnieThis week our pet of the week is Annie! This sweet puppy was a stray. Lucky for her a kind person took her in to foster her till she can find a forever home. Annie is only a few months old, she’s now current on shots and is healthy and ready for her home. Her adoption fee will cover her spay and final booster shots. If you are looking for a smart puppy, Annie is the one for you! Annie will be 40 – 50 pounds when fully grown. Call 936-878-2349 or email [email protected] for more information on adopting from True Blue Animal Rescue.

ASPCA Grant for Horse Rescue

The ASPCA has awarded TBAR a $15,000 grant which will allow us to take in neglected horses that were ordered removed from their homes. The case is ongoing, but without support from organizations like the ASPCA, TBAR and our foster homes would not be able to step up and help law enforcement and these poor animals in need.

Thank you, ASPCA!

Success Stories: Coco and Danny

TBAR-Adopted-Dogs-Coco-DannyThis weeks success story is a foster failure. Stephanie found the litter of dogs on her property and became their foster home. As they found homes Stephanie decided that Coco and Danny fit in to the family and should just stay. Hooray for Coco and Danny and their new home! If you’d like a new pet, please check out our adoptable pet list and let us know by emailing [email protected] or calling 936-878-2349

RAIN Networking Facebook Page

TBAR-Rain-Page-Reminder-2016True Blue Animal Rescue hosts a page called RAIN Networking. We use that page to network Rescue Animals In Need. That means they haven’t been officially accepted into TBAR because they don’t have a foster home so we ‘network for a home’ We do pay for spay / neuter if they aren’t fixed but we list them before that’s done to find a foster or adopter quickly. We post with the contact for the person who has the animal so we don’t always hear back to find out if they found a home. This week we did hear that these two DID find homes. Networking works and we can use your help. Like our RAIN Networking Facebook page and share to help our networking pets find homes!