Pet sitting vs. boarding in Miami

Pet sitting vs. boarding in Miami

Should You Choose Pet Sitting or Boarding for Pets in Miami? 

Pet sitting vs. boarding in Miami

The excitement of Spring break and a well-deserved vacation is around the corner! Your tickets are printed, bathing suits are packed, and sunscreen already applied, but what are you forgetting? Looking down you see your furry friend smiling and wagging their tail at you, leash in mouth, begging to join the adventure.  Unfortunately, your pooch pal can’t always join and your happy cat would never leave the house anyway, which leads to the question: what are the options for pet care in Miami?

Miami’s Pet Care Choices

Pet owners used to immediately think of asking a friend or family member to care for a pet when going away. However, excellent alternative pet care options have cropped up as the pet industry expands. Pet hotels with luxurious and cozy spaces for your pet have become available. In addition, in-home pet services are becoming a popular choice of pet owners, but how do you choose between services? Of course, it’s important to research the company, facility, or pet sitter.  All will have different training, staff, and environments for play and comfort. We’ve compiled some things to think about when deciding on the best care for your pet.

Miami Kennel and Pet Hotels Pros and Cons:

It can be a time-consuming process to research facilities or a find a kennel location close to you. Keep in mind references from friends, as well as features for each facilities. We’ve found the following to be true about kennels in general:

Pros:

  • Kennels provide efficient care for your pet typically with supervised staff
  • Many kennels have a daily playtime with others where you can choose from individual or group play sessions, which helps if your dog is not socialized or can be unpredictable around others.
  • Your pup might make lasting friendships there
  • Kennels typically run on a schedule so your dog will have consistency

Possible Cons:

  • It can be an uninviting atmosphere with cold cement floors and not much time spent out of crates.
  • Taking your dog or cat to a new space can cause the body stress which can materialize as loss of appetite, diarrhea, or vomiting, not to mention depression
  • Emphasis on quantity means cleanliness is a must; being around more dogs unfortunately can expose your dog to disease
  • You have to pack for your dog’s stay and drive him over in Miami traffic

More upscale pet hotels and day cares that double as boarding facilities have popped up around Miami recently, which can offer a better alternative to kennels. These facilities sometimes offer individual rooms and more comfortable beds, as well as ample playtime. However, there are often upwards of 25 dogs in one space, which can be very stressful for your pets, especially in an unfamiliar, temporary space. More dogs means a greater potential for fights, transmission of illnesses, and potentially forming bad habits without proper supervision during play.

In-Home Pet Sitting Pros and Cons:

Pet Sitting consists of a pet sitter caring for your pet in the comfort of your home, abiding by your pet’s specific feeding schedule, giving potty breaks, and one-one exercise, playtime, and TLC. They can stop in throughout the day or stay the night. Other questions might arise such as, who is going to feed the fish? Who will take out the trash? How secure will the house be while I’m away? Your worries are answered! Here are the benefits of a professional pet sitter:

  • Security! Someone in your home discourages curious intruders.
  • Less stress on the animal. Your pet stays in a familiar and safe environment causing lower signs of discomfort.
  • Convenience: No need to pack for another. Leaving food, leash, toys at home.  
  • Doubles as a house sitter: household chores such as watering plants, collection of newspaper, etc. will be tended too.
  • Care for multiple pets: Dogs, cats, fish and birds.
  • Cost can vary depending on services requested. Typically lower than boarding.
  • Trusted Resource.  Many sitters are bonded and insured (may have special pet training or certifications as well).

Possible Cons:

  • You may be concerned about letting a new sitter into your home
  • You have to vet your pet sitter very carefully, making sure they have the proper licensing, insurance, experience, and great references 
  • Does your pet sitting company use employees or independent contractors?
  • Solo pet sitters may not have a back-up if they fall ill.

It’s important to know what kind of services each pet sitting company or individual pet sitter provides and how committed they are to their profession. With Equipaws Pet Services, you can choose from a variety of in-home care options: we have in home pet care where you can choose, mix and match a 30-minute pet sitting session with overnight stays in your home, or you can opt for simple pet sits.

Our company is bonded and insured and has chosen to have employees instead of independent contractors to ensure our staff is trained to our high standards. We also work as a pet sitting team in each area, so if one pet sitter can’t make it there is always someone to back them up. All staff has received Pet Tech CPR training and have been through thorough background checks. Wherever you are, sipping a tasty mojito on the beach or hitting the snowy slopes, Equipaws professional pet sitters can be trusted to take care of your fur friends while you are away!

If you’re traveling on vacation, going away for work, or have a long trip away, your pooch or kitten may need special attention for food needs, potty breaks and companionship. So do you choose a pet sitter or kennel? You decide!

 

Why Does Your Dog Eat Grass?

Healthy dogs Miami

Why Does Your Dog Eat Grass?

“Logan! Logan!  Quit eating that!  Logan come on!”  A few gentle tugs on the sweet pup’s leash, and I cannot get him away from a dirty patch of grass he’s chomping on.  After a moment of grazing, I finally pick him up and place him away from the plant, directing his attention elsewhere.  Recently he’s been eating any grass he can get his teeth on.  What is the infatuation with grass?  As a professional dog walker, animal lover, and potential pet owner I needed to find the answers.

I searched, “Why do dog eats grass?” and literally 6 million results popped up. After sorting through reputable sites, I found the top three reasons: boredom, nutritional deficiencies, or digestion issues, each with simple solutions were provided for each cause.

1. Boredom

Puppies or younger dogs may gnaw on grass out of boredom.  If grass eating is occurring when the dog is alone or not exercising, distract them with a chew toy or a more vigorous exercise routine. You alone know how much exercise your pup is truly getting!

2. Dietary Needs and Taste

Despite my assumption that dogs were carnivores, they are naturally omnivorous scavengers. One of nature’s many “garbage disposals,” they are known to eat any fruit or vegetable matter they find.  If you offer a dog a carrot versus meat, they will most likely eat both.  Dogs may eat grass as an actual food source or could be in need of essential nutrients, in most cases fiber, which grass is high in fiber content.  If you notice your dog munching on grass frequently, consult with your veterinarian about switching to a high-fiber dog food.  Keep in mind, your beloved pet may be eating grass because they like the taste.  They do not face any danger from consumption of grass, but be aware outside grass can carry chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides.  To be 100% safe consider buying a grass tray or growing your own herbs. Dog-safe herbs include oregano and basil, but always ask your vet how much your dog can have.

3. Upset Tummy

The most common rumor is if a dog has an upset stomach they are seeking the natural remedy of grass.  When “gulping” or ingesting grass quickly the blades can tickle the throat and stomach lining, which can cause the dog to vomit.  Or can it?  Some say our canine friends aren’t smart enough to self-medicate.  Others ask, “Do dogs eat grass to make themselves vomit or do they vomit because they ate grass?”  None of the above information has been scientifically proven.  All have been concluded by veterinarian assumptions on behavior conditions. Still looking for answers I went on a deeper search for scientific proof.

Eating Grass Is No Cause for Concern

I could not find any information on the causes of vomit, but according to Psychologytoday.com,  researchers have “concluded that grass eating is a common behavior that usually occurs in normal dogs and is generally not associated with dietary needs.”  The article suggested this habit was  inherited from wolves, dogs’ wild ancestors.  Research found grass in wolf stool samples:  “The plant material passes through the intestinal tract and the fibrous matter increases the intestinal contractions and wraps around the worms or nematodes which may be infecting the animal.  In this way, grass helps to purge the system of these potentially harmful parasites.”  This is not suggesting that your dog has a horrible case of worms if they are eating grass.  It is simply suggesting it is in their genes to eat grass to clean out their systems. For the full article reference http://www.psychology.com/blog-canine-corner, “Why Dogs Eat Grass — a Myth Debunked.”

I now feel confident if a pup is eating grass, no immediate concern is necessary.  If it’s an occasional habit, no harm done.  If it becomes constant consult with your vet in the case of digestion issues or possible unwelcome parasites.  Otherwise, I will let Logan chomp away on his backyard treat.

-Written by Meghan, one Equipaws Pet Services’ Brickell wonderful pet sitters.

Dog-Friendly Holiday Party in Miami a Success!

dog friendly Miami Christmas

Thanks to all who came by our dog-friendly Holiday Party in Miami last weekend! We, along with our co-hosts Fuji and Friends, were so happy to welcome our clients and new friends to West Elm in Dadeland for our fundraiser benefiting Paws 4 You Rescue. The crew from Paws 4 You brought out pups for adoption; we think one may have at least found a foster, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for that!

Everyone who came mentioned how thankful they were for the opportunity to donate to a great cause. They loved the Santa Paws photo shoot and the sweets were a hit. Of course, we have a long list of people to thank ourselves! Our pet sitters were on hand to volunteer their time on a Sunday, and we are so proud and grateful for that. Sara and Sarah are wonderful employees and that’s the kind of giving spirit we appreciate. Sara also volunteered with her boyfriend, Alex Bartole, to snap the Santa Paws photos that everyone loved.

We’d especially like to thank Lee Morrisson, our wonderful Santa Paws and and photographers Alex Bartole and Sarah Robinson! Lee is always ready to lend a helping hand, be it through the South Miami Rotary Club or as a friend. The dogs all thought he made the perfect Santa Paws, and we agree! Santa’s helpers, Alex and Sara, were professional and made the photo sessions run smoothly and the photographs were beautiful and crisp. If you need a photographer for your events, Alex and Sara are a great team. Please contact bartolea@gmail.com to learn more about them. 
We are also incredibly grateful for the support from our local Miami pet-friendly businesses and rescue volunteers! We’d like to thank everyone who came out to make this holiday party special, including:

  • Fuji and Friends- for being such great co-hosts!
  • Sheep Sac- for coming through to offer her great gift bags
  • Waglet Works Adventure Dog Gear- an incredibly cool dog apparel
  • Slice of Art Bakery- for the delicious mini Christmas Cupcakes
  • Little R & R Bake Shop- delightfully mid-western & homey baked goods (vegan? no problem!)
  • Cao Chocolates- for their donation of delicous freshly made brownies
  • West Elm Dadeland- for opening their store to our dogs!
  • The Paws 4 You Rescue volunteers!

We can’t wait for what next year brings.