Lil' Chick Pet Sitters 408.839.7502

Monday, October 28, 2013


The holiday season is a time for celebration. It is a time when family and friends gather together to share in the joys and spirit of the season. For a great many of us our pets are included among our entourage of those that we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. Unfortunately the holidays are rife with potential safety hazards for our pets. By implementing some of the following basic preventative measures we, as pet owners, can help to ensure that our pets are able to enjoy the holiday season with us in comfort.

Social Gatherings
Social gatherings are a common occurrence during the holiday festivities. Such events can prove to be very chaotic and stressful to our pets. It is extremely important to pay close attention to our pet's mood and behavior in order to avoid potentially traumatic and disastrous consequences.
Providing our pets with a safe, quiet room to escape to when the hustle and bustle of social events becomes too much is a must. If your pet does not particularly enjoy partaking in these gatherings then it would be ideal to place them in a pet-safe room for their comfort and your peace of mind. Make certain to include their favorite toys, fresh water, and a comfortable place for them to relax. It is very important to make frequent checks and interact with them often so as to prevent them from feeling left out or abandoned.

Caution when Cooking
The preparation of meals and goodies for the holiday season can pose potential hazardous situations for your pet. With a pet constantly underfoot there is a much greater risk that they will be exposed to the spilling of hot liquids or the consumption of foods that may put their health at risk. It is highly recommended that pets be kept out of the vicinity of the kitchen or cooking area.

Dangerous Foods
Our pets have very sensitive digestive systems that are not accustomed to our particular diets as humans. Foods classified as drippings are far too rich and fatty for our pets. They may pose a considerable health risk to our furry and fluffy companions.
During the holiday season it would be a wise and kind gesture for pet owners to bake or purchase vet-approved, pet-safe treats for their pets. Speak with your veterinarian regarding pet-friendly, pet-healthy treats that are available on the market. You may wish to create a list of ingredients and products that are toxic to your pet so that if you plan on creating treats for them you can avoid potential disaster.
Poultry bones have the propensity to splinter and lead to severe abdominal pain, expensive hospital visits, and even the death of your beloved pet. They also pose a serious choking hazard. Avoid giving your pet poultry bones at all costs.
Chocolate, candy, and cookies although sweet to the taste are toxic to your pet. Pets should never be given alcohol for the results could be deadly. Treat your pets to only vet-approved, pet-safe products. When having company over make certain that your guests understand the rules when it comes to feeding your pet. Direct them to the pet-safe treats that you have on hand or simply place your pet in another room to avoid potential misunderstandings and disaster.

Toxic Holiday Plants
Ivy, holly, mistletoe, balsam, juniper, cedar, hibiscus, and poinsettias are just a few of the common holiday plants that are toxic to our pets. Remove them completely or place them far out of the reach of your pets. Monitor them closely if they must be in the general vicinity of such items.

Visiting Pets
First and foremost it is imperative that pet owners always check with those they intend to visit to ensure their pets are welcome. Never leave your pet in a vehicle for extended periods of time unsupervised for this only invites potential disaster.

It is important to remember that bringing your pet to a strange, new home may produce intense feelings of stress and anxiety. Be very aware of your pet's mood and behavior. If they exhibit signs of uneasiness or timidity then remove them from the situation immediately. There is nothing worse than an inconsiderate pet owner.
If you intend to leave home for the holidays consider boarding your pet at a reputable facility or hiring a reputable pet sitter. Oftentimes it is better for our pet's health and happiness if they are able to stay within the safety and security of a familiar place rather than be uprooted and taken to a strange location. As much as we want to share this very special time with our furry companions sometimes we need to put their best interests ahead of our own desires.

Regular Exercise and Feeding Schedule
It is absolutely essential to your pet's health and happiness that they are kept on a regular feeding and exercise regimen. This will help to ease the stress of the increased activity and chaos surrounding them during this time of year. It will allow them to more thoroughly enjoy and partake in the spirit of the season. This is quality time that you and your pet can spend together that will help to keep them from feeling left out and alone.
Always make certain that fresh, clean water is available to your pet at all times. It is not uncommon with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season for your pet to suffer from the ill-effects of dehydration. This is a problem that can be easily avoided.

Christmas tree
During the Christmas season many homes bolster the image of a beautifully decorated tree sitting majestically within the confines of a warm, inviting atmosphere. With pets and even small children about it would be wise to anchor the tree to the wall or ceiling using fishing line or twine to prevent tipping or falling accidents. Not only does this prove to be a potentially disastrous consequence for the pet involved but it can leave the home owner with an awful mess to clean up and the possibility of the loss of some very sentimental items.
Non-breakable, non-sentimental ornaments should be placed near the bottom of the tree for the pet's safety and the pet owner's sanity. Tinsel and angel hair (spun glass) should be removed from your pet's presence since they have the potential to cause intestinal blockage or other seriously dangerous consequences.
Snow flock and artificial snow are dangerously toxic if inhaled or consumed by your pet. Replacing metal hooks with pet-safe twine or yarn is a good practice as is sweeping up and removing all loose pine needles. Ingestion of these items can lead to puncture holes in the stomach and intestines with possibly fatal consequences.
Bacteria that can build up in stagnant tree water and other chemicals added to preserve the life of the tree are toxic to pets. Make certain to securely cover the tree stand to prevent access by pets at all times. Making sure that they always have access to fresh, clean water is also a deterrent.
The beautiful decorative lights on the lower branches of a Christmas tree need to be kept from within your pets reach to avoid the ill-effects of electric shock as a result of chewing or entanglement. Placing them on the inner branches of the tree can help deter your pet's curiosity.

Christmas Decorations
Snow globes pose a potential risk to pets because of the toxic nature of the antifreeze-like ingredients within this holiday decoration. If your pet is granted access to the liquid portion of the snow globe due to breakage the possibility of death is greatly increased. Antifreeze typically has a sweet taste to it making it appealing to the unsuspecting pet. Immediately remove your pet from the area and clean them thoroughly making sure no lingering effects of the liquid are left behind. Keep your pet away from the area until you have properly and effectively removed all potential hazards from your pet's reach. The shards of thin, sharp glass also pose a serious threat to your pet's health.
Electrical cords must be covered properly and securely. Unused electrical sockets should be covered or sealed off to protect against electric shock when it comes to curious pets and children.
Some pets love to chew on pine cones but these seemingly harmless structures are anything but. The sharp protrusions and tough nature of pine cones can injure your pet's gums and pose a danger when consumed as they cause problems within the intestinal tract. A trip to the vet can become costly.

Lit fireplaces and candles pose a very dangerous fire hazard to you and your pet. Never leave such situations unattended and always prevent your pet from accessing these areas. Place candles far out of reach of a wagging tail, fluttering wings, or a curious nose.

Stocking Stuffers
Do not allow pets to open gifts designated for people since there is the possibility they will consume or become entangled in the ribbon or other potentially harmful substances. Gift wrapping supplies should be kept out of reach of pets. Do not tie ribbons around your pet's neck for they pose a potential choking hazard either by consumption or entanglement.

There is also the possibility of internal obstruction which could become fatal. Instead provide your pet with their own stocking filled with vet-approved, pet-safe toys and treats so that they may partake in the festivities along with your family. Spend quality time with your pet and involve them in the activities in a safe and secure manner.

Outdoor Dangers
Rock salt is commonly used during the wintry months of the holiday season. This substance is rough on your pet's paws and skin. It can lead to a severely painful drying out and cracking of the skin and paw pads. Avoid exposing your pet to rock salt whenever possible. Clean your pet's feet and fur thoroughly after coming inside.
The cold, wet weather can pose serious health risks to your pet. Whenever possible keep pets indoors during the winter months. Outdoor pets should be cared for properly and provided adequate shelter with extra precautions in place for the harsh elements. Watch your pets carefully when they are outdoors for signs of any ill-effects that may be a result of the weather.
Increased stress and anxiety during the socially active and chaotic times of the season may heighten your pet's chance at escape. Make certain your pets are fitted with the proper I.D. tags to ensure a speedy return home if such unforeseen circumstances were to come about unexpectedly. Watch them closely and be aware of their behavior.
Taking the necessary precautions during the holidays will help to ensure that you and your pet will enjoy the beauties and wonders of the season. The safety and happiness of everyone involved will aid in making this time of year far more enjoyable for everyone. Check with your veterinarian for any further actions you can take to ensure that you and your pet are able to spend a healthy holiday season together. Good luck and a Happy and Sfae Holiday Season!



Monday, May 13, 2013

What should I look for?

It's important to learn all you can about a prospective pet sitters' qualifications and services. Before selecting a pet sitter, interview the candidates over the phone or at your home.

Find out the following:

Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance (to cover accidents and negligence) and is bonded (to protect against theft by a pet sitter or her employees)?

What training has the pet sitter completed?

Will the pet sitter record notes about your pet—such as his likes, dislikes, fears, habits, medical conditions, medications, and routines?

Is the pet sitter associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services?

What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does she have a backup?

Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training and play time?

Will the pet sitter provide a written service contract spelling out services and fees?

If the pet sitter provides live-in services, what are the specific times she agrees to be with your pet?

Is this detailed in the contract? How does your pet sitter make sure that you have returned home? Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?

Email me if you ave questions.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lil' Chick Discount Prescription Cards for our Clients & their Pets!

Dear Clients,

Lil’ Chick Pet Sitters is proud to make discount prescription
cards available to you for immediate use (no sign up or cost)!

These cards may be used for both human and animal pharmacy
prescriptions. Discounts up to 75% off pharmacy prescriptions may be
enjoyed by the cardholders.

We hope you and your family enjoy many savings with these complimentary cards from Lil’ Chick Pet Sitters! Please either asks your pet sitter for one or email me and I can mail you a couple to share with friends or family.

This Prescription Discount Cards has been made available by my association with Pet Sitters International (PSI) in cooperation with WorldWide Insurance Services, Inc. and United Networks of America.

Click here for some FAQs. Also learn how to maximize your saving with this card and take advantage of veterinary prescription options go to


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Your Local Emergency Contact Person for your Pet.

Why do you need a Local Emergency Contact Person?

In case your pet sitter is unable to reach this family or friend should be able to make decisions on your behalf for the care of your pet.

Or if there is an emergency such as a natural disaster and you are unable to get back for an extended period of time, your emergency contact should be able to step in and take care of your pet.

Or in case something should happen to you, your emergency contact should be able to take over the care of your pet during an extended period of time?

Who should be my Emergency Contact Person?

Start with friends or family members who live nearby and can reach you or your pets quickly. Make sure they have keys, necessary codes or other information to access your home, grab the pets and evacuate. If you need help putting a plan and kit together please contact me at

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bigger isn’t always better: study finds pudgier pooches, fatter cats.

April 5, 2011

Pet Sitters International “weighs in” with six important nutrients for optimal pet health

More than half of all dogs and cats living as pets in the United States are overweight or obese according to a recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).

The APOP also reports that this trend has increased steadily since the study began in 2007, despite all of the pet-food information readily available to pet owners.

Cheryl Wilson, a Pet Sitters International member and owner of T.L.K. Professional Pet Care Service in Watertown, Mass., finds that over-feeding is one of the most common problems she encounters.

“I try to offer my clients advice on more appropriate amounts to feed their pets and remind them of the health risks that come with pet obesity,” Wilson said.

Overfeeding isn’t the only action that leads to overweight pets. The type of food also matters. Ellen Price, academic manager for PSI, said that the ingredients in the pet food owners choose to feed their pets are equally important.

“Food that is not nutritionally sound can result in a multitude of health problems, including obesity” Price said. “Ensuring that pets get the correct quantity of nutrients and an appropriate amount of water contributes to their overall health, well being and longevity.”

According to information in the Association’s Certification Program tailored exclusively for professional pet sitters, there are six key essential nutrients for dogs and cats:

Proteins – Provide a pet with the amino acids to build cells and tissue. Protein is an energy source and proteins are important in the makeup of antibodies, hormones and blood.

Vitamins – Both cats and dogs need vitamins to sustain good health. Vitamins help control physiological functions and regulate chemical reactions in a pet’s body.

Minerals – Help maintain a pet’s electrolyte and fluid balance, tissue structure, formation of teeth, cells and growth of bones.

Fats – Dietary fat is a good source of energy for dogs and cats. It helps them absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Carbohydrates – One of the three nutrients in a pet’s diet that supply energy, as well as fiber that aids in digestion.

Water – Water is essential for life. The amount of water an animal needs depends upon the pet’s activity, the type of food the pet eats, the environmental temperature and the pet’s health. Animals that eat dry food need more water than those that eat wet food.

Whether you’ve opted for an organic, raw food, homemade or commercial pet diet, make certain it’s nutritionally sound. This, in combination with exercise, will help keep pets at a healthy weight.

For more information about PSI or to locate a professional pet sitter in your area, please visit

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Responsible Pet Ownership: How to Deal With Small Dog Syndrome

Responsible Pet Ownership: How to Deal With Small Dog Syndrome: "By Linda Cole About a year and a half ago, my neighbor brought their new puppy over and begged me to take her off their hands. I took one l..."

Beware the Easter bunny; he may not be an easy pet |

Every year in the weeks and months after Easter, a wave of rabbits turns up at animal shelters, abandoned by people who bought them for the holiday but changed their minds.

Turns out, cute little bunnies can be challenging pets. If you're thinking about getting one for Easter or any other time, here are a few things to keep in mind from Marc Morrone, host of Hallmark Channel's "Pet keeping with Marc Morrone," where one of his side kicks is a rabbit named Harvey, brought to him by police who found him abandoned 10 years ago.

—Rabbits can be trained to walk on a leash or harness, but you can't let them play freely outside; they are prey to snakes, hawks, owls, dogs, foxes, cats, raccoons and people. "Bunnies are an animal that the entire world eats," Morrone said. "Bunnies live in a state of perpetual anxiety that somebody's going to eat them. Once they realize no one is going to eat them, they relax and you can see their true nature come out."

—You must be prepared to commit to pet care for about a decade. Rabbits usually live eight to 12 years and can only be called bunnies for about six months.

Beware the Easter bunny; he may not be an easy pet |

Friday, April 1, 2011

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Aside from taking a pet first aid & CPR course, which every pet owner and pet professional should do, it's also important to have a pet first aid kit. Having a well-stocked pet first aid kit can be a key factor in your pet's well-being during an emergency. It will serve to help you you prevent further injury, lessen the chance of infection, and even save your pet's life.

You can either purchase a commercial pet first aid kit or put one together yourself.

Putting one's own kit together is best this way you'll know what's in it and items can be tailored to your pet.

At the very least a pet first aid kit should contain the following:
sterile gauze pads,
gauze rolls
first aid tape
3% hydrogen peroxide
antibacterial ointment
antiseptic wipes
eye dropper
digital thermometer
antihistamine (Benadryl or generic)
blanket or stretcher

It should also include the address and phone number for your veterinarian as well as the nearest animal emergency center.

Phone number for the Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435.

If you would rather buy a pet first aid kit, be sure to familiarize yourself with the contents. Take all of the items out and make sure you know what they are, how to use them, and if they're appropriate for your pet (for example, if a muzzle's included make sure it's the right size and that you know how to put it on y
our dog.)

The hope is that you will never need to use your first aid kit, but if you do, having it handy will save time and may save your pet's life.

Article by

Lil' Chick Pet Sitters

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Getting your Pet Sitting Business Disaster Ready

1. What to have ready before a disaster happens

Routine monthly (at least) backup of all data files to external storage device.

If you have to leave quickly, chances are you won't have time to sit down and figure out what files to keep and which to take with you.

Having your data saved in as many safe places as possible increases the odds of it surviving a disaster. Don't just keep your backups at your house or office. If your home is destroyed by fire, flood or natural disaster, so is your backup.

Additionally, external storage devices and media are light and small, making them easy to take with you in an emergency situation. Data storage methods include USB, CD, DVD, external hard drive, cell phones.

Have a comprehensive client e-mail/contact list printed out and stored in a safe location at all times.

Who knows how much time you'll have to work on a contact list before having to evacuate or head for shelter? If worst comes to worst, you at least want to able to get in touch with your clients. Most of us have some information stored on our phones, but why risk being caught without essential data? Print a list of your clients' names/address/phone numbers and put it in a plastic bag near the front door of your house or keep in your car. Also, make sure to update your e-mail contact list continually. In a time and age of constant communication, the quickest way to get in touch with all of your clients is shooting off a mass email-this won't work if it's been two months since you last updated your e-mail list.

Have an evacuation plan and an emergency/disaster plan:

As small business owners, your clients are going to want to know where you're going and what your protocol is for caring for their pets as well as when you'll be com­ing back. Most of the time this won't come up until a disaster actually happens; you're going to have trouble holding onto your clients if you seem disorganized when push comes to shove. Conversely, if you're sharp and end up being an asset during an emergency you're less likely to lose that account, no matter what is going on with the economy. Also, use your disaster plan as a selling point. Clients often shop around for a sitter, so make yourself stand out by letting clients know that you have a plan in the event of emergencies. Consider using a blog or voicemail to let clients know of the status of your disaster plan (more on this below) once it needs to be executed.

Have a mobile container for your keys and a key protocol-One of the biggest responsibilities we have is maintaining access to our client's homes. A nightmare scenario would be coming home after an evacuation to find that your home/office has been broken into and someone got hold of clients' keys. Have a sturdy container with labels/plastic baggies for quickly storing and transporting your client keys should you need to leave in a hurry. Keep " your client records and keys separate. If you keys are lost with your client records a person might be able to match keys with records and gain access to a client's property. Make sure your clients know what your procedure is for an emergency and it will make you seem even more prepared and professional.

Do a dry run with your employees/contractors regarding what to do in an emergency.

Whoever you have working for you needs to know what is going to happen in . Having up-to-date mobile contact information and emergency procedures in place should all forms of communication fail is essential. What to do with the animals they are caring for. Give them a copy of your procedures they keep it with them (under a seat in the car is a great spot).

Encourage clients to develop a disaster preparedness plan for themselves and their pets.

As sitters, we're a natural resource when it comes to clients caring for their pets. Ask your clients to have their pet’s microchipped and tagged to allow for early identification. Also, discuss what they would do with their pets in an emergency and encourage them to keep you informed. Communication is the key, and knowing what the plan is in advance will keep everyone safe.

Prepare a checklist for what to take with you. It will save you much grief later.

What to do for your business when a disaster is happening

Get out your emergency/disaster plan.

This is why you put this together, after all! Sticking to the plan is key. Communication is difficult in an emer­gency so changing the information and procedures you've previously dissemi­nated to people at this point can be a disaster.

Communicate with your client early and often. (I can't stress on this enough)

Let them know what your disaster preparedness plan is, send them a copy of it when even the hint of a disaster is on the horizon. In hurricane country, the start of hurricane season, along with every forming hurricane is a good excuse to shoot an e-mail to your clients with a copy of what your protocol is. It may seem annoying to some, but they'll thank you one day.

Stick with one modality of distributing information.

If you decide to disseminate information in 10 different ways, chances are someone will get left out of the loop and it may cost you a good client, or worse. Pick one way to communicate with people and stick with it.

3: What to do for you business after a disaster has occurred

Decide on your system for resuming services and what you will use to determine when it is safe to do so. Use an objective standard, preferably from a specific government agency, to determine when it is safe for you to resume services. Resuming services for pets whose owners are away is much more critical than regular pet 'exercise' type visits.

Let clients know how the resumption of their services will work and if you anticipate any lack of service due to damaged roads, bridges, etc.

Verify that all your data and supplies remain intact and promptly file any insurance claims necessary.

Take care of your personal issues first-if you don't have your own act together you won't be able to help your clients any time soon.

Gather feedback after the incident to see how you could have improved your response to client's needs. You will have to weigh these suggestions against your own ability. Take time to modify your disaster plan to anticipate issues in the future-your disaster/emergency plan should always be a work in progress.

Article published by NAPPS By Carlos Portu, Co-Owner, Gables Pet Care, Miami, FL

Monday, March 21, 2011

Benefits of Adopting a Pet From a Shelter

I just had to share this article someone emailed me for my Blog:

Benefits of Adopting a Pet From a Shelter

Here are millions of dogs and cats that sit in shelters waiting for some person to come take them home every day of the week. Millions more are euthanized due to a lack of space or funding in the shelter each year.

While many people may feel that a pure-bred animal with papers is the only way to get a good dog or cat, this is completely untrue. There are millions of deserving animals that just want a home and family.

While it may seem that there are disadvantages to adopting a pet from a shelter, the benefits far outweigh any negatives to adopting an animal. One of the biggest benefits of adopting a shelter animal is that the fee to adopt the pet is far less than anything a breeder or pet store will charge. Many shelters offer their pets for minimal fees in order to facilitate adoption. In addition, the animals will generally come with a microchip already imbedded as well as have already been altered. These are two costs that the new owner will not have to incur after taking their dog home.

Pets from shelters also come with all of their shots and have been de-wormed, something that frequently can't be said for pet shop animals. Another huge benefit of adopting a pet from a shelter is that mature animals are available. By adopting a mature pet, the family doesn't have to go through the extremely destructive phase of chewing or housebreaking, in many cases. Another advantage is that the dog or cat is full grown.

If a family has limited space available, it is a good idea to adopt a full-grown pet rather than a puppy because the dog won't grow anymore. The dog or cat's temperament is also already known at the time of adoption. This is very important, particularly for people who will have their dog or cat around children a lot. Slightly less able to be proven is the generally accepted theory that shelter animals are more eager to please their new families than a pampered pet store animal would be.

There is a theory that a rescued animal feels so much gratitude for being removed from the shelter by its new family that they try to express that by trying to please their new family even more. For animal lovers, adopting a pet helps to correct the problem of pet overpopulation. Purchasing a puppy or kitten from a pet shop or breeder contributes to the problems of overpopulation.

So please for your next pet, consider adopting a pet from a shelter. Your new best friend could be waiting for you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Guinea Pig Care


They’re not pigs and they’re not from New Guinea! Read on to find out what these South American natives need to stay happy and healthy.


Larger than hamsters, but smaller than rabbits, guinea pigs can weigh a couple of pounds and generally live for five to seven years. The three most common breeds of guinea pig are the Smooth-Coated, with short, glossy fur; the Abyssinian, whose hair grows in fluffy tufts all over the body, and the Peruvian, with long, silky hair that flows to the ground.

Guinea pigs make wonderful companions. These docile members of the rodent family rarely bite and are known for squeaking with delight when their favorite humans enter the room. Guinea pigs are excellent starter pets for older children who have mastered proper handling techniques.


When you first get your pet, you’ll need to spend about $35 for a cage. Food runs about $75 a year, plus $25 annually for toys and treats, $50 for an annual veterinary check-up and $400 per year for litter and bedding material. We recommend getting your guinea pig from a responsible breeder or, even better, adopting one from a shelter or small-animal rescue group.


Guinea pigs are social animals who prefer to live in small groups. If you keep two or more females together, they will become great friends. If you want two males, it’s smart to choose two babies from the same litter. Since guinea pigs, like all rodents, multiply rapidly, keeping males and females together is not recommended.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to provide a minimum of four square feet of cage space per guinea pig—but please try to get as large a cage as possible. You’ll need a solid-bottom cage—no wire floors, please, as they can irritate your pets’ feet. Plastic-bottom “tub cages” with wire tops also make great guinea pig homes. Never use a glass aquarium, due to the poor ventilation that it provides.

Always keep the cage indoors away from drafts and extreme temperatures, as guinea pigs are very susceptible to heatstroke. They’ll prefer an environment kept at 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line the bottom of the cage with aspen or hardwood shavings or some other form of safe bedding, such as grass hay. Do not use cedar or pine chips—the oils they contain can be dangerous to your pets. (P.S. Yes, you can train a guinea pig to use a litter box—but please note that this will require lots of time and patience!)

Guinea pigs love to hide when they play, so be sure to place cardboard tubes and/or empty coffee cans with smoothed edges in the enclosure for this purpose. Plastic pipes and flower pots are good, too, and bricks and rocks for climbing will be much appreciated. All guinea pigs need a cave for sleeping and resting, so please provide a medium-sized flower pot or covered sleeping box, readily available at pet supply stores.


Commercial guinea pig pellets should make up the bulk of your pet’s diet. Nutritionally complete, they’re available at pet supply stores, and are made from plants, seeds and veggies. Feed your guinea pigs twice daily, in the morning and in the evening.

The ASPCA recommends offering small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables to your guinea pigs every day. Try grapes, cucumbers, corn, peas, carrots and pears. Half a handful of veggies and a slice of fresh fruit per pig is plenty. Always make sure to clean up any leftover fresh food before it spoils. You’ll also need to make grass hay available to your pets at all times. It’s great for the digestive system, and will also satisfy your pet’s need to gnaw.

Unlike other animals, guinea pigs cannot manufacture Vitamin C, so you’ll need to ensure that your pets get enough of this essential nutrient every day. A quarter of an orange will do, but you can also include some fruits and veggies that are high in C to their daily ration of fresh foods, such as kale, dandelion greens and strawberries.

Fresh, clean water should be available at all times. Use an inverted bottle with a drinking tube, and change the water daily.

General Care

Remove soiled bedding, droppings and stale food from the cage daily. Clean the cage completely once a week by replacing dirty bedding and scrubbing the bottom of the cage with warm water. Be sure everything’s dry before adding fresh bedding.

Did you know that guinea pigs’ teeth grow continuously, just like those of other rodents? That’s why it is important that you provide yours with something to gnaw on at all times. Branches and twigs from untreated trees will work, as will any small piece of wood that hasn’t been treated with chemicals.

It’s crucial that you get your pets used to you—and used to being handled. Start by feeding them small treats. When they’re comfortable with that, you can carefully pick up one pig at a time, one hand supporting the bottom, the other over the back.

Once you have hand-tamed your piggies, you should let them run around in a small room or enclosed area to get some additional exercise every day. You will need to carefully check the room for any openings from which the guinea pigs can escape, get lost and possibly end up hurt. These animals must be supervised when they are loose because they will chew on anything in their paths—including electrical wires.

Guinea pigs are very conscientious about grooming themselves, but brushing them on a regular basis will help keep their coat clean and remove any loose hairs. Long-haired guinea pigs should be brushed daily in order to prevent tangles and knots from forming.

Veterinary Care

If you think one of your guinea pigs is sick, don’t delay—seek medical attention immediately. Common signs that something isn’t right include sneezing, coughing, diarrhea and lethargy. Guinea pigs are also susceptible to external parasites such as mites and lice. If you think your pet is infested, head to the vet for treatment.

Guinea Pig Supply Checklist

- Solid-bottom cage with wire cover or plastic-bottom “tub” cage (minimum four square feet of cage space per pig)
- Guinea pig pellets
- Aspen or hardwood shavings
- Grass hay
- Bricks, rocks, cardboard boxes, plastic pipes and other appropriate toys
- Medium flower pot or covered sleeping box
- Brush and comb for grooming
- Attachable water bottle with drinking tube
- Unpainted, untreated piece of wood or safe chew toy

More Resources

- Guinea Lynx offers general guinea pig care and nutrition info.
- Cavy Cages offers advice on bedding and housing, with simple directions for constructing large cages.
- Cavy Spirit contains good information on how to introduce two guinea pigs, neutering and much more.
- Cavy Rescue provides a worldwide list of cavy rescues and searchable databases of adoptable guinea pigs.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Professional Pet Sitter Week!

This week recognizes the many contributions, commitment and dedication of professional pet sitters nationwide.

Pet ownership in the United States is on the rise. 63 percent of all American households have pets. The US pet population includes some 73 million dogs, 90 million cats and 16 million other animals.

These pets are happiest when they're home, surrounded by familiar sights, smells and sounds. Pet sitting has taken the anxiety out of leaving a pet behind, which is why it is one of the nation's fastest growing industries.

Trauma is minimized. Owners need not go through the ordeal of transporting unhappy pets and worrying that they might be exposed to other animals' illnesses. Animals get to stay in their familiar environment, maintain their diet and exercise routine and are attended to by caring professionals

Professional pet sitting allows owners to confidently leave their pets home, knowing that they'll receive the love and care they so rightly deserve.

Article provide by National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


And you thought we didn't care!

Dear Clients,

In an ongoing effort to meet and exceed your and your pet’s need and because your input matters, Lil’ Chick would like to know how we are doing?

To help us provide you with the best possible service, we would appreciate your assistance in filling out the above survey.

You can complete it online, save it, email, print it for your pet sitter or fax it to Lil' Chick's office at 408-559-6769. Options are endless.

Thank you for your help and your valued business.

A.J. Singh
Lil' Chick Pet Sitters

Monday, February 28, 2011

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Bad Hare day!

There is help for the dreaded “bad hare day.”

Seriously, if you just washed your Bunny's hare and you can’t do a thing with it, try a Bunny massage.

Yes, that’s right, massage for Bunnies. Because they are a prey animal, Bunnies can be skittish or scared. Massage helps calm them, and it also helps the animal bond with the owner.

To properly massage a pet rabbit, starting at the tip of the face, working slowly back across the ears, under the chin, along the spine, and finally along the bunny’s legs and feet.

Believe it or not, bunnies love to have their feet massaged. They also like having their ears gently pulled during the massage, which takes about 10 minutes.

Bunnies who get used to the massage eventually will allow themselves to be cradled on their back so their legs and belly can be massaged. That also makes them easier to handle during veterinary examinations.

Bunnies are considered the third-most-popular house pet, behind dogs and cats. They also are the third-most-common animal to end up in rescue shelters. Most times, that happens because people don’t know how to care for a rabbit.

The most important step in training a rabbit to be a house pet is to have it spayed or neutered. That takes away much of its wildness and makes it more willing to be held and handled. It also prolongs the rabbit’s life expectancy.

An unspayed female has an 85 percent chance of dying of cancer within two years, she said. Males that haven’t been neutered will probably live about five years, but rabbits that are spayed or neutered generally live about 12 years.

Bunnies are extremely intelligent animals that are not meant to be caged. They can be housebroken, the same as dogs and cats, and are best left to roam freely most of the time. They need chew toys to help them keep from chewing on household things such as wiring or furniture.

They’ve very good house pets. They don’t bark or need walks. They’re not noisy pets at all. If you are considering adopting a rabbit should first do some homework, including finding a veterinarian who is rabbit-savvy. Or check out The Rabbit Haven Website for educating yourself, talking to professionals and Bunny adoption events:

Lil’ Chick Pet Sitters 408-839-7502

Article by Bob Jackson