My name is Gooey, and I love coming for day care and sometimes over nite boarding! I might be on the smaller side, but I can boss any of these other dogs around if I wish. Personally, I prefer to cuddle up in bed with a blanket over me and stay warm. Plus, I love it when they can’t find me!
I’m Dee Dee, and although I love coming to Home Alone Pets for boarding, I prefer to stay at home during the days while Mom and Dad are at work. See, I’m older, and I don’t see what all the excitement is about chasing each other around the yard for some stuffed animal that squeaks! But I have to admit, sometimes it’s pretty funny to watch!
Hi! We are known as “the boys”. We love day care and having fun in the sun! Our real names are Blue and Loki. It’s so fun playing “tuff” but we are actually just big love bugs!
From raisins to onions to acetaminophen, the typical Ahwatukee home is filled with items that can be toxic to pets.
Many pet owners are not aware of products and foods that can be harmful to cats and dogs. Many products and foods located in your home can often make a dog or cat very sick and can sometimes be fatal.
Visits to the vet for pet poisoning can not only be horrifying for you and your pet but can costs hundreds of dollars, sometimes even in the thousands of dollar range.
One of a my clients, a rambunctious female Norwich terrier puppy named Chippy, caused a recent scare for her owner when she gobbled down a gel tab that is used to treat monthly water weight gain — in women, not female dogs!
Chippy’s owner immediately called her vet and was relieved to hear the pill would not be harmful. But had Chippy swallowed acetaminophen or a birth control pill the situation might have been different.
Listed below are some of the foods and products that can make your pet very ill. Please make your home a poison safe home. And if you have a curious puppy like Chippy, consider keeping all pills and vitamins behind a closed door.
Foods to avoid feeding your pet:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Chocolate (all forms)
- Coffee (all forms)
- Fatty foods
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy or spoiled foods
- Onion, onion powder
- Raisins and grapes
- Yeast dough
- Products sweetened with xylitol
Warm weather hazards often found in backyards:
- Animal toxins — toads, insects, spiders, snakes and scorpions
- Algae in ponds
- Coca mulch
- Most fertilizers
- Flea products
- Many outdoor plants and plant bulbs (a detailed list of these can be found on the Internet)
- Swimming pool treatment supplies
- Fly baits containing methomyl
Medications: Common examples of human medications that can be potentially lethal to pets, even in small doses, include:
- NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve and Motrin)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Pain killers
- Cold medicines
- Anti-cancer drugs
- Diet pills
- Sleep aids
- Birth control
- Thyroid hormones
- Cholesterol lowering agents
Always keep medications safely out of reach of your pet and never administer a medication to a pet without first consulting your veterinarian.
Cold weather hazards include:
- Liquid potpourri
- Ice melting products
- Rat and mouse baits
Common household hazards include:
- Fabric softener sheets
- Post 1982 pennies (due to high concentration of zinc)
Be aware of signs of poisoning in your pet, they can consist of (but not limited to):
- Lack of appetite
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Pale or discoloration to the gums
- Black-tarry stool
- Racing heart rate
- Weakness orlethargy
Always have your vets phone number available, emergency vet phone number available, and the Animal Poison Control Center, which is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week, at 1-800-213-6680.
Since I was a child I have owned and cared for more than 40 pets, ranging from a tiny goldfish I won at a state fair to a World Champion Morgan horse named Raider. One of the most special of all my pets was a floppy-eared German Shepherd named Kayla. From the age of 6 weeks she was a partner in my pet care business.
From the start I knew Kayla was special. Even as a young puppy she generously shared her home, toys, treats, beds and backyard pool with all kinds of dogs. Every owner that came into my house to drop off their dogs commented about what a unique dog Kayla was — her kind, amber eyes gave her away.
But we didn’t realize what a true hero Kayla was until she was diagnosed with Grade 3 Lymphoma in May of 2011. The veterinarian told us that without chemotherapy Kayla would only live another three weeks. The cost for this treatment would be more than $6,000, but Kayla was only 7 years old. I was not prepared to let this special dog go.
Just two weeks before receiving the heart-wrenching news, a lively black German Shepherd puppy named Jordan had joined the pack. Kayla immediately took the puppy under her wing, teaching her to be generous and share with all the other dogs that come in and out of our home.
We were told that Kayla would need a series of treatments and her response to each treatment would determine the next move. Kayla responded differently to each treatment, needing to change the approach of the chemo treatment several times. But she bravely went through the ordeal and retained her friendly and generous attitude.
Kayla survived another six months — long enough to see Jordan grow into a friendly, well-behaved dog and Kayla continued as long as she could to play ball, swim and be the heart of Home Alone Pets. The day came when Kayla could no longer fight, but she succeeded to do what we asked of her … teach Jordan to be as special and unselfish as she was. I see things everyday in Jordan that reminds me of her.
People often ask if I would do it again. The answer is yes. Without a doubt, and in a heartbeat.
It will be the middle of the summer soon and you will want to get out of the heat on vacation with your family. But what to do with the furry members of your family? Neighbors and friends can be unreliable — and who wants to leave their best friend in a kennel?
A professional pet sitter can be the answer. As the owner of a pet care business for more than 10 years, I offer these suggestions for hiring a qualified pet sitter:
- Ask friends with pets, your local groomer or veterinarian to suggest an experienced and qualified professional pet sitter in your area.
- Interview at least three professional pet sitters before hiring. Find out where the sitter lives, how long they have been in business and whether they are bonded and insured.
- Ask for phone references and check them. A qualified sitter will be happy to give them to you.
- Find out if the pet sitter has a back-up sitter in case of emergency.
- If the sitter has employees, make sure you meet the person who will be coming into your home.
Every summer we read the horror stories about pets that are neglected in the dangerous Arizona heat. As a professional pet sitter for more than 25 years, I offer these suggestions for keeping your pet cool and safe this summer:
- Don’t take your pets along on errands in the car — leave them at home. Even when it is 80 degrees outside, the internal temperature of a car left in the sun can exceed 100 degrees. It takes only minutes for pets left in a vehicle on a hot day to succumb to heat stroke and suffocation.
- Avoid walking your dog in the heat of the day. Go out before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Allow your dog to walk in shaded areas and on cool surfaces, like green grass, if possible.
- If you must walk your dogs during other hours, remember that concrete and asphalt can burn a dog’s bare paws. Buy and use dogs booties, which are sold at most pet stores and come in a variety of sizes.
- Always carry water for your pet, even on short excursions outdoors.
- Keep your dog inside if possible. If you are away for long hours, consider hiring a professional pet sitter to drop by and give your pets some attention and a mid-day potty break in the yard.
- If you must leave your dog out, put in a ceiling fan and/or misting system. If you do not have a pool, buy an inexpensive kiddie pool for your dogs. I find they really enjoy rolling around in them and cooling off.
- Always make sure your pets have clean, fresh water available at all times.
- Don’t forget to have fun with your dog on the weekends. Consider a trip to the dog beach and lake at Cosmo Park in Gilbert.
- Frosty Paws (doggie ice cream) is a nice way to treat and cool off your dog. It can be found at your local grocery store.
Follow the above tips and your pets can stay safe and comfortable even on the hottest Arizona summer days.
Q: Where are you from and what did you do before opening your business?
A: I’m originally from Southern Ohio, which makes me a Midwest farm girl. I owned and operated a large show horse farm, which had a lot of dogs, cats and other animals.
Q: Why did you open your business in Ahwatukee Foothills?
A: I found Ahwatukee to be clean and friendly. Although it’s a large community it felt like home.
Q: How did you get the idea to open your business?
A: I realized I could not have enough animals to love and care for!
Q: What type of merchandise/services do you sell?
A: I offer in home care for pets, potty breaks, walks, vacation visits, day care and kennel-free boarding in my home.
Q: What does your business offer that no one else does?
A: I offer personalized care for your pet, whether I’m taking care of the animal at a client’s home or in my own home.
Q: How have residents of the community responded to your business?
A: I was shocked at the response. What started out as a labor of love turned into a successful and fun business.
Q: What does your business have in store for the future?
A: I welcome the opportunity to grow my business but will never forsake the individual attention I offer.
Q: Anything else you want the community to know about you or your business?
A: I feel that I offer a unique boarding service. It is not a kennel but, instead, a home where pets live with me in my home as they would in their own homes.
Home Alone Pet and Home Services
Owner: Barbara Drummond
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday
Information: (480) 326-6918; thehomealonepet.com
Barbara Drummond has traded in her show horse farm for the slightly more tranquil business of pet sitting – although having more than a dozen dogs in her home on a recent weekend might offer a counter argument. Drummond, from Ohio, operates Home Alone Pet and Home Services in the Lakewood area.
Brian Johnson – AFN