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Our New Dog and Other Life Updates

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I’m so far behind on keeping y’all updated that it feels overwhelming.  Here…let me unload in sections and then see where we can go from there! We’re Welcoming a New Doggy! We’re finally adopting a pup again!  Her name is Khaleesi (no, we didn’t pick that…I would have gone with Xena, hehehe).  She’s a sweet mutt who is medium-sized (35-45 pounds), 8-10 years old, seems pretty mellow, and likes all humans and other animals. In May, she was near death thanks to starvation and a bad skin condition, so she was about to be euthanized at an animal shelter.  They called one of my Chow-rescuing pet sitting clients, Valory, about the “chow that needs to be saved”.  Well upon arrival, Khaleesi was definitely not a Chow but Valory couldn’t leave her to die, so she has been recovering for a few months.  Now she’ll be part of our family for the rest of her life. We’re excited; though a little worried she may like the cats more than us.  She’s tried licking Miss Rachel’s face multiple times now…and seems to think hissing is an interesting form of showing love.  Len has been calling her Pepe Le Pew since that is … Read more

Boarding Kennels Vs. Pet Sitters – Which is Right for You?

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The following is a guest post from my friend and fellow professional pet sitter, Michael Lisby from Paternal Pet Care.  He’s based in Florida and is obviously passionate about pets.  🙂 Pet Boarding Kennels Traditionally, pet boarding has been the most popular option for owners needing to board their pets – but is it really the best? Let’s weigh options usually offered here, and what is ‘better’ for your pet vs. what is simply more convenient for you. At one time, cold concrete/steel ‘runs’ were the norm; the dogs were isolated in these lengthy cages. This is perhaps a few steps above dogs at an animal shelter; we have natural pack animals, intended to socialize, isolated from each other in a strange place with no chance for socialization or special care. The dogs were all isolated to avoid the possibility of social confrontation; there was no chance for injury. Still, this clearly is nowhere near an ideal situation, closer to ‘doggy jail’ than anything. Fortunately, this is only the case with a small number of boarding facilities now. During this new age of amenities, far more accommodations are usually offered (at an additional cost, of course). We have ‘doggie hotels’ … Read more

How I Created a $30,000 Per Year Pet Sitting Business for Less Than $600

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It is hard to believe that you can start such a successful business for such a small investment. This is an amazing way to make money at home and be a work at home mom. Plus, you can do this as a side hustle, in addition to a regular job! Repin this, it's an excellent business idea.

When I first started Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting at the end of February 2014, I was aiming to just earn extra spending money on the side – like a few hundred a month.  I ended up making $750 in March 2014 and it’s just gone up from there.  It’s now grown into a full $30,000+ per year business! How? Because I’m awesome.  😉  But seriously, it’s because I treated it like a “real” business and not just a hobby.  I also kept costs down to a minimum for the maximum gain. My Business Basics Here are the basics for Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting: Pet Sitting Insurance – $400 per year Website Hosting (I already had unlimited hosting through Bluehost) – $70 a year Website Domain Name (included free in a new Bluehost package) – $15 a year Business cards (use my referral links to automatically get a discounted rate) – $23 for 1000 cards Advertising on Craigslist – $0 Advertising on Nextdoor.com – $0 Advertising via Car Signs (magnetic) – $25 for two Advertising via Yelp – $0 Advertising in my neighborhood’s newsletter – $50 per newsletter (wasted) Advertising via Tshirts – $2 (received two nearly free tshirts in exchange for reviewing … Read more

Cheap Ways to Kill Fleas on Your Pet

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No one likes fleas! I hate spending tons of money on flea washes, but how do I get rid of fleas? This is full of info on cheap ways to kill fleas and get rid of the fleas on my dog. Thank goodness, sharing a house with critters is so gross.

This is an updated post from 2014.  It’s flea season again! Mr. BFS and I are professional pet sitters, I rescue strays and help them find their owners or new families (here are the steps to take if you find a stray pet), and we are foster parents for SMART Rescue (smartpetz.com).  A couple of years ago, I was pet sitting a foster pup named Missy.  My best friend ended up adopting her actually, but during that first stint in our house, I found out she was covered in fleas!  Ack!  I hate parasites. 7 Steps to Eradicate Fleas Missy had just received her flea and heartworm prevention medicines, but I don’t mess around with bugs that bite.  I searched online and found a cheap and easy ways to kill fleas.  Here is what worked for me. TRY giving your infected pet a full bath using dishwashing soap or cheap shampoo mixed with a little water and vinegar.  Specifically: 1.  I used a plastic cup to do a half and half combo of dishwashing soap (off brand Dawn) and water.  In the future, I will add a tablespoon of household vinegar too. 2.  I started on Missy’s head and spread the heavy … Read more

Being Nice Can Bite You in the Butt

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Holy hell…ever regret doing something nice? Yet Another Stray I took in a stray cat January 30.  He walked right up to me when I called him out of my bushes.  He was/is super friendly and gorgeous and I was sure he belonged to somebody.  I followed all of my own advice.  I set him up in a safe enclosure in my garage, fed him, and checked him for fleas.  I posted his picture on Nextdoor.com and my community’s Facebook page.  No one claimed him. So SMART Rescue, the one I volunteer for, took on responsibility for him and I’m fostering him until he gets adopted. Yes, that means I have my own cat and two foster cats now…I became a crazy cat lady… Anyway, now he’s been neutered, vetted, vaccinated, microchipped, AND I have him set up in his own large enclosure inside one of my guest bedrooms.  I named him Critter.  He gets to roam around the house a little every day too.  All good…except… SPAZ HE’S SUCH A SPAZ!  Critter will be all lovey-dovey and then he just hisses randomly and walks off.  If you try to pick him up, he may or may not growl.  He hates having his hind quarters pet.  And he will try to kitty play bite you even if he’s … Read more

Meet Our First Foster Cat, Rachel!

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Yep, as if life wasn’t busy enough, Mr. BFS and I have decided to start fostering pets for SMART Pet Rescue again.  🙂  Meet Rachel, our first ever foster cat! Why We’re Fostering a Cat We’ve fostered a bunch before.  It started with Pughearts from 2008-2010 and then we started with the dogs of SMART in 2013.  We stopped fostering dogs because pet sitting takes us away from home too much. We have decided to start fostering one cat at a time now for two main reasons.  First, Miss Vicky (our rescue cat) seems to need extra company ever since our friend and roommate with a cat moved out.  Secondly, it’s sad to volunteer every weekend with the group and know there are some cats that are simply overlooked every week and need some time away from the rescue cages. Rachel the Foster Cat Rachel only joined us at home yesterday, so I don’t know everything about her yet.  She is shy in a new environment for a little bit but gains confidence quickly! She’s a people person and loves being pet and being around her adopted humans. She’s around 2-3 years old, litter box trained, micro-chipped, and completely vetted. She’s ready for a quick … Read more

Steps to Take if You Find a Stray Dog

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I love puppies! Sometimes I find them wandering around in my backyard though as stray dogs and I don't know what to do. This outlines what to do if you find a stray dog in your yard, or even a cat. Helping lost pets get back to their owners is so rewarding, especially if little kids get their animal back.

I’m a member of the free site, Nextdoor.com. It’s like Facebook but just for your neighborhood and the ones immediately surrounding it. It’s fantastic to use to keep up with my community, but what I’m most known for around here is helping my neighbors to search for their lost pets. I’ve directly helped reunite seven sets of owners with their lost pups so far. I’ve also re-homed two stray dogs and fostered about a dozen overall for rescue organizations like Pughearts and SMART Pet Rescue. This has all given me a little peek into what to do if you find a stray dog that needs your help. So if you find yourself in this situation too, here you go! What To Do If You Find a Stray Dog 1.  Take Pictures! If I can’t catch the dog or cat that seems to be lost, I take a picture with my phone . If the stray dog jumps into my car (true story), walks into my garage or house (both true stories), or finally comes to me after bribery (many true stories), I am now the proud temporary owner of a very dirty dog. My first rule of thumb is to … Read more