Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Great Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Dog

5 Great Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Dog

Rainy days are always a good opportunity spend some quality cozy time indoors with your pets.  When you want to avoid the possibility of your pup finding pleasure by rolling in a puddle, a little creativity in keeping your dogs happy and busy can go a long way.  Follow these tips from our very own Fetch! Pet Care professionals.

It’s never too late to learn a new trick.  One trick I wish I had thought of teaching my dogs sooner is to pick up their toys.  Not only is it fun for them to put away their toys, but it also gives them a sense of accomplishment.  Teaching your dog this trick is a lot easier than it may sound — just scatter the toys all over the house and have your dog find them and put them in a basket to earn a reward.  Start by training your dog to know what “put away” means.  Work on teaching your dog to pick up a toy, carry it to a basket and drop it in.  Once your dog gets good at this trick, try making it more challenging by scattering the toys farther apart.

This activity is sure to please any time of year. Give it a try!
Take it to the stairs.  If your dog is less active but enjoys following you around, try a few rounds up and down the stairs — get him interested in seeing what you’re  doing “up there” and “down here”.  If your dog is active, sit at the top of the stairs and toss a ball down for a bit of a workout.

Have a doggie play date!  If your dog has a favorite playmate – invite him over for a little fun. Be sure to puppy proof the house beforehand so that everyone is safe and has a good time.

Keep ‘em quiet with a KONG chew toy.  These toys are by far one of my absolute favorite go-to’s when everyone needs a little down time.  I like to fill them with Greek Yogurt and freeze in advance – this way the yogurt (and quiet time), lasts longer.  Give them a cozy set-up with a couple extra blankets on their beds and enjoy a nice 20 minutes to yourself.

Grooming is a simple and practical way to spend a day indoors.  Fill up the tub and give your dog a bath – if he has aching bones, allow him to spend extra time in the warm water being sure to gently rub the achiness away.  Not only will your pet feel extra special and loved, grooming doubles as a great way to bring you two closer together!


                            Have a rainy day tip to share? Tweet it to us @fetchpetcare or leave it in the comments below...

5 Tips to keep your pet busy while you’re at work

Every pet parent knows the guilt of leaving their pet home alone all day while they go off to work.  At Fetch! Pet Care, we believe that even in your absence your pet can still have a great day!  Whether it’s wrestling with a Kong for their food, finding a hidden treat or going for a great 60-minute walk, your pet can have a fun filled day that will leave them tired and ready for some cuddling when you get home.  Here are our top 5 tips for keeping your pet busy while you’re at work:

1. Hunger Games: It’s time for your pet to bring home the bacon!  There are great toys that make your pet work for their kibble or treats.  The Kong and The Bob-Alot are great examples.  The Kong has a hallowed out cylinder where you can insert treats that are almost out of your pet’s grasp. With work they can get their treats and have a great time. The Kong has both dog and cat versions of the toy.  The Bob-Alot is an egg shape toy, weighted on the bottom so it wobbles around when pushed.  Once the treat or kibble is inside, your pet will push it around the floor. The more pushing, the more the kibble comes out! You can put your pet’s whole meal in The Bob-Alot to make a meal last a lifetime!

2. Paper bags or boxes:  If your pet has not discovered the joy of a paper bag or box then they are missing out!  A simple paper bag or box can keep your pet occupied for hours as they throw the bag around, crawl inside the box and push it around the floor. Sometimes simple everyday items like these can be so entertaining for your pet. For safety purposes, please remember to poke holes in the bags or boxes, and never use plastic bags.

3. Satisfy the need to chew: Pets love to chew, so it’s important they have some great chew toys so they don’t go after your shoes!  Chewing is great for dental hygiene and will keep your pet busy for hours! We recommend using nylon bones over rawhide, which can break off into pieces, get lodged in your pet’s stomach, and cause major problems.  For kitties we recommend catnip mice and other fabric chew toys.  Get some great chew toys and your pet will have a happy, productive day!

4. Fetch! Pet Care Walks/Pet Visits: Pets love to have a daily walk or visit from a Fetch! Pet Care pet sitter or dog walker.  We can take your dog on a 30-, 45- or 60-minute walk, or for dogs with extra energy we provide fast-paced walks, designed to truly get your dog’s heart rate up and send him home “dog tired”!  For cats we provide fun games and circuit training to engage your cat’s feline prey instincts.  A daily visit is a great way to break up the long day.

5. Hiding treats: Our pets are notoriously curious, especially cats and small dogs. You’ll often find your kitty or pup curled up in a small, concealed cubbyhole or hidden spot.  Seek out these spots and hide a yummy treat, small chew toys, or a crinkly fun toy!  They’ll be lured in by the treat and then stop for a relaxing afternoon nap!

Although nothing substitutes a nice day with their owners, these tips can help your pet have a great, busy week until you’re home for the weekend!


Fetch! Pet Care of Palm Desert a friend to furry companions

Fetch! was featured in an article in The Desert Sun titled, “Fetch! Pet Care of Palm Desert a friend to furry companions,” than ran on February 18, 2014. The article mentions Paul Mann and highlights Kathleen’s opening on February 1st. Preview article below or read full story here.

"Fetch! Pet Care of Palm Desert a friend to furry companions"

BY: Nina Ronda

Palm Desert has a new pet care service. Kathleen Huffman, owner and general manager, opened Fetch! Pet Care of Palm Desert on Feb. 1.

After being in the corporate world and traveling for 20 years, Huffman knew how difficult it was to always find a sitter for her precious pets. Inspired by her two Shih Tzu dogs, Huffman considered starting professional pet-sitting and dog-walking services.
Getting started

A franchise company headquartered in Berkeley was founded in 2002 by Paul Mann. When Mann grew weary of searching for the right pet­sitter, his solution was to start his own pet-sitting and -walking enterprise and use that as the business model for home-based franchises. So, this was a natural fit for Huffman to start Fetch! Pet Care of Palm Desert.

Pet Shape Up Challenge Successfully Promotes Healthy Weight Control for Pets

We talk about new diet trends, weight loss programs and exercise everyday, but do we consider this for our pets as well? Fetch! Pet Care was recently featured in Pet Business for their focus on pet health and their pet shape up challenge. Preview the article below or read the full story here.

"Pet Shape Up Challenge Successfully Promotes Healthy Weight Control for Pets"

BY: Jennifer Boncy 

For the past couple of days, the topic de jour at many water coolers has been the dramatic weight loss achieved by the winner of the NBC TV show The Biggest Loser. Here at Pet Business Media, however, we’ve been awaiting the results of a very different weight loss program: the Pet Shape Up Challenge, a Dog and Cat Weight Loss Program.

Fetch! Pet Care, a dog walking, pet sitting and boarding franchise, joined forces with natural pet food manufacturer Halo, Purely For Pets, not too long ago to launch a pilot program designed to fight pet obesity and promote healthy pet lifestyles. The program emphasized exercise—particularly walking and getting active with Fetch! Pet Care pet professionals—and also included a nutritional component. A resident nutritionist from Halo custom-designed the daily feeding routine for each pet in order to control calorie intake and ensure proper nutrition during the Challenge period. Owners were then coached on how to properly feed and exercise their pets as well during the challenge.

In the fall, we introduced our readers to three participants of the pilot program: Wilbur, Bandit and Dixie (pictured above taking a hike during the challenge), and although we don’t have detailed results on the three animals, Fetch! Pet Care’s founder and CEO recently gave us an update how the pets fared during the challenge and what the companies learned from the pilot. He also filled us on in on a possible national rollout.

Olympians and their pooch pals

Olympians love their pets just as much as we do! Thanks to our friends at NBC you can check out these olympians and their furry friends.

"Olympians and their pooch pals"

BY: NBC Olympics

Speed skater J.R. Celski










Freestyle skier Hannah Kearney










Figure skaters Alex and Maia Shibutani










5 Ways Your Pet Makes You Heart Healthy

We all love our pets, but did you know that your pet is actually improving your health? The companionship of your favorite pet helps you feel loved and adored, giving your body a break from everyday stressors. Pets also give us a sense of purpose and belonging, two very important things for overall physical and mental health. Here are five more scientifically proven ways that our pets help our hearts stay healthy:

1. Pets make healthy hearts: Studies show that owning a pet makes you less likely to have heart disease and other heart conditions. Most pet owners walk their dogs or play with their cats, causing them to be more active and build stronger hearts.

2. Pets help your heart recover: If you already have heart disease or another heart condition, don’t worry—your pet will still help you out! Pet owners who already have heart disease or a heart condition are proven more likely to live longer and more productively than patients with the same heart conditions that do not own a pet.

3. Pets are stress soothers: 70-90% of all human’s doctor visits in the U.S. are due to stress related illnesses and ailments, including high blood pressure and other heart problems. Pets are our secret weapon against stress! Studies show that when a person pets an animal their blood pressure and stress hormones lower, allowing their body to enter a “stress free” zone!

4. Pets are health boosters: Having a pet doesn’t just make health ailments disappear, it also helps your body create more serotonin and norepinephrine, two important hormones that regulate mood, cognition and blood pressure, amongst other things. Studies show that when pet owners are active, playing or walking their pets these two hormones are elevated, giving your body an extra boost!

5. Cats may have an advantage: Cat owners may also have a specific, but mysterious advantage. People who have never owned a cat are 40% more likely to die of a heart attack and 30% more likely to die from other cardiovascular diseases. Though the exact reason is unknown, it sure seems like a great reason to add a cat to your pet family!


We already knew that animals were good for our hearts, but now we have the scientific studies to prove it! Owning a pet can be a key part of living a happy and heart healthy life!

Tips for a Happier Pet in the New Year

Tips for a Happier Pet in the New Year

The New Year is a great time for reflection and change. While you’re setting your New Year’s resolutions, take time to set goals for a healthier, happier pet in 2014. Don’t know where to start with creating a New Year’s pet resolution? That’s ok! We’ve got your tail covered. Here are some steps for resolving to make 2014 your pet’s best year yet!

Know Your Pet: One of the best places to start is by identifying your pet’s personality. Pets are just like people, some are more sensitive and low key, while others need a more fast paced life. Think about when your pet seems happy and at ease. If you have a sensitive pet you may want to make more time for cuddling! If your pet is fast paced you might want to increase trips to the dog park. Also consider that your pet may need a balance of the two. Knowing your pet’s personality will help you know their needs and then fulfill them.

Reducing Stress: Animals are creatures of habit, and they feel comfortable and safe in a predictable environment. This means having regularly scheduled meals, walks and bedtime. A consistent living space is equally important for stress reduction. Keep your pet’s bed, food bowl and toys in the same place. Imagine if every day you woke up your bed and dining room table were in different places. Sounds pretty stressful! Make changes to ensure a regular schedule and predictable home for a happy stress-free pet.

-Keep Your Pet Fit: Happy pets are active and fit! Again, remember that every pet is different; some pets need a long hard workout, while others thrive with leisurely walks and indoor games. Regardless of your pet’s preference, each pet should have about 30 minutes of activity a day. If you don’t have time, you can have your local Fetch! Pet Care location provide daily recurring dog walking and pet sitting exercise to your pet from their skilled staff of dog walkers and pet sitters while you’re at work. The important thing is to make sure your pet is getting their heart rate up to a prescribed level for optimum vitality, health and happiness!

-Mental Stimulation: Mental stimulation is just as important for your pet as physical stimulation. You can work this into your pet’s daily fitness by varying your walking routes, providing new smells, sights and sounds. If you’re playing indoors there are great toys that will keep your pet mentally occupied for hours. You can also train your pet to perform tricks and commands. This has multiple benefits including improving behavior, pet self-esteem and owner-pet bonding. A busy mind is a happy mind - keep your pet mentally challenged and they’ll feel more fulfilled.

Taking care of your pet’s body and mind is a sure way to have the happiest pet on the block! Don’t feel overwhelmed trying to make all of these changes at once, you have a whole year to put these tips into place! We wish you and your pet a happy New Year!