Complimentary Pet Sitting Extras

pet sitter water plants

A professional pet sitter has both the care of your home and your pets as their top priority. It is a given that your pet sitter will provide your pet care, but did you know that they will also water your plants, collect your mail, and along with other extras? Here is a list of the complimentary pet sitting Extras extras Top Dog Pet Sitters offers along with a pet sitting reservation. 



Watering Plants

We may not have a green thumb, but we would be happy to water your plants while you are away. We can water your indoor & outdoor plants as long as you provide us with the exact instructions for care. There may be an additional fee added if your garden or plant collection takes away from the care of your pets, but in most cases the service is complimentary!


Trash & Recycle 

Not placing your trash and recycle out for pick up like you do every week can be a tell tale sign you are not home. Leaving trash bins full until your return could result in yucky smells, bugs, and rodents. Placing your trash and recycling out for pick up is just one of the complimentary pet sitting extras we offer!  Just let us know your pick up days and we would be happy to follow through!


Home Security

Giving your house an “at home” appearance is one of the perks of hiring a professional pet sitter. As one of our complimentary pet sitting extras, we offer light & curtain rotation service, as well and TV & radio for sound. Making your home appear to have someone there may be a deterrent to potential burglars. We even offer this service those homes without pets! Ask about our house sitting services by visiting our contact us page. 


Feeders for Backyard Birds

Are you one of the many people who enjoy a backyard bird hobby? No need to be worried that your little-feathered friends will find a new feeder while you are away! We will happily refill bird feeder and bird baths while you are gone. 


Mail, Newspaper, & Packages 

Most clients do not realize we will check the mail, collect the newspapers, and bring packages at our visits. We don’t want your home to be a sitting target while you mail & newspapers pile up and we know how crafty some thieves can be about stealing delivered packages. That is why we offer these services. Please keep the deliveries with in reason, your pet sitter may not be able to carry in a large or heavy package. 


Pools & Other Home Features

We may not be a pool service but we do know that the filter requires a clean basket in order to run effectively. We may not be an A/C company, but we know when your unit is not working properly. If you want us to be sure that things are running smoothly with some of your home’s features, just ask  and we will let you know if that is a task we would be happy to add on! 


Keep in mind our main concern is your pet. Therefore any complimentary pet sitting extras that will take away from the time your pet receives and the attention they deserve may have a nominal fee may be added to your invoice.  

Written by Julie Gajewski, CPPS. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats. You can find out more about Julie by visiting her website.

Heat Stroke in Dogs

What are the signs of heat stroke in dogs?  

Heat Stroke in Dogs

According to Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “If left untreated, heat stroke can cause serious damage to organs and may lead to seizures, shock, collapse, coma, and death.” Dogs do not have the same cooling mechanisms humans do. They do not sweat, they pant and use a temperature exchange called convection to cool the body by exchanging the warm body temperatures for the cooler air outside. If the outside air is just as hot as the dog’s body temperature, the dog will be unable to cool itself. 

What are the signs of heat stroke in dogs?

  • Excessive panting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Bright red tongue/gums
  • Pale gums
  • Thick saliva
  • LethargyWeakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
  • Diarrhea

If left untreated, seizures, coma, cardiac arrest, and death can occur.

What should I do if my dog is suffering from heat stroke?

First, move your dog immediately from the heat. Transport your dog to your veterinarian immediately. While transporting, it is important to lower your dog’s temperature by placing cool, wet towels under the front legs in the armpit area, on the back of the neck, and in the groin area. Placing your dog in front of a fan to help move the air around him. Never submerge your pet is ice water, cooling your pet too quickly can cause life-threatening medical conditions. Monitoring your dog’s temperature rectally is very important! Once the body temperature is 103ºF, your can stop the efforts to cool your dog down. Remove wet towels, turn off fans, and dry your dog off so your dog’s body temperature does not get too low. Even if your dog is no longer panting and its temperature is normal, a trip to the veterinarian is still needed to ensure your dog is not dehydrated or is suffering from other complications. Have cool water available for your pet to drink at their leisure during the cooling process and after their body temperature is regulated.

How can heat stroke in dogs be prevented?

Provide your dog access to fresh cool water.  Never leave your pet in a hot parked car, the temperature inside a parked car can escalate to 140 degrees quickly. Make sure when outside your dog has access to shade and avoid places like the beach, areas in direct sunlight, or areas covered in concrete where heat is reflected. On hot days limit outdoor exercise. Keep your dog inside in the air conditioning. Provide frozen bottles of water under bedding and towels for your pet to lay on.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, do not hesitate. Take your pet immediately to the veterinarian. 


Staying Cool in the Summer Heat: Tips for Humans & Their Canine Companions

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat: Tips for Humans & Their Canine Companions

staying cool

As dog walkers, we know all too well how hot it gets here in Georgia during the Summer! We take every precaution to keep ourselves and the dogs we care for on our walking excursions cool and to prevent heat exhaustion or worse heat stroke. Here are a few tips on staying cool in the Summer heat when outside with your dog. 

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for both you and Fido when enjoying the great outdoors. Always carry a water bottle for the both of you whether at the park or on a walk. Check out this easy to use travel water bottle for your dog on Amazon. It comes with a small bowl for Fido to drink from. CamelBak has great options for wearable water bottles the keep your hands free while enjoying the great outdoors. 

Doggie Pools

The fastest way to cool down Fido during a hot day is to let him play in a doggie pool. Doggie pools come is all shapes and sizes. There are collapsible pools for easy storage, chew resistant pools, and pools with built-in drains. Check out these doggie pools on Pinterest or go to your local Walmart to buy a good old fashioned kiddie pool. 

Cooling Towels/Cooling Vests

Cooling towels and vests are a great way cool you and your dog during a hot day. For us humans, the Chilly Pad by froggtoggs, keeps you cool all day. It retains water while staying dry to the touch.  For Fido, the Swamp Cooler by RuffWear provides protection from the sun and cooling through evaporation.

Staying cool is key during the summer months for both humans and pets alike. Always make sure you and your pet have ample shade when outdoors and never leave your pet in a hot car!  


Common Digestive Problems in Dogs

common digestive problems in dogs

We’ve all been there. One day Fido is feeling 100 % and the next, he has an upset tummy. Understanding common digestive problems in dogs will help you know if Fido’s upset tummy is an emergency.


What is pancreatitis? 

It is a digestive disease that occurs when the pancreas, located right side of the abdomen adjacent to the stomach, becomes inflamed. The enzymes that the pancreas creates to aid in the digestion of food start to overflow into the abdomen. Once in the enzymes reach the abdomen, the body begins to digest itself leading to kidney, liver, and damage to other organs. Pancreatitis is a medical emergency and can result in death if not treated properly! 

What are the symptoms?

Commonly, most dogs will present symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and a decreased appetite. You may see your dog place their hind end in the air while their front legs and head are low to the ground. Some dogs with severe cases may have bouts of severe depression, go into acute shock, or even die. 

How is it caused? 

Although the exact cause of pancreatitis is not known, a meal high in fat is often thought to be the culprit. Since a dog’s digestive tract is not used to high-fat meals, it is best to not give Fido table scraps of human food like beef, bacon, or chicken skin. Often times, Pancreatitis can present spontaneously without any reason or be the result of high doses or corticosteroids. 

How is it diagnosed?

After an exam, your vet will draw blood to check your pet’s white blood cell count, organ function, and to see if their enzyme levels are normal. Since a dog with pancreatitis may have normal enzyme levels, your vet will also run a Snap cPL test that detects elevated lipase levels in your dog’s blood. X-rays may also be taken to see if there has been any damage to the pancreas. In some cases, an ultrasound may be needed to chek for inflammation and infection. 

How is it treated? 

Your dog will be hospitalized in most cases for 2-4 days for treatment. IV fluids will be given to keep your pet hydrated and to keep your pet’s electrolytes balanced. Pain medications will be administered to help wth the intense pain the disease causes. Antibiotics will be given if an infection is suspected. Anti-inflammatory medications along with anti-nausea & vomiting medications will be administered. Food will be slowly reintroduced as your pet begins to feel better. Once discharged, your pet will be sent home a low fat easy to digest prescription diet to help prevent recurring bouts of the disease. 


What is colitis? 

Colitis is inflammation of the colon or large intestine. Colitis happens when the final part of the digestive process in disrupted because the lining of the colon is irritated and inflamed. 

What are the symptoms? 

Most dogs will have small frequent bowel movements often described as soft. Many dogs will strain to defecate or have loose watery stools sometimes accompanied by mucous or blood. a frequent urge to defecate is common along with passing gas. Vomiting and weight loss may also occur but are rare. Often times the area surrounding the anus is inflamed or red from straining. 

How is it caused? 

Colitis has symptoms that suddenly appear such as diarrhea and may resolve on its own after a few days. Your pet may appear normal other than having diarrhea. Colitis is caused by a change in diet, stress, parasites, ingesting toxins or foreign objects, or bacterial overgrowth in the colon.

How is it diagnosed? 

Your veterinarian will perform a complete exam and obtain your pet’s medical history. A fecal test will be done to examine the feces for parasites and bacteria. Blood will be drawn to check your pet’s red & white blood cells and organ function. X-rays may be taken to locate any abnormalities within the intestines.

How is it treated? 

Treatment of colitis often depends on the underlying condition that is causing the symptoms. If a specific cause of the colitis cannot be found, your vet will recommend withholding food for 24-48 hours and placing your pet on a low residue, high fiber diet.  Your pet may be placed on an antimicrobial medication such as Flagyl for any overgrowth of bacteria.  

These common digestive problems in dogs require medical treatment. If your dog is having diarrhea or exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above call your veterinarian for an appointment. 


Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a Veterinary Technician and veterinary hospital administrator since 1997. She founded her pet sitting company, Fuzzy Friends Pet Care, at the young age of 16. She was nominated as one of Pet Sitters International’s Top 5 Pet Sitters in 2016 and is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.

Why you need to hire a dog walker

dog walker

Your dog is a loyal creature. He patiently waits for you to come home from work to give you kisses and cuddles when you walk in the door. However, most evenings the kisses and the cuddles are put on hold for Fido’s much-needed bathroom break. In a perfect world, you could work from home and have time to take Fido on a nice leisurely walk 2 or 3 times a day. But let’s get real for a minute here…ain’t nobody got time for that! The boss needs you to stay late, the kids have soccer practice, somebody’s got to make dinner. That is where a dog walker can make a positive impact on the relationship you have with your canine companion. 


A dog walker provides a midday bathroom break

Healthy dogs can often hold their bladder for up to 8 hours. Some can even go longer. Just because Fido has an “iron bladder” doesn’t mean you have to make him hold it all day. Hiring a dog walker to come and give Fido walk midday (and evenings too), break up the time he has to hold his bladder, which makes Fido a happy pooch and you a happy pet parent. Dog walkers are hitting the pavement walking dogs all across the country at all times of the day. Here at Top Dog Pet Sitter, we walk dogs starting at 11:00 am all the way to 2:00 pm and as needed in the evenings to accommodate everyone’s work schedule. 

A dog walker helps keep Fido from getting bored

We all hate being bored. Fido is no exception. While you work the daily grind Fido is at home switching from snoozing on the couch to snoozing on his dog bed. He tosses around a toy or two and enjoys his daily routine of barking at the mailman. It is in the in-between naps and routine that your dog craves attention to break up his day. A dog walker can be your dog’s midday hero showing up just in the nick of time to get Fido outside to sniff all the new and old neighborhood dogs that have cruised by the house since his last walk. After his walk, he can settle into his doggy bed with a smile knowing his favorite person will be home soon to take him for an evening stroll. 

A dog walker provides exercise

Exercise is just as important for your dog as it is for you! Fido needs to get in some cardio each day to keep his waistline trim and his heart healthy. But if you are anything like most working adults, getting your own cardio workout in everyday hard enough. Let your dog walker come to the rescue! Dog Walkers are superheroes with leashes. Their job is to exercise your dog. So go ahead and give your friendly neighborhood dog walker a call and hit will be hitting the pavement in no time! 

A dog walker allows crated dogs to stretch their legs

Crate training has saved many dog owners from costly veterinary bills and many a headache. Your dog’s crate maybe his safe haven or the scary place he goes when you leave him home. Either way, he sees it, a good stretch of the legs midday makes his crate time more enjoyable. A midday walk will improve his circulation and keep his joints from getting stiff. Your dog is already getting excited about his potential dog walker as he reads this while longer over your shoulder. 

A dog walker helps prevent accidents from puppies & seniors

Puppies are cute. They make you laugh when they do adorable things, they make you cry when they have accidents. Seniors dogs are so regal. Their loyalty brings a smile to your face, but their lack of bladder control will make you frown. What if there was some magical way for you to go to work and come home to an accident-free home? There is! Dog walkers are like your fairy godmother when it comes to puppies and senior’s pets. They are available to let your dog outside for a potty break or walk while you make that money. They can wave their magic wand and customize a schedule that works best for your schedule, their schedule, your dog’s bladder’s schedule. 

A dog walker provides you with peace of mind

Happy hour with colleagues. A ball game after work. Your daughter has a recital. Boss making you stay late again. There is a pile-up on the interstate. Sometimes life just gets in the way and you have to roll with punches. Fido doesn’t know how to roll like that. He’s on a schedule. A dog walker can give you peace of mind that you do not have to rush home to get him out the door to potty. No need to brush off your colleagues for that evening drink. Catch that ball game with a client. Sit in the front row at the recital. Make the boss happy and stay to finish up that project. Rock out to your favorite songs while sitting in traffic. Just keep calm and call your dog walker! 

When hiring a professional dog walker, be sure to check their credentials! Professional dog walkers are bonded & insured,  CPR First Aid Trained, have a clear background check, and hold other professional certifications and training certificates. 

Let Christina of Top Dog give Fido the midday walk he needs and deserves.  Click here to check out our services page to find out more about our Midday Dog Walks.

Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a technician and hospital administrator since 1997. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.