New Spots Open for Mid-Day Dog Walking!

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Does your pup need a walking buddy?  I’ve been enjoying my mid-day walks with my weekday regulars so much that I decided to open up two more spots, for new or existing clients!

Dog walks typically occur between 11am-2pm, Monday through Friday.  I only do private walks, giving my undivided attention to one family at a time.  Visits can be scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes, depending on your dog’s needs and energy level.  Dog walking can also include other pet sitting services such as meals, bringing in mail & packages, adjusting lights, and yard pickup.

Many people schedule dog walking to give their best friend a chance to stretch their legs and go potty while they’re gone during the day.  This can also provide some time to blow off energy for an active pup, or an opportunity to help a couch potato get their extra steps in.  If your dog is a social butterfly, they’ll be glad to have some company while you’re busy working.  Dog walking provides physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and loneliness, and it’s also great for your pet’s health!

Daily dog walking also includes:
  • Report Card:  A text or e-mail report detailing our visit.
  • GPS Tracking:  See exactly where your dog goes on our walking adventure, right on your phone.
  • Daily Photos:  I try my best to take photos that really capture your pet’s personality!  Parents are encouraged to save any photos I take for personal use.

If you  need something a little different than the services outlined above, please don’t hesitate to ask.  Visits are tailored to meet your needs, and I’m happy to be accommodating.

Service available for San Pedro, Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes, Torrance, Redondo Beach & nearby neighbors.

If you’d like to book this spot or have questions, please reach out using my contact form!

South Bay’s Favorite Pet Sitter: 2018

Thank you to everyone who voted for The Vegan Petsitter in The Daily Breeze Reader Choice Awards this year.  We were honored to receive the title of Favorite Pet Sitter for the third time!

Stay tuned to veganpetsitter.com and our social media channels (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) if you’d like to vote again next Spring, or look for your ballot in your newspaper if you are a Daily Breeze subscriber.  Your continued support of The Vegan Petsitter is truly appreciated!

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Wetlands guinea pig rescue with Orange County Cavy Haven

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I think I might be the only biology major in Southern California who had never been to Bolsa Chica Wetlands.  Every semester at school somebody brings it up, and every time I feel like my scientist cred goes down just a little bit – I’m not sure why, it’s just never happened!  Last Monday, I finally had the opportunity to venture out there for a very unexpected reason.

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My friend Michiko posted on Facebook about a colony of about a dozen guinea pigs that had been dumped at Bolsa Chica, and asked if anyone could come help her attempt to catch them.

Yeah, you read that right.  Catching.  Guinea pigs.

I haven’t had as much time as I would like for rescue lately, so when someone is in need and I happen to be available, I jump on it.  Next thing I know, I’m in Huntington Beach with a few other friends I’d never met before, crawling through bushes, trying to catch guinea pigs.

I’ve caught stray dogs, cats, and rabbits before, but it’s always been on much easier terrain and sometimes still took several days and multiple attempts.  I definitely thought there was a chance we could spend hours out there and go home empty handed, and so did Michiko.  But one by one, we slowly started catching pigs, and over a span of about 4 hours the 8 of us had caught all 9, including a baby who was about 2-3 days old.

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The pigs had found shelter in some dense shrubbery, where they were able to scoot through little openings in the brush without being seen.  One method we found that worked was to block one or more of the openings with a towel (shown above) or our arms, luring them toward us with veggies, and staying still as statues until one person was able to swiftly grab them with their hands.

Toward the end of the 4 hours, there were only 2 pigs left – and as much as we didn’t want to leave them overnight, we started thinking we might have to give up and try again tomorrow.  An idea came to me that I’ve used before in cat rescue and trap-neuter-return: sometimes, it’s possible to use one cat or kitten you’ve already caught to lure a resistant one into a trap.  This is especially useful for reuniting mom and babies.  A mother cat who isn’t interested in tuna might be more likely to respond to her meowing kitten.

We weren’t sure if either of the remaining pigs were our little one’s mom, but Guinea pigs are herd animals, and typically live in groups of hundreds.  As we started catching pigs, we saw the ones remaining becoming less confident.  Even if we weren’t trying to catch a parent, I thought their tendency to seek safety in numbers could help us out.

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We took our tiny baby piglet, loaded him up securely in a small carrier, and took him with us back under the bush.  Sure enough, he started wheeking right away.  I’m not sure if my strategy actually worked, or it was just that enough time had passed since the last catch and the remaining pigs were getting more confident, but soon enough we had the last two!  (It may have also been that we were getting desperate to catch them, and more willing to dive into what felt like tumbleweeds.)

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Grateful for the amazing rescuers at Orange County Cavy Haven who facilitated this mission, and for the other volunteers who showed up at a moments notice to help some piggies.  These little ones are being fostered through OCCH, so please visit occavyhaven.org if you would like to donate toward their care, foster, or adopt.

To learn more about why #AdoptDontShop is important for small animals, check out my blog post:  Is it time to commit to pet-free pet stores?

Lastly, a reminder that abandoning any kind of animal is not only unkind to the animal, it disrupts local wildlife, and is considered a misdemeanor in some cases.  Don’t do it!

DIY sweet potato chews

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Bruce loves sweet potato chews, and they are one of my favorite treats to buy for him.  Unfortunately, sometimes the cost keeps me from buying them as often as I (and he) would like.  Then it occurred to me – they had to be fairly cheap and easy to make myself, right?  I mean it’s one sweet potato, Michael.  What could it cost?  10 dollars?

To make a batch of these for your pup, all you have to do is thinly slice a sweet potato about 1/4″-1/3″ thick, spread them out in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 250° for about 3 hours.  If you have a few too many slices it’s okay to overlap a bit; they will shrink during cooking and you can re-adjust them to fit.  Be sure to flip them over about halfway through cooking, and keep a close eye on them during the last 30 minutes so they don’t burn.  Your pup can enjoy these as soon as they are cool – feel free to taste-test them yourself, too!  They’ll be on the crispier side the day of baking, but the chewiness kicks in after refrigeration.  You can store these guys in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Bon appetit!

Keep your pet (and yourself!) cool this summer with cooling mats

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It was a hot week in Los Angeles, with temperatures in many areas reaching the triple digits.  For myself and many of my clients, our top priority during a heat wave is making sure our pets stay cool!

Since we’re usually blessed with beautiful weather here in the South Bay, many of us don’t have (or need) central air conditioning.  Instead, we rely on fans, closed curtains, and portable air conditioners to keep our pets comfortable while we’re away at work.  If you feel like your current heat wave regimen might not be cutting it, maybe your pet would enjoy a cooling mat?

I first tried these out two summers ago when my former roommate bought some for the animals to share.  They took to them right away, especially the cats, and would seek them out to nap on.  I’ve since moved, and last week was a reminder that I should order some cooling mats of our own.  I went with two from the Green Pet Shop brand, since that was what we had used previously and everybody liked.  I also ordered one of the Little Dove donut mats, because, I mean, obvi.

The donut mat came first, and the day it arrived was particularly hot.  I felt bad that I didn’t have enough to go around yet (more were on the way), but I put it out and figured whoever claimed it would get to use it.  But it was different from the mat they were used to, and I don’t think they caught on right away that it was meant to cool them down.  That night they left the mat alone, sought out their regular cool spots, and went to sleep.

I, on the other hand, kept waking up that night, uncomfortably hot.  The donut mat was still unclaimed.  Feeling a little guilty, I got up and grabbed it for myself – and I can tell you from experience, it works great for humans too!

The kids have since realized that this magic donut will help keep them cool, and have started using it.  It’s too early to say for sure, but I think they may have been more attracted to the Green Pet Shop mat, possibly because the exterior is a bit softer.  Both are great choices and will help your pet have a great summer!

Little Dove Summer Chill Mat

The Green Pet Shop Self Cooling Pet Pad


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