The Pros of a Professional Pet Sitter

You’ve booked your personal vacation or work trip. Check! Now the most important decision…who will care for your beloved pet while you’re gone? You may have considered many different pet care options…from asking a friend or neighbor, to boarding at a kennel, to hiring a professional pet sitter. Four Leg Stretch shares the benefits of using a professional pet sitter during your next trip.

What is a Professional Pet Sitter?:
A professional pet sitter provides pet care in your home while you’re away on vacation or a work trip. In advance of your trip, a pet sitter professional will meet with you and your pet, provide proof of liability insurance, and review a contract agreement. During the visit, detailed information about your pet, routine, special needs, and requests will be collected. Client and home instructions will be reviewed, such as light and blind rotation, mail retrieval, and alarm/garage codes. Two house keys will be provided (one key is for day-to-day use; the other is for back-up purposes).

During your travel, a professional pet sitter will visit your pet 3-4 times (dogs) or 1-2 times (cats) per full day gone. A variety of tasks are completed during the visits to include:

  • Feeding, watering
  • Exercise, playtime
  • Medicine administration, if required
  • Mail and newspaper retrieval, blind and light rotation, plant care
  • Litter box clean up
  • Lots and lots of TLC
  • Recap and pet picture following the visit

Benefits of a Professional Pet Sitter:
More and more pet parents have recognized the benefits of in-home care by a professional pet sitter. Here are a few benefits to consider:

  • Comfort and Security: Your pet will never have to leave the comfort and security of home sweet home. Home has familiar surroundings, sights, and smells that keep your pet comfy-cozy and relaxed. Boarding facilities can be a very stressful environment for pets.
  • One-on-One Care: While you’re away, attentive focus on your pet gives them the one-on-one attention, care, and love that they deserve.
  • Routine: Your pet will be able to maintain his/her feeding, potty break, exercise, and playtime routine.
  • Avoid Kennel Cons: Pet’s exposure to kennel-related illness, the need for extra vaccinations, and interaction with other pets is eliminated.
  • Peace of Mind: You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your pet is being cared for by a trained, experienced, and reliable professional. The care will be tailored to your pet’s needs, likes, dislikes, fears, and habits.
  • Human/Pet Bond: A professional pet sitter forms a very strong bond with your pet. This special bond reduces stress, provides a sense of security, and prevents fear and confusion caused when multiple people are caring for your pet.

Professional vs. Hobby Pet Sitter:
A professional pet sitter cares for pets as their career – your pet is the top priority. Below is a comparison between a “professional” and “hobby” pet sitter:

Professional Pet Sitter:

  • Offers pet sitting services as a primary business – it’s their career
  • Has local business license, full liability insurance, and bond rider
  • Requests client’s to review and approve a contract agreement
  • Has extensive pet care experience
  • Centralized and secure portal with pet, client, and home details
  • Daily visit communication process in place
  • Solid reputation and 5-star reviews

Hobby Pet Sitter:

  • Not a business/career
  • Posts as a pet sitter on websites and apps, such as Rover and Wag
  • Offers pet care as a side job to earn extra money
  • Does not have a license, insurance, bond rider, or contact agreement
  • Asks pet parents to email or leave a note with details about their pets
  • Does not have extensive pet care experience
  • Caring for your pet may not be their top priority

Four Leg Stretch offers professional pet sitting services in Brookside, Waldo, Plaza and surrounding areas. Our client’s reviews on facebook, yelp, and google speak for themselves – our client’s have complete trust and peace of mind when Four Leg Stretch cares for their furry family member. We would be honored to care for your pet during your next getaway. To schedule a complimentary meet and greet visit, please fill out the Contact Us form.

Pet First Aid

If you share your home with a four-legged family member, it’s important to be prepared in case of a pet emergency.

A pet emergency can be an extremely stressful and scary situation. Hopefully you will never need to administer first aid, rescue breathing, or CPR to your pet. However, if there is a need, being calm and prepared is the best thing you can do for your dog or cat.

Pet First Aid – American Red Cross:
The most comprehensive pet first aid resource we’ve discovered is provided by the American Red Cross. The free application has preparation, first aid, and emergency care information for dogs and cats. You can download the free “Pet First Aid” application to your phone or tablet here.

When it comes to pet emergencies, the most common scenarios you will run into are First Aid, Rescue Breathing, or CPR.

* FIRST AID: Has Heartbeat, Has Breathing
* RESCUE BREATHING: Has Heartbeat, No Breathing
* CPR: No Heartbeat, No Breathing

First Aid: 
Pet First Aid is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or is suddenly ill. Timely and appropriate first aid can help your dog or cat with something as simple as a bee sting to more advanced actions such as a safe transport. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid application lists 3-4 steps for common first aid scenarios.

Rescue Breathing & CPR:
Rescue Breathing: (Has Heartbeat, No Breathing) No breathing can be caused by factors such as drowning, trauma, poisoning, or electrocution. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid application includes rescue breathing steps under the “CPR” section.

CPR: (No Heartbeat, No Breathing) This is a true life-threatening emergency. Clinically, the pet has passed away, however the pet may still be alive at a biological level. The American Red Cross Pet First Aid application includes CPR steps for dogs (by size and shape) and cats.

If a first aid/emergency arises and you don’t have scenario response plans in place, don’t waste time scrolling through the application for information. Immediately take your dog or cat to the vet. However, keep in mind that certain emergencies require stabilization prior to transport, such as choking, heat stroke, or CPR. Preparation is key!

If your vet is closed or you’re out of town with your pet, be prepared by knowing the nearest 24/7 pet emergency hospital location.

Let’s Talk About Dog Poop

Let’s talk about dog poop, shall we? Below is what you need to know from bags – to the importance of poop pick up – to the “Four C’s” of dog poop. It’s not a glamorous topic, but these tips will make poop pick up a breeze and provide you with insight on healthy vs. concerning dog poop.

Poop Bags:
Four Leg Stretch picks up a lot of dog poop during our daily walks. And trust me, we’ve tried a lot of poop bag brands over the years. A leak-proof, thick, and sturdy bag makes the pick up experience clean, quick, and easy. Paws down, the best poop bag brand on the market is Earth Rated. The USA-made poop bags are super tough, made from recycled materials, and offer unscented and scented options. Just imagine the sweet smell of lavender while you pick up poop! It’s heavenly!

Poop Pick Up (Please and Thank You):
Picking up after your dog is an important and responsible pet parent task. In public spaces, common courtesy is an obvious reason to pick up after your furry pal. Nothing can ruin a walk more than stepping in dog poop. A more urgent and concerning reason to pick it up is health-related. There are many common diseases that can be transmitted to other dogs and even people through contaminated dog poop. There’s also a misconception that dog poop acts as a fertilizer…sadly, this is not true. Dog poop is high in nitrogen so it actually has the reverse effect of fertilizer. Sometimes it can even burn your lawn if it isn’t picked up!

The Four C’s of Dog Poop:
You see and pick up Fido’s poop on a regular basis, but do you take a moment to really look at it? Have you noticed changes in color, consistency, coating, or contents? Just like human poop, dog poop can reveal if something is wrong with your pup. Veterinarians reference the “Four C’s” when examining dog feces – you can also refer to the “Four C’s” on a daily basis! Always seek input from your vet if Fido’s stool has changed or looks concerning.

Dog poop can be a variety of colors, with each meaning something different.


Dog poop should be compact, moist, and easy to pick up. Many vets compare healthy dog poop consistency to Play-Doh. Diarrhea, watery, or unformed dog poop can be an indication of an intestinal upset.

Dog poop should not have any sort of coating on it. Mucus on the stool (formed or watery) may indicate irritation or inflammation of the intestines.

If you feed your dog a grain-based food, Fido may pass undigested food such as corn and other grains. Consider a grain-free alternative food option all together – read more about how to choose a dog food here.

If you see anything out of the ordinary or concerning, always call your vet.


Spring has sprung! Is Fido’s poop still on the ground from the brrrr winter season? KC Pet Collective lists reasons why it’s so important to pick up the poop from last season.