Living and Working in Pet-Friendly Charlotte

In beautiful Charlotte, companies in all industries are interviewing and hiring personnel, and people continue to move here from all over the country. As these new Charlottetonians find a place, put down roots and embrace the area they build a life. Single folks with or without children, married couples, those with partners and entire traditional families, are all flocking to Charlotte. Most of these are young movers and shakers who dive headfirst into both active work and social lives.

A huge consideration when moving is how short can I make my commute? Another major concern is will it be pet-friendly? Many transplants bring along their best four-legged friends, and many others will be adopting a fur friend in the near future.  Luckily, Charlotte is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the nation with 6 off-leash dog parks and a general trend of being very welcoming for pets and their owners.

Dog Parks in Pet-Friendly Charlotte 

  • William Davies Park
  • Barkingham Park as Ready Creek Park
  • Frazier Dog Park
  • Fetching Meadow at McAlpine Creek Park
  • Shuffletown Park
  • Mallard and Clark’s Creek Greenway

We love to take our pups of all ages to play in the open air, socialize with other dogs and exercise their hearts by running their little legs off. As the old saying goes “a tired puppy is a happy puppy.”

Why Hire a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter?

The problem is, we moved here to work and have jobs we like, but this can be demanding. Our best friend is home alone while we are gone 8 to 10 hours each day. The guilt weighs on us. Maybe a neighbor can be persuaded to take your buddy on a walk in the afternoon, though that can create a lot of other issues. Are they reliable? Will they treat your pal right? Do you trust them with someone you love?

Perhaps you are a cat lover. Your little meow mix may not require quite as much attention as a dog, but cats need ear and chin scratches too. If you are only home to sleep because you are burning day and night hours in order to meet a deadline or have to go out of town, who is giving your little whiskered one attention?

Little Friends is the Ideal Solution

Thankfully Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has an experienced staff to take up the slack when you just can’t. You can schedule your pet sitting times so that your fur buddies receive one on one attention in increments of 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. The longer the visit, the more the sitter can do. Of course your baby gets more attention, but they will also do things like get your mail, rotate blinds and  water your plants.

Dog walking has the same increments of 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes including a potty break, fresh water and snack you have provided.  The staff and sitters are all insured and bonded and all have been through a thorough interview process and background check. All pet sitters must love pets, and also have to prove a history with pets. All of the sitters have either owned pets, previously sat for them, worked with animal rescue groups or even worked in a veterinary clinic. With over 70 sitters providing services to over 1000 clients, the reputation of Little Pets speaks for itself. Here is a guide to the sitters who will love and take care of your pets.

Little Friends has a big footprint covering a lot of real estate. In fact, if you find they don’t already cover your location you are invited to call them to see if your location can be added to their coverage area. Established in 2009, Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has long been serving Charlotte’s pet needs with excellent service and has gained a great reputation. They truly do make your pet a priority when you are unable to.

 

Why You MUST Have an In-Home Consultation With Your Pet Sitter

If you need someone to watch your pet while you’re out of town or if you are looking for a dog walker to visit your dog while you are at work, then an in-home consultation is crucial. You will be bringing this new person into your home and into your pet’s life. For that reason, the two of you should meet before they begin working for you. Here are some reasons a consultation is so important:

You Get a Sense of the Sitter

Your pet sitter is going to be coming into your home when you are not there. If you are going through a reputable agency, you should have some reassurance that this person has had background checks and been thoroughly vetted. Even if that’s the case, you should still meet to get a sense of this person. An in-home consultation gives you a good idea of how comfortable you will be allowing this person into your home to care for a cherished member of your family.

Your Pet Gets to Know the Sitter

It is so important for any prospective pet sitter to meet your pet ahead of time. Sometimes cats can be skittish when it comes to strangers, but dogs may be even more of a concern. If your dog is territorial or just anxious, he will definitely need to see that this person has your seal of approval. Letting the pet take his time to check the pet sitter out while the two of you talk can help to alleviate fears. This means your pup will be much more comfortable with the sitter the next time they meet.

The Sitter Can Be Introduced to Routines

Obviously, the sitter is going to be caring for your pet, so it is a good idea to introduce them to your pet’s routines. Show them where your pet’s supplies are kept. Let them know when and how much to feed your pet. You may even show them the route you take your dog when you go walking, and of course where their harness or collar and leash are kept. This is also a good time for the sitter to understand what rules your pet is expected to follow, like not jumping or sitting on the furniture. Your sitter will also have the opportunity to see what commands your pet is familiar with like “sit” and “stay.”

How to Introduce Your Pet

When the pet sitter comes into your home, the two of you may just sit and chat, initially. This will give your pet the chance to check out this new person without any pressure. Here are some things you can try when introducing your pet to someone new:

  • Keep him in another room until the sitter has settled in. Once the pet sitter is seated, you can release your dog or cat.
  • Let your pet make the first move. While the two of you talk, your dog or cat may come to investigate. Your dog may sniff or your cat may rub up against her. The visitor should not make any eye contact or attempt to touch your pet until the pet has made the first overtures. This indicates that they are open to being touched.
  • Allow the sitter to offer your pet some treats. This will help to build a bridge. Do not allow treats to be offered if your pet is behaving in a shy or fearful manner. This could actually reinforce the anxious behavior.

Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking offers in-home consultations free of charge. This allows you to meet with a sitter who is experienced, bonded and insured and whose background has been thoroughly checked. This gives you peace of mind and allows your pet to acclimate to a new caregiver while you are present. This also gives you and the sitter the opportunity to discuss your pet’s needs and routines. For more information or to schedule your consultation, visit our website or give us a call today. You can also fill out the new client paperwork here.

Let’s Get Tied Up into Buying Leashes!

Need a new dog leash and other supplies?  Want to buy local?  Don’t feel like doing your research?

Have no fear!  I’ve done the hard work for you!  Here’s my favorite 10 places in the Charlotte area.  Check it out:

Dublin Dog
1435 W. Morehead Street, Charlotte 28208
http://dublindog.com

Dublin Dog originated in Hawaii, and with the owner/creator being very outdoorsy, he wanted to create products that are waterproof, dirt-proof, and durable.  Their products are fun and eco-minded, and they look as good as they perform!  You can order their products online as well.  If you and your furry friend like to hike and swim and be outdoors, Dublin Dog is the place to buy your supplies.


Pet People Highland Creek
10018 Benfield Road, Charlotte 28269
https://www.petpeoplestores.com/highland-creek.html

Locally owned, Pet People has been around the area for years.  The owners support local non-profit animal-related charities.  They have everything you need: food, treats, supplies, training accessories, etc.  One cool thing they also offer is a self-service dog wash, called SPAW.  It makes it easy for customers to bathe their dog, and not get their own homes and bathrooms all messed up!  Amazing place, and great prices!

Neighborhood Feed and Tack
1900 Moore Road, Matthews 28105
http://neighborhoodfeed.com

Don’t let the name of this place throw you off!  They have SO much to offer for all different kinds of pets!  Family owned since 1983, they offer something for every furry friend!  Not only do they have collars and leashes that light up for night walks and runs, they have thunder shirts, heated bowls, auto feeders and waterers, and a TON more!  Not only that, but they offer home delivery as well!


Reigning Cats and Dogs
2 locations!  700 N. Broome Street, Waxhaw 28173
& Monroe Crossing Mall
http://www.rcandd.com

This mother/daughter team started their business in 2004.  Now, with 2 locations, their popularity in the area has grown quickly!  They offer great products, all natural snacks and food, and grooming services.  They always find time to participate in local events, and offer welcome treats for pets when you come in the door.  The community loves them!  It’s definitely worth checking out what they have to offer.

 

Pet Supermarket
1408 East Blvd, Charlotte 28203
https://www.petsupermarket.com

This is more of a chain store, with a neighborhood kind of feel.  Pet Supermarket has the same kind of vibe as Tractor Supply.  They have GREAT prices!  They also offer in-store vaccinations and cat adoptions!  Another wonderful thing they offer is online interactive pet care training for kids!  Definitely worth not passing this place up!


Four Dogs Pet Supplies
2630 N. Davidson St, Charlotte 28205
https://fourdogspetsupplies.com

Located in NoDa, the 4 owners of this place are self-proclaimed “big dog” people, and what a cool place it is!  They are also very active in large breed rescues.  Don’t let the name fool you, they carry supplies for cats, chickens, a bunch of your other furry friends, not just dogs.  They offer holistic all-natural food, snacks, and supplements.  They also have pet-related art and literature, even a small gallery in store!

 

Last Place on Earth
5655 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte 28213
https://www.lpoecharlotte.com

This independent and family-owned store has been open since 1981.  They offer products for dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, birds, and small animals.  Along with every pet supply you would ever need, they have all-natural dog food.  They also offer puppy adoptions!


Woof Gang Bakery
4810 Ashley Park Lane, Charlotte 28210
woofgangbakery.com

This bakery was founded in Jupiter, Florida in 2007.  It is a small franchise with a hometown feel.  It started out as only a bakery, with everything baked on site.  Now they offer so much more.  Toys, collars, leashes, leads, dog spa products.  They also have a self-service grooming area, doggy day care, and a vet clinic!  It’s like a one-stop shop, with homemade baked goods for your fur babies!

 

Pawtique
12206 Copper Way, Charlotte 28277
http://www.pawtiquepetshop.com

What a cute place!  They have a variety of high-end pet products: holistic food and treats, homeopathic products, everything you could ever need.  There’s special shampoos, and adorable clothing for your fur babies for every holiday and season.  They offer a full-service grooming salon as well.  Their pet supplies are wonderful as well.


Canine Cafe
125 Remount Road, Charlotte 28203
http://caninecafe.net

This bakery was started in 1995, and in 2004 they extended what they offered to the community and added pet supplies and toys.  They have so many great things!  Outdoor and travel gear, collars, leashes, harnesses, toys, bowls, grooming supplies.  Food and supplements, of course, and wonderful homemade treats.  All baking is done onsite as well, so you know it always smells delicious there, too!

 

Hope I’ve helped you out!  Check these places out, let us know what your favorite is!

Pics from:
dogsaholic.com
dogtrainingsecret.com
dogwatch.com
labradortraininghq.com
puppyleaks.com
vetstreet.com

How to Wrangle a Dog on the Loose!

Catch me if you can!

You’re on your way home from work, and you see a dog running down the street, zig-zagging through traffic. Your heart skips a beat. You have to save it! Your instinct is to pull over and run after it. Make kissing noises, whistle, talk in your baby voice, you know. That’s what all of us would immediately think to do! But, how often has this worked for you? Think about it…

The more you chase a dog, the more likely they are to run away from you!

Here are some other options:

(Keep in mind, before you try any of these alternatives, assess the situation:  Does the dog seem aggressive?  Is the dog acting sick (maybe rabid)?  Don’t put yourself in a risky situation!)

  • Display non-threatening behavior, such as not making eye contact, yawning, or pretending to eat.  If the dog doesn’t feel threatened by you, it is more likely to come willingly to you.  Try not to call them to you, or pat your legs to get them to come.  Those noises could be interpreted as threats.
  • Ask the dog if they want to go for a ride!  The dog might love taking rides in the car, and get excited and jump right in!  And then you may have the opportunity to check their tags, get them to a vet to see if they have a chip, things like that.
  • Lie down!  Get on your hands and knees, lay down completely, or even curl into a ball.  The dog may be curious at your odd behavior, and will most likely view this as non-threatening.  They will be more likely to come up to you, sniff you, get comfortable with being close to you.
  • Run in the opposite direction!  The dog may think you’re playing and start running after you!  This will possibly build comfort as well!

While these are suggestions for a dog you don’t know, it’s worth trying for your dog as well!  You know that look your dog gives you?  When they freeze and look at you, and you say to them, “Don’t!”  And the second you say that, they bolt!  Then you run after them, screaming their name, and embarrassing yourself in front of your neighbors, apologizing to them as you sprint past.  Try these!

Have you already tried any of these suggestions? If so, share your experiences with us! How did it go? Did they work? Not work? Do you have any other things you’ve tried that worked? Let us know!

Good luck!  And happy hunting!

Hiking With Your Dog

It’s that time of year when the leaves start changing, the temperature starts dropping, and people want to get out there and enjoy! There’s no better time of the year to hike some of these wonderful trails and mountains that NC has to offer.  Have you brought your dog along before?  Are you thinking about bringing your dog with you for the first time?  Here are some things to think about:

  • Look for places that will be “easy on the paws,” so to speak.  Think about the ground temperature.  The ideal trail will be shady and soft.  It’s best to avoid sharp rocks and steep drops.  Remember, you have strong and sturdy shoes on.  Your dog’s pads are completely exposed to the elements.
  • Whether you use a collar or a harness, make sure that they are snug enough that it won’t cause chafing.  Have you heard of the two-finger rule?  If you can’t fit two fingers in between the collar/harness and your dog’s skin, it is TOO TIGHT.  But, the collar/harness being too loose can be just as problematic.

  • Make sure you pack food and water for your dog, and bring two separate bowls for them to eat and drink out of.  Keep in mind, you may have to increase their food during the hike by up to 50%, depending on how strenuous the hike is.  It’s also a good idea to start with a small serving of food BEFORE the hike to get the energy level up and moving beforehand.  Same as if you had a protein bar before. It’s a good rule of thumb to say that whenever you’re thirsty, they’re thirsty.  Are you taking a sip of water every 15-20 minutes?  Your dog is probably thirsty, too.  Also, try to limit drinking from lakes or streams.
  • Make sure you bring specific animal-approved first aid products.  Maybe a pair of tweezers for tick removal?  Maybe some anti-biotic cream for scrapes?  Things like that.

  • ALWAYS keep your dog leashed!  Around people, and if you’re alone as well.  They could run off.  They could slip and fall.  Just make sure to always have control of them, regardless.
  • When your dog goes #2, don’t leave it.  The two best options are double-bagging it and throwing it away at an approved waste station, or burying it away from trail and water sources.  Leaving it could attract unwanted animals, could inconvenience other hikers… plus, it’s just yucky!

  • If your dog is a first-timer, or has only hiked with you just a couple of times, be sure to start with shorter hikes.  Don’t overstrain yourself, and especially your pet.
  • Most importantly, have fun!!!  And take lots of pictures!  And send them to us so we can enjoy them, too!

 

 

Reference:  backpacker.com

Pics From:  rei.com, pinterest.com, wilderness.org, backpackerverse.com

Your Comments are Crucial to our Company!

One of the many things that Little Friends Pet Sitting has benefited from are the reviews we get from our clients.  The rave reviews about how wonderful their sitter is are always nice.  But, we also like to get feedback on what we can do to improve service are helpful as well.  Truth is essential, in business and in life.  Our goal is to have our client rely on us completely, and to receive the service they expect and deserve.

I know the saying goes, “No news is good news,” but we feel the exact opposite.  We want to hear from you!  What did you enjoy most about your visit?  How was your experience with your sitter?  How did your pet respond to your sitter?  How was our communication with you?  Do you feel like all of your needs were met?  If not, what could we do differently next time?

With the growth of social media, and online presence, here are some ways you can let us know what you think to help us improve our business and services:

Click on links below to check us out on different social media outlets, and feel free to leave your review, as well as see what others are saying about us!

 

 

                     

 

 

We value your opinions!  Let us know how we’re doing!