Atlanta Pet Sitting

Have A Happy 5th of July With A Safe 4th Of July - Dog Walking And Pet Sitting Atlanta And Decatur


Woohoo! The long, holiday weekend has arrived! Here at Whoa Doggy!, we are getting prepared for the busy weekend, as lots of our clients are taking short vacations over the long weekend, and we are providing vacation pet sitting services.

There is never a shortage of fun, family-friendly ways to celebrate Independence Day in Atlanta. The 4th of July is a celebration of our Nation's independence, but is also synonymous with outdoor celebrations, BBQs with friends and family, and of course, fireworks!

There's always a party pooper, though. Every year, on the 5th of July, while we're out walking dogs, we see a lot of “lost dog” posters around our intown Decatur and Atlanta neighborhoods for dogs that were so spooked by fireworks, they escaped their homes in an attempt to get away from the scary noises.

Infographic courtesy of Tagg Pet Tracker

It is more common than you might think, and nothing will ruin your fun holiday weekend quicker than your beloved furry family member trying to make a run for it.

According to Tagg Pet Tracker, more pets run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. Between the 4th and 6th, there is a 30% increase in runaway dogs!

Luckily, there are a few simple precautions you can take to keep your pup nice and calm, and let him be a part of your holiday festivities. 

Here are a few quick tips to help keep your dogs safe and sound during this holiday.

Keep guests informed with a note. Include your dog in your party.

Let your guests know that they need to participate in keeping your pets safe.

Let your guests know that they need to participate in keeping your pets safe.

This should be easy since our dogs are usually the life of the party anyway!

Keep them safe by asking your guests to keep doors and gates closed at all times to prevent accidental escapes.

Putting a note on doors and gates is a great way to remind guests that your pup should remain safely inside these areas.

Side note:  If your party is outside, remember to have plenty of cool, fresh water on-hand! Be sure to refresh those water bowls often, and remember to provide plenty of shade for your pup! Your human guests will appreciate it, too!


What the heck was that?!

As the evening approaches, there will surely be sounds of 4th of July celebrations and fireworks in the area. Many dogs are terrified of these noises and try to escape or outrun them.

We have actually heard stories of dogs jumping through glass windows to get away from the sound of fireworks...yikes!

Do not leave your dog outside where he may be tempted to jump the fence. It’s also a lot noisier out there and can increase the anxiety your dog might have. Keep your dog indoors in a safe, comfortable room where he cannot escape. Be mindful of any doors or windows left open (even a crack), and secure them so your pup can’t sneak out, or get hurt trying to.

If you know you’ll be away from home during the evening hours, be sure to leave a few lights on and set up his favorite bed with a few of his favorite toys to make sure he’s comfy. If you know your dog gets super anxious from fireworks, thunder, or strange noises, it might be worth it to consider staying home, or bringing him with you if you are going to a dog-friendly place where he’ll be safe and comfy.

ThunderShirts aren’t just for thunder!

Cody during a thunderstorm in his ThunderShirt. Cool as a cucumber.

Cody during a thunderstorm in his ThunderShirt. Cool as a cucumber.

We have seen them work wonders. ThunderShirts work by basically swaddling, or hugging your dog. This constant, gentle pressure is what relieves their anxiety and makes them feel safe. According to the ThunderShirt website, over 80% of dogs and cats show significant improvement in symptoms when using ThunderShirt. They are super cute, too! You can find them at just about any pet shop in Atlanta or Decatur. We got ours from Inman Park Pet Works and couldn’t be happier.  

Use a GPS Tracker on your Dog's Collar

If all else fails, at least you will have a way of locating your dog. Products like Tagg Pet Tracker are great for telling you your dog's whereabouts. Not only can you locate your dog instantly through their handy mobile app, but you can also get alerts on your mobile device any time your pet leaves your home! Sure, it may seem like overkill, but it can be the critical difference in your pet's safety. If you have a pet that is inclined to bolt out the door, we highly recommend a product like this!

Microchips for all!

We always recommend getting your dog microchipped. A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which gets implanted in your dog. The microchip contains your contact information, so that if your pet was ever found, he can be taken to just about any vet in the area to get the chip scanned. You can think of it like a permanent dog tag. There are many places to get your pet microchipped for as little as $25, including the Atlanta Humane Society. If you do a little searching, you might even find a local even that will microchip your pet for free!

And last, but certainly not least, ALWAYS keep a tag on your dog when he is not is a crate.

How do you keep your pets safe and comfy during the 4th of July holiday? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below! 

So, You Need A Pet Sitter

Whew, you made it through the holidays and that work trip that got extended last week because of the snow. Thank goodness your neighbor and friends were around to help out with Mr. Snugglesworth. You couldn't help but notice that the water bowl was empty when you got home. And that's when you started really thinking about your pet sitting arrangements..."Maybe Mr. Snugglesworth was really unusually thirsty this afternoon???... I didn't receive a phone call or text while I was away, no news is good news, right???... I wonder how long he enjoyed one-on-one interraction each day... He did have company each day, right?!?... Why is he looking at me like that?... He's totally mad at me for leaving!". And the guilt trip ensues.

Ok, ok, maybe that's a little exaggerated, but we totally understand the feeling. Before Whoa Doggy!, our pet sitting plans changed everytime we went out of town or had a long day where we needed a hand with our furry sons, Cody and Lukey. We always felt like we were burdoning our friends (even when they insisted that "they didn't mind") and we hated checking in with them while we were away, because we didn't want to insult them by appearing like we didn't trust them.

Sure, the 12 year old kid in the neighborhood walks your friend's dog from time to time, and that's all good, until the 12 year old kid forgets to visit, or forgets to feed your dog, or worse...forgets to lock the door! And what would the 12 year old kid do if he walks into your house to be greeted by a burst pipe, or another emergency that needs immediate attention?

These are all questions that we've learned the unfortunate answers to, either through the previous experiences of our clients, or our own. We truly believe that the peace of mind that comes along with having a relationship with a professional pet sitting service is invaluable. We also believe that the consistency, accountability and professionalism that a professional pet sitting service provides are non-negotiable, especially when it comes to your pets - your babies - your furry loved ones. 

Over the next few weeks, we are going to write more about what it looks like to work with a professional pet sitting service, what happens in case of emergencies, and most importantly, how to find the perfect service for you and your furry family. Because it is that important. In the meantime, take comfort in knowing that there are options - real, professional options - for you and Mr. Snugglesworth.

Wags & Hugs,
Whoa Doggy! 

Atlanta Pet Sitting

Our clients see and feel the benefits of the type of pet sitting we offer on a regular basis. Whoa Doggy! offers in-home pet sitting, which means we go to our clients’ homes to spend quality time with their pets as opposed to a boarding environment or an alternative that doesn’t involve a professional. There are many benefits of professional in-home pet sitting that offer a solid peace of mind to pet parents in Atlanta!

How to Prepare Your Home for Your Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

The relationship you have with your pet sitter/dog walker is special. Making sure they have all the information they need to make the most of the time they have with your pets will make a difference. Here are a few ways you can help ensure your pet sitter or dog walker maximizes the time he or she has with your pet.

5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring a Pet Sitter

There are many great options for pet care to keep your furry family members safe and happy while you are away. Many people choose in-home pet sitting, where a sitter cares for your pet in your own home. Selecting the best sitter for your pet’s needs is extremely important. Once you’ve found someone that you and your pet are fond of, there are a few questions you should ask during the interview process to help determine whether they will be the best fit for you and your family.

1.     Are you insured?

A professional pet sitter will always be insured. While having insurance does not guarantee that the pet sitter is a good fit for you, it’s a good start to your interview. A pet sitter who is insured not only covers your pet and your home in the event of an unforeseen incident, but also shows you that the pet sitter takes his or her business seriously.

2.     How much notice will you need for scheduling?

It is important to know how quickly your sitter will be booked and if he or she will be someone you can rely on for future trips. Likewise, a sitter that is always booked solid will have little time for unexpected situations that may require extra attention (e.g. a sick pet).

3.     How will my key(s) be treated?

The trust you put in your pet sitter with your home and pets is of the utmost importance. You should understand and be comfortable with the way your keys (and alarm code) will be handled.

4.     How can I ensure the accuracy of my schedule?

When you request a specific schedule, you need to be confident that your sitter has correctly added your visits to his or her calendar.  A professional pet sitter should always confirm your schedule in detail, in advance.

5.     Is there a plan in the case of emergency with my pet or home?

A professional, experienced pet sitter will have a plan in place for any situation that may arise, whether it is a sick pet, a flooded basement in your home, or even if the pet sitter himself or herself has a personal emergency that prevents him or her from visiting your pet during a scheduled visit. It is important to discuss these plans in advance so you can understand the kind of care your pet and home will receive, even in less-than-ideal-situations.

The relationship between you and your pet sitter should be rewarding and fulfilling for both you and your pet. Be sure to leave your interview with an equal dose of peace of mind and the warm fuzzies.