Not Just Dog Bones Anymore!

Bone Sugar Cookies And Condensed Milk, Selective Focus

Treat your pet to a local bakery serving everything from cakes to cookies, trail mix and other novelties! Wake County has many unique spaces where you can bring your pet and sample the seasonal dog treats. Some cater to pets with allergies, offering peanut-free, gluten free and sugar free options. Below is an alphabetical list of stores – make sure to check out there hours before you go as several are not open on Mondays, some are by appointment only and others open later in the day.

Three Dog Bakery in Apex recently closed –  it really is a dog eat dog competition for clients! So when you find a bakery that your furry friend enjoys, Like them on Facebook, write a review on Yelp, help market them by word-of-mouth to neighbors!

Bone Appétit Bakery
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh
Gourmet Dog treats, with wheat-free options, peanut butter, pumpkin or honey berry bites.

Gourmutt’s Bakery
, Raleigh. NC.
Our delectable goodies are baked on premises daily using only the freshest human grade ingredients. Our treats contain NO added Salts, Sugars, Preservatives or Artificial Dyes. All of our treats are tested by the Clemson University Food Sciences Department and registered with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the FDA. Not only will your dogs LOVE our treats, but you will also feel good about giving them.

La Di Dogs
419-B Daniels Street Raleigh, NC.
Cute store in Cameron Village that sells clothes, toys, treats and more for dogs. Mostly for smaller dogs.

Pet-Friendly Store
2460 Wycliff Rd
Raleigh, NC 27607
Unleashed offers only natural, healthy and safe treats, chews and foods for dogs and cats. They sell baked treats from local suppliers.

Wag Pet Boutique
General Pet Stores
7414 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27613
Specialty pet store + bakery (leashes, collars, apparel, chews, toys, premium foods)

Woof Gang Bakery, Cary and Raleigh
Groomers & Spas, Pet-Friendly Stores, General Pet Stores, Pet Boutiques, Neighborhood Stores
4421 Six Forks Road, Suite 120
Raleigh, NC 27609
Woof Gang Bakery is the leader in raw, frozen and grain-free diets for cats and dogs. They offer premium pet food selections, as well as gourmet dog treats, tough toys, grooming products, stylish collars and leads, and much more! Woof Gang Grooming is the very best in Pet Care.

Knowing Your Client Personally

Desert tropical island with palm tree, chaise lounge, suitcase.Why do customers go back to the same restaurant, salon, mechanic, or pet service? Customer Service. Even when a new one comes along that offers coupons and cheaper prices? The quality of service comes into question, and once you have customer loyalty, you have success!

There will be problems or misunderstandings eventually, yet loyal customers won’t leave and bad-mouth your company to the community. The way to earn this amazing trust from your clients is to go above-and-beyond, whether that is a follow-up email/call or a hand-written note. To stay one-step ahead in anticipating their needs. To document in their file as much information as possible, so that the next time they reach out, you can speak knowledgeably of what has happened in the past.

“No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.” – Calvin Coolidge

While consumers like discounts, they are even more interested in incentives for booking with you or living a healthier lifestyle. By pairing our pet sitting with travel agent services, we can now handle the trip and the pets, providing a discount when you book the two together!

Visit we can reward book phenomenal rates for travel and reward your customer loyalty with 15% off your pet sitting services through Four Paws!

A Cat Toy that ROCKS! And ROLLS!

Yes, Slider cat is not easily impressed with human-versions of “fun”. A string? Pleeeze. Until now – this new toy they brought me is “The Cat’s Meow”!!!!

It drives me CRAZY that I can’t see what’s under the yellow nylon cloth. The longer I watch it, the more determined I become KILL IT with a pounce and crush leap!
I go into wildcat attack mode, back legs launching me forward – claws extended- teeth barred and crush the moving object. Sit on it for awhile to make sure it isn’t moving.


The minute I get up and stalk away, the movement begins again, a skittering that switches directions and speeds! It looks like a mouse or small squirrel is under the cloth. I must find out which one, so I hunt for the cardboard box it came in and read:

* (4) different speeds; Slow, Medium, Fast and Random. Your cat will love the variety.
* Long Lasting durable nylon cover
* Peek-a-boo wand mimics scurrying mouse
* Stops clawing and scratching on curtains and furniture
* Hours of fun and exercise for cats of all ages -PetZoom

The mystery remains – they don’t reveal what the creature is under the yellow cloth! I did find the pricetag that said $19.99 but I know my owners got it for $13.99 by ordering on-line. They are always looking for “a deal” when it comes to cat-toy shopping!

So if you have a fat cat, or a bored cat, or a kitten with energy to burn – go buy this toy. It will entertain multiple cats at once, too! Just make sure you pick up the 3-C Batteries to make it work!

Moving on UP!

Persian cat

Literally, onto a third floor apartment!

We are moving into an apartment because my owner decided the house was a money pit, and though I will miss my neighborhood friends, I look forward to living up among the tree-tops. The birds will be within paw-snatching reach from my balcony. There is always someone going in and out, and since people-watching is my favorite pastime I will be constantly entertained!

The first thing I have to do is NOT shred the carpet or tangle and collapse the blinds. There is this thing called a “Pet Fee”  my owner mentioned, costing between $100-$250 up front. IF I don’t do my usual destruction, the money can go towards a new kitty condo for me at Christmas. IF I do go all kung-fu crazy,  then I will be out on the curb with the garbage on Thursday night. (Isn’t that an awful thing to tell me? Now I am going to have a complex whenever the garbage bags get dragged toward the door).

The other interesting  feature of my new community is a thing called a “Dog Park.” I read all about it on-line and was SHOCKED that there is no CAT PARK. Not even a CAT TREE in the Dog Park! What is wrong with these apartment people, catering to the animal that will poop anywhere, in public, and lick his butt afterward?

When we move, the other issue will be giving up my kitty-door. Apartment communities have a RULE that cats have to stay inside at all times (good luck with that). Rules don’t apply to me, Slider-Super-Cat, and I will be lounging on my balcony all sunny-day long!

So, if you want to find me in my new digs, grab your binoculars and look up!

And if you want to find an apartment that caters to cats (or dogs) check out these websites:

What to do About Stray Cats and Dogs

Little Dog Walking

You see the flash of fur, then a tail disappears under your deck, or into your bushes! Who’s cat is that? Or maybe it’s a dog wandering along the side of the road. Do you stop to try and catch it, or call the animal catcher? What is the backstory on how this furry creature came to be left out in the open?

There are several options for any stray animals that you may encounter. Read below to determine if one of these may work for the animal you have “found”:

1. Animal Control: 919-996-1449. They “work closely with rescue groups that attempt to find homes for the nearly 5,000 animals they pick up each year.”-Raleigh NC Gov

2. Another option is an Animal Shelter. In Wake County, the Animal Center is “an open-admission animal shelter operated by Wake County. We receive all stray, abandoned & surrendered pets in Wake County. We work in partnership with fosters, volunteers and local
rescues, to treat and rehome thousands of homeless animals every year.” They are located at: 820 Beacon Lake Drive, Raleigh and their phone number is: (919) 212-7387.

2. Having a large military presence in our state, some animals are left behind when their owner deploys. There is a Rescue that works to find homes for these animals, Guardian Angels for Soldiers pets:

3. Triangle Lost Pets ( This website, sponsored by Wake County, allows individuals to post descriptive information and view maps of where pets have been lost or found. This site also allows individuals to prepare a Pet Flier that can be posted in neighborhoods.

4. Feral (wild) cats that are discovered/rescued/surrendered to shelters are normally not adoptable. Cary Community Cat Program: 919-378-1867

5. Finally, there are several Foster Pet Programs:
where found animals can be viewed and fostered. C.A.R.E. for Animals, Best Friend Pet Adoption (dogs only), Heaven and Earth Animal Rescue Team, Marley’s Cat (and Dog!) Tales and Paw Prints Animal Rescue to name a few!

Please don’t ignore the animal, because if you don’t do something to help, who will?

Is Your Pet Afraid of Storms?


When every single hair on my tail stands on end, you know I have been spooked! Originally it was only thunderstorms with their booming claps that sent me diving under the bed. Over the next year, loud noises like firetruck sirens, ambulances or simply a backfiring muffler caused me to hit the floor and hide.

At first my owner laughed at my noise phobias, but as they continued to multiply in number she realized that I had a serious need for…

The Thunder Shirt!

Made not far from my Raleigh home, in downtown Durham, the snug-fitting jackets are amazing!Immediately, when it was put on me, I calmed down and felt secure as if my owners arms were wrapped around me.

How does this invention work?

Much like a tightly swadled baby calms down immediately, putting one of these snug jackets on applies pressure, “which has a calming effect on the nervous system, possibly by releasing a calming hormone like endorphins”-Thundershirt website.

The Thunder Shirt was founded in 2009 after “…proprietary research also uncovered that over 30% of pets suffer from one or more of these anxieties making anxiety one of the leading issues for today’s pet parents.”Sure, they were originally made for dogs, but I consider them the test market!

Here is the link for cats size 6-13 lbs. If you are a bit “fuller figured” then I suggest checking out the dog sizes:       

Check with your local veterinarian about the results they have seen, I consider myself the unofficial spokesperson for the Thunder Shirt and it’s success story!

Dog Gone It! Where is MY Tail?

Brindle BoxerAww, look at that little nub of a tail! We don’t ask why the dogs tail is gone, or docked, and that is the real controversy.

Dogs are born with tails that express their feelings. So how do pet owners justify taking them off? This practice has been going on since the 1800s for about 50 breeds, particularly for Spaniels, Terriers, Boxers, Pointers, Poodles and Schnauzers.

Several articles say there are three main reasons why people dock a dogs tail:

1. With long haired breeds the tail is docked for hygiene issues.
2.  With a hunting dog, the tail is docked so that it won’t get stuck in brambles or hurt during hunting.
3.  With a guard dog, the theory is that it could be seized by the tail to thwart its attack.

So how is it done? One of two ways, the first being surgery and the second, more common technique is known as “banding” “In which a ligature, normally an orthodontic band, was placed over the end of the puppies tail at 24-96 hours old. This effectively cuts off the blood supply to the end of the tail, which comes away within 3 days.”-Vet News.  The cut goes through skin, cartilage, nerve endings and bone. Does it hurt the puppy? The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) states that “Puppies, just like human babies, have a fully developed nervous system and do indeed feel pain. They point to biological markers, which show pain is occurring during and after a procedure such as tail docking.

So it seems the real question is not “How harmful is the procedure?”, but rather “Is there sufficient justification for performing it?”-Canadian Veterinarian Journal. Dog Gone It

The Stinking Truth: Comparing Kitty Litter

Small kitten in blue plastic litter cat isolated on whiteWhat is that smell? Where did all that dust come from? If you are a kitty owner, then the dilemma of WHERE to put the cat box and WHAT litter to put in it is a constant battle! Clay litter has been around since the 1940’s and“Clay is still a great absorber, and cheap as dirt (well, clay), too, but it’s more environmentally unfriendly, since you have to dump out the whole litter box once it’s full (in other words, once a week)” -Dr. Justine Lee.

Scoopable litter came about in 1996: “I hunted around and found clays that were dried but not baked. They were very absorbent and would form a clump when the cat urinated on them. The clump could then be removed, thereby getting rid of the urine. I had a box of litter I did not change in 10 years—I just added more—and it had absolutely no odor at all.” -Dr. Nelson, Cat Fancy Magazine.

Below are six different products with their pros and cons. After sifting through many boards and reviews, I found that layering a couple of the litters may be the perfect solution since no one product does it all!

1. Simply Pine    20 lb. $12.00
northeastern white pine pellets from 100% pure

No dust and no tracking
Chemical free, additive free
Allergic reaction to pine
Lets litter pool in bottom of cat litter pan

2. Fresh News Cat Litter    25 lb $15.00
Recycled paper with baking soda added
No dust and no tracking
More volume and 3x more absorbent than clay
100 % recycled paper
Can be composted and used as soil amendment or mulch
100% nonallergenic
Lets litter pool in bottom of cat litter pan
Strong pee odor persists

3. World’s Best Cat Litter    28 lb $29.00
Clumping Litter
corn-based litter that is both flushable and biodegradable
Neutralizes cat urine with no artificial odor
Doesn’t hide smell of urine very well (they now make a pricier scented version)

4. Litter Purrfect    30 lb    $7.00
Clay based
GREAT at absorbing odor with it’s Lemongrass Essence
Clumps well for easy disposal
Dust Free
Large clay pieces that some cats don’t like and may not dig in it to cover their deposits

5. Cat Attract    20 lb. $22.00
Herbal scent, ideal texture and particle size
Clay litter
100% Biodegradable
Hard Clumping
Dust free
Sticks to cat paws and gets tracked around house
Long-haired cats can get clumps on their backside
Concerns that bentonite clays will “set-up” in a cat’s stomach (un-founded according to numerous vet sites)

6.  Scoop Away Multi-cat    20 lb $25.00

Virtually masks all scent of pee
Good for multiple-cat owners
Easy cleanup clumps stay together
Litter lasts a long time
Composed of clay, natural but nonbiodegrable

What are your comments? How many litter boxes do you have?

Cat Fight After Identifying Friend or Foe


How do I tell if the cat coming toward me is a Friend or Foe? Even us kitties use our gut feeling (instincts) when greeting a new cat. Sure, I could state the obvious: if their claws are out, back arched and fur standing on end – probably Foe. Yet this is also the pose a scared young cat will make to bluff that it is bigger and fiercer (when actually she is quivering and ready to bolt)

One thing to keep in mind: most of the time the Foe is a male trying to stake out new territory or a female cat. So when a new cats stray into my neighborhood, it’s usually a Foe. When a sweet house kitty gets out for a few hours, primarily a Friend. When I encounter these cats, there are only a few moments to decide which one they are. To do this, I use my method of identifying potential threats, called: Slider’s Superior Skills System or “SSSS” and I make that sound when practicing

Step 1: Control the First Impression
Scared Kitten
Make sure to Fluff your fur to MAXIMUM. For the best angle, turn your body sideways but keep your head facing forward. Start flicking your tail back and forth like a whip. Stare-them down.

Step 2: Verbalize
Choose between growling and hissing to verbalize your intention. If they reply in the same tone, the fight is on  If the foe seems particularly tough, an all-out caterwaul is in order “Mrreeooowwwaahh ”

Step 3: Action
Circle each other, striking out with a fully-claw-extended paw. Go for the neck, grabbing ahold to land a solid bite on the back. Finally, kick like crazy at the torso, hoping to drive home the idea “I need to get out of here.”

Of course there can be positive interactions as well – like with my friend Frosty. She is a silver tabby that sits on my front porch, patiently waiting for me to get let outside. We take turns rubbing against the railing beams, marking our scent. Then we roll on the pine-straw, laying side-by-side in the sun. She likes to lean over and lick my ears, cleaning out the dirt and smoothing down my fly-aways. That is a true friend!

Medicines vs. Natural Remedies for What Ails Your Dog

Stream Rice In Electric Rice Cooker On White Background

Does your dog need a drug to fix what ails him? Or would an all-natural remedy work just as well? There are two sides to every coin, so depending on the way you fall in your beliefs, both options are offered below for the top five most common ailments among our furry best friend – the dog.

For Arthritis:
1. Rimadyl
2. Novox (generic equivalent of Rimadyl) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) used to treat pain and inflammation

All Natural:
1. Compare to the natural remedies of Green-Lipped Mussel (ewwww) or
2. Glucosamine sulfate “helps rehabilitate damaged cartilage by stimulating the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and chondroitin sulfate, the essential component of cartilage. Glucosamine has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity.”-Homeopathy Works.

For Upset Stomach:
1. Immodium A/D (loperamide)
2. Pedialyte
3. Pepto/Bismol

All Natural:
1. Bland diet of rice and white chicken
For example: offer 75% of a the rice bland diet with 25% of the dog’s regular kibble and give it for three days. If the does well, then offer half rice diet and half dog kibble in a 50-50 mixture for another three days.
2. Banana Baby Food
3. Probiotics – Prostora made by Iams , Proviable made from Nutramax Labs and Fortiflora made from Purina.

For Diarrhea:

1. Immodium A/D (loperamide)
2. Pepto/Bismol (carefully measure correct dosage – may cause side effects such as darkening of tongue or stool


All Natural:   
1. plain yogurt or cottage cheese – Probiotics such as Fortiflora or Culturelle may be also helpful to promote the growth of good bacteria
2. Fast the dog. This will give his gastro-intestinal tract some rest and time to recover (24-hour fast)
3. Unflavored Pedialyte to help replace lost electrolytes – keep the dog hydrated

For Constipation: 
1. Lax-eze
2. Lactulose Solution for Dogs and Cats (Hi-Tech Pharmacal)

All Natural:   
1. Ground dark green leafy veggies: 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight 1-2 times daily with food
2. Canned 100 percent pumpkin: 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight 1-2 times daily on food
3. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar unfiltered (ACV), 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight added to your dog’s food 1-2 times daily.

For Hot Spots:
(most commonly around the ears and flank regions from excessive biting/licking)tea-tree-oil-4oz
1. Betagen
2. Genesis Topical Spray
3. Sulfodene Skin Medication for Dogs 4

All Natural: 
1. Be Soothed. Tea Tree Oil
2. HomeoPet Hot Spots