Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How do you choose the right pet for you?

This is a question that is often wondered, but seldom asked.  Often times, prospective owners choose their pets on emotion or happenstance when a pet jumps into their arms.  This is a wonderful feeling and very hard to put aside, but you should always know what you're looking for because if you don't then you might find a mismatch that is more problematic than it could have been.

Choosing the right pet can be difficult, but it will always be successful if you take a little time to choose the right pet for you.  Do you see yourself as a cat or a dog person?  Do you see yourself playing with your pet at the beach, or lounging with your pet around the house?  Do you see your pet being a trip-buddy or one that stays home to hold down the fort while you're away?  These are the first questions we should ask ourselves.  

Say for example you want a very low maintenance pet who won't follow you around all day.  In this case a cat might be your best option.  If on the other hand you want a buddy to tag along on your adventures, then a dog would be best.  Of course not all dogs are created equal and because of that you should try to realistically figure out how much time you can truly spend with your pet and then find the pet that does better in that situation.

When I picked up my first pet, a lab named Caleb, I had wonderful visions of the two of us throwing a ball around, going to the beach and just hanging out and enjoying life.  I didn't quite realize that a Lab required a lot of exercise or he'd get into mischief at home, like tearing up some vintage albums, or a few $200 blinds, or a some pickets off my backyard fence or the garbage under the sink because that's where his treats were.  Not that any of this happened of course because my Caleb was perfect (Right!).  

The point is that I needed to adjust my life to accommodate my best buddy.  That basically meant my life would change from one where I rode around the City on my bike for three hour rides, to one where I was spending an hour a day burning his energy off at a dog park.  Not a bad swap, but one that I should have known about beforehand.  Not that I would've gotten a different dog, because he was the perfect fit for me, but it would have set my expectation level appropriately.

You can learn more about what a pet needs by visiting several different sites.  Do yourself a favor and ask yourself the basic questions I should have and you'll be way ahead of the game.

For cats you can find good information here:

For Dogs, you can find great information here:
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your pet!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

How do you know if your dog loves you?

In our recent travels, we came across this nice article about how dogs show their affection to their parents.  You might be surprised by what the article says, citing recent studies for coming to the conclusions within.  Feel free to read through these and if you need help caring for your pet, we can help with private, personalized 1:1 care.


The following article was taken from

Monday, March 9, 2015

Helping Your Pet Overcome Fear

Helping your pet overcome fear

During the most recent rains, I was faced with a situation I hadn't encountered before.  Although not a huge issue, it could have gotten out of control if I had not taken action immediately.

Over the course of a few weeks, one of our dogs (almost 2 yrs old) had become afraid of the rain. We didn't think too much of this initially since her breed isn't typically fond of water.  Add to that the fact that it hadn't rained much (if at all) since she came to us last January also led us to believe she'd get over it pretty quickly.  Our other dog is a lab, so he couldn't care less if it was sunny, rainy, foggy or drizzly.  With him, there are only two different types of climates -- a nice warm cozy bed, and everything else.    

Initially, the problem we encountered with our other hound was that she didn't want to go near puddles, or the surf at the beach.  Again, not uncommon for her breed.  Then when the rains came, she became afraid to go outside.  Unfortunately when the rain didn't let up for a few days, it became apparent that it was becoming a problem... particularly when she began doing her business in the house.  First it was #1, which happened a couple of times, but then when she did #2, we knew we had to do something fast.  

Putting on my warmest sweatshirt and driest rain gear, I took her  went outside to see if we could cure the problem once and for all.  We went out during the biggest storm of the young winter season.  Rains crashing down on us, gutters overflowing, mud nearly pulling my shoes off mid-step.  We stayed out in the rain for a good 15 minutes, just standing there, getting her used to the water on her paws, the wet grass, and the rain in her eyes.  The goal was for her to go potty outside and to let her know that regardless of how wet we became, the rain wouldn't hurt us.

After about 15 minutes I was beginning to lose resolve when finally, thankfully, she did her business.  First it was #1 which brought a smile to my face, and then after a few more minutes, #2 happened.   At that point, I gave her the biggest, happiest hug I could, and then we both bolted for the warmth of the house.

She's been fine ever since.  But if I hadn't taken the time and been patient enough to walk her through this, it may have gotten completely out of hand.  The rule of thumb here is, if you're going to work with your pet on training, make sure you have the time to dedicate to it.  Training her right before your dinner is ready, or your favorite TV show comes on, or before you have to leave for work isn't fair to your either of you.  You'll be setting yourselves up for failure because when you lack time, you will probably lack patience.  Train when you have time, train when you're not in a rush.  I guarantee the time you spend will be worthwhile in the long run.

Until next time!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Focus on Dog Parks - McLaren Park

For those of you looking for a really nice dog park with wonderful woods, miles of trails and vast open spaces, try McLaren park.

McLaren Park was opened in 1927 and is named for John McLaren, known as the Grandfather of Golden Gate Park.  It is located just off 101 and is nestled at the top of the Excelsior district and contains 312 acres of open land to roam around.

You can reach the park from Mansell or Persia Avenues in the Excelsior/Portola Districts.  The Park is a hidden gem in the City and is the second largest city park in San Francisco, only slightly smaller than the much busier Golden Gate Park.  You'll even find the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, picnic areas, tennis courts and even a lake!

The beauty of McLaren Park is the open spaces.  You'll often find yourself with a trail to yourself and parking is never an issue, even on the weekends.  You'll get majestic views of the downtown area and the bay, open trails and a place where your dog can swim, run, walk or just lounge around with other park lovers.

To find out more about McLaren Park by visiting the SF Parks & Recreation site.

Enjoy the park!
Owner, Fetch! Pet Care, San Francisco

Monday, July 21, 2014

Local Rescue Organizations

Hi everyone,
Recently, I have noticed a good number of posts on Facebook related to rescues from people who have, for one reason or another, the need to re-home their pets.  Often, this is due to a misjudgement about how a pet will fit into the home, but there are also instances related to financial or health issues. Whatever the case, owners are often distraught at the thought of what might happen to their beloved pet if they can't be re-home them by a certain date.  This blog post is intended to relieve that angst for many of you.

First, there are several rescue organizations dotted around the country and region setup to help address this issue. These are non-breed specific organizations like the SPCA, Wonderdog, Rocket Dog Senior Dog that can help with re-homing based solely on need and temperament.  The main thing when looking at these shelters is to determine if they are a kill or no-kill shelter, which will hopefully lead you toward no-kill shelters only.    

Secondly, there are breed-specific organizations that concentrate on saving specific breeds.  These are very successful because they are familar with the nuances of the specific breed and can better assess if an owner and pet are a good fit based on the family's lifestyle and the type of pet they are looking for, and if they are familiar with the breed.  

Although this is nowhere near a complete list, these are a few local organizations that I located online. There are many, many more organizations available for different breeds, so I suggest you check for a local rescue organization near you.  Here are just a few I searched for based on my travels around the area.  

German Shepherd:

Jack Russell Terrier:

Norwegian Elkhound:

Golden Retriever:

Labrador Retriever:

Pit Bull:



Best of luck to all of you.  I wish you well in your search.




Monday, July 14, 2014

Fun Photos of Pets We Love!

Fun Pet Photos

Vic and Mopey waiting for their treats!

Walter (near) and Maia after one of our walks.

Dutchie, in her usual spot on our couch!  

Drake, just surveying his surroundings.

Finally, Paige Marie in heaven near a space heater!

Our little Maxi Girl - RIP sweet girl, you warmed our hearts every single day.

For Caleb, bath time = roll in the flower bed time... ugh.

Eli, with his soulful eyes

Katie, looking for her next adventure!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

4th of July Safety Tips for Pets

Hi Everyone,

With the 4th of July just around the corner, I thought it would be important to provide some information on how to keep your pets safe and calm during all the festivities and fireworks.

This list came from the PetMD website and we encourage you to use their site as a resource for pet related health questions.

Here is their top 10 list:

10.  Keep your pets indoors at all times.  This is the time when pets become scared and can bolt when you're not looking, so make sure they safe, secure and can't escape toward danger.

9.  Don't use non-pet approved insect repellant on your pet.  This may be toxic so be sure to only use items that are approved for animal use.

8.  No Alcohol for pets.  This is an obvious safety tip everyone should abide by.

7. If you're going to see a fireworks display, leave your pet secured at home.  Again, pets can become very frightened and run away at any point, so it's best to keep them in their own familiar surroundings so they feel safe and comfortable.

6.  Make sure your pet's ID tags are up to date.

5.  Keep your pet away from plastic or glow jewelry.  It may look cute, but if a pet chews through the jewelry, it could cause indigestion, intestinal blockage and general discomfort for your pet.

4.  NEVER use fireworks around your pet.  The noise and fire is one thing, but the ashes can also burn their paws if left unattended so its never a good idea to use fireworks with or near your pets.

3.  Don't give your pet table food.  Particularly no beer, chocolate, onions, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt or yeast dough as these items are all toxic to pets.

2.  Lighter fluid and matches are harmful to pets.  Keep these out of your pets reach as these items are very toxic and a pet may get into them just because they're curious, so keep these items safe and away from pets and children.

1.  Citronella is an irritant too.  These items are toxins as well, and can cause severe respiratory illnesses and can also harm your pet's nervous system.  

We hope you all enjoy your 4th of July holiday and that these tips help keep your pet safe and out of harms way.

Owner, Fetch! Pet Care, San Francisco